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Greg
12-Nov-2017, 16:37
I have always just center the lenses on my 4x5 Chamonix by eye. All my lenses more than cover the format and 100% of what I shoot with the camera is nature ranging from abstract to "f/64", not requiring precise centering of the lens. Have accumulated 9 different Linhof type lens boards over the years. I always knew that the holes in the lens boards were never centered and varied in their up or down position. So today thought I'd measure where the holes were in my boards. All the boards were purchased with pre cut holes to fit the shutters. So what I did was to measure the distances from the center of the hole to the bottom of the lens board. Measurements probably accurate to + or - 0.05mm. Here's what I found:

4.8 or 4.75cm (to close to call) OEM Chamonix board with factory drilled hole

4.2cm WISTA board
4.25cm generic high quality board
4.5cm recessed high quality board
4.75cm generic board
4.75cm WISTA board
5.225cm WISTA board
5.25cm generic board

So the position of the holes varied by 1.2cm. When I visually center the lens on my front standard, I probably am within less than + or - 0.4cm of the lens being on center which totally works for my photography. On both sides of my front standard (45N-2) are 2 dots 2mm apart, lower one painted in red, and the upper one unpainted in. The OEM holes in my Chamonix boards are, and probably probably not just coincidently, 2mm off the center of the board. I used the red dot to align my OEM Chamonix boards. I had assumed that the unpainted dot was for OEM Linhof or even WISTA boards.

Hugo, am I right in using the red dot with my OEM Chamonix boards?

What surprised me was that the holes in my 3 WISTA boards were all in different locations. I had assumed that they were all equally off center.

My original intent was to confirm that my off center boards were all equally off center from the OEM lens holes on my Chamonix boards, and then use the unpainted alignment dot for all the non OEM Chamonix boards. Boy was I wrong. Now I seriously considered to replace my non Chamonix boards with OEM Chamonix boards, but at $75.00 each, hard to justify that expenditure. Since my visually centering the lenses has worked for me so far, will probably just keep doing the same.

Comments welcome....

Keith Pitman
12-Nov-2017, 17:55
Don’t obsess about it. Just adjust the rise/fall where it needs to be for the image you want to make.

On the other hand, if you have money to burn, you can buy new boards and, like Goldilocks, get everything just right.

xkaes
12-Nov-2017, 19:38
This issue has been discussed on this Forum before. You are correct, holes seem to be placed all over the place. A lot of the time this is not too critical because the image circle of the lens is large enough. But it is best to get the center of the lens in the center of the ground glass. This is where the sharpest part of the image is, and it gives you the most movement possible. And with lenses that have smaller image circles it is critical to avoid vignetting of the corners.

Different cameras are structured to have lensboard holes in different places. Most don't tell you where, but you can figure it out yourself -- I had to. For my cameras it is 10mm off center on a Toyo board. Do a search for this issue and you should be able to find the previous discussions on this matter.

You are not alone.

Hugo Zhang
12-Nov-2017, 19:44
Greg,

You should use the white dot. We had the red dot on some of of our older models. It was designed for some accessories that have never come out. So ignore the red dot.

Hugo

Doremus Scudder
13-Nov-2017, 03:57
Geez, one would think that manufacturers would let us know what the spec is for their particular camera design regarding lensboard hole placement(s). Thanks to Hugo at least for clarifying which centering mark to use. However, it would be nice to have the exact offset the camera is designed for too.

It would also be nice to have a data base for Linhof, Wista, Tachihara, et al. that use "Technika boards," but seem to not have the same center hole placement. Heck, I don't even know if all Technika boards have the same center-hole placement.

Is there a way to know what boards fit what cameras, or are we on our own here?

Doremus

xkaes
13-Nov-2017, 04:48
You can't rely on the alignment dots alone. All that does is get the front standard to where the manufacturer of the camera placed it. PLUS, this does not necessarily mean that the manufacturer used a board with a hole in the middle of the board (however you define that) to set it. AND because the center of the hole on the board varies -- i.e. can be different from the center of the board -- the hole may or may not be in the same place as where the manufacturer set it. As a result of this plate of spaghetti, it's best to figure it out for yourself.

You want the lens centered on the center of the ground glass for reasons previously mentioned. When it is, chances are it won't be centered on the board -- even when the alignment marks are matched.

