Below Centre Lens Boards

James T

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I've noticed that a lot of the longer lenses (180mm and above) that are in Linhof lens boards have boards with the shutter hole below centre. So I was wondering why. I more often need to raise the front standard rather than lowering it, and it makes aligning to a neutral position trickier.
Any thoughts?
 

Joanna Carter

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It depends on your camera. With some makes, like Linhof and Ebony, the possible fall for the front standard is limited, so the offset of the hole allows you to drop the lens axis further when required. If you don't have this limitation on your camera, then you should fit the lens in a centred Linhof-style board. I don't know about the Linhof cameras but my Ebony's neutral position takes account of the offset hole.

I notice that you have a Graflex, which I believe doesn't need the offset.

Your problem will arise if you buy secondhand and the previous owner's camera needed the offset, but yours doesn't. I once had the opposite problem of getting a centred board when I needed the offset.
 

Ian Grant

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It's more common with Linhof/Wista lens boards and shorter focal length lenses. It's done because with front tilt there's often a need for front fall to centre the image in the lenses image circle particularly with lenses with tight coverage.

Actually it's not an issue with Linhof Tecnical cameras as they have a drop bed,like the MPP Micro Technicals and Pacemaker Graphics etc. It definitely helps with my Wista 45DX and as Joanna says her Ebony, and that will be the same for any camera without a drop bed.

Ian
 

Joanna Carter

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… and as Joanna says her Ebony, and that will be the same for any camera without a drop bed
Actually, the Ebony SV45Te is quite fun when it comes to movements. Not only can you do the usual front tilt, you can also tilt both the front and back backwards at their respective bottoms, then tilt the base forwards to give you, what is effectively, a drop bed :p
 

Ian Grant

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Actually, the Ebony SV45Te is quite fun when it comes to movements. Not only can you do the usual front tilt, you can also tilt both the front and back backwards at their respective bottoms, then tilt the base forwards to give you, what is effectively, a drop bed :p
1579
It's how I use my Wista with my 65mm f8 Super Angulon, if I use it straight then I get the front of the camera in the image.

Ian
 

mpirie

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Actually, the Ebony SV45Te is quite fun when it comes to movements. Not only can you do the usual front tilt, you can also tilt both the front and back backwards at their respective bottoms, then tilt the base forwards to give you, what is effectively, a drop bed :p
Thinking about this.....the offset lens panel on the SV45Te plays havoc with the axis tilt that we have too.

If memory serves, the index marks on the uprights and the front standard when aligned mean that a lens in an offset panel will not be on axis for the centre-line.

Mike
 

David M

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I've just re-read the original post. James mentions finding off-centre lens boards, particularly on longer lenses. I've not observed this distinction myself, so it might be a function of the lenses that we have encountered. The discussion has moved on to short lenses and drop-bed gymnastics.
Is there some reason to prefer off-centre boards with long lenses? A historic reason perhaps – something do with the construction of earlier Linhof cameras?
 

Ian Grant

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I just checked the lenses for my Wista, the 75,, & 90mm Super Angluons re on Wista branded lens boards and both are offset, as is the 150mm Sironar.

My 360mm Tele-Xenar is centred, as is my 240mm Nikkor M, my 210mm Symmar S is offset on a board cut down from a Sinar lens board. I remember deliberately offsetting this to give me the extra fall.

It's most likely just the spare board(s) that were available in most cases when acquiring lenses and mounting them. My longer lenses are centred but they are in quite large Compound and Copal #3 shutters. I don't think it was something Linhof offered as their catalogues show centred lens. By centred I mean in the middle of the rear raised circle that acts as a light trap, this is itself offset from the top.

The only offset lens board I have for a different camera fits a Pacemaker Speed or Crown Graphic and is an aluminium casting so not an original lens boars.

Ian
 
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James T

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My 240mm Symmar (which is my longest lens) is where I first noticed this as it came with a Linhof (branded) board for a Compur #2 shutter, and then the other day while browsing 210mm lenses I saw a similar set up there.
Logically if the off-centring is to allow more downward movement of the lens then it would make sense for off centre boards to be used on longer lenses as more linear displacement is needed for the same angular displacement.
 

Ian Grant

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In practice the off-set is far more useful with wide angle lenses where it's easy to run out of coverage. With a 240mm like a Symmar or Nikkor W there's such a large image circle (336mm) it's not really needed. The 240mm Symmar is in the rare Compur #2 shutter so can be offset much more than a 240mm Symmar S or Nikkor W which are in the larger Compur/Copal #3 so rarely off-set.

Ian
 

David M

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Although this isn't the case with these Linhof boards, I recall hearing of off-centre lensboards that were designed to be reversed, giving either extra rise, fall or perhaps shift, depending on which orientation was considered to be "normal."
 
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