Linhof Technika inquirygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
I've been out of 4X5 photography for about 7 years now. I did own a Wista 45DX until 1992 and was very pleased with this camera. Recently I have been looking at used wood field cameras and I ran across a used Linhof Super Technika III, vintage 1954 (last version before the Technika IV). Not knowing anything about Technika's, I was quite impressed with the precision and quality built into this camera. I was so impresed that I have started to question why buy a wooden field camera when I can buy this Technika at a considerably lower price. Any persons out there that can give me good advice with regard to buying this used Linhof Technika or buying a used wood field camera such as a Wista 45DX, Zone VI, etc.
One last thing, I have already learned that the Technika III lens boards are expensive and hard to find. I also have learned that parts for the Technika III are also hard to find. Are these good reson not to purchase the Technika III?
-- Ron (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999
There is an excellent section on the Linhof camera models at the opening section of this web page.
Should answer your questions and then some.
-- Michael Kadillak (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
No front tilts on a Tech III. Could be a concern.
-- David Grandy (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 1999.
no front tilt forward....drop the bed and rack up the rise or put the camera on it's side and use the swing...
-- trib (email@example.com), July 21, 1999.
I have used a Horseman 45FA (still a current and expensive model) and still own and like this type of camera a lot. The problem is I do quite a bit of work in places like Death Valley where dust and dirt can be a problem. Wooden cameras that run dry (no lubricants to attract sand) are much easier to clean in the field than folding metal technical cameras. If you plan to work in fairly clean places or are willing to forego a shot here and there when it's too dusty, the Linhof or other cameras like it would be fine. By the way, if you're interested, I'll sell the 45FA with 5 lensboards, right angle viewer, 90mm f8 Super Angulon and a 150 f5.6 Sironar for $2200. I have the original box and manual for the camera and it's in excellent to mint condition. Best of Luck in your search
-- Robert A. Zeichner (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 25, 1999.
I've used a Linhof Tech III (actually 2) for about 12 years and the only thing I occasionally yearn for is a more precise tilt up front. As Trib notes, the drop bed combined with the front rise and then a fine tune with the rear standard, suits for a lot of extreme movement in a camera that doubles well as a battle axe. Consider using the money you save for top notch glass and you'll never regret it. Get yerself a 90mm 4.5 Grandagon (which the Tech III handles fine) and forget the lesser movements (the rear element slides in like... well like it was made for this camera). If you want to use shorter lenses you might need to go to the Tech IV. These cameras have tons of extension, I routinely use a 210mm. The section on Linhofs at this site (as previously noted) is really the best you can do short of takin' it out and moving it around...t
-- tom meyer (email@example.com), July 26, 1999.
"If you want to use shorter lenses you might need to go to the Tech IV. "
Let's not confuse people.
The Technika IV, V and Master Technika all have the same wide angle capability.
On these cameras you can use 72mm and longer lenses with no added accessories (other than the proper lensboard).
You can add the Linhof Wide Angle Focusing Device to these cameras and then also use 55mm to 65mm lenses on the proper lens boards.
On the Master Technika 2000 you can use lenses from 35mm up as this version, in place of the rangefinder, has a built-in wide angle focusing system in the camera body.
So the proper answer is that all modern Technikas (1956 and later) have the same wide angle capability. The difference is the amount of movement in the later models as well as added strength in the bed for heavy lenses as full extension.
Also, a major difference between early cameras (the III and IV) and later cameras with wide angle is the front rise. On the III and IV the control is behind the lens standard which makes using it with short lenses difficult. On the V and Master the control is in front of the standard.
-- bob salomon (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 1999.
yes and few wide angle devices for the tech 111 come up for sale from time to time ....you may not find one that matches the color of your tech but who cares....about the lens boards...there really is no problem finding these boards in fact nearly every large format specialist has some old ones sitting around some may even have a cam or two, and if you can't find a board you can always make one! someone out there is making new black and badged boards for the tech 111 too, but I don't want to step on Bob's toes so I'll refrain from directing you elsewhere. Tech 111's are pretty common you'll come to find and I don't think you'll have a problem with parts. I've even bought some tech IV lenses pre-mounted to tech IV boards and used them on my 111, but it won't work the other way around. p.s. Bob go ahead and send me one of those new tech 2000's I'll pay you later! heheee
-- trib (email@example.com), July 27, 1999.
