View Full Version : Busch 4x5 and 210

30-Mar-2008, 23:14
I have a Busch 4x5 camera that is styled like a Crown Graphic. The camera came with a 135 mm lens which works fine, but I thought I'd like a 210 normal lens to shoot with. However, my bellows is racked out to the end and I still can't focus on some portraits I'd like to do. Is it common for a 4x5 like this not to be able to shoot with a normal lens?



Gene McCluney
31-Mar-2008, 05:55
It is somewhat common for a press type camera to not have enough extension to focus a 210 except at near infinity. You could make a "top hat" lensboard to put the lens further out. I have done this for some applications.

31-Mar-2008, 06:02
The bellows on a Busch is definitely on the short side for long lenses. I use a 10" (250mm) Tele-Raptar with no problem.

2-Apr-2008, 00:43
Odd, I dont remember having problems focussing a 210mm on my BP when i had it..
1. is the bellows completely streched?
2. are you moving the front standard to the end of the focussing rail on close shots?

2-Apr-2008, 00:46
looking back on my notes, max bellows draw on a BP is about 12 inches.. 210mm is about 8 inches.. so you still have 4 inches of draw left.

Brian Schall
2-Apr-2008, 17:45
If you have infinity stops that are set for the 135mm and you're extending the bellows out to that point with the 210mm, then you're definitely not using all the rail.

6-Apr-2008, 14:03
I'm by far no expert when it comes to using large format, but I can assure that the bellows are maxed out as well as the rails. Thanks though...


7-Apr-2008, 07:03
I can get the bellows on my Busch cranked out to about 11.25 inches before I chicken out and dare to go no further. That should allow you to focus to about 30 inches with a 210mm lens. If you are willing to stretch it to 12 inches than you can focus to 26.5 inches. There is significant imprecision in those calculations since I do not know where the rear nodal point of your lens sits relative to the board.

Making a top hat board for the Busch would be a challenge because the board is so small. Tightening the retaining ring or installing the rear cell of a large lens inside such a small a top hat board might be a real nightmare.

You may find that a shorter lens is suitable for your portraits if they are that tight. When a 210 or 180 mm lens is cranked out to 12 inches of bellows draw it gives the same angle of view as a 12 inch lens focused to infinity. If the perspective with a shorter lens is too near, it is a good time to consider backing off and cropping the neg in the printing.

Good Luck - Alan

12-Apr-2008, 21:38
My apologies here... The lens I purchased is a Symmar 210/370 convertible. Not knowing how this convertable works, I just assumed pulling the rear lens would give me the 210 option. After playing with the lens and camera, I found I can in fact focus the lens with my Busch camera. I'm just assuming that it is at 210 mm. I've got more focal length to play with and I'm very happy!