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Thread: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

  1. #1

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    I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    A question for those of you who use more than one camera of different makes... for example a Speed Graphic and a Toyo or Wista or whatever.

    Do you use the same lenses with both (all) cameras changing the lens plates as you move from camera to camera? Or do you have specific lenses set up for each camera and just use them?

    Changing lens plates isn't a big deal but I am finding that I fall into the latter category. Just lazy I guess. How about you?

    Ed

  2. #2

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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    Adapters help. My 450mm is on a Sinar board because it only works with my 8x10. Most of the rest are on Wista compatible boards that I can use on the 8x10 or MPP using an adapter, or directly on the Wista.

    The real problem with having just one set of lenses is moving them between bags, unless you cart everything along 8-) The one lens I have that seems to cross-kit a lot is the 270mm G-Claron.

  3. #3
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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Vatza View Post
    A question for those of you who use more than one camera of different makes... for example a Speed Graphic and a Toyo or Wista or whatever.

    Do you use the same lenses with both (all) cameras changing the lens plates as you move from camera to camera? Or do you have specific lenses set up for each camera and just use them?

    Changing lens plates isn't a big deal but I am finding that I fall into the latter category. Just lazy I guess. How about you?

    Ed

    I do both, mix and match. For my Chamonix (modern field camera) lately I've been using modern lenses in Copal shutter. Last year I was mainly using vintage lenses 1905-1930 mounted on technika boards. I also have a 1905 Century Camera No. 41. For that I only use lenses of that vintage, mostly to keep the physical period look and experience. With my 1925 Gundlach Korona (5x7 with 4x5 back) I use large heavy lenses vintage 1847 to 1865, and also have an adapted lens board so I can used any other lens I own, including the modern Copal ones. Most of the time I'm using the light & easy to use Chamonix, and for that I'll use just about any lens I own except for the 5 pound monsters that would crush it. I value the flexibility.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    It would make sense to standardize on a board that works across multiple cameras. As others have mentioned you can get adapter boards that make this quite do-able.

  5. #5
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    Most of my lenses are mounted on Linhof Technika lensboards.

    I have an adapter to mount those boards on my Sinar F2 and the various Tachihara field cameras.
    Works fine.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  6. #6

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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    + 1 to the adapter.

    I started with 2x3 Pacemaker Graphics, was later given a 2x3 Cambo SC. I sacrificed a 2x3 Pacemaker front standard, a 2x3 Cambo board and some money paid to SKGrimes to have an adapter made for mounting my lenses on 2x3 Pacemaker boards on the Cambo. Medium format not to be mentioned here, but the principle is the same.

    One advantage of doing this is that 2x3 Pacemaker Graphics are much less expensive than 2x3 Cambo boards, also much easier to find.

  7. #7

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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    Beyond the popular small Linhof style lens board, the other popular lens board appears to be Sinar, some reason why. Smaller lens boards can be made to fit a larger lens board with an adapter board, using large lenses on smaller lens boards is often very difficult to not possible at all.

    Being lens centric with a need to use a very wide variety of lenses, the Sinar does really well with this due to the Sinar shutter, Sinar lens board size. on the Sinar P front standard-can support signifiant lens weight > 5 pounds with little difficulty, no real limits on bellows draw, bag bellows allows near contacting of the front to rear standards- If a recessed lens board is used with a bag bellows the distance between ground glass to rear of the lens is a few mm. These perks are traded off for weight and lesser portability.

    All this makes using virtually any lens from microscope objective to Gigantic Military lenses possible. As for mixing lens types and brands, been this for decades.

    This is why deciding on what the lens set needs to be and what images are to be made is first choice with the camera fitting the needs of the image maker and lenses required for the image maker's work.

    This is opposite of many roll film cameras where once the user is into a brand, it can be difficult to use lenses that are Alien to the choose camera brand.

    Essentially the view camera is a light tight box with flexi in the center with the front and back of the box movable.



    Bernice

  8. #8
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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    Lensboard adapters are where it's at... in 23 years of futzing with large format cameras I've accumulated a whole zoo of them. If you use cameras with both small and large lensboard sizes, it does make sense to standardize on one small and one large size (for example, Technika for small boards and Sinar for large), add a small-board-to-large-board adapter, and shop for cameras accordingly and lensboards accordingly.

    However, adapters can be tricky or even entirely impractical if the size difference between the boards is small. This issue arises most commonly for people seeking to adapt one small board type to another but can occasionally come up with large-to-large adaptations too. In particular, since you mentioned Speed Graphic, while adapting 4x5 Pacemaker Graphic boards to large monorail camera boards (Sinar, Toyo view, etc.) is not difficult, adapters that allow swapping between 4x5 Graphics and other small-board 4x5 cameras (Technika/Wista, Toyo) may be a problem.

    Most of the adapters in my user-collection are small-board-to-large-board, but FWIW, in the small-to-small category I have Horseman-field-to-Technika and Technika-to-Toyo-field adapters. The former works without restriction, the latter accepts Technika boards with no problem but won't fit into the front standard of some cameras that are specified to accept Toyo field boards because the retaining hardware for the smaller board gets in the way.

