View Full Version : Mounting Very Large Lenses

5-Sep-2011, 05:55
On a lark, I bought a B&L 500mm Tele (only cost $35 so not a big investment). With full bellows extension on a 4x5 Speed, it looks like it'll focus okay at around 100'. But, I have no idea how to mount the thing on a Pacemaker lensboard. So, I'm thinking of putting it onto my 8x10 2-D (I've read that it will cover 8x10, but I also have a 4x5 graflok back for the 2-D). I was thinking of using a 4" hose clamp behind the board to hold it onto the board but I was also thinking of gluing it. Anyone ever done anything like that? What would you use that would provide some strain relief but also be removable? Also, I was thinking of building an adjustable (for rise/fall) brace to put under the barrel to allow the camera rails to support it a bit. Any thoughts?


Dan Fromm
5-Sep-2011, 07:40
Dan, you're on a slippery slope.

Re crutches, I have a 2x3 Cambo SC that is also the center of a "Baby Bertha." 2x3 Graflex RB Ser. B hung on the Cambo's rear standard, great long lens (I have several) hung on the front standard with, when needed, an intermediate standard etc. between.

My heaviest lens needs support; I use a hacked 4x5 Cambo front standard. This approach won't work with your Speed or 2-D, will with a modular monorail.

The Graflex also needs support. An inexpensive 4” x 4” lab jack from Lab Connections (www.labconusa.com , their SKU 3588-1, “Lab Jack Aluminum 4"(100mm)”) slides freely on the Cambo rail and supports the RB very well.

Something like this may work on your 2-D and will work on your Speed if you put an auxiliary rail under the camera. Attach it to the camera's tripod socket. For my 2x3 tandem Graphic (2x3 Pacemaker Speed behind a Century Graphic with a coupler between the cameras and both cameras on a rail) I used 1.5" x 1.5" t-slotted aluminum extrusion bought from http://www.kkdepot.com/product.asp?key=241

Steve Barber
5-Sep-2011, 08:41
I have several lenses with long, heavy front elements that put a lot of strain on the front standard and the pieces that retain the lens board in the front standard. With these, I use one or more, as needed, large rubber bands attached to the top of the front standard and looped down and under the front lens element and then hooked back over the attachment point at the top of the front standard. This takes a lot of the strain off of the lens board retainers and, also, eliminates most of the tendency for the front element to flop down when the front standard is loosened to adjust its rise and/or tilt.

Ole Tjugen
5-Sep-2011, 12:57
In some cases, I have considered making a tripod mount for the lens, and hang the camera off the back if that.

Like the 500mm f/5.5 Schneider Aerotar, which weights considerably more than most 4x5" cameras - monorails included.