Technikardan 45S lens selection 450 mm+ : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

The TK 45S's conveniently small 96 x 99 mm lensboard limits lens selection to lenses with a rear element of 80 mm or less. Does this mean that for focal lengths of 450 mm or more, neither Schneider nor Rodenstock has anything available, and I am limited to Japanese lenses (e.g., Nikon M/f9 450 mm lens, or Nikon's 360/500 mm telephoto)?

-- David Caldwell (, April 17, 2000


The lensboard in no way limits your lens selection. It accepts 3 shutters and Linhof supplies the 001059 and 001119 lensboards for all Technika/Tecnikardan cameras.

What you are confusing is not a restriction with the lensboard but the problem with lenses fitting through the hole in the camera body. This is what limits lens size. Not the shutter.

There isare another restriction on this or any other camera as well. Bellows draw.

On a TK 45 the longest lens recommended by the factory is the 500mm T Nikkor on the 001119 Copal 3 lensboard.

Of course you may not be able to focus very close using this lens.

A 500mm lens on 45 has a 140 field of view while a 360mm has 18.50. This is not all that great a difference. Same as a 145mm vs a 110mm on 35mm film. These coverages are the horizontal angles.

-- Bob Salomon (, April 17, 2000.

For a long lens, the best choice is probably the Fujinon-C 450 mm. This lens has been discussed before on this forum. I have used it on my Technikardan 45S, so I know that it will work. Compared to the Nikkor-M 450 mm, the Fuji is lighter and smaller, fitting in a Copal #1 shutter. I don't find the f12.5 aperture to be a problem. The camera has enough extension to focus on objects within a few meters.

The Linhof spec sheet gives the maximum camera extension as 485 mm. Of the telephotos listed on Schneider's web site (Apo Tele-Xenar HM 400 mm and 800 mm), the 400 mm would work but the 800 mm has a flange focal length that is too long. For a camera with sufficient bellows draw the Fuji-C would be a better choice than a telephoto. Of Nikkor's telephotos, all with focal lengths of 600 mm or shorter all have flange focal lengths so that the camera should be able to focus them. The longest of these is the 600 mm f9, with a flange focal length of 409 mm. This lens is heavy, in a Copal 3, and might be too much to work well on any field camera. Also, it rear barrel has a diameter of 80 mm and so probably won't fit. The 500 mm Nikkor-T is much lighter, but again a non-telephoto would be a better choice since the bellows is long enough.

The Nikkor-T 720 mm would probably work. This lens has a flange focal length of 469 mm, so the camera would focus it on very distant objects. The rear barrel has a diamter of 54 mm. It is lighter than the 600 mm Nikkor-T because it is slower (f16) and fits in a Copal 1. This very long focal length might push the camera (any lightweight field camera) to or past its limits of rigidity and stabilty. Others have commented on the difficulty of getting sharp images with a very long focal length lens. If you are interested in this extreme focal length, it would probably be best to get comments from someone who has actually used it on a TK 45S, or to rent one.

The best choice is probably the Fuji-C 450 mm. If you want a tigher view, you could crop, using slower, fine grained film if necessary.

-- Michael Briggs (, April 17, 2000.

In addition to the Japanese lenses mentioned above, you can also use the Fuji 600 f12 telephoto. I have had one for about a year, and am reasonably pleased with it.

I have an older Linhof TK 45 (predates to the S model), and use a Gitzo 500 series tripod with a 500 series 3 way pan tilt head. Sorry, I don't recall the specific model numbers, but I've had this stuff for awhile, and I doubt that any of it is in current production, or if it is, is an identical match to what I have.

At any rate, with this relatively stable platform, the camera, when extended 383+ mm and with a relatively heavy lens (1 kg) on the front standard, is very prone to vibration. The vibration can be due to wind or even an exhuberant tripping of the shutter. So some care is required to obtain sharp images.

