Linhof Technika / 150mm lens - How close can I focus? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I've only been using larger format for a couple of years. I've never paid attention to close ups because that isn't my primary subject matter. My first 4x5 was Crown Graphic - first with @ 135 Xenar and later with the 150mm Sinaron S that I now use on my Technika V. With the graphic, I made a couple of fairly close up shots of flowers, etc. - maybe from a foot and a half or so. I don't really remember. They turned out nice and I was pleased. With the Linhof I tried focusiong on some flowers in my kitchen and I wasn't able to focus the camera on a blossom from around 12" away. I tried extending the lens and focusing but didn't have any luck and I began to wonder what I was doing wrong. I thought back to my earlier attempts with the Graphic which seemed to work and felt that maybe I should start looking into what I was trying to do and asked a few people for some information and advice. Any feed back is welcome.

-- Bill Lester (, March 02, 2001


What bellows extension can you get on the Technika?

At 1:1 reproduction (life size); your bellows extension will be 2x the focal length, and the distance from lens to subject will be 2x focal length.

This is approximate, as the lens node isn't usually at the lensboard surface. A spec sheet on the lens might say where it is.

Rack your lens out to its maximum extension, and move the camera back and forth till the image focuses. Then measure distance to the subject. This will tell you quickly how close you can focus with this lens/camera combination.

-- Charlie Strack (, March 02, 2001.

Bill: I think your Linhof has a triple extension bellows. Have you released the inner track and pulled it out all the way? You should have about 18" or so of bellows fully extended. That would be three focal lengths with the 150mm lens. The Graphic had 12-14 inches. You should be able to get more than a 1 to 1 closeup. Charlie is correct about moving the camera. Use the lens to set image size, move the camera back and forth for fine focus.


-- Doug Paramore (, March 02, 2001.

There is an abundance of old pretty good oscilloscope camera lenses around that are good for this kind of close up photography. Typically they are 75mm focal length, but not wide angle. They will only fill the frame on 4X5 when used close up.


-- Steve Grimes (, March 02, 2001.

I also have a Technika V and it has either a 15: or 16" bellow, I forget which. Assuming it's 16" (400 mm) a 150 mm lens should allow you to get something greater than a 1-1 (which would require only 300 mm of extension) reproduction ratio. Extend the bellows as far as you have been extending it and then measure.If it isn't right at or very close to 16" then perhaps you're not racking out the third extension. You're going to have very little depth of field when you're this close to the subject so there isn't going to be much in focus even if you're doing everything right.

-- Brian Ellis (, March 03, 2001.

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