LINHOF MASTER 2000 or EBONY SV45 U2 ? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been thinking going large and many contributors have helped me with their thoughts and experiences which I am thankful for. After weighing carefully the pros and the cons, I have decided to continue working in 4x5" for a while and replace my beloved Tech V with a camera that would handle better the super wide-angles. My long thought for is of course the Master 2000, but I will still miss the lens fall as on the Tech V. The TK 45S was suggested to me by Bob Salomon and some others, and it is certainly not a bad choice, just as the ARCA-SWISS, but I put them out of the debate for a while to consider the Ebony SV45 U2 with it's 500 mm (590 with movements) Universal bellows. Now, the price this camera stands at is a real provocation to all good sense. Everything seems much simpler (no geared rise, no rotating back, simple bolts and nuts assemblies) and nevertheless it is priced above the much more sophisticated top folding cameras from Linhof! So I guess there must be some arguments in favor of it's design. I am unfortunately not able to see one where I live, so if there are some users out there, would you tell me what made you decide for that Ebony? Is it really worse the price they ask for? Does it take a 47 XL with rise and fall on the Universal bellows? Is it fast to operate as the Tech is? Stable at full extension and precise in parallelism? Looking forward to your comments!

-- Paul Schilliger (, March 29, 2000


First, I think you have some misinformation on the price of the Master Technika 2000. The model that will take very short lenses is priced well above the Ebony. Second, my understanding is that to use very short lenses on the Ebony you need to use a bag bellows. This feature and other features of the camera can be more accurately attested to by Jeff at Badger Graphics who is very helpful and has answered my questions about Ebony cameras before. Their specifications are also listed on the Badger Graphics web site.

-- Howard Slavitt (, March 29, 2000.


Do yourself a favor and "take it ease" for a moment and listen. Buy yourself a camera and concentrate on making pictures. Forget the Ebony, forget the MT 2000, but an Arca Swiss 4x5 F Metric. It is compact, geared, precise, fairly light weight, easy to pack, fast to setup and reasonably priced.

There esoteric black beauties lovely, but as far as I am concerned do not make life easy. I have never found a camera that disappears into the background faster and more seamlessly than the AS F Line.

Joe K.

-- Joe Knowitall (, March 29, 2000.

You should look at the Canham DLC (click here for a link to a webpage with Canham DLC specs) as well. The DLC's "universal bellows" will handle full movements with any lens on a flat lensboard from 58mm to a 720mm T-Nikkor (max bellows is 550mm) with recessed boards you can use it down to at least a 47mm, that is as short a focal length as I have had the opportunity to use, and still have movements. It may take a shorter lens but I doubt I'll ever need to find out. If you get the Technika to DLC adapter board you can keep your lenses mounted in the same boards you use now. This is the way my caera is set up.

One of the nice feature of the DLC is that you can slide the front and rear assemblies all the way forward so the bed is behind the camera. It is fast to operate, stable and precise. It doesn't feel like the Linhof so if that is important to you, then this maybe the wrong camera for you. But after two years of heavy use both for commercial architectural, landscape, portrait and studio usage as well as personal usage, I have no complaints. Actually I have one: I don't like the bullseye levels and their location on top of the standards. I don't work for or sell Canham cameras nor do i work for "The F-Stops Here" who hosts the webpage mentioned above.

-- Ellis Vener (, March 29, 2000.

Paul, I have enjoyed your many posts on the forums. I'd like to throw in my two cents worth. No camera is perfect; whichever model you decide to use will have some fault(s). The camera to pick is the one whose features will allow you to make the greatest number of good pictures, while at the same time its deficiencies cause you to lose the fewest number of good pictures. If you're getting more than your fair share of good pictures now with the Technica V, are you loosing that many because of the difficulty of using extreme W.A. or long lenses? Be careful not to trade the Devil for the Witch. Cheers

-- Bill Mitchell (, March 29, 2000.

Thanks! First impression on your comments is that prices, once again, vary depending on which side of the Atlantic you are. For exemple, the Master 2000 is sold in Germany from 6,980 DM and the Ebony U2 stands at 8,745 DM non taxed from the general trader! Why are japanese products always more expensive in Europe than in US? I guess it's to make Internet shopping more attractive! (It's also true the way around for european stuff!)

-- Paul Schilliger (, March 29, 2000.


You say you are interested in ultra wide lenses. If that is the case the Technika 2000 handles lenses to the 35mm 4.5 Apo Grandagon on a flat board with a short cone and uses the standard bellows.

I am not sure that any other camera (including all other Linhofs, Arcas, Sinars, etc) have the ability to use ultra short lenses with the standard bellows, with all movements and without a recessed board for lenses from 35 to 65mm.

-- Bob Salomon (, March 29, 2000.

