Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mounting a Packard Shutter on a Six Pound Wollensak Lens (Part 1)

Vageeswari 11x14 with Goerz lens
I'm getting ready to shoot on an 11x14 Vageeswari I purchased from Filip Habart from the Czech Republic.  The Vageeswari, made in India, was originally a landscape 8.5x15" and Filip modified it, by replacing the rear standard and adding new bellows and a few other items, into an 11x14. Filip also sells on eBay, check what he's selling here. I highly recommend him.

I'm mounting a six pound Wollensak Vitax lens to this camera. The Vitax does not have a shutter. The issue is that the shutter is too big for the lens board. I won't be able to mount the Packard shutter to the rear of the lens board.

Six pound Vitax

My solution is to create a flange from cardboard and glue, to mount the shutter on the back of the lens, therefore placing the shutter far enough back into the bellows and away from the small lens board. The flange will be glued to the Packard shutter and the whole thing will hang from the lens.

You can see, in the picture of the Vitax on the left, that there is a little over an inch of barrel extending behind the brass mounting flange on the lens. This is where it will all hang.

I think it will be strong enough due to multiple layers of cardboard and glue. I've made leather lens caps this way before, and they are quite strong. Besides, the shutters isn't too heavy.

My crude drawing of the cardboard mounting flange
On the inside diameter of the flange I'll glue a thin strip of cork to make it a tight fit and prevent the shutter from sliding off the lens barrel too easily.

I've seen other photographers mount their Packards, much the same way, but on the front of the lens, this looks too funky to me. I'd rather not see the ugly shutter hanging in front of this beautiful camera. I'm sticking it on the inside where no one can see it.

I should be getting my lens boards from Jorge Moreno today or tomorrow. He makes lens boards, among other camera stuff, and he has made a few lens boards for me. Click on his name to see what he's selling on eBay.

So the lens, with lens board, is first mounted on the front of the camera. Then I remove the 11x14 back and install the shutter/flange from the back of the camera onto the lens barrel. Plug the air hoses in and we're ready to shoot.

In Part 2 of this saga I'll try to show how I make this cardboard flange.

Check my eBay listings, you might find something you need: