View Full Version : Recess depth for short focus lenses

24-Feb-2010, 20:09
I recently bought a 65mm Nikkor to use on my Zone VI, 4x5 camera.
Unfortunately, lens boards don't seem to exist for such a configuration.
So, it looks like I will have top make one.
Can anyone suggest how deep the recess should be in the lens board. Or, to put it another way, the required distance from the rear of the lens to the film plane.

Brian Stein
24-Feb-2010, 20:39
What you can get is the film-flange distance: for the 65mm that will be about 71mm according to M Gudzinowcz on this site. You can then work out how deep your recess needs to be, keeping in mind if its too deep you cant reach the twiddly bits.

For an order of magnitude the linhof type recess board I have is about 13 mm deep. As it is small its a fiddle to do stuff as there isnt a lot of room. The toyo board I have is about 20 mm deep and is easy because its so much larger.

If you search the site you will find more information: this problem has come up before

Steve Barber
24-Feb-2010, 23:44
Why do you want a recessed lens board? Since it is not needed just to get the lens close enough to the ground glass, I assume it is to avoid the use of a bag bellows. If so, then I doubt you will be able to recess the lens far enough to matter.

I think using a bag bellows and tilting the front standard back will give you a much better solution to the problem than a recessed lens board will.

25-Feb-2010, 00:01
Michael, There is no good reason to do this for your Zone VI. I regularly use my 58mm XL on my Zone VI on a regular flat board with no problems what ever. What you DO need (if you don't have it) is a bag bellows so you have the flexibility to use the wider lenses with all controls and features of the camera.

Besides that, believe me, you don't WANT to do this with that small of a recessed lens board, even a shallow one. I have one that's approximately that same size for my Calumet CC-402 architectural camera and it's a righteous pain to get my fingers to the shutter and f stop controls. The much bigger recessed board for my Cambo SCX is quite easy to use by comparison.

Just remember, with lenses this wide (65mm or shorter), you will want to tilt the camera's back slightly to the rear, then re-level on the tripod. Follow that with tilting the front standard to square with the back and raising it to the height you want which returns everything to square before making any tilt, shift and swing movements you may wish. The reason for all that is to drop the camera bed out of range of the view of the lens so it doesn't intrude into the image.

26-Feb-2010, 17:27
Brian, Steve and Lenser, thank-you all for your contributions.

Yes, I made a mock-up board and reaching the twiddly bits is impossible with the necessary recess depth.

I was trying to avoid a bag-bellows.
Not for any philosophical reason rather than I have been unable to track one down in Australia. The large-format scene does exist here, but is not really serviced with much product.
Lenser, can you recommend a brand/supplier for a bag-bellows to fit a Zone VI 45x5?
Thank-you also for the tip on tilting the rear standard.

All the best