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Thread: Top Hat Lens Boards

  1. #1
    Foamer
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    Top Hat Lens Boards

    Well, not only am I now looking for a Copal 0 lensboard for my Chamonix 45, I guess I'm also looking for a Copal 3 top hat lens board. I've got to quit buying these old lenses. I'll go broke just buying the lens boards. Where can I find Copal 3 top hat boards? What do they actually call them?


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

  2. #2

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    Re: Top Hat Lens Boards

    I'm aware of various makers of #0 and #1 top hat lensboards (among them Wista and Ebony) but only saw Chinese non-brand in the #3 size. I baught one of them on this forum and since found a seller on e-bay. Not cheap for what they are but worth if it's the only way to go. See item 120724106638
    D.C.

  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Top Hat Lens Boards

    OK, here's the deal. I just bought a pillbox type lens from MWclassic on eBay. It's a pretty big lens! It's 13 inch, which my Chamonix 45 can handle, but flange diameter is 4 inches, which is just a tad bigger than the Chamonix lens boards. I've played around with the lens & camera some. I think the camera actually will support this lens OK. Not great, but OK. I have a Rodenstock Imagon 250mm that is mounted in Copal 3, and it came with a Copal 3 top hat lens board. The diameter of the actual glass is about 57mm, and the outer diameter of the brass tube is 69mm. The inner diameter of the Copal 3 is just under 55mm.

    I'm thinking of two things here. First, I could take a regular Copal 3 board and attach a 1 inch section of 3 inch black PVC pipe to it. That would give me a top hat lens board on the cheap. (Believe me, I can be cheap!) Second thing I'm thinking here is that this lens is mighty close to being a perfect fit in that Copal 3 shutter. I could have an adapter made and then be using a vintage 1854 lens in a modern shutter on my state of art Chamonix! That could be cool! Anyone done this sort of thing? Would it likely work? I'm not seeing any reason it shouldn't.


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

  4. #4

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    Re: Top Hat Lens Boards

    214523 is the catalog number for a Wista #3 extended lensboard. Wista also makes an extension lensboard set that uses a set of tubes and accepts 0, 1 and 3 size shutters. Additional extension tubes are available for this set.

  5. #5
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    Re: Top Hat Lens Boards

    Bob, could you PM me a few places I could buy one of these? It looks like just 7mm of extension is enough to clear my front standard.

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

  6. #6

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    Re: Top Hat Lens Boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Bob, could you PM me a few places I could buy one of these? It looks like just 7mm will clear my front standard.

    Thanks,
    Kent in SD
    Any camera store can sell it to you. They are all our customers. Do be aware ther will be a significant Wista price increase on 10/1 so try to do it tomorrow.

  7. #7
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    Re: Top Hat Lens Boards

    I had some black foam core lying around from my half plate holders/4x5 film project. I cut a piec of it to match my Copal 3 lens board, cut a hole in the center, and mounted the brand new c.1855 lens on my Chamonix. Lens is held in place using double stick tape. It's not pretty, it's not going to hold up well, but it is letting me take some test shots with the lens. I'm starting to think there's virtually nothing you can't do with tape & foam core when it comes to LF photography!


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

  8. #8

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    Re: Top Hat Lens Boards

    If you can do it with tape and foam core, you can do it with wood and glue... then you'll have exactly what you need.

    I've made a couple of top-hat boards for my cameras, plus lens-board adapters, etc. It's really not that difficult. And, there's no price increase tomorrow!

    Happy cobbling.

    Doremus Scudder

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