Advice on the MMP 'English Linhof' : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Moring all. I find myself in Sydney on holiday and have come across an MMP 4x5 technical camera for sale. I've used the Linhof Technika III at home for a while and would like to venture into the large format game. I've never heard of MMP and I wonder if anyone has one or can tell me a bit about their cameras. This one is in 'ok' condition and may need a new bellows. It going with a 135 schneider - also in 'ok' condition. Any info or advice would be appreciated as this may be a good entry camera for me - after perhaps a clean and a service.

Any web links would be very useful as I'm living out of a backpack at the moment.

Regards all.


-- Ciaran O'Brien (, January 24, 2001


Ciaran: I have used an MPP for several years and it is one of my favorite cameras, along with my Graphic View II. It has full back movements like the Linhof III and shift, swing, rise, and back lens tilt on the front standard. Its only shortcoming is no forward lens tilt. The cameras are very well made and smooth operating with triple extension bellows. It will handle lenses from 90mm up to about 12 inch, as it has close to 16 inches of bellows when fully extended. To use wide angle lenses easiest, release the inner lens track and move it to the rear so the lens standard doesn't wind up on the point where the bed drop hinge is. The camera also has a revolving back, and some versions had a rangefinder. There is an MPP website for fellow users. The site has the different models listed. They are good cameras.


-- Doug Paramore (, January 24, 2001.

The forward lens tilt or fall is got by dropping the baseboard, which hinges down to about 25 degrees (never measured it, or read the specification, I'm afraid). Some models have a two position drop.
It is a very flexible camera, but IMHO not as easy to use as the later Linhof Technikas. Given the price difference though, I think the trade-off is worthwhile, and I now run two MPPs, one of which is fitted with a coupled rangefinder.
It's worth checking whether or not the model you're about to buy is fitted with an 'international' back. The majority of them were sold with a fixed spring back where the GG holder is non-removeable from the camera. You can only use standard DD slides with this type of back, and can't fit a rollfilm adapter.
The factory used to be able to replace the earlier backs with the international version for a very reasonable price, but MPP has closed down may years ago now. This means that spares, including lens panels, are practically non-existent, so make sure that everything is there, and everything works. There should be 4 knobs on the corners of the body to release and lock the back movements. Check that none of them have been sheared off in the threaded holes. The back should rotate smoothly, and click stop into a vertical or horizontal position. The locks on the focusing and rise mechanism should, well, lock.
I suspect the lens is an old f/4.7 Schneider Xenar, which was more-or-less standard issue on MPPs, because it's one of the few lenses that will allow the camera to be folded while the lens panel is still in place. These old Xenars aren't usually found in good condition, and don't have enough coverage for anything except a few millimetres of rise or cross.

There's an MPP users club that has a good website. You can find out nearly everything you need to know from there, and they give the dimensions for new lens panels etc. I had the URL bookmarked, but this is a shared computer, and now it's gone. I'll find it and post it later.
Good luck.

-- Pete Andrews (, January 25, 2001.

OK, that was fairly painless to find.
This link will take you to the MPP users club Micro technical guide The initials "MPP" stand for Micro Precision Products, by the way. I don't know what MMP stands for :^)

-- Pete Andrews (, January 25, 2001.

Ciaran: Pete is right about dropping the bed to get forward tilt. I forgot to mention that you can turn the camera on its side (it has a tripod hole on the side) and use the lens swing as forward and rearward tilt.


-- Doug Paramore (, January 25, 2001.

I didn't know you were a fellow MPPer Doug. I had you down as a 'wood and brass' man. I guess it's easy to get the wrong impression of someone from these BBs.Here's a picture of my Mk7 Micro Technical, showing the maximum forward tilt.
I'm only posting it for the fun of it really, since I've been playing with one of those toy digital cameras.
They're not as bad as people make out you know. The devil hasn't appeared and claimed my soul for using it, or anything.......yet!

-- Pete Andrews (, January 26, 2001.

Oooops. Turned on bold by mistake.
Better turn it off again.

-- Pete Andrews (, January 26, 2001.

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