Thank you for all this good input. Yes I know, my quest is turning a bit obsessive, please forgive me! Yes the Tech is a lovely tool and satisfies me in most situations. But since I have the 47 XL, lens fall is a must. It is extremely difficult and time consuming to make adjustments with back and front tilt with that lens and it ends up often with some convergences or out of focus corners. This is why I am looking a bit further than the Master 2000. As I said in a previous tread, a Master 2000 F with 1 inch lens fall would be the perfect tool. Now, I considered Arca, but the camera, as far as I understand, needs to be modified for short and long lenses use. The Ebony needs it too according to Howard's comment. The Canham Ellis is putting forward looks like a military device, but this wouldn't bother me too much if it works! I had previously looked at the new MQ 5x7 as an alternate. The prospect of a 6x17 back is quite interesting with that camera and it is light for a 5x7. I will ask you more, thanks Ellis. Not many comments on the Ebony so far. Not a well spraid camera?

-- Paul Schilliger (, March 30, 2000.

One thing that I suggest, is to rent whichever camera you are most keen on just now, rent the widest lens you want to use and go and use it for a month - if ou like it then buy it. This probably works out just a bit more expensive - unless who ever you rent it from gives rebate for buying the product - but it's better than shelling out a wad of cash and discovering something niggeling about the design that you don't like and find awkward or unnecessary.

-- David Kirk (, March 30, 2000.

Out of an Arca or a Sinar, there arn't too many cameras to rent, I'm afraid. Thanks anyway.

-- Paul Schilliger (, March 30, 2000.


The Ebony is a beautifully made camera, very different from the Linhof (I have a Super Tech V as well), each wonderful in its own way. For a pretty detailed review of the 8 X 10 version of the Ebony (which has an identical U-back to the SV45U2 you are considering) look for my comments under the index of reviews associated with this web site. If that leaves you with further questions, I'd be happy to talk to you about it by email. Hard to go wrong with any of the 3 cameras (Linhof, Ebony, Arca) that you mention.


-- Nathan Congdon (, March 30, 2000.

Paul... the Ebony makes a SW Super Wide Model specifically for this purpose... however, with a bag bellows and a 25mm recessed lens board you can make this work with almost any camera... and if not, just pay a few extra bucks to have a board slightly more recesses. I would not worry about movements if you are shooting 4x5 with anything less than a 65mm ... because all the lenses at that focal lenght do not have image circles big enough to benefit from movements, they barely cover 4x5.. unless you are shooting roll film. My new Rodenstock 55mm works fine on a 25mm recessed board even without changing the bellows on a VX125? Its just a lot cheaper to spend a few dollars on a really deep reccessed lens boards vs. buying a new camera... Ellis raises a good point, the DLC has an incredible range with one bellows, I think it is the largest of all cameras... with a bag bellows (if needed) or a deep recessed boards would be a simple cure- all for 4x5. I beleive the Lihnhof has the second longest range. That is one thing I miss now, the ability to use the same camera set up, regardless of the fl lens being used... However, it only effects my shooting say 15% of the time, so it's not worth changing...

-- Bill Glickman (, April 01, 2000.

Thank you! Yes, I shoot a lot on 120/220 films, this is why I appreciate some movements with the wide-angles. Also on 4x5, a few milimeters rise or fall have strong effects. The 47 and 65 mm are great lenses on both formats but difficult to use with movements. Having a second camera to use them properly is something I have considered, but, as out of my job, my pleasure is to pack my gear and walk, I am very tight to weight limitations. Also having used a Tech for almost ten years, I am accustomed to the easy draw and compression of the bellows to any lenghth, something I would miss on cameras that needs the rails or bellows to be changed. Tell me if I am wrong, but from the few cameras mentioned (Linhof, Arca, Ebony, Canham) only the Canham has a universal bellows for 47 to 500 mm lenses and rise and fall possibility? (I thought the Ebony would as well) Ellis, do you think the DLC would take the 47 XL with some movement? The MQ has the same shorter bellows as the DLC. Would it have limitations for 4x5 work? I guess the converting back takes the film a few milimeters further back. Would the MQ be a good choice for 4x5 and occasional 5x7 and 6x17 work?

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 01, 2000.

" Ellis raises a good point, the DLC has an incredible range with one bellows, I think it is the largest of all cameras... with a bag bellows (if needed) or a deep recessed boards would be a simple cure- all for 4x5. I beleive the Lihnhof has the second longest range."

Not even close!

The Technika 2000 goes from 35mm (without a recessed board) up to a 500mm Fuji.

The Master Technika goes from 55mm to the same 500 both with the standard bellows.

The discontinued Kardan Standard also had the technika type non interchangeable bellows and went from 47mm up.

-- Bob Salomon (, April 01, 2000.