Over time, I've bought boards with holes "centered" in different places -- just like Greg found. More often than not, the seller doesn't tell you where it is centered or how much off-center it is. With my 47mm and 105mm, the image circle is so small I have to get it smack-dab in the middle of the ground glass. If you have a similar lens with a small IC, that's one way to find your "sweet spot". You don't even need to focus the lens. Put it on the camera and move it as close to the GG as possible. Is the center of the fuzzy image in the middle of the GG?

GG12
14-Nov-2017, 05:09
Often wondered why these holes were off center. I guess its because those having cameras with fixed front lens boards would use them (and rotate) to get the movement they wanted, up to a limited amount. Or if the front mount was offset, use an offset board to compensate. In hindsight, either seems clever or a bit odd.

Two23
14-Nov-2017, 06:59
Does this really matter? I almost always end up using a bit of rise anyway.


Kent in SD

xkaes
14-Nov-2017, 07:25
Does this really matter? I almost always end up using a bit of rise anyway.

With my 47mm and 105mm, the image circle is so small I have to get it smack-dab in the middle of the ground glass. Otherwise, at least two of the corners are black. And just as important, the center of the image circle has the sharpest result, so you want that to be in the center of the film.

Bob Salomon
14-Nov-2017, 08:03
Often wondered why these holes were off center. I guess its because those having cameras with fixed front lens boards would use them (and rotate) to get the movement they wanted, up to a limited amount. Or if the front mount was offset, use an offset board to compensate. In hindsight, either seems clever or a bit odd.

Linhof Technikas have lots of front movement and their holes are off center on the board so that the optical center of the lens is centered on the center of the film when all front and back movements are at 0. So your guess, in this case, is wrong.

Doremus Scudder
14-Nov-2017, 10:53
Linhof Technikas have lots of front movement and their holes are off center on the board so that the optical center of the lens is centered on the center of the film when all front and back movements are at 0. So your guess, in this case, is wrong.

A question for you, Bob. Is there a standard offset for all Linhof Technika boards, or do they come with different offsets as reported above?
I would think that one standard offset would be needed to ensure that all lenses were centered on the ground glass/film with the camera in zero position. If there are different offsets, that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Best,

Doremus

Bob Salomon
14-Nov-2017, 11:15
A question for you, Bob. Is there a standard offset for all Linhof Technika boards, or do they come with different offsets as reported above?
I would think that one standard offset would be needed to ensure that all lenses were centered on the ground glass/film with the camera in zero position. If there are different offsets, that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Best,

Doremusy
With one exception the holes are all positioned the same. The exception is a 3 hole size board used for long lenses like a 240 and longer Apo Sironar N and S lenses as well as similar size lenses from other manufacturers. With these lenses on a regular 3 hole size board the board will not onto the front standard due to the diameter of the rear barrel hitting the inside of the front standard as it is moved to the lock position. So the special board has its hole position changed to allow the board to lock in place when these lenses are used.

xkaes
14-Nov-2017, 13:07
Is there a standard offset for all Linhof Technika boards, or do they come with different offsets as reported above?

The original question from Greg mentioned genuine Wista boards which may or may not be the same as Linhof. Plus, he didn't add which shutters his boards were cut for. I commonly refer to my boards as Wista boards, but several are not. Using the official name when the board is made by another company can complicate the discussion.

Bob Salomon
14-Nov-2017, 13:32
The original question from Greg mentioned genuine Wista boards which may or may not be the same as Linhof. Plus, he didn't add which shutters his boards were cut for. I commonly refer to my boards as Wista boards, but several are not. Using the official name when the board is made by another company can complicate the discussion.

As the former USA distributor for both Linhof and Wista I can assure you that Wista places their hole on their boards exactly where Linhof does, except for special boards like the one I mentioned earlier.

xkaes
14-Nov-2017, 14:51
As the former USA distributor for both Linhof and Wista I can assure you that Wista places their hole on their boards exactly where Linhof does, except for special boards like the one I mentioned earlier.

That's nice to know, but that doesn't explain why Greg's genuine Wista boards have three different centers. Perhaps his "4.75cm WISTA board" or "5.225cm WISTA board" were cut for the #3 shutter. I'm not surprised at all about the non-Wista boards that he lists. I've been down that road.

This also helps me, just in case I ever want to put a #3 shutter on my Toko -- not likely, but stranger thing have happened!!

Bob Salomon
14-Nov-2017, 17:07
That's nice to know, but that doesn't explain why Greg's genuine Wista boards have three different centers. Perhaps his "4.75cm WISTA board" or "5.225cm WISTA board" were cut for the #3 shutter. I'm not surprised at all about the non-Wista boards that he lists. I've been down that road.

