Mounting an old brass lens.

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by vickersdc, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    I've just received the lens that will be used for my next sliding box camera (an 8x5 rapid symmetrical). Unfortunately it came without the mounting flange as you can see from the image.

    [​IMG]

    So, I'm having to cut a square of brass sheet out, that I can then epoxy the lens too. This means that I can still use the lens on future camera builds too.

    How else do others manage with this? I was thinking about turning the thread down on a lathe and then mounting it to another flange, or soldering it to another flange. However, my engineering buddy was worried that it could damage the lens... so we binned those ideas!
     
  2. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I have mounter similar lenses using flexible pipe clamps. I used wooden lens boards. Just cut a hole in the wooden board the diameter of the lens. Put the lens through the board--the black part of the lens will stick out the back of the board. Put a piece of rubber whether stripping around the back of the lens and tighten a pipe clamp around the rubber using enough pressure to hold the lens in place.

    Another option is to find a local machinist and have a mounting flange made. I have had a few made over the years and the cost was very reasonable.

    Personally, I wouldn't glue anything to the lens--or do anything that permanently changes the lens.
     
  3. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    There are a lot of flanges on ebay, perhaps you could find a flange for the lens. Another option that I have read about here and on LFPF is to make the hole in lens board a little undersized and thread the lens directly into the board. The lens board would need to be wood of coarse. From the look of your lens once it was threaded into the board you could put some kind of a clamp on the lens barrel for added security.

    I to would be hesitant to glue and especially to machine the threads of the lens.

    Roger

    BTW: I enjoyed your thread on your last camera build.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2010
  4. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Allen's idea is magnificent. Cheap, quick, secure and very easy to accomplish. The next time I come up with an old lens missing its ring, I am going to steal the idea.
     
  5. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Two things: First, I usually find that cutting a hole the proper size in masonite or hardboard and then, after applying some wax to the threads of the lens, screwing that right into the board. The threads will cut the board enough to have a pretty secure fit and you can unscrew it to change boards or lenses. The second point is that you might want to use hot glue instead of epoxy if you go with the metal mount. Hot glue is sufficiently strong to make a good, firm mount, but can be removed from the metal threads should you wish to take the plate off (say you find a flange sometime in the future, or need a smaller plate for a different camera.) Warming the metal somewhat before gluing makes things easier.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Yes, don't epoxy it! That is at best difficult to reverse should you want to mount it on a different camera, or worse, decide you're not happy with the lens and want to sell it. The above-mentioned options will all work of course, or best if you can find one (the prices have shot up in the last couple years), an iris clamp (aka universal lens mount). Get one bigger than the largest lens you plan to use on the camera, mount it up to your front standard with an equally big hole behind it, and voila - you now can use any lens you want on the camera, interchangeably, as often as you like.

    Another less expensive option would be to take the lens to a local machine shop and have them make you a new flange.
     
  7. rrankin

    rrankin Member

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    Whitey's idea of screwing the threads right into a wooden board is probably simplest. You can also use a hole roughly the correct size and use Blu-tack to hold the lens in place. That one shouldn't be particularly heavy, so the tack stuff will hold it. You can also get a 'universal flange' that attaches to a lens board and then clamps down on your various lenses without a flange.

    What size do you need? Maybe someone has a spare lying around that would fit it.
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have used Whitey's method. Works good.
     
  9. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    I'm getting the vibes that you don't like the idea of epoxying the lens :D

    I want the lens to be secure - the aperture 'ring' is slightly stiff and I don't want the lens to be moving around or falling out at an inopportune moment! I can't see that BluTack is going to cut it personally. I'll make the brass sheet 'flange' anyway, but hold off epoxying until I've tried out some of the other ideas that you've either mentioned here, or PM'ed me.

    So, there's a reprieve... for the moment :wink: