DLC vs. Technikarden

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I will be buying a field camera setup and would like to know exactly how the DLC compares with the technikarden. Aside from the issue of cost, the DLC is lighter and does not need a wide angle bellows. The Technikarden on the other hand features a greater range of movements and is more rigid. The bellows extension is comparable between the two, but the Technikarden can be fitted with an extension. Any comments or suggestions? In the back of my mind I am still considering Canham's 4x5 wood field camera too.

-- Jared Kern (jrk35@email.byu.edu), September 23, 1998


I own a DLC and if you read the archives you will see that I something of an unpaid advocate of this camera. As you mention, the DLC has fewer movements specifically there is no rise/fall in the rear, but I have not found this to be a limitation in my field work shooting architecture and landscapes. otherwise there is plenty of movement range using long, normal and wide lenses. The two cameras have a very different feel but both lockup very solidly. My impression is that the DLC is a bit quicker to set up in the field from a fully collapsed position (TK45s requires you to remove the bellows for full collapse). There is less gearing to the DLC, so it is easier to clean if the camera gets sand or grit. Some people think the TK45s feels more precise in handling and they may be right but that does not effect the final picture. I guess which one is right for you is a matter of what kind of pictures you are going to make, which focal lengths you are going to use, and ultimately what feels best to you as they are all superb machines. If I was looking for a field design camera that could also serve as a studio still life camera, I'd lean towards the Linhof (But that is what I use my Arca-Swiss F-Line for) and for architecture and landscapes IMHO it is a tossup, but for pure landscape and portrait work I would lean towards the DLC. Not having to change the bellows when I change my mind about which lens is best is, in my mind, a huge advantage as is not having to carry different bellows and extention rails. But the TK is a great camera too.

-- Ellis (evphoto@insync.net), September 24, 1998.

oh, one more very important point: The Canham DLC is NOT less rigid than the Technikardan, is one of those internet rumors started by people who played with the camera at a dealers. I have been using mine heavily since last April and some of the images I have made with the camera have been enlarged up to 8 x 10 (feet that is) duratrans.

-- Ellis (evphoto@insync.net), September 24, 1998.

Like Ellis, I'm going to sound like a broken recording.

It probably doesn't matter which camera you chose, at least in theory. In practice, it depends on which feels more natural to you. I strongly recommend that you try both cameras, in a the field if possible. Then go with the one that you feel most comfortable with.

By the way, I like my TK45 VERY much.


-- Bruce M. Herman (bherman@arctic.net), September 24, 1998.

I found the Technikardan a royal pain to set up and take down. Others have agreed but some have also said they didn't find this to be true (see my review of the TK on this home page and the comments in response to the review). The TK sets up and is taken down in a manner that is more akin to a monorail camera than a typical field camers. Before buying the TK I strongly suggest that you rent one and use it for a while or at the very least make sure you can return it at no cost within a reasonable period. It's a great camera in many respects but, in my hands at least, it was inconvenient to use. I've never used the DLC so I can't comment on it.

-- Brian Ellis (beellis@gte.net), September 27, 1998.

Well me to. I really enjoy using the DLC. What a easy camera to use. I feel very comfortable using it. The only problem I have is that I have to continue tighting some of the screws with a alun wrench.

-- Jerald Rosenfeld (rosenfeld@ameritech.net), October 11, 1998.

For me, perhaps because I am a newbie in LF, it is very important to be able to use a binocular reflex hood. One is available for Canham DLC (the Cambo hood works with it), but not for Technicarden.

-- Sergey Zhupanov (zhupanov@usa.net), March 03, 1999.

It is interesting that you would find that a binocular viewer is better than a monocular one.

Linhof used to offer both. But stopped due to the added bulk and size of the binocular.

The rational is fairly simple.

The ground glass has only 2 dimensions width and height it has no depth so binocular vision is not really an advantage.

When you use both eyes to view a 2 dimensional screen the dominant eye is the one that most people will find does the viewing. If that is the case than a monocular viewer is just as good for 2 dimensional viewing.

In Linhof's case the monocular viewer has other advantages.

1: Any finder system that allows you to see the entire ground glass at one time does not have enough magnification to critically focus on the grain of the ground glass 2: To focus critically you would normally place a 4x or stronger loupe on the ground glass. This is almost impossible to do with a binocular hood as it is too bulky to leave attached to the camera and where are you going to put it in the field when you remove it?

Linhof's system has a compact finder hinged to one end of the back so it can swing down out of the way for a loupe.

or you can remove the rotating mirror portion and use the attached base as a hood which allows you to place a loupe against the glass while shading it at

-- bob salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), March 03, 1999.

Since I posted my comment above regarding the fact that Canham uses Cambo binocular reflex hood, but there is none for Linhof, three things happened: 1) I realized that upside-down image does not bother me as much as I thought it would; 2) I realized that the binocular reflex hood takes WAY too much space in the back pack; 3) I grew to really dislike my Canham QVC57/45 (Canham Metal 5x7 with 4x5 reducer back), since it was impossible without using a carpeneter's level to line up back and front and base using 3 lengthy operations (first the base, then the front, then the back), since the zero-click for tilts on Canham I found to be plus/minus several degrees.

Consequently, after careful consideration of Technicardan vs. Arca Swiss, I went with Arca Swiss, primarily on personal advice of someone I respect, and am yet to receive the camera. However, after playing with Technicardan in the store for a while, there is no doubt in my mind that if Arca Swiss was not an option, I would definitely get it instead of the Canham. However, keep in mind that I have not owned Technicardan, and thus did not have a chance to really experience any hidden problems, if it has any, as I was able to with the Canham.

-- Sergey Zhupanov (zhupanov@usa.net), April 03, 1999.

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