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View Full Version : Confirm Difference (or Lack thereof) Between Wista Centered and Off-Center Lens Board



Ed Vatza
16-Jan-2019, 08:53
I recently bought two lenses that came with Wista off-center lens boards. Yet almost all of the aftermarket lens boards I see on Ebay have the hole centered on the lens board and are listed for Wista and a bunch of other cameras. I did some searching here and elsewhere and consensus seems to be that there is no noticeable difference in use between the two. Is this accurate? I have two additional lenses I want to use with my new used Wista 45DX and want to be sure I am okay with both centered and off-centered boards. Thanks.

Ed

Bob Salomon
16-Jan-2019, 09:11
I recently bought two lenses that came with Wista off-center lens boards. Yet almost all of the aftermarket lens boards I see on Ebay have the hole centered on the lens board and are listed for Wista and a bunch of other cameras. I did some searching here and elsewhere and consensus seems to be that there is no noticeable difference in use between the two. Is this accurate? I have two additional lenses I want to use with my new used Wista 45DX and want to be sure I am okay with both centered and off-centered boards. Thanks.

Ed

These boards are copies of a Linhof Technika 45 board for the Technika lV and later models.
Linhof placed the hole on the board so that the optical center of the lens will be centered on the film when the front and
Back are at their 0 position.
Except for a special order Linhof Z board none have the hole in any other position.
On the rear of a Technika board is a raised ring which completes the light trap with the front standard. That ring is not in the center of the board and if a hole is milled it is important not to disturb that ring.

The reason Linhof has that SO Z board is to allow some large rear group lenses to properly mount to the camera for clearance purpose.

Paul Ron
16-Jan-2019, 09:17
I have a centered copal 0 board on my wista I would gladly trade if it makes that much of a difference to you?

just to be clear, the light trap ring is not centered on this board either but the hole is centered to the ring. My other boards have the hole lower off center to the ring.

it would be nice to know where you are from?

PM me?

Doremus Scudder
16-Jan-2019, 12:57
If your camera is designed for off-center boards (as are Technikas, Wistas and, I believe Chamonix plus a few others), then using a board with a centered hole will place the lens slightly higher than the optical center (i.e., centered in relation to the film) when the camera is in zero position. In other words, with a bit of front rise at zero position.

This may or may not pose a problem for you. It is easy to center the lens by simply using the right amount of front fall (you can figure this out and mark the position if you like). It is especially important that lenses with just barely enough image circle to cover 4x5 be using centered on the film. For lenses with large image circles, there is less (or no) problem with coverage.

Since the optical center is higher when the camera is in zero position with such a lensboard, you effectively have a bit more front rise. This can be useful if you need/use front rise a lot and often run out of movement (provided your lens has enough coverage, of course). The trade-off is less effective fall.

FWIW, I used a Woodman camera for some years that had limited front movements. I modified the front standard and one offset-hole lensboard so that I could mount it upside-down on the camera as well as normally. In the upside-down position the lens was positioned even higher than a board with a centered hole would place it at zero position, offering me even more effective rise. This came in handy many, many times.

Best,

Doremus

Jac@stafford.net
16-Jan-2019, 13:12
Does the off-center board keep a Wista from closing with lens?

Ed Vatza
16-Jan-2019, 14:08
So I gather that there is a difference which makes sense. How much the difference which would be slight might impact what I do is dependent on me.

The off-center boards that I have are Wistas complete with the Wista shield in the upper right corner. So I am gathering that I should purchase off-center boards the other two lenses as well. That would be the "correct" Wista way to go.

Paul Ron, I am not interested in a swap but thank you for the offer. And I am located in Eastern Pennsylvania... about 90 minutes from NYC where I see you reside and where i go fairly often to shoot street with my little Fujis and Ricoh digital cameras.

Ed

Havoc
16-Jan-2019, 14:17
If your camera is designed for off-center boards (as are Technikas, Wistas and, I believe Chamonix plus a few others), then using a board with a centered hole will place the lens slightly higher than the optical center (i.e., centered in relation to the film) when the camera is in zero position. In other words, with a bit of front rise at zero position.

I have been looking at the same issue for my Wista 45N. And from my measurements on the camera I need lensboards with a centered hole to have the lens in the center of the film with all movements zerod. And this is correct according to the SK Grimes site it is only for the Technika's that the board needs to be off-center. http://skgrimes.com/products/lens-boards/technika and copied from that link:


Technika 4◊5
3.868 x 3.773, cast aluminum. Double circular light lip (3.45 and 3.39) loacted on the rear, off-center of the lens board. Edge thickness is .075. Bottom corners cut at an angle and a notch present in the center. Original Technika boards have the shutter hole located off-center in the light lip to align the center of the lens with the film plane. (Approx. 5mm – 6mm down). Other brands use the center of the light lip as the shutter location.

Extenstion tubes for this lens board.

4″ Deardorff adapters.

We carry a generic version of this lens board. This is a stocked item.

But if you use a board with a centered hole, you can only have down shift when you drop the bed. So depending on your need for down shift, it may be sensible to use off-center boards. I need more up shift so a centered board is what I prefer.

