Only a malicious SOB would deliver a focusing panel designed for a fresnel without the fresnel. If the focusing panel is designed for a fresnel and the fresnel isn't there, the ground glass will be out of register with the film plane.

Rudolf, you can't have it both ways. Either the OP was screwed when it bought its camera or it was screwed when it bought its fresnel.

I learned all this the hard way. I shoot Pacemaker Graphics with Graflok backs. When the Graflok back was introduced the fresnel was optional; when installed it was mounted in front of the ground glass. Graflok focusing panels (from Graflex Inc.) made to use a fresnel and those made to be used without a fresnel have the same casting numbers. In both types, the ground glass rides on bosses; the bosses in focusing panels modified to use a fresnel are milled down to keep the ground glass in register with the film plane.

Guess who put an aftermarket fresnel in front of a Graphic's GG? Interestingly, the instructions that came with the fresnel said to mount it in front of (on the lens side of) the ground glass.

By the way, at one time a chinese view camera -- I thought 4x5 Chamonix, not Shen Hao -- was routinely delivered with the ground glass out of register with the film plane. Stupid design error that was eventually corrected after many complaints from buyers.