View Full Version : lens mounting question (warning: noob)

7-Feb-2008, 12:48
I'm new to LF, and am thinking of buying a used lens from a private individual. I have no local resources (that I know of) and will need to mount the lens in a lensboard myself. Is this a big deal? It seems like it should be a simple nuts-and-bolts thing, but tell me if it isn't!:D

If I do it, my procedure will likely be to have Jim Andracki at Midwest sell me a used lens board and the spanner wrench or whatever it is that is used for toolage.


7-Feb-2008, 13:02
If Jim sells you a board with the right size hole and the wrench it's pretty easy.

Take the lens apart. Stick the front of the lens on the board. Put the retaining ring on the back. Use the wrench now. Put the back of the lens on.

Thats about it.

Ralph Barker
7-Feb-2008, 13:02
Generally, it's no big deal - particularly if you are buying the board and spanner wrench from Jim. Just be sure the used lens includes the retaining ring. ("Oh, you wanted the ring, too? That's $200 extra." ;) )

On unusual lens boards, spacing can sometimes be an issue, but that can be verified against the manufacturer's specs (i.e. measure the total front-to-back dimension of the mounted lens and compare that to the specs). Some lenses also include a spacing shim, so you don't want to lose that, or place it on the wrong side of the assembly.

7-Feb-2008, 13:07
That should do it -- just make sure the lens you buy has a retaining ring (that holds the lens/shutter onto the lensboard from the back). The spanner wrench is not 100% (more like 92%) necessary, but it makes life a lot easier.


Looks like I am pretty slow on the draw, too!

Eric James
7-Feb-2008, 13:36
New lenses come with a tiny set screw protruding from the rear surface of the shutter. These set screws prevent lens rotation on the board, but most boards don't have the corresponding hole drilled to accept the screw's head. If it's a used lens it will likely come without the set screw - if there is one in place simply remove it.

John Kasaian
7-Feb-2008, 14:43
Is it a would or mental board? ;)
Is the shutter a "standard" copal/prontor or Ilex size?
Does the lens come with a retaining ring or a flange?
If you can find a lensboard with the correct size hole for the shutter, you're 99% there.
In my experience, wood boards with flanges or retaining rings are no problem, niether are metal lensboards with retaining rings. What is a pain in a metal board with a flange and tapping the screw holes for the flange in the metal lensboard, though I suppose you could superglue or T-Rex the flange in place (but it would look funny, IMHO).

Chances are you'll only need a "spanner" if you're using a retaining ring and even then you might not need one. If this is a "one time" job consider making your own out of scrap materials---a length of hardwood and a couple of bits of steel rod works nicely. Drill some holes in the wood the appropriate distance apart, insert the bits of steel rod of the appropriate diameter with a dab of cement and you're there!

Some lenses have rear elements small enough to fit through the hole in the lensboard without having to remove the rear element from the shutter---it all depends on the lens

John Powers
7-Feb-2008, 19:09
If this is a "one time" job consider making your own out of scrap materials

Lenses are like very expensive potato chips. You can't just have one.

Jim will need to know what lens and what shutter to provide the correct lens wrench.



8-Feb-2008, 05:55
And don't be tempted to use the flange as a retaining ring. Often the pressure on the back of the lens interferes with it working