".about the lens boards...there really is no problem finding these boards in fact nearly every large format specialist has some old ones sitting around some may even have a cam or two, and if you can't find a board you can always make one! someone out there is making new black and badged boards for the tech 111 "
Since the factory no longer makes parts or accessories for the III we are not very concerned about someone making lens boards for a III. BUT!
The crest on a Linhof is a Trademark that has been registered for decades. It is a Linhof designed crest that incorporates parts of the Bavarian and Munich crests into a unique Trademark.
I hope you don't mean to imply that someone is actually putting Linhof crests or copies of the crest on non-Linhof items and then selling them. That opens someone to litigation. After all. It is a Trademark.
But I do know who we sold a lot of crests to so we will check and see if they would actually violate a Trademark and sell a counterfeit as a Linhof product.
As to the lensboard the Wide Angle Focusing Device takes a Linhof 2x3 lensboard not a 45 one. These may not be quite as common.
As to used cams. They simply don't work. No two III or IV cameras have the same film plane location. Each is individually calibrated. Unlike the V and Master who all have the same film plane location. Secondly the lenses that you buy are marked with a focal length that is not the actual focal length. The cams must be cut for the film plane location and the actual focal length of a specific lens. For this reason all cams that have been cut for a III or IV have the camera's serial number on the bottom and the lens serial number on the top.
These cams will focus correctly only when they are used on the specific camera and lens whose numbers are engraved on the cam.
Now some will try to compensate for the problem of mis-matched cams/lenses/bodies by adjusting the infinity stops to get to find a position where the cam tracks accurately for most of its' range. However by moving the infinity stops the set screw in them is pointed and leaves small indentations on the track that can't be removed.
On the V and Master the film plane is zeroed so the cameras all focus at the same point. Therefore the cams for a V and Master are interchangeable between all V and Master Technikas and do focus correctly as long as the lens that it was cut for is used.
In short old cams for III and IV Technikas and cams for V and Master technikas become no more than scrap metal once the items they have been cut for are no longer available! They only work properly when they are
-- Bob Salomon (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 1999.
well if you guys sell the badges then you can't very well be mad or litigious towards those who do put them on boards.....I've personally never found it necessary to have a badged board and wonder why linhof affixes crests that won't stay put. On the cams...firstly a IV cam could never be mistaken to fit in a tech 111...but by chance you may find another 111 style cam that comes close...not a good way but I'm not prone to rangefinding with my tech, i use mine as an idiot-proof field camera...even so I imagine a good machinist could cut one using the IV cam as a pattern. On moving the infinity stops...the tech 111 has none so there are no stops to move...some tech 111 owners file notches into the rails as a stop so filing more notches isn't suggested but you can place the standard wherever you want and may find this works with mismatched cams through a certain range as bob said. This is very nitpicky stuff when you consider just how little you'll use the rangefinder and i've found after trying a half dozen cams a cam that works for my 240 and the #'s don't jibe...that's why if you can and need to be able to rangefind buy an outfit and check to see if the serial numbers match...good luck and don't obsess about being able to rangefind this camera....especially if you owned a wista...you may not care for the limited back moves but how much did you use them on your old dx?
-- trib (email@example.com), July 28, 1999.
"well if you guys sell the badges then you can't very well be mad or litigious towards those who do put them on boards."
There is a very big difference between selling them to someone who wants to REPLACE missing crests on Linhof made boards and someone who wants to paste them on counterfeit boards. I hope you can see the difference.
As a service orientated distributor we would be more than happy to see that owners can get their missing crest. Would you suggest that we eliminate this service so an individual can not make counterfeit boards?
-- bob salomon (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 1999.
