Linhof Technika vs. Technikardan? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Recently I saw Linhof’s brochures for the Technikardan 45S and the Master Technika and, from the specs, they looked like they would handle the same range of lenses from wide to telephoto. For someone who does mostly landscape, architecture, and macro photos (flowers, rocks, etc; no jewelry or extreme close-ups), I don’t need extreme movements, and from what I’ve heard a field camera (or a hybrid design like a Canham DLC45) is simply the most practical and convenient travel-wise. My current lens range is 90-300, and I plan on acquiring a Fujinon 450C. Can anyone tell me why I would buy a Technikardan over a Technika considering the former is a little heavier (I think), more “exposed” in the folded state, and has the problem of bellows pinching during folding? In other words, what does the TK offer over the Technika for a shooter like (or unlike) myself? Thanks.--Tony

-- Tony Karnezis (, October 02, 2001


I've owned and used both the Technikardan and the Technika. I personally prefer the Technika (my present camera) but the Technikardan does have some advantages that may or may not be important to you. They include the following: (1) the back movements are easier to use on the Technikardan; (2) The Technikardan with bag bellows is probably more user friendly with lenses wider than 90 mm unless perhaps you bought the 2000 which I haven't used but which I understand is easier to use with wide angle lenses than the Master Technika. (3) The Technikardan's bellows is about 4" longer than the Technika, making it usable with somewhat longer lenses without resorting to a telephoto lens (or allowing use of a longer telephoto lens). (4) The Technikardan has bubble levels which are nice for architectural work particularly; (5) some of the Technikardan movements are marked in milimeters. There probably are others that don't come to mind but these are the main ones that I remember from my Technikardan days. I actually didn't care much for the camera - I found it a pain to open, close, operate, and carry around - but many people love them and they do have some advantages compared to the Technika, though these advantages may not be important to you (as they weren't to me). As with any camera, it comes down to personal choices.

-- Brian Ellis (, October 02, 2001.


Like any other camera decision, this is really going to come down to personal preference. Still, I've used both e cameras, and for the way I shoot, I prefer the Tchnikardan TK45S over the Master Technika (I have not shot the newer, rangefinderless Master Technika 2000).

Here are a few of the differences that I noted.

The Master Technika folds up smaller and faster (but not by as much as you might think, once you get used to folding the Technikardan) and is more self-protected when folded. It is also lighter.

The Technikardan TK45S has a longer maximum extension and more movements. It has the full compliment of front and rear movements while the Master Technika lacks shifts and rise/fall on the rear. Also, the tilt and swing on the rear of the Master (all Technikas for that matter) uses the four poster method. This is a clever implimentation that allows both rear swing and tilt as well as a little added extension. Still, it's a compromise in terms of ease of use (four knobs and two latches) and magnitude of these movements. Again, personal preference, but I found the back movements not only more complete on the TK45S, but a LOT easier to use as well.

The TK45S is also a LOT easier to use with wide angles - IF you have the bag bellows - and IF you need to use movements with these lenses. The MT and MT2000 can both focus some pretty wide lenses, but anything shorter than a 90mm rests in the body cavity (box) which can severely limit both the magnitude of and access to the front standard movements. Not unusable, just more limiting than the TK45S with bag bellows.

This was a big one for me, while the revolving back on the MT is nice, it causes vignetting of the corners with lenses longer than 210mm. The longer the lens, the worse the vignetting. With a 450mm Fujinon C or 500mm Nikkor T-ED, it becomes substantial (IMHO). In my experience the 450mm Fujinon C is, at best, marginally useful on the MT. In addition to the vignetting, you're really maxing out the bellows on the MT with such a long non-telephoto design. This means you can't focus real close and since the back is used for added extension, you loose the ability to do back movements. Again, usable, but barely (an extender board would help with the extension issue, but not the vignetting).

So, for me personally, I prefer the TK45S. Going in, I actually thought I'd find TK45S complicated and a chore to use in the field, and initially thought I'd prefer simpler, more classic design of the MT. In the end, after getting used to the way the TK45S operates (which didn't take that long), I found it much less limiting and easier to use FOR ME than the Master Technika. Again, we're getting back to personal preference here. I tend to use lenses between 110 and 300mm for the vast majority of my work, by I also do use wider lenses (75mm the widest currently) and longer lenses (the 450mm Fujinon C quite regularly). I sold the Master Technika and kept the TK45S which I am still using quite regulary. No camera is perfect, and certainly no one camera can meet the needs of all users for all uses. My biggest complaints about the TK45S are the weight (it is a BEAST) and the location of the tripod sockets. You can find the specifics on these two issues in the archives.

