View Full Version : Recessed lens board issue

21-Jan-2012, 13:03
Hello all

I am new to this great forum and generally to large format.

I have just picked up a 4x5 field camera with a super angulon 90mm f8

The board i have is recessed.

When i attache the lens the right way its hard to adjust the settings.

My question: Can i turn the lens board around (recessed side facing out) and use the lens this way?

Apologies if this sounds like a trivial or stupid question but I really dont know much about LF cameras.

Any help I would appreciate greatly!


21-Jan-2012, 13:18
hmmmm.... probably "no"

most boards aren't perfectly flat where they meet the camera, they usually have some sort of contour to match the camera and reversing would stop the board seating into place properly

then there's the issue of being a recessed board.

It's recessed to hold a wide angle lens, right? The lens itself will sit at the same place relative to the camera body, but putting it in a recessed board allows the front part of the camera to be further away from the camera body. That then means the bellows aren't as compressed and you can move the front around more.

If you reverse the orientation and have a "top hat" board the front of the camera will be closer to the camera when the lens is focussed. That's a good thing with a long focal length lens because it effectively gives you a little more bellows extension. But with a wide angle it means the bellows will be scrunched up and you won't be able to move the front of the camera around. In some cases you may not be able to get the lens close enough to the film to even focus.

21-Jan-2012, 13:37
forgot to ask the obvious question: what camera and lens do you have ?

if you say exactly what you have someone may be able to tell you whether the lens would be usable on the camera if you remounted it on an ordinary flat board...

21-Jan-2012, 13:38
Some cameras will not focus short lenses (at infinity) unless on a recessed board. Others will do so on a flat board. Depends on your camera.

21-Jan-2012, 13:45
Many thanks for the replies.

I have a shen hao TFC 11B. Its specific for wide angle. I have a bag bellows. I think the original board was a flat one but I got this new in flight case with bag and recessed board.

I can focus without much issue. So far.

So you think it should be fine to use like this for a while? I have a SInar copal 0 type board that I wish to swap or sell so I may do that at some point. This came with the lens.

21-Jan-2012, 13:59
sorry, not familiar with the camera.... and you didn't say which lens you have.

You might get an idea of how the set up would behave using a flat board by measuring the amount of recess and moving the standard that amount closer to the body after you've focussed?

but it sounds like you've got a purpose built wide angle set-up so, personally, I'd just live with it as it is.

21-Jan-2012, 14:18
schneider super angulon 90mm f8.

I may have missed the make in my first entry.

The camera is pretty much a copy of the ebony sw45.

ANd you may be right. Even when I close the camera up with lens in place, i have tons of room between the back and the back of the lens.

If i can get a flat board then I will test.

Many thanks for your help and advice.

Have a great weekend!

Doremus Scudder
22-Jan-2012, 04:26
The Shen Hao takes Technika-style boards, right?

If so, I have exactly the same lens in the same kind of recessed board (I use mine on Wista field cameras). Yes, the controls are inside the recess, but fairly easy to adust with the end of the cable release, a pencil, etc. But you're right, fingers won't fit.

That said, it you have a bag bellows, you really don't need the recessed board. Just pick up one, new or used, remount you lens on it and you're good to go. I got one of the Shen Hao flat boards really cheap on eBay not long ago.

FWIW, I use the same 90mm f/8 SA on several cameras and routinely change the board from flat to recessed depending on which camera I'm using at the time. I carry the extra board in my camera bag and a retaining-ring wrench in my filter pouch.



Bob Salomon
22-Jan-2012, 06:10
Since your camera uses a Linhof style boaurd you could use the Linhof 001015 Comfort recessed lens board. It places all operating controls, imcluding the aperture scale, on the flat front of the board so you don't need to reach into the recessed area to set aperture, read the aperture, operate the Press focus, connect the cable release or the synch cord or cock the shutter.

However, it is an expensive lens board. But it does solve your frustrations.