This also helps me, just in case I ever want to put a #3 shutter on my Toko -- not likely, but stranger thing have happened!!
Lens boards from both Linhof and Wista, besides being available in 0, 1 and 3 hole sizes (flat boards) are also available with just a pilot hole so one can place the hole wherever one desires.

Leigh
14-Nov-2017, 17:27
Often wondered why these holes were off center. I guess its because those having cameras with fixed front lens boards would use them (and rotate) to get the movement they wanted, up to a limited amount.You cannot rotate Linhof Technika style boards on most cameras designed for them.
The boards have the two lower corners beveled by a significant distance.

The camera's front standard has raised areas that will not accept the other lensboard corners.

- Leigh

Leigh
14-Nov-2017, 17:46
That's nice to know, but that doesn't explain why Greg's genuine Wista boards have three different centers.
They might have been ordered from Wista that way. I'm sure Bob will confirm that Wista would ship a board with a hole wherever the customer wanted it.

- Leigh

Jim Andrada
14-Nov-2017, 20:25
I was just going to jump in and say that the hole in a used "Technika type" board can be anywhere the first owner put it for whatever reason. I always bore my own because I use a lot of old shutters of various makes and sizes. My widest lens for 4 x 5 is 75mm so I don't sweat a couple of mm offset. I also made up an adapter so I can use "Technika type" boards on my 5 x 7 Kodak 2D. In this case I CAN rotate them because the adapter is square.

Greg
15-Nov-2017, 15:55
Some follow up to my original post:

The three WISTA boards having three different centers.... I purchased the boards used with holes already cut in them. The sides of the holes in two of them are shiny, the third blackened (with a black Sharpie?), so I don't think that the three boards came with pre-cut OEM holes. I'd assume that the sides of the holes with OEM boards that came pre-cut would have had a professional looking black finish.

Two of my lenses I do want to be centered on axis with the back: 65mm WA Nikkor is mounted on an OEM Chamonix board, so no problem there. Other lens is a 500mm Komura. This lens is mounted on the lens board which is the most off from where it should be. This optic I did want to be on center axis when mounted on the 4x5 Chamonix. (Attached image) I determined where the lens board needed to be to be on the central axis and marked the board and standard with three red dots. For this lens, align up the three dots and the lens is on center to the back. The 500mm Komura is top (front) heavy and should really have another support under the from of the lens, but with care the Chamonix front standard holds it steady and besides any movements I use with this lens are made with the back standard. The 500mm Komura almost covers a 5x7 but sharply only covers 4x5.

Hugo... does the center of a Chamonix OEM board align up with the center of an OEM Linhof board? Don't have one to compare to.

Bob Salomon
15-Nov-2017, 16:20
Some follow up to my original post:

The three WISTA boards having three different centers.... I purchased the boards used with holes already cut in them. The sides of the holes in two of them are shiny, the third blackened (with a black Sharpie?), so I don't think that the three boards came with pre-cut OEM holes. I'd assume that the sides of the holes with OEM boards that came pre-cut would have had a professional looking black finish.

Two of my lenses I do want to be centered on axis with the back: 65mm WA Nikkor is mounted on an OEM Chamonix board, so no problem there. Other lens is a 500mm Komura. This lens is mounted on the lens board which is the most off from where it should be. This optic I did want to be on center axis when mounted on the 4x5 Chamonix. (Attached image) I determined where the lens board needed to be to be on the central axis and marked the board and standard with three red dots. For this lens, align up the three dots and the lens is on center to the back. The 500mm Komura is top (front) heavy and should really have another support under the from of the lens, but with care the Chamonix front standard holds it steady and besides any movements I use with this lens are made with the back standard. The 500mm Komura almost covers a 5x7 but sharply only covers 4x5.

Hugo... does the center of a Chamonix OEM board align up with the center of an OEM Linhof board? Don't have one to compare to.
Greg, what do you mean by line up? On a Linhof type 45 board the back of the board has a circular light trap. The normal hole position for Linhof boards is centered on this light trap on the back of the board. The last thing that you want to do with a Linhof board is to position the hole so that it cuts into that light trap. So your available hole positions are within that light trap. So the hole should always be milled or bored from the back of the board. Not the front. And the hole should never be drilled.

Greg
15-Nov-2017, 16:32
Greg, what do you mean by line up? On a Linhof type 45 board the back of the board has a circular light trap. The normal hole position for Linhof boards is centered on this light trap on the back of the board. The last thing that you want to do with a Linhof board is to position the hole so that it cuts into that light trap. So your available hole positions are within that light trap. So the hole should always be milled or bored from the back of the board. Not the front. And the hole should never be drilled.