Bob, please come up with a Tech 2000 that has some lens fall and we'll unroll the red carpet! I don't understand why this not yet available on such a good camera. Now, I was nearly convinced, but the bad thing I just read about Canham metal fields in the "index of cameras", is that they take Toyo lensboards (The wood-metal take Linhof-Wista type, a much better choice in my opinion too). That means if I use an adapter ($176 and added weight), I will loose almost 1 cm, too bad. Prospect of changing my lens boards for the awkward Toyo type is quite depressing. Have they changed their mind since this review was written?

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 01, 2000.

"Bob, please come up with a Tech 2000 that has some lens fall and we'll unroll the red carpet"

But they do have lots of lens fall. It just isn't as convenient as on a technikardan!

All Master technikas have an accessory shoe on top of the camera. This is held on by a large knurled nut under the top of the camera.

When you unscrew the nut and lift off the shoe there is a 1/4-20 tripod socket on the top of the camera.

When the camera is mounted to the tripod using this socket the normal geared rise become geared fall.

-- Bob Salomon (, April 01, 2000.

Bob, this is like flying upside down with an airplane: crash isn't far! I once had the drop bed fall on the lens.

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 01, 2000.

Why would the bed fall on the lens with a properly adjusted camera?

That socket was made this way to do just what you are trying to do - drop the lens. The bed should not be able to hit the lens with a properly functioning camera.

-- Bob Salomon (, April 01, 2000.

Bob, didn't we have all this discussion before? How much upside down rise would be available anyway with a 47 or 65 mm lens? Not any on my Tech V because of the presence of the spirit level casing. Perhaps 1 cm on the newer Master?

"Why would the bed fall on the lens with a properly adjusted camera?" I simply moved the camera in the studio. The little vibration when I put the tripod to the floor again was enough.

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 01, 2000.

The Master series has the lift up flap to allow additional vertical movement.

If the bed slipped with minimal movement in your studio the adjustments may need servicing. After all, at the newest a V is 24 years old.

-- Bob Salomon (, April 01, 2000.

Oh yes, you are right, Bob. I forgot about the lifting top. But I thought the flap was made to allow greater bellows movement with the 90 mm. Does it also give space to the front standard with lenses such as the 47 and 65 mm? Aren't they too far back? But how many Master users use it regularly upside down? I suppose if Linhof made it to be used that way, I can wait another 25 years before a new design eventually comes out of the factory! I will be long retired by then.

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 01, 2000.

An upside-down rise?! Good grief. But, I suppose if it works . . . !

-- neil poulsen (, April 01, 2000.

Paul: The Canham DLC I own is equipped with the Technika adapter board. The center point on the lens with a Linhof board is slightly lower than the center point with a standard Canham board. There is also enough fall still left on the front standard for any image I've had to use fall for. That you can push the standards all the way forward so the bed is effectively behind the camera is a very useful part of the design of the camera in my opinion, especially if you are going to do wide-angle work. Is it now USD$176? last time I checked it was still USD$150!

-- Ellis Vener (, April 01, 2000.

Thanks, Ellis. I was wrong saying the wooden Canham take Wista boards. I mixed up with the Lotus. Also checked the price for the Wista-Technika to Toyo adapter: less than $150. I suppose the 47 and 65 would have to be mounted on Toyo recessed boards. The others could be used with the adapter. I am really interested to have a closer look at one of these cameras. Do you know where I can get a brochure on the DLC and MQC ? Would Keith Canham be willing to send something oversea? Has he an e-mail? Thanks!

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 02, 2000.

I have extensively used several view cameras including the Canham DLC. My personal opinion (others will disagree with this) is that the Canham DLC is not that great for wide angle lenses. Wide angle lenses can be focused on the DLC without changing the bellows (a definite advantage) and it works very well with no movements, but using front rise causes the front standard to tilt forward. The commanding advantages of the DLC are its light weight and reasonable cost. As a comparison, I find the Technikardan 45S to be much easier to use for wide angle lenses (with the extra but quick effort of changing bellows), more rigid and more precise. The Technikardan is heavier and more expensive. Either camera might be the best choice, depending on the user's goals.

-- Michael Briggs (, April 04, 2000.

That is, in my experience, bizarre. Which lenses were you using? I have used a 90mm f/4.5 Grandagon, a 65mm f/4.5 Grandagon and a 47mm Super Angulon (on a recessed board) 9all lenses mounted on some form of Technika board. Could the lower mounting of the lenses on the Technika board have prevented the tilt? I am really curious.

-- Ellis Vener (, April 04, 2000.

I also wholeheartedly agree that the Canham DLC isn't for everyone. It is a compromise in a certain direction (lightweight, rigid, large lens range) over another (the mechanically precise feel of an Arca Swiss F-C or a Linhof TK45s)

-- Ellis Vener (, April 04, 2000.

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