    Although I doubt it's what you have in mind, for completeness I should add that all of the above refers to adapting flat boards to flat boards. The adaptability of recessed boards is far more restricted, because of issues with host lensboard size and/or front standard clearances.

  9. #9

    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Vatza View Post
    A question for those of you who use more than one camera of different makes... for example a Speed Graphic and a Toyo or Wista or whatever.

    Do you use the same lenses with both (all) cameras changing the lens plates as you move from camera to camera? Or do you have specific lenses set up for each camera and just use them?

    Changing lens plates isn't a big deal but I am finding that I fall into the latter category. Just lazy I guess. How about you?

    Ed
    Indeed, there are typical setups.

    Focusing with a 1:8/90 Super-Angulon on a Wista 45N is possible (tilt) but not convenient (shift). And the Wista doesn't take the recessed lensboards. Instead of buying the special recessed lensboard adapter made by Wista, I take a 1:5,6/125 Fujinon W with a 46mm filter thread that fits into the folded camera. Occasionally I use the 1:5,6/105 Fujinon W with 46mm filter thread, too. I mainly use a 1:9/180 Fujinon A with 46mm filters as a standard focal length. This lens can stay in the camera, too, as well as the two other lenses I mentioned. And then there is a 1:9/300 Apo-Ronar with a small extension as telephoto lens. It's relatively lightweight and sharp. These items all fit into a Tenba Byob 10 case. Together with 3 filmholders, a Gossen Profisix/Profispot or a Sekonic L558, and a darkcloth it fits into the 45l alpine rucksack.

    The 1:8/90 Super-Angulon fits well onto the Intrepid 4x5 Mk2 (without much shift), as well as the 1:5,6/150 Sironar N and the 1:9/210 G-Claron. This is the setup for the Intrepid. Both cameras have Linhof style lensboards, I can interchange the lenses without mounting them onto adapters or other lensboards.

    But the Intrepid doesn't take lenses when folded. So you need more space in your bag. It's a shame. They should have built the massive focusing slider of the Mk4 on the sides of the camera instead of the center, letting space for a lens mounted on the front standard. Now that they're using an aluminium base in the Intrepid Mk4, they should have taken metal sliders as Linhof and Graflex invented it before WW II. With a massive aluminium base there would be space to drill a large hole into the bottom to let the lens look through. This will be Mk5 ...

    I will probably give up the Intrepid, because it's not as precise as the Wista, because the innovation cycle remains adapted to the product cycle (and not vice versa, which is annoying because you have to pay several times to get the product you want in the end) and I am tired of paying and waiting for new cameras, that aren't built very well and lack an effective quality control. But another reason is that the Intrepint doesn't offer a reasonable management of the lenses on their mounted lensboards. Although a Wista 45 weights 2 pounds more than the Intrepid, the tiny and lightweight 46mm filter thread Fujinons (105,125,180) can stay in the camera when folded. This is more convenient and saves a lot of space while offering a greater spectrum of focal lenths.

    After months of self-persuation I see now that Intrepidography is in fact lomography, sold to young and mainly unexperienced photographers, who have to go through this process of selecting the right tools, although there are a few influencers on Youtube who will tell you that Intrepidography would be something serious (btw: they still continue using their Shenhaos, Canhams, Walkers, Linhofs, Ritters... - why?).

    I also use a Horseman VH from time to time. On this camera I mount a 1:6,7/65 Topcor, the 1:5,6/105 Fujinon as a standard lens, a 1:9/150 Apo-Ronar and a 1:9/240 G-Claron on an extended lensboard. But it is much more interesting using the Wista 45N eg. with the Toyo 67/45 slip in back or with the Toyo slider (Graflock mount) and Mamiya 23 film holders. You have more bellows extension (tele, macro), more tilt, shift, rise, everything is larger, better handable, always with the option to take the greater shot in 4x5.

    The 240 G-Claron would be nice on the Intrepid, too. But it is mounted on the extended Horseman plate. What a pity. Same with the 105 Fujinon with 46mm filter thread - I use it on the Wista from time to time, but the image circle is quite narrow to do 4x5, so I am still looking for a wider 105mm to fit on the Wista 45N.

  10. #10

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    Re: I'm curious about using same lenses with different camera makes... I'll explain

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Lensboard adapters are where it's at...

    However, adapters can be tricky or even entirely impractical if the size difference between the boards is small. This issue arises most commonly for people seeking to adapt one small board type to another but can occasionally come up with large-to-large adaptations too. In particular, since you mentioned Speed Graphic, while adapting 4x5 Pacemaker Graphic boards to large monorail camera boards (Sinar, Toyo view, etc.) is not difficult, adapters that allow swapping between 4x5 Graphics and other small-board 4x5 cameras (Technika/Wista, Toyo) may be a problem.
    I thank you all for your responses. From what you've said adapters look like the solution where practical. However Oren hit the nail on the head in my case. I have a Speed Graphic and a Wista 45DX both of which have small but different boards. Not sure an adapter is the answer in a case like this. But also not sure what is.

    Ed

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