One thing that might help would be to use the reinforcing bar that Linhof sells. If this has a tripod mount hold near the center, it would provide a better balance than can be achieved with just the camera. I haven't used one, because I prefer to avoid the extra weight, at least for now. Another alternative, assuming that you own a tripod head with a quick release plate, would be an extra long mounting plate. Then you could position the camera as needed relative to the tripod head.

Schneider and Rodenstock make great lenses, but I must admit that I don't understand your implicit knock of the Japanese lenses.


-- Bruce M. Herman (, April 18, 2000.

I am grateful for the answers to my question. My hunch was right: the only lenses that I can use with the TK 45 in focal lengths of 450 mm or more are Nikkor and Fujinon lenses. However, I did not mean to slight the Japanese lenses. In hindsight, I understand why others read my inquiry in that way and I apologize for the offence. I have rented the Nikkor-M 450 mm f/9 lens and found it a great lens for certain shots (e.g., shooting Monterey Pines at Point Lobos on the cliffs across the cove, and photographing picturesque white tufts risng above the water at Mono Lake at twilight, the pink sky providing a backdrop to the pastel blue waters of the lake). It is compact enough to fit easily in my Zone VI camera bag with all my other stuff. 6 I was unaware and surprised to learn that the TK 45 can use lenses of telephoto focal lengths of 600 mm. Brigg9s observations were helpful: the Fujinon f/12 600 mm lens requires only 383+ mm extension and Nikkor9s f/9 600 mm lens requires only 409 mm extension at infinity focussing. There is even the option of a Nikkor-T f/16 720 mm lens that is lighter than Nikkor9s f/9 600 mm lens. I had always assumed that the maximum focal length lens that could be used with the TK 45 was the Nikkor T 500 mm lens. Brigg9s revelation that the Fuji T-600 mm f/12 lens weighs 1 kg (2.2 lbs) doomed that lens of any further consideration, although Briggs stated that he felt reasonably pleased with it. It would be too big for the pockets of my Zone VI camera bag. 6 Thanks to Bob Salomon9s comments, I learned that the longest lens recommended by Linhof is the 500 mm T Nikkor; and that the angle of view of the 500 mm is only about 4 degrees less than that of a 360 mm lens. These comments led me to give serious consideration as to whether the 360 mm lens might be a better selection for my needs, since it would also be useful in 4 x 5 format for portraits and I can use cropping or a switch to 120 mm roll film format to get a narrower angle of view. I could always rent the 450 mm Nikkor-M f/9 lens for special excursions. 6 I was also surprised to learn that users of the Fujinon-C 450 lens found that its f/12.5 aperture did not hamper focussing. I had mistakenly assumed the contrary. The price, compactness, and lightness of that lens certainly are appealing to me. 6 It is my understanding that the at infinity the 500 mm T Nikkor lens requires less bellows extension than the 450 mm Fujinon-C f12.5 or the 450-M f/9 Nikkor, but no one seems to be saying that they are having unacceptable stability problems with these 450 mm lenses. I did not when I used the Nikkor 450-M f/9 lens. Compactness and cost favor the selecton of a single 360 mm or 450 mm lenses over the 500 mm lenses, since the latter requires. I believe, purchase of a combination 360/500 lens. I do not have room for two more lenses, and I do not want to switch to a 12 lb. back pack.

-- David Caldwell (, April 19, 2000.

If I had to go for a 450 mm, provided I had the bellows of a TKs, it would certainly be the Fujinon C, over the Nikkor and it's #3 shutter. Unless I would want a 720 and look at the Nikkor T500. But there is a lens no one seems to mention and it is perhaps overlooked, it's the Yamasaki Congo T500. This lens is big (15 cm) and has just enough image circle for 4x5". But on the good side, it is short on bellows (287 mm), in Copal #1, weighs only 500 g and has a f9.5 luminous aperture. It is also relatively cheap as it can be purchased directly from the factory. 500 is a good step from a 300 mm. and could be a blessing for someone like me on short bellows. I wonder if someone has used it successfully?

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 19, 2000.

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