One more point. The TK45S is usually less expensive. Certainly when bought new, but usually also on the used market (although there tends to me more used Master Technikas available to choose from since I think it was a more popular model when new).

If I was just shooting with lenses from 90mm - 300mm, I probably would have been perfectly happy with the MT (although I still prfer the ease of using the back movements on the TK45S). Throw in the 450mm Fuji, and I definitely prefer the TK45s. But, that's just my personal preference. Others will, and do, prefer the Master Technika.

Finally, you might want to check out Paul Butzi's review of the TK45S at:


-- Kerry Thalmann (, October 02, 2001.

I read the reviews from several prior users of the TK45S prior to acquiring one and am glad that I did not listen to the minor negatives listed for this camera. The tendency of the bellows to be pinched and damaged by a mistake when folding it up is easily resolved by taking the bellows off of the camera. A simple operation that takes five seconds and involves two levers on the front and rear standards. No big deal.

Bottom line is that while no camera is perfect, your desire to use a 450 mm lens in my opinion would lead me to recommend the TK45S for your application because of the longer bellows extension as previous posters have already stated. The Master with the rangefinder, as I have learned from my friend and pro Richard Boulware, has one application that bears mention - firing off a sharp hand held 4x5 photograph at the spur of the moment. In the art of compromise, balancing each of these flexibilities is where you will find the decision that is best for you. Either way you go, you will not be disappointed because of the fact that it is a Linhof. Good Luck

-- Michael Kadillak (, October 02, 2001.


I concur with the preceding comments but would add my personal experience.

I use both cameras but find I use the MT2000 more frequenntly.

I shoot a lot of architecture and very often on 6x12 with the Apo-Grandagon 35mm which functions easily on the MT2000 with a FLAT lens panel. To use the same on the TK45s requires a special sunk panel which incurs the associated problems of accessing the controls, particularly with a centre-filter in place.

With nothing shorter than 90mm you would always be working on the front rail and have considerable rise available fairly easily. For lens fall I turn the camera upside down on the tripod (I use Foba plates on both bottom screwpoints and on the top where the accessory shoe normally sits.

The long lens issue is solved by the use of a Wista extension tube set. With it I utilise 450mm Nikkor-M and 600mm Nikkor-T.

Despite the TK45s having sufficient bellows draw to accommodate these lenses without the tube I feel that the MT2000 is a more rigid unit. Heavy lenses and RFHs always seem to stretch the rigidity of the side mounted frames on the TK 'L' brackets.

Twice last week I did shots with the MT2000 handheld - one from a cherry-picker and the other from an inclinator - and that fairly frequent. I replace the accessory shoe and fit the optical viewfinder.

Both cameras have magnificent build quality and precision of alignment. The final decision rests with you and the application to which you intend applying the kit.

Cheers ... WG

-- Walter Glover (, October 02, 2001.

1: The master Technika uses lenses from 75mm up on the main focus rails of the camera. The 75 to 150mm are normally mounted on the recessed 001016 lensboard. The longer ones like the 150 use the recessed board only if you want to leave the lens on the camera when closed.

2: The master Technika uses lenses from 55 to 65mm on a special Auxialliary Focusing Device mounted on the lens standard and with the standard inside the camera body.

Without substantially loosing alignment 35 to 47mm lenses can not be used.

3: The Technika 2000 has a built-in wide angle focusing system inside the camera body and it can use lenses from 35mm to 65mm with no additional accessories (other then lensboards of course).

4: The Technikardan accepts lenses from 65mm up on a flat board and 35mm to 58mm on various recessed boards.

5: The TK has a bellows that is about 25% longer then the Master technika so it can use longer lenses and focus closer with any lens that can be mounted.

6: The Master technika and the TK cameras accept the same accessories for viewing and, accept for the adapter, the same compendium.

7: Obvious to anyone who opens the TK factory package there is no reason to remove the bellows when closing the camera. This is obvious as the bellows is mounted on the closed camera in the factory package.

