Which TK 45?

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I am considering the purchase of a 4x5 Linhof Technikardan with normal and bag bellows. What are the major differences between the TK 45, which is often available in the used market, and the current TK 45S, which is rarely available used because it is current? Secondly, beyond the technical differences, has anyone used both and chosen one rather the other? If so why? Thanks, Bob

-- bob moulton (bobmargaretm@home.com), November 04, 2000


Bob- most important difference is the presence of zero-detents on the S model. This vastly speeds setup of the camera. The design of the rear L bracket was also strengthened but I am not sure that coincided with the S model, or if some earlier models had that change.

-- Glenn Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), November 04, 2000.

A salesman told me the TK45 does not have zero detents for swings and tilts and is not as well reinforced in the L standards. I have never seen the two side by side do I don't know if he was right.

By the way, my TK45s is longer in the bellows and heavier than the sales brochure said it would be. 3000g vs 3400g and 485 mm vs 504mm. The length was welcome at least!

You didn't ask, but a good source for a new one would be Robert White.

Good luck.

-- John Hennessy (northbay@directcon.net), November 04, 2000.

The "S" model has four clickstops: both front and rear swings and tilts. I think the previous model only has clickstops on the swings.

The contruction of the "L" shaped standards is different. The front standard of the previous model has a smaller cross-section than the rear standard. The current "S" model has identical size standards on the front and back. The construction has also changed: the previous model uses single pieces of metal bent to shape, while the current model has three pieces of metal assembled into the L shape. This was probably done to reduce manufacturing cost, as achieving right angles and no twist might be difficult in the bending process.

The brochures I have for the two different versions show rather small differences in the specifications such as weight, bellows extension and movements. I am not sure which of these of real and which are slight differences in measuring.

Overall the differences seem pretty small.

-- Michael Briggs (michaelbriggs@earthlink.net), November 05, 2000.

I was told that, as someone else said, the change in the shape of the L standard was strictly a function of manufacturing and not intended to be an improvement. Assuming this is true, the only difference of any consequence to you would be the zero detents. Some people like them, since they make it a little easier to bring everything to a zero position before starting with your adjustments and when folding up the camera. Some people dislike them because they can make it difficult to make a very small adjustment in a swing or tilt.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis@earthlink60.net), November 07, 2000.

In response to the previous response. On many cameras the detents can inhibit making small tilts or swings because they tend to guide the camera back to the neutral position. This is not a problem on the TK 45S because there are small levers to disengage the detents. This shows Linhof's attention to detail in the design of these cameras.

-- Michael Briggs (michaelbriggs@earthlink.net), November 07, 2000.

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