View Full Version : Wista offset lens panel

4-Jun-2010, 02:49
I've just acquired a second Wista lens panel and this one has the hole offset towards the bottom of the panel. Being a LF newbie I've not seen this before so I searched for topics on the subject on this forum but I'm still unclear about some things and hope that someone (Bob Salomon, maybe?) can help me.

I gather that the offset is to enable extra fall but I'm still unclear about centering the lens with an offset panel. I'm using a Wista DXII and my first lens panel (with a 135mm Symmar mounted) has the hole in the centre (going by the circular light trap on the back). When I set up the camera I align the red dots on the front standard to centre the lens on the gg. Presumably then, with the offset panel, I need to put in some extra rise to centre the lens?

I have been lent a Schneider Angulon 90mm f6.8 lens which I gather only just covers 4x5 so it seems to me that getting the lens centred on the film is critical. I will probably mount this lens on the panel with the non-offset hole but I just wanted to be sure that the alignment dots on the Wista DX are for a non-offset panel.

Thanks in advance for your advice.


Peter K
4-Jun-2010, 04:30
Gavin, Wista uses as many other cameras too Linhof Technika IV 4x5" lensboards or clones of this lensboard. In this lensboard the hole for the shutter goes offset through the circular light-trap.

To control the lens is centered push the front standard with the mounted lens toward the ground glass up the the rear lens nearly touches the gg. Now rise or lower the front standard up to the center of the rear lens meets the center of the gg. Look if the red dots are in-line now.


4-Jun-2010, 13:29
Thanks for your advice, Peter. I've tried your technique. With the bellows squeezed right up to the back of the camera it's almost impossible to move the front standard but moving it away sufficiently to allow some rise it would appear that the red dots are indeed aligned for a non-offset panel. I think all I need to do is work out the amount of offset and put another mark on the front standard to align to for that panel.

Thanks again,


Kevin Crisp
4-Jun-2010, 13:50
Some of the cameras using that style board have fairly limited rise and fall. (Tachihara, Ikeda, to name just two.) The board can be used to give you a little more, since you can flip it over so that the offset is bottom, or the top, depending on what you need more of than you could get with a centered hole. Most people are going to use the extra rise more than the extra fall, I suspect. So put the offset towards the top and remember to line up the lens with the gg when you set it up to get it in a neutral position when getting ready to compose.

Yes, it can interfere with the bellows with certain lenses in certain circumstances.

5-Jun-2010, 04:10
Thanks, Kevin. I didn't know you could invert the lens panel and these Wista ones seem very specifically shaped (with cut off bottom corners and cut-outs on the bottom edge). I'll give it a try sometime. Anyway, at the moment my camera has far more available movement than my current lenses have coverage so it's something for the future I think!

I've put the Angulon 90 in the 'centred' panel and added an extra mark on the camera to remind me to align the offset panel differently.

Thanks again for all your advice,


Jack Dahlgren
7-Jun-2010, 07:02
For reference, the offset is about 8mm.

Ebony uses the same hole offset as well

12-Jun-2010, 05:35
Jack, I'm interested that you say the offset is 8mm. I measured my two boards (one offset and one centred) and I made the offset to be only about 5mm. Does the offset vary with different makes or within the manufacturing process? I took my measurements both from the outside edges of the board and the circular light trap on the back, which must be consistent in size and position to fit the hole in the camera.


Peter K
12-Jun-2010, 10:34
Gavin, the outer diameter of the lighttrap also determines the maximum diameter of the usable rear lens element. It's 85mm with an original Technika 4x5" lensboard.

To insert such a big lens into the front standard the hole for the shutter is 8.5mm offaxis. Also with such a lensboard a size #3 shutter, 65mm hole, can be used.


Federico Agostino
1-Sep-2012, 14:53
Hi everybody. Having recently purchased a Wista 45DX, I am getting started for my first experiences in LF photography. I'd like to make a temporary lens board for my first lens and am looking for the size of Wista's lens boards, hence the re-exhumation of this thread.

1. Is there anybody who could kindly provide the size of the lens board and quantify the off-center?
2. Is the off-center actually centering the image on the GG of Wista DX cameras?

Thank you in advance for any help!

1-Sep-2012, 15:11
Have you measured the hole in the front of the camera?
96x99 mm should get you pretty close but if you're making one, regardless of factory specs, it needs to fit.

Federico Agostino
1-Sep-2012, 15:22
Thanks Vinny. Yes, the size of the panel is pretty straightforward.. but the off-set of the hole in the board?

Bob Salomon
1-Sep-2012, 16:46
It really isn't off-set for the cameras it was designed for. Linhof made them that way so that when the front standard is in the basic (lowest) position then the optical center of the lens is aligned with the center cross on the ground glass.

But that does not mean that all copy versions are positioned the same way or that the Linhof board is centered on cameras that use a copy of the Linhof board.

Federico Agostino
1-Sep-2012, 22:54
Thank you, Bob - now things are a bit clearer to me. Then I'll just align the hole on the board with the hole in the front standard, which also is not centered.