I can see the difference but it is so slight that only an American would consider legal action.. here let me identify clearly the difference, 2 boards 2 crests(not on the board they've fallen off again)...crinkle black paint on both except for a little spot where the fallen crest was... and one has the word technika in silver and one doesn't
actually I wished you wouldn't sell the crests as they are not important and will only fall off again and for that matter stop mounting them altogether... all my old silver boards now have an unsightly blue glue blob on them .... besides people wouldn't make counterfeit boards if linhof factory boards weren't so damned expensive...furthermore the costs of litigation would exceed the losses due to counterfeiting and your german parent company doesn't work in that atrociously American way....how many counterfeits were sold last year anyway ... why don't you guys sue horseman or MPP...do you think that the counterfeiting of lensboards on 300 dollar 50 year-old techs is causing linhof gmbh to go bankrupt? or would even be worth their while?
-- trib (email@example.com), July 28, 1999.
"I can see the difference but it is so slight that only an American would consider legal action.. here let me identify clearly the difference, 2 boards 2 crests(not on the board they've fallen off again)...crinkle black paint on both except for a little spot where the fallen crest was... and one has the word technika in silver and one doesn't "
No you don't see the difference.
You putting a factory crest on a board you made is your business.
A dealer or manufacturer putting factory crests on boards he makes and then selling them is implying to an unsuspecting consumer that these are factory boards. In fact that might make them more expensive.
Anyone that knowingly violates copyrights or trademarks, especially for commercial gain, is taking a stupid risk.
As for your crests falling off you are using a 50 year (give or take 5 years) old system. Yes current crests can fall off, no this isn't an endemic proble. Yes we replace crests so the owners can feel comfortable. No a lost crest hasen't left a blue mark on boards made in the last quarter century as it has been longer than that since the factory used silver boards. But the III also took black boards so that could correct the problem if the blue mark is a problem.
BTW, old boards or non Linhof boards will not fit current 45 cameras as the factory has drastically narrowed the tolerances in the front standard and lensboard to eliminate the boards from shifting in the standards. This fit is so tight that on old boards you usually have to scrape off the paint layer on the long edges of the board for the board to fit. That means the fit is tighter than the thickness of the paint on the board. Of course this does not apply to cameras more than about 5 years old!
Also there is no Linhof Gmbh. The old name prior to the sale of the factory last year was Linhof Prezisions-Kamera-Werke GMBH The new name is Linhof Systems Technik
-- bob salomon (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 1999.
so sue me!
-- trib (email@example.com), July 29, 1999.
I just noticed that we've made a helluva argument FOR linhof Bob! In the last few posts if you distill away the crazy talk (my apologies) you may find the jist. The only complaint I have about a 45 year old system is that a silly badge won't stay put! That's not bad....not bad at all. I expect similar complaints about my future linhof purchases....... in 50 years!
-- trib (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 29, 1999.
Thanks to all for your candid comments on my inquiry about the Technika III. I thoroughly enjoyed the dialog among persons who really get excited about Linhof cameras. I have purchased a very late model Technika III with three Linhof lens boards. I plan to enjoy this camera until I can save my $ for a later model camera. Thanks again!
-- Ron (email@example.com), July 29, 1999.
"So sue me" "someone out there is making new black and badged boards for the tech 111 too,"
So now you are inplying that the someone is actually you and not a third party?
-- bob salomon (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 30, 1999.
oh man that is cheap! no that is the implication you wish to draw! I helped by not saying "subpeona me" but christ are you gonna get a bonus if you corral a counterfeiter? Do your sales records show large numbers of badges being shipped to me Bob? or anyone else? probably not.... I would guesstimate that you sold 15 badges last year....are 15 counterfeit boards worth(please remember this is a guess Bob wipe the saliva now) involving the beasts that are international lawyers?.... please leave the detecting to someone else! damned salesmen...
-- trib (email@example.com), July 30, 1999.
Rats... I was hoping for a happy ending.
Like trib, I love my "50 year old technology" III and will not complain about fallen crests, I never had a "real" lens board (rich little poor boy)! And I never range finder focus, I wouldn't feel like a real photographer without the darkcloth and none of my lenses are Linhof (don't sue me!)
I think I'll put a decal of Alfred E. Newman on the lensboard with my 135 Sironar, it'll look good over the Leica lens cap that's on it...t
p.s. Bob, lighten up, your takin' the shine off it.
-- tom meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 31, 1999.
That was entertaining. You guys should check out the BMW decals on the knobs of my Linhof Karden Bi. I better watch what I do.
-- Kevin Oke (email@example.com), August 04, 1999.