Meant that if you placed an OEM Linhof board next to an OEM Chamonix, would the holes line up. Chamonix boards don't have that light trap. FYI some of the rip-off Linhof boards have the circular light trap larger than the ones on a Wista or a Linhof board and won't mount on a Chamonix... don't ask me how I know that...

Bob Salomon
15-Nov-2017, 17:09
Meant that if you placed an OEM Linhof board next to an OEM Chamonix, would the holes line up. Chamonix boards don't have that light trap. FYI some of the rip-off Linhof boards have the circular light trap larger than the ones on a Wista or a Linhof board and won't mount on a Chamonix... don't ask me how I know that...

We were the Linhof distributor from the late 70s till 2015 and I was the sales and product manager for Linhof from 1980 till 2015. We also were the Wista distributor from the late 80s till 2015 and I also was the Wista product and sales manager for that period as well. In all that time I never saw a Chamonix camera or lens board, so I canít answer your question about where their holes are vs Linhof or Wista. I also never saw a board with too large a light trap. But since the trap is made to fit the hole in the front standard I guess it might be possible for some other camera to have a larger diameter hole in the front standard then Linhof or Wista. However it could also be a very poorly made copy of a Linhof or Wista board. In that case one gets what they paid for!

xkaes
15-Nov-2017, 18:16
Chamonix boards don't have that light trap. FYI some of the rip-off Linhof boards have the circular light trap larger than the ones on a Wista or a Linhof board and won't mount on a Chamonix... don't ask me how I know that...

WOW. All of this is news to me, but I'm usually in the dark (room). Thanks for this info.

consummate_fritterer
16-Nov-2017, 09:20
I have a Chamonix 045N-1 and (to my 'eyes') the center of the holes are best placed in the center of the light trap. BTW, I replaced the original GG and had it accurately spaced regards to focus.

xkaes
16-Nov-2017, 10:54
On a Linhof type 45 board the back of the board has a circular light trap. The normal hole position for Linhof boards is centered on this light trap on the back of the board.

I have several genuine Wista boards for #0 and #1 shutters, and all of them are off-set from the center of the light trap. I've got to assume that Linhof and Wista used different "centers"???????

Bob Salomon
16-Nov-2017, 11:45
I have several genuine Wista boards for #0 and #1 shutters, and all of them are off-set from the center of the light trap. I've got to assume that Linhof and Wista used different "centers"???????

You bought them all new?

xkaes
16-Nov-2017, 13:47
You bought them all new?

Some were bought new -- I don't recall from where -- and some were used, but all have the center of the hole in the same place -- lower than the center of the light trap. And they work fine on my cameras. I probably bought them at the same time I bought the lenses -- from the same place. A couple of boards had holes that were not in the same location (at least one was centered) -- I can't recall if they were genuine Wista or not -- and I sold them. In short, I always assumed Wista boards were set lower than center.

My measurements are very similar to one of Greg's -- I'll take pictures tomorrow and show them here.

Carsten Wolff
17-Nov-2017, 04:19
I have an Arca-Swiss 5x7 and got myself very quickly a Linhof/Wista adapter board for it, as 171mm-sized boards didn't do it for me. I do have Linhof/Wista-type boards with both "centered" and "off-centre" holes that I use on that camera. I simply made small white marker lines on the side of each lensboard, to correspond with the centre of the board hole. This works nicely with the Arca's rise-and-fall scale on the front standard. So, I never had a problem with lens alignment in that respect. I'm sure you can have that with basically every view camera that offers rise-and-fall, if it is a problem for you.

xkaes
17-Nov-2017, 05:19
I'm sure you can have that with basically every view camera that offers rise-and-fall, if it is a problem for you.

Rise and fall can be used to address the issue -- and centering marks on the lensboard would help -- but that doesn't solve the problem. You probably want the image projected by the lens to be centered on the ground glass because that will provide the sharpest image. You can't visually determine that from the ground glass. In addition, for lenses with small image circles, you will quickly run out of image when using any movements unless the image is dead-centered.

xkaes
17-Nov-2017, 08:36
My measurements are very similar to one of Greg's -- I'll take pictures tomorrow and show them here.

Here is a photo of one of my #1 Wista boards. You can see that it a genuine Wista board. You can also see that the center of the hole is not in the middle of the board, nor the light trap. It matches up with what Greg has found on his boards, but his measurements are more exact than mine.

