Wrench for 3-hole lens retaining ring

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by rshepard, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. rshepard

    rshepard Member

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    I just purchased a Wollensak 3.5"/90mm f/12.5 lens in a Rapax shutter. It came mounted on a small recessed lens board and I need to move it to a lens board I can use on my cameras. My normal lens spanner wrench will not work on this retaining ring.

    Rather than having two rectangular slots on opposite sides, this ring has three small holes evenly spaced (34mm) around the flat surface of the ring. Where can I buy a wrench that will allow me to loosen and tighten this type of retaining ring?

    Alternatively, I may have a local camera repair shop remove the ring, but then I need to find a replacement of the proper size and threading with which I can use my spanner wrench.

    I'm looking for suggestions and solutions for this older lens.

    TIA,

    Rich
     
  2. Don12x20

    Don12x20 Member

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    Get the ring removed, and have a machine shop add a fourth hole - this one centered 180 degrees from one of the other holes. You should be able to use a two-tined wrench on your ring. Much cheaper than having a machine shop (Steve Grimes or other) make a new ring.
     
  3. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    You probably can use SK Grimes round tip spanner even with three holes.
    http://www.skgrimes.com/span/index.htm
    If you have a drill with metal bits I would think you could add a fourth hole if you wanted/needed it.
    I have used this spanner happily for several years. Midwest photo may sell a cheaper version. MPEX.com

    John Powers
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    You really don't need a three tined wrench. If you have an adjustable spanner you can pick any two holes and "swing" the wrench around the circumference of the lens. Actually if you're careful you can probably loosen it enough just using one hole. Insert a piece of music wire or drill bit & gently give it a tap to loosen.
    You don't need a machine shop to add a hole if you have a pin vise and a small bit.
     
  5. randyB

    randyB Member

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    The retaining ring that you have is designed to be front mounted on the lens board and the lens screwed into it, the way the old-timey LF lenses were mounted. They are really designed for wood boards but can be front mounted on any metal board with the proper size screws, I get mine at Lowe's. You do have to orient the lens on the board before you screw it down or it may be in an awkward position. I have also used this type of ring on the rear but it is difficult to get it really tight. RandyB
     
  6. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    I own both styles of SK Grimes spanner wrenches. They pretty much cover every lens I've encountered.
     
  7. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    Just to fill in with a picture what Randy said.
    Also, does the ring rotate with the lens if you twist the lens? Else, if you can get a firm grip on the lensboard and the lens and loosen it that way you are home.
    Then I suggest that you mount the retaining ring, which is actually called a "flange" with screws to your new lensboard, so that you just screw the lens into the flange. (Just make sure that you have marked out the correct position of the screw-holes before you drill them, so that the shutter is orientated the way you want it. (Usually upright.) )
    The picture shows the back of the lens and the front of the lensboard.

    //Björn
     

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  8. rshepard

    rshepard Member

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    Thank you everyone. I have an inexpensive flat-tipped spanner that has been adequate for the modern lenses, but is obviously not of the quality of the Grimes tools. (It has a round bar and does not hold position well.) I will order the pair of spanners from him.

    In the meantime, I cannot loosen the lens by turning it while holding the 4"x4" recessed lens board.

    I would prefer to use the flange as a regular retaining ring rather than screw mounting it to a metal lens board (actually, I'd use short machine screws -- bolts -- if I went that route). I will, however, screw it to a piece of scrap wood and drill a fourth hole opposite one of the existing holes. Then I can easily use a two-tipped spanner. I'll try a fine tip punch or other tool and tap gently in all three holes to see if I can loosen it.

    Much appreciate the information!

    Rich
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi rich

    i had the same lens and the same flange
    i used it on a metal speed graphic board ...
    not frot mounted as suggested, but i put the lens on the front
    and just screwed the flange on the rear of the board.
    it never gave me problems ...
    to remove your lens, you might use one of those
    rubber pads used to loosen jars and hold the shutter with that,
    and apply steady even pressure on the board to unscrew it.
    hopefully the last owner didnt' glue it into the flange, as some folks
    tend to do ...

    good luck!
    john
     
  10. rshepard

    rshepard Member

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    John,

    I used a small-tip punch and a tack hammer to nudge the flange in each of the three holes. That loosened it sufficiently that I could unscrew the lens from the front.

    Today I'm ordering the Grimes spanners.

    I'm looking forward to trying the lens on both 4x5 and 5x7 ... when the rains stop some time in the spring or summer.

    Many thanks,

    Rich
     
  11. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    You have already fixed it, but just a tip "for the records". The three holes are threaded so if you find a (or a couple of) fitting screw(s), screw them in and you will have something to "get hold of". That is better than to possibly ruin the threads of the flange holes by hammering with a punch in them.
    Just a thought...

    //Björn
     
  12. rshepard

    rshepard Member

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    Björn,

    Excellent suggestion. I did not look closely at the holes and assumed they were smooth inside.

    I'll drill a fourth hole opposite one of the existing ones and use the round-tipped spammer with it. While I don't anticipate this issue in the future, it may come up again and I'll keep your advice in mind.

    Many thanks,

    Rich