Lens N2 Shutter Mounting

There are 2 methods of custom mounting a lens. The first and most common method of custom lens mounting is similar to a factory mount. The second method of custom lens mounting is to front mounting a lens on to a shutter. We will deal with this first and then come back to the other.

Custom lens mounting into a shutter is also done in one of different 2 ways. The lens groups unscrew from the barrel and then either the actual lens encampments are turned to fit and threaded to screw into the shutter like
this APO Garogon-S or adapters are made that go between the shutter and the group like on this Series IV 8x10 Protar. Custom lens mounting regardless of what method is used the placement of the groups is positioned precisely where they were in the barrel relative to their position to the aperture when they are mounted into a shutter. This is critical. Improper placement will create focus shift when stopped down.  The aperture sizes on the barrel are precisely measured and transferred to the aperture scale on the shutter. The locations and numbers are then engraved on to the aperture scale. On some occasions part of the factory barrel is used to mount the lens into the shutter but this is not the norm. This is done for people who prefer the beauty of the brass on classic lenses like the Goerz Dagor. By far the most popular lenses to mount into a shutter are the APO Artar, Red Dot Artar, APO Ronar, Protar and the Goerz Dagor. Here is our Standard Pricing.

Front mounting a lens on a shutter is done by making a mounting flange (like you would use to put the barrel on to a board) but having the flange threaded so that it will screw into the front of a shutter like this. The barrels aperture is used in this type of lens mounting. This is a less expensive option costing between $100 and $175 depending on the complexity of the adapter. A wide range but with out having the part to look at, I can only give you ball park prices and I prefer to error on the high side then come back and say it will be less if possible than come back and say it will be more. That’s just a bit easier to swallow I think. Front mounting a lens is usually done for macro lenses as well as the shorter focal lengths of the APO Artar, Red Dot Artar and APO Ronar. Occasionally we front mount a Dagor or a Protar. However when mounting such wide field lenses, some vignetting can occur. Often a larger shutter will eliminate this. Shutters used for this method should be oversize. A tight fit like a 480mm Apo Red Dot Artar front mounted on a #4 ilex will have less coverage than one mounted into the shutter due to vignetting.


The advantages are:

·        Less expensive

·        One shutter can be used for several lenses

·        Barrel may have smaller apertures than possible in the shutter

The disadvantages are:

·        Requires a larger more expensive shutter most of the time

·        With wide angle lenses or to small a shutter vignetting will occur

·        This reduces the size of your image circle (avoid if possible)

·        Positions the lens off the board creating of axis tilts

·        Like base tilts – it requires refocusing after tilting

·        And increased weight  (not if you use one for several lenses)


Need a Shutter?  We carry a selection of well cared for classic shutters from ilex, Alphax and Compur in sizes 00, 0, 1, 3, 4, & 5 as well as some as new Copal 0 and 1 shutters. Copal 3 shutters are normally available as well. A measurement of the barrel diameter would help narrow down what size shutter you will need. To be able to recommend the smallest size possible it is always best to have the lens in hand but I will do my best to help you select a shutter. Being a field photographer myself, size and weight are always an issue and I try to keep them to a minimum when custom mounting lenses into shutters.  All the shutters we sell with the exception of the as new Copals have been serviced (a $100.00 value). The prices are as follows (with some exceptions). For more information on shutters made by ilex, Compur, Alphax, Copal and others please see our “shutters” page.