172083

http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/wista1board.JPG (http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/wista1board.JPG)

Doremus Scudder
18-Nov-2017, 03:53
I have a Chamonix 045N-1 and (to my 'eyes') the center of the holes are best placed in the center of the light trap. BTW, I replaced the original GG and had it accurately spaced regards to focus.


Here is a photo of one of my #1 Wista boards. You can see that it a genuine Wista board. You can also see that the center of the hole is not in the middle of the board, nor the light trap. It matches up with what Greg has found on his boards, but his measurements are more exact than mine.


So it seems that there are boards with centered and offset holes; no new news there; and that the boards with centered holes are not factory standard. Despite what Bob posts, I believe that the factory offset for Linhof Technika boards places the hole off-center in the circular light trap, like the Wista board xkaes has posted.

I pursued the centering issue in another thread about Chamonix cameras and the consensus there was that an offset hole is needed to properly center the lens on Chamonix cameras as well (despite what cosummate_fritterer posts above...). Still, the issue was not definitively resolved. Maybe Hugo could chime in here?

If, as Bob states and is likely true, there is a standard offset for all Linhof Technika cameras that is the same, and that that applies to Wista as well, then the open question is whether other camera manufacturers (like Chamonix) that have designed their cameras to use Technika-style boards have adopted the same standard. And, it would be really nice to know, in mm as relates to the bottom or top of the board, just where the center of the hole should be in order to conform to Linhof/Wista specs. Maybe Bob could chime in again here?

Anyway, a board with a factory-machined hole in it from Linhof or Wista should center the lens on the film when the front standard is aligned to the reference marks; that seems fairly certain now. For other cameras that take Technika-style boards, there is still some question. And, for self-machined or after-market boards that could have the hole positioned anywhere, it seems best to mount the board with lens on whatever camera you use it on and make reference marks on the board itself for that particular application if centering the board is important to you.

Best,

Doremus

Bob Salomon
18-Nov-2017, 05:50
So it seems that there are boards with centered and offset holes; no new news there; and that the boards with centered holes are not factory standard. Despite what Bob posts, I believe that the factory offset for Linhof Technika boards places the hole off-center in the circular light trap, like the Wista board xkaes has posted.

I pursued the centering issue in another thread about Chamonix cameras and the consensus there was that an offset hole is needed to properly center the lens on Chamonix cameras as well (despite what cosummate_fritterer posts above...). Still, the issue was not definitively resolved. Maybe Hugo could chime in here?

If, as Bob states and is likely true, there is a standard offset for all Linhof Technika cameras that is the same, and that that applies to Wista as well, then the open question is whether other camera manufacturers (like Chamonix) that have designed their cameras to use Technika-style boards have adopted the same standard. And, it would be really nice to know, in mm as relates to the bottom or top of the board, just where the center of the hole should be in order to conform to Linhof/Wista specs. Maybe Bob could chime in again here?

Anyway, a board with a factory-machined hole in it from Linhof or Wista should center the lens on the film when the front standard is aligned to the reference marks; that seems fairly certain now. For other cameras that take Technika-style boards, there is still some question. And, for self-machined or after-market boards that could have the hole positioned anywhere, it seems best to mount the board with lens on whatever camera you use it on and make reference marks on the board itself for that particular application if centering the board is important to you.

Best,

Doremus

Just buy a pilot hole only board from Linhof and Wista and you will see where the hole is centered.

Doremus Scudder
18-Nov-2017, 07:17
Just buy a pilot hole only board from Linhof and Wista and you will see where the hole is centered.

Trying not to spend money to find this out. I would have thought that the Linhof/Technika specs were a matter of published public record and that the company would be happy to share them. Is there a source online or somewhere? It seems silly to have to reverse-engineer this just to find out where Linhof drills their holes...

Doremus

Bob Salomon
18-Nov-2017, 07:34
Trying not to spend money to find this out. I would have thought that the Linhof/Technika specs were a matter of published public record and that the company would be happy to share them. Is there a source online or somewhere? It seems silly to have to reverse-engineer this just to find out where Linhof drills their holes...

Doremus

I have never seen it in any factory documentation and from 1980 till 2015 no one had ever called ur, written us or emailed us with the question. Nor had anyone asked us at any trade show or dealer demo. But then that was only for 35 years!
Perhaps someone had asked service but that would be a question that you might want to direct to them. Service in the USA is Bob Watkins at Precision in Niles, IL.