View Full Version : how to make lensboard to last a few weeks

Geraldine Powell
24-May-2012, 19:18
Hello All,

I have an old Heliar 180mm that I want to use for a project on a Chamonix 2n for a few weeks. The problem is that it needs a lensboard that is 49mm and I can't find that in a technica type lensboard. I do have a technika lensboard that is much wider and I am wondering if I could fill in the gap some way, or could I make a board out of really stiff carboard?

I haven't got routing tools, but I am quite handy with an exacto knife.

Or do you know of anyone who makes lensboards for people?

24-May-2012, 20:19

You need a real lensboard. Anything you can cut with an xacto knife won't do the job at all.

Does this take a Technika style lensboard?

If you have a board I can put a hole in it for you.

- Leigh

Brian C. Miller
24-May-2012, 20:21
Yes, you can make a lensboard from cardboard. The image here is of my Graphlex Super Graphic with a Nikon 50mm lens mounted on it at infinity focus. Note the sterling work done with black tape to seal out light leaks. I used a darkslide in front of the lens for a shutter.

24-May-2012, 20:27
That's fine.

I'll let Brian make one for you.

- Leigh

24-May-2012, 20:52
Masonite works better than cardboard.

Geraldine Powell
24-May-2012, 21:15
I am grateful for all the suggestions. I love the photo of the Graphlex. I am going to pm Leigh

Paul Fitzgerald
24-May-2012, 21:23
"or could I make a board out of really stiff carboard?
I haven't got routing tools, but I am quite handy with an exacto knife."

"Masonite works better than cardboard. "

You could go to the store and buy a masonite clipboard to cut down, also get some black foamcore for the inner baffle so it is light-tight. Regular white glue will work well with both. More than strong enough for a temp lens board.

24-May-2012, 21:27
Yes, heavy Masonite would make a suitable lensboard, but it's not easy to work.

- Leigh

24-May-2012, 21:40
I have several I made with matboard -- they have lasted well for many years. I drymount two pieces together. Matboard tends to bend or curve in one direction, so I drymount them so both are curving in opposite ways -- they stay flat that way. At least one of the boards is a solid black.

My Zone VI uses an 8ply drymounted with a 4 ply.

I use to cut the hole with a xacto blade, but now I drill a hole and then use a coping saw -- much faster!

Hey, it ain't fancy, but it works.


Jim Noel
25-May-2012, 09:08
Of course you can make a very serviceable board from cardboard, or better, mounting board. If one thickness is not enough, cut 2 or 3 b pieces to size, cut an appropriate hole in them and glue them together.
Black photographic tape can cure a lot of ills. Please don't use black electrical tape, it lets light through rather easily. Black bookbinders tape also works well.

Jon Shiu
25-May-2012, 09:09
You could make a small lens board from cardboard or thin hobby plywood and then use some black silicone sealant or caulking (or just several layers of black tape) to temporarily glue it to your technika lens board with the larger hole.


26-May-2012, 06:02
Enlarge the opening in a Copal 1 or 0 Technica board.

Michael E
28-May-2012, 16:47
Matboard has worked fine for me in the past. Now, I usually buy a piece of 2mm plywood (for model construction) and have it cut to size at the hardware store. I stain the wood to match my Tachihara and cut the hole with a coping saw. Of course, my Tachihara doesn't need the notches at the bottom of the Technika lensboard...


Ken Lee
28-May-2012, 19:13
Cardboard + Gaffer's tape + sharp blade.

And Gaffer's tape is basically black duct tape.

1-Jun-2012, 17:54
I've made several temporary lens boards for my Cambo SCX out of foam core, which I spray-painted flat black. I just traced the outline of my one "real" lens board and cut it out with an X-acto knife, then did the same for the lens mounting hole. They worked but the edges didn't hold up well over repeated lens changes. I'm going to make a set out of hobby plywood next.

3-Jun-2012, 03:08
In the past I've used aluminium sheet to make Linhof fit lens boards, it's easy to work with and I just prime and paint matt black using sray paints from an auto store. One or two of these have been in use for over 25 years with no issues.


10-Jun-2012, 04:40
I went to the local sign shop to have a copy made of a Meopta Magnola lensboard. Nice, precise work for 28,-- Euros. Mine is aluminium, but brass would be an option.


10-Jun-2012, 09:45
I used for 20 days a lensboard made of a CD cover , cut and covered both sides with 240gr - 300gr black cardboard. It fit perfectly and you donīt need to paint it. I was taking shots each day and some nights in New York city walking a lot with the camera mounted on the tripod, the lens on the camera, all on my shoulder.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
10-Jun-2012, 10:02
Heliar lenses are very heavy. Are you sure cardboard will hold it? I wouldn't trust it.

10-Jun-2012, 12:48
Actually I've mounted a 210mm Heliar on the lensboard. Is not only cardboard. I described before: A CD plastic cover cut as needed size and two back cardboard - one in each side. You can be shure is the cheapest way and although not strongest - a very good option for several months of use.