View Full Version : newbie question - mounting lens and shutter

David F
20-Sep-2005, 20:35
A very very newbie large format question. I've been shooting digital for a few years now. On a whim I bought a used Bender 4x5 view camera.

I have a chance to buy a Schneider lens with Copal 0 shutter, but I'm not sure if the lensboard its on is compatable with my camera. If I have to, is it fairly straightforward to mount the lens and shutter on a new lensboard, assuming I get the right size board with correct size hole for this shutter?

Sorry if this is unbelieveably simple question, Regards, David.

MIke Sherck
20-Sep-2005, 20:44
Very straightforward: there's a retaining ring which threads onto the rear of the shutter, which squeezes against the back of the lensboard to hold the shutter and lens in place. Since the rear elements of most lenses are larger than the hole the shutter needs, unscrew the len's rear element and then unscrew the retaining ring. There's a special tool sold for that (called a "lens wrench" or something like that,) or you can find something else to fit into the notches on the retaining ring. Note that after removing the rear lens element the shutter blades are exposed and just sitting right there, very easy to damage. Be ultra-careful not to touch them!

Once the retaining ring is unscrewed, remove the lensboard and replace it with the new one, screw the retaining ring back on and then the rear lens element. You're done. Good luck!

PS: No, really: be very very careful around that shutter. You won't like the repair costs if you slip! :)

Oren Grad
20-Sep-2005, 21:22
The tool you need for loosening and tightening the retaining ring is called an optical spanner wrench. It fits into the notches you'll see in the shutter's retaining ring. Available spanners range from really simple ones which are little more than a scrap of metal with tips in the corners spaced for the three standard modern shutter sizes (#0, #1 and #3), all the way to fully-adjustable models that will fit almost any lens or shutter of any vintage.

If you do go for a fully adjustable spanner, spend a few bucks extra to buy a good one. The cheapest generic brands don't hold their settings very well, and if something slips while you're applying a bit of force to a retaining ring, you can do a lot of damage to exposed shutter blades or glass.

I have a set of these:


20-Sep-2005, 21:32
Yes, the Copal-0 will fit very nicely. The Bender 4x5 lensboards are 4x4", which I think are the same used on some Calumet cameras (or at least one of them.) Part #105822. (It's on the bench beside me.) It's yours for the asking. Email me.

Best ask the seller if he has the retaining ring for it.

John Cook
21-Sep-2005, 04:15
Toyo-View makes a particularly nice, yet inexpensive, wrench for this purpose:


Tom Westbrook
21-Sep-2005, 04:45
I like the Rodenstock fixed wrench, which hanldes #3 shutters, too.

www.badgergraphic.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=1263 (http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=1263)

Just don't take those on a plane in your carry-on (it's a tool and so banned)--almost lost mine the last time I flew.