View Full Version : Folmer and Schwing 717 max extension

G Benaim
13-Jul-2018, 06:10
Hi all
I'm considering a folmer 717 and was curious what the longest lens that can be used on it as it comes, and what work around people have used to use longer lenses. I'm hoping to be able to use a 16.5" artar on it as is but would also like to somehow use a 19". The seller says it's max extension is about 16.5", but I've read of people using an 18" nikkor on it, so are there variations in the length of the bed or rail, or does the focal length not always equal the required extension? Thanks in advance


13-Jul-2018, 06:41
Mine measures 16 1/2" from film plane to end of rail. I am able to rack the front standard one inch past that point without going off the rail.
I am able to use my Fujinon 450mm lens on a 2" extention lens board.
Terry in Kalamazoo

G Benaim
13-Jul-2018, 06:52
Hi Terry,
A couple of questions. How stable is the camera when you rack it out like that, and are you using the original bellows? Can you show pictures of your camera racked out as well as of the extension lens board? If I calculated correctly, you only need the extension to focus closer than infinity, as 450 is 17.7", about what you get racked out. So possibly one can use a 19" with a slightly thicker lensboard? I'm thinking of using a ries 250 head which is 6" square, hoping that will catch at least part of the rail and aid in stability. Thanks.

Steve Sherman
13-Jul-2018, 07:13
I had a F&S year's ago and added about a 2.5 extension on the back by removing the brass end stop and attaching the spacer piece of similar wood with NO GEAR TRACK that would allow me to backup the rear standard enough to use a 19 Artar lens. It worked fine, just had to make sure the rear standard didn't backup to the point of coming off the geared track. Richard Ritter in Vermont has made geared track extensions for other photogs at a very reasonable price. Sorry I don't think I have any pictures of the extension.

13-Jul-2018, 07:48

I put a 1/4"-20 threaded insert at the end of the rail so I can use this stabilizer. It is very stable.

G Benaim
13-Jul-2018, 08:59
Hi Steve

I'm curious what the advantage is of using a back extension as opposed to a lens board extension, thanks.

Steve Sherman
13-Jul-2018, 10:36
Hi Steve

I'm curious what the advantage is of using a back extension as opposed to a lens board extension, thanks.

My main answer was it was easier and I had plenty of Mahgoney wood to choose from. A second thought is because I always had a reducing lens board to 4x4” and would be concerned with the extension cone for the lens could possibly vignette the projected image, even when using the larger 5.5” F&S lens board arrangement
Hope this helps

G Benaim
13-Jul-2018, 11:40
Ok, that makes sense. Did you ever use a 16.5 artar on 717 Steve? From my very rough tests w a piece of translucent plastic it seems to cover, but am curious if anyone's actually tried it on film.

13-Jul-2018, 13:52
A lens board with a 3 inch extension will also work.

But the best way to go is get a camera with longer rails and bellows. I use mine a lot with a 24 inch lens.