The only requirement necessary to closing the camera without damaging the bellows is to follow the directions.

The directions on closing the TK are very simple. 1: Place all controls on 0 2: Unlock all green locks. 3 Lock all red locks. 4: Collapse the rail. 5: Turn the focus knob in the direction of the arrow.

Do it a few times and it is simple and fast. Much faster then writing or reading this.

Lastly the movements on the front and back of the TK are much greater and the front and rear tilts and swings are on axis where the Technika has less movements and the back movemnts are base movements.

All in all they are quite different in concept, design and range of application.

-- Bob Salomon (, October 02, 2001.

Bob wrote:

2: Unlock all green locks. 3 Lock all red locks.

I think you got those backwards (at least on my camera). On my TK45S, I return all front and back rise/fall and tilt movements to their neutral positions and then lock them in place (green levers). I then loosen all red levers, disengage the front and rear swing detents, crank the focus knob forward and pivot the standards as it moves forward. Again more tedious to explain than to do. It really is quite fast once you get used to it, and like the Master Technika, you can leave a lens mounted with on the camera during transport (without the same size limitations as the MT).

WRT to the bellows, I'm more worried about damage to the corners when it's bouncing around in my backpack than wrinkling them when folding/unfolding. I do place the camera inside a padded storage case before putting it into my backpack. But it still has the potential to cause premature wear to the corners of the oversized bellows. I suppose for really long hikes where the camera will be bouncing around a lot, I could remove the bellows and store them separately. Of course, the camera is sufficiently heavy that it rarely goes on really long hikes with me anyway. For that, I have the much lighter Toho.

The TK45S and the MT (or MT2000) really are about as different as two cameras can get. They share the same lensboards, back accessories and brand name, but other than that, they are about as different in concept and operation as two "field" cameras can get. Some love one and hate the other and vise versa. All depends on your needs and your working style. Most of the "complaints" you read about the Technikardan come from people who have never actually used one. Maybe they played with it in the store for five minutes, decided it was too complicated and then ruled it out. If you read the online reviews from people who have actually used a Technikardan for any length of time, they are generally quite positive. More than any other "field" camera, this is one people seem to either love or hate. This is in direct relation to the uniqueness of it's design, which I think is it's biggest strength, but other consider it's biggest weakness. See what I mean. Love it or hate, only you will know for sure - after you've had a chance to use one and learn it's unique operation. It's not rocket science, and I grew quickly accustomed to using it after a few hours in the field. Still, it is unlike any other field camera on the market.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, October 02, 2001.

"Can anyone tell me why I would buy a Technikardan over a Technika considering the former is a little heavier (I think), more “exposed” in the folded state, and has the problem of bellows pinching during folding? In other words, what does the TK offer over the Technika for a shooter like (or unlike) myself?"

because you need the versatility and prefer the ease of use of a monorail view camera over the machinations of a technical camera.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, October 02, 2001.

As someone who has never used a field camera, I guess I don't appreciate some of the compromises that are inherent to the design of a field camera. I've seen comments like Ellis' before about the machinations of a technical camera, especially with gloves on in the winter. It sounds like the TK may be better for me. I'll try to rent one. Anyone in NYC want to lend me theirs? (Just kidding)

Thanks for the great, informative answers as usual. Sincerely, Tony

-- Tony Karnezis (, October 02, 2001.


I'm not pretending to speak for Ellis, but based on my experience, ALL large format cameras are a series of compromises involving, size, weight, maximum extension, rigidity, wide angle capability, movements (which ones and how much), ease of use and cost (at the very least). Each design isthe culminations of a unique set of compromises. The goal is to find the right set of compromises that best match your needs (and you wallet).

In general, a monorail has more extensive movements and they are easier to get at (since it is two exposed standards riding atop a rail). Technical cameras - which is what the Technika series is (hence the name) have a nice rigid box to protect the innards during transport. They fold up and unfold quickly. That's the benefit of the "box". The drawback is that the box sometimes gets in the way. It can make it harder to get at all the controls and even physically limit movements in some cases. The Technika series has evolved over the decades in the attempt to overcome the limitations of the box (the little "car jack" front rise added on the MT V, the body flap added on the MT, the built in wide angle support on the MT2000, etc.) - with each successive version getting better, but it still is a box and will never be as versatile as a monorail. The key is - is it verstaile enough? Depends on the user and the use.

