Linhof Technikardan film registration : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am having film registration problems with a Linhof Technikardan 45S that I suspect will be widely shared. Calculations based on careful test shots, as well as measurements with a homemade rig, concur in the conclusion that sheet film in Fidelity holders comes to sit about 0.5 mm behind the plane of the groundglass. The discrepancy is too large to be chalked up to measurement error. The camera back was inspected by HP in NJ and Linhof in Munich and found to meet their specifications. So I suspect there is a mismatch between Linhof specifications and Fidelity dimensions. Btw, no such discrepancy exists in my Linhof Kardan GT 810. Any suggestions as how to get this fixed?

-- Frank Doering (, September 20, 2001



I don't know or own the Technikardan, but on my older Technika there are some small distance-plates to adjust the position of the groundglas. If you can measure exact, check this out and try to move the groundglass 0.5 mm back to match the film. Did you measure with a film sheet inside the holder?

-- Thomas Vaehrmann (, September 21, 2001.

Linhof;s ground glass rests on shims to adjust the position of the film plane by service.

Normally this is done by adjusting to a factory recommended position. But the question is have you used this holder to shoot film and find it less then sharo or are you doing a series of meansurements prior to shooting?

If so shoot film first.

Have you sent the camera to Marflex or just called them?

-- Bob Salomon (, September 21, 2001.

Have you eliminated the film holder from the equation? Does it meet factory specs across the entire surface area?

-- Michael Kadillak (, September 21, 2001.

I have carefully tested the focus of my Technikardan 45S and it is correct. It seems very unlikely that film registration problems "will be widely shared" on a camera that has been sold for almost a decade (the "S" version) and used by numerous experience photographers.

If it were true that the film plane lies 0.5 mm behind the ground glass plane, this is easily fixed by adding shims in front of the ground glass (the other direction would be harder to fix). My suggestion: carefully focus the camera and take a test photograph of an object with fine detail. Using a fairly close object will give you a small depth of field to make the test more stringent. Place a label on the object being photographed so that there will be zero chance of being confused about which film is which. Remove the screws that hold the ground glass in place and add shims totaling 0.5 mm on top of the existing metal shims. For temporary shims, you can use one or more pieces of cardboard or masking tape. Replace the ground glass and screws, change the label on the object, refocus and take another photo. Examine the negatives to see which is in better focus.

-- Michael Briggs (, September 21, 2001.

I dont know Frank I have had my TK45 for 10 years.....the only times I got images out of focus it was my fault. (wrong movement, not paying attention, etc). I think maybe it was your holder that was faulty. Try it with a different holder from a different manufacturer and see what the results are.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, September 21, 2001.

Strange that Frank doen't anser any of the questions raised or the suggetions.

Why not Frank?

I checked with Krikor at Marflex today and he was not familiar with this so some feedback would help.

-- Bob Salomon (, September 21, 2001.

I have been using a TK45S for many years and have never had out of focus photographs other than when it was my own fault. I use a Fuji Quickload holder and Quickload film for color. I use Grafmatic holders for B&W. I replaced my standard ground glass screen with a Boss screen a couple of years ago. It made a lot of difference for me. Critical focusing is really easy with the Boss. I make prints between 30"x40" and 48"x60" and if I had a focus problem, it certainly would be evident.


-- Jim Brick (, September 21, 2001.

Sorry for not getting on the thread any earlier; I'm having connectivity problems. Thanks for all the suggestions.

I think I have found the cause of the problem. The fabric that's used as a lighttrap on the camera back seems to be a little in the way. It is fully compressed by the groundglass frame, so that the frame sits flush with the back. But it isn't fully compressed by the film holder (which has a wider rim than the groundglass frame and therefore, I presume, exerts less pressure per square in on the fabric). As a result, the film holder comes to sit a little further back than it should. One can actually see a small gap, which can be closed by pressing on the back from behind.


-- Frank Doering (, September 22, 2001.

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