M679 or TK23 for pro architectural work?

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I am currently using a Hasselblad Flexbody for architectural and interior work, and I find the movements hopeless. The only 2"x3" monorail camera I can source here (New Zealand) is Linhof or Cambo. Deciding to go for Linhof I could get a new TK23 or a shop demo M679 at what seems a good discount (about US$3000 inc hassel & RZ67 adapters, ground glass back, and case). The TK is light (2.8kg)and compact and marginally cheaper, while the M679 is heavy (3.8kg), and needs a big "systainer" case. The TK movements are easy to use, but the geared movements of the M679 are a joy, and the whole is rock solid. Lightness and compactness or weight and solidity?

And what of the future? Is the M679's "digital readiness" all its cut up to be?

My other concern is I want to do 6x9. The TK does it straight away, while I am not sure if the M679 Linhof back adapter is available and at what price. With the TK, the Linhof backs are a big investment, while with the M679 I can in the meantime use my Hasselblad backs, and buy cheapish 2nd hand Mamiya RZ67 backs. Someone mentioned that the M679 can take Horseman backs - do you mean 6x9, and on which adapter?

Any comments would be very welcome. I certainly need them as this is a substantial professional investment for me. Thanks very much!

-- Gerald Lopez (gezz@photographer.net.nz), September 13, 2000


First the M679 has a Profi III ballhead as its base. The TK does not so add the weight of as good ball head to the weight of the TK.

You can only use Linhof Super Rolex back on the TK 23 if you want 59. The slide in Rapid Rolex for 23 cameras is only made in 67 so wiyhout adding a Super Rolex the TK is not "ready" to shoot anything. You can also buy an adapter for the TK 23 to use Hasselblad backs.

Yje M679 and the M679cc are here to stay. They are very viable cameras. The M679 uses any Graflok type 23 back, including Horseman, by adding the Universal back adapter. This adapter also accepys Silvestri backs and accessories, Mamiya RB backs, Mamiya motorized back and the 68 back

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), September 14, 2000.

The Linhofs are fine machines, but have you considered the Arca-Swiss 69F Metric... get light weight, geared movements (with geared axis tilt announced at Photokina) and system expansion at lower cost than either Linhof system.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), September 14, 2000.

I concure with Glen, the Arca 6x9 Metric seems to be what your really looking for. The Arca provides the high quality and geared movements of the Linhof, with the light wieght of the TK. It's really the best of both worlds. Before you buy, check out the Arca 6x9 F-Line Metric you'll be glad that you did. Bob P.

-- Robert Pellegrino (bob.pellegrino@juno.com), September 14, 2000.

Thanks very much for your stimulating replies. I appreciate your recommendation of the Arca 69, but I can't find Arca here, so I'll be buying blind.

I think I'll go for the M679. I have the shop demo with me for trial, and I like the movements, and for that extra kilo I'm getting a solid tool. Its a bit more expensive than the new TK, but not that much more (about $600). I think I'll get the Multi Adapter so I can use a Horseman 6x9 back, which is 1/5 the price of the Linhof. I'm quite happy having the option of also shooting on square format. The only thing is I'll need a Sylvestri 6x9 ground glass. Does anyone know where I can source one? Thanks very much.

-- Gerald Lopez (gezz@photographer.net.nz), September 14, 2000.

"The only thing is I'll need a Sylvestri 6x9 ground glass. Does anyone know where I can source one? Thanks very much. "

Your dealer can get one from Linhof.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), September 15, 2000.

I`m very shure you would better take the Arca Swiss 6x9 blind then a mixed up of 3 different Companies.

Good luck, Gerald

P.S. I^m not working for Arca but i use one since 10 years!

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), September 17, 2000.

What's preventing you from obtaining an Arca-Swiss? Couldn't you order one from an American Dealer?

Also, what objection do you have with the Cambo? I've seen them, and they appear to be a decent camera. I suspect the TK and the Arca-Swiss are more portable. But the Cambo should be at least as portable as the M679. Calumet offers a nice package deal for both the 4x5 and 2x3 models. (Or, used to.)

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), September 17, 2000.

"I`m very shure you would better take the Arca Swiss 6x9 blind then a mixed up of 3 different Companies. "

Nonsense. Linhof sells Silvestri in Germany. You only deal with Linhof.

-- Bob Salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), September 17, 2000.

I use a TK 23 for architectural work and love it: the full monorail performance is excellent for the job. I think the M679 only provides shift by tilting the bed and then straightening up the standards, refocusing etc, which you are going to find very frustrating indeed in the field. The rear standard on the TK can wobble slightly in windy situations (are you in Wellington?!), but I cure this by putting little rubber wedges between the monorail sections. Otherwise it is tough, sturdy and reliable, and I have sometimes just slung it in a holdall and thrown it into the car! (But I don't recommend that with the lenses...)When it is closed, it is a pretty solid lump of aluminium. You can get a Hasselblad back adapter, although it cannot be used with the recessed lens board you need for a 47mm lens. Rapid Rollex 6x7 backs are very convenient, and are designed to be used with the sprung back, but have some film flatness problems, usually cured by wrapping the end roller inside with some tape to enlarge its diameter slightly and seat the film better in the aperture.

-- Ian Brocklebank (ibrockle @waitrose.com), January 31, 2001.

The M679cc has rear rise and shift as well as the tilt and swing movements.

The original M679 did not have the rear rise and shift.

The M679 was introduced at the 1998 Photokina and has been available since 1999.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), January 31, 2001.

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