Bob Salomon
16-Jan-2019, 14:28
I have been looking at the same issue for my Wista 45N. And from my measurements on the camera I need lensboards with a centered hole to have the lens in the center of the film with all movements zerod. And this is correct according to the SK Grimes site it is only for the Technika's that the board needs to be off-center. http://skgrimes.com/products/lens-boards/technika and copied from that link:



But if you use a board with a centered hole, you can only have down shift when you drop the bed. So depending on your need for down shift, it may be sensible to use off-center boards. I need more up shift so a centered board is what I prefer.

Why donít you go to Wistaís web site and look at the boards that they make for their cameras and see the hole position?

Ed Vatza
16-Jan-2019, 14:50
Why don’t you go to Wista’s web site and look at the boards that they make for their cameras and see the hole position?

I did and they are off-center as are the two boards I have here that are branded Wista. As the OP my original question was triggered by the fact that most of the aftermarket boards I see that are listed for Wista (and a bunch of others) have the hole in the center. So I wanted to know if there is a perceptible difference between off-center and centered. Digging around a bit seemed to indicate that many (?) folks said the difference was miniscule. It seemed to me that there had to be a difference otherwise why do it.

All that said, I am going with off-centered boards for my other two lenses that I plan to use with my Wista 45DX.

Thanks again.

Ed.

Bob Salomon
16-Jan-2019, 15:14
I did and they are off-center as are the two boards I have here that are branded Wista. As the OP my original question was triggered by the fact that most of the aftermarket boards I see that are listed for Wista (and a bunch of others) have the hole in the center. So I wanted to know if there is a perceptible difference between off-center and centered. Digging around a bit seemed to indicate that many (?) folks said the difference was miniscule. It seemed to me that there had to be a difference otherwise why do it.

All that said, I am going with off-centered boards for my other two lenses that I plan to use with my Wista 45DX.

Thanks again.

Ed.

There are differences besides the hole position. The biggest difference is how precisely the boards are machined to and how precisely they fit the front standard. For instance, on Linhof cameras made over the past 15 or so years the specs of the board and the camera have been tighter to a point that off brand boards and older Linhof boards may not even mount onto modern Linhof without scraping off the paint on the long edges of the board. The factory did that to eliminate boards wiggling on the front standard and prevent the board from mounting slightly crooked on the standard.

Having been both the Wista and Linhof distributor in the US I know Linhof current boards mount onto Wista cameras and Wista boards have no problems mounting to Linhof cameras.

Havoc
17-Jan-2019, 10:18
Why don’t you go to Wista’s web site and look at the boards that they make for their cameras and see the hole position?

I guess this is for their current production wooden cameras or to have shift down. How would you otherwise explain this?

http://users.skynet.be/sb262617/forum_foto/offset.jpg

This is where the off-center hole is on a Wista 45N. Clearly not on the optical axis.

Bob Salomon
17-Jan-2019, 10:35
I guess this is for their current production wooden cameras or to have shift down. How would you otherwise explain this?

http://users.skynet.be/sb262617/forum_foto/offset.jpg

This is where the off-center hole is on a Wista 45N. Clearly not on the optical axis.

I donít. That is where the hole is placed on the boards they make for the cameras they make. If you are fluent in Japanese you could ask them. They were not fluent in English when we represented them.

rdeloe
17-Jan-2019, 11:45
It's off-centre on purpose so that you can have a bit of fall. If you want to be dead centre, when you set it up, just rise up until a gap appears between the bottom of the U of the front standard and the part holding the lens board. That puts the lens about in the centre, and gives you a bit of fall without having to drop the bed and tilt your front standard up to vertical again. You can buy boards with centre holes, but then you can't do that anymore.

Regarding tolerances, I have two lens boards -- one made by Toyo for use on Linhof/Wista cameras, and one made by Linhof. They both fit, but the Linhof one is very snug. It takes a lot of effort to remove it once it's installed. I'll probably sand it down just a touch to make it a bit easier. The Toyo one comes out easily and has no play.

Doremus Scudder
17-Jan-2019, 12:05
There may be a difference between the Wista 45N (and maybe other Wista metal cameras) and the DXs. The images I see on the net of the 45N seem to show a lens mounted on a board with a centered hole. The images of the DX show the off-center hole. Maybe some other Wista users can confirm this; I only have wooden Wista cameras. For these, an off-center hole centers the lens on the film.

Best,

Doremus

Havoc
17-Jan-2019, 13:04
It's off-centre on purpose so that you can have a bit of fall. If you want to be dead centre, when you set it up, just rise up until a gap appears between the bottom of the U of the front standard and the part holding the lens board. That puts the lens about in the centre, and gives you a bit of fall without having to drop the bed and tilt your front standard up to vertical again. You can buy boards with centre holes, but then you can't do that anymore.

Indeed, but when you need rise with a wide angle like a 90mm or 75mm, the off-centered hole puts more strain on the bellows. This is why I'm replacing them with centered holes. Depends on your main use of course. (haven't a bag bellows)


There may be a difference between the Wista 45N (and maybe other Wista metal cameras) and the DXs. The images I see on the net of the 45N seem to show a lens mounted on a board with a centered hole. The images of the DX show the off-center hole. Maybe some other Wista users can confirm this; I only have wooden Wista cameras. For these, an off-center hole centers the lens on the film.

Best,

Doremus

Makes sense, there could be a difference between the wooden and metal cameras. Would be nice to have more info.