In older designs, the differences between a technical camera and a monorail are more pronounced. The two cameras you are considering here are both highly envolved decendents of the older technical and monorail designs. The Technika series, as mentioned above, has evolved with the clear intent of removing the limitations (as much as possible, given the basic design) of the techical camera while retaining the advantages, and the Technikardan has evolved with a unique folding, collapsable monorail design to make it much more portable than the traditional studio monorail. They are both still compromises, but both are better suited to the application of location shooting than their predecessors.

You really do need to get your hands on one of these, preferrably both, before committing to spending this kind of bucks. These are expensive cameras - two of the most expensive 4x5 "field" cameras on the market. No matter what anyone says here, the only real way to know which (if either) is right for you is to try them for yourself. Not always easy, but certainly recommended - especially for a first time field camera user. Once you've shot for a few years with a few different field cameras, you can probably look at a spec sheet, read a few reviews and get a pretty good idea how a camera will suit your needs, but without any prior experience, relying on the opinions of others (with different needs and priorities) can lead you astray. If you can borrow or rent one or both, by all means do so. At the very least compare these two, and some other brands and models as well if possible, in a well stocked camera store. NYC is a good place to find such a store - just keep in mind the timing of your visit and as Bob suggested call ahead to see who has what in stock and when they are open.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, October 02, 2001.

I owned and used a MT for many years. I had the rangefinder removed by Marflex. They put a matching flat plate over the hole. Looked great. I replaced the anatomical grip with a Linhof leather strap (screwed right on) so with no RF and no grip, it fit nicely in my backpack.

But I finally got tired of the difficulties when using wide angle lenses. Having to use the drop bed and have focus and front movements screwed-up. I got tired of the bedpost back movements. And I have a Nikkor T* ED lens set which has 360/500/720mm elements. I could barely use the 500 and could not use the 720.

I sold the MT for $3200 and bought a new TK 45S for exactly $3200.

For me, the TK has everything over the MT. It fits in exactly the same slot in my backpack that the MT fit in. It actually weighs less than the MT. I can use all of my lenses. It has full movements both front and back. It has degree markings on all movements. It has bubble levels all over the place. I can use a bag bellows.

The MT served me well. But I listed many things I didn't like about the MT. There is nothing that I don't like about the TK.

-- Jim Brick (, October 02, 2001.

None of these cameras have the geared movements of the Arca-Swiss or Sinar-P. Longer bellows of TK allows use of 210 mm lens at double focal length to attain 1:1 image while Technika limits user to 180 mm lens at double focal length for 1:1 image (absent use of Wista extender). You use the lightweight compact 210 mm Schneider G-Claron f9 process lens at both infinity focus of landscapes and for closeups of flowers. The longer bellows extension of TK is better adapted for use of 300 mm lens for closeups and portraits. Then TK has indents/markings that ensure precise transfer of front lens tilt to back plate glass more readily with indents/markings. Technika has an advantage in that no change of bellows is needed when choosing wide and long focal length lenses. Be aware that with either camera, the tapered bellows will limit the maximum accommodated diameter of rear element of the lens. However, the small lens board (96 x 99 mm) will ease storing lenses in ba

-- David (, October 03, 2001.

"the tapered bellows will limit the maximum accommodated diameter of rear element of the lens."

No they dont. The hole in the front standard is what limits the size of the rear lens cell. It easily allows the use of lenses with a rear element less then 80mm in diameter.

There are not many lenses that won't fit the hole .

-- Bob Salomon (, October 03, 2001.

"None of these cameras have the geared movements of the Arca-Swiss or Sinar-P "

No but they have some. Both have fully geared focusing. The Technika has geaared rise.

On the other hand they are slf contained cameras. Unkie the inar the stanard rail is not 12" with longer obes available. All of the available extension Linhof offers is built in to the basic camera( Wista accessories can add additional accessories to wither linhof).

Additionally there is no need for a rial clamp as with a P or multiple ones on Ps with long rails.

The MT and the TK are cameras sprcifically designed to carry around outside the studio (while useanle in the studio).

The P and the Arca are parimarily modular monorail syudio cameras. Linhof als has this type of camera, 3 in fact, ranging from the full features Kardan M at $1175.00 retail to the Master GTL at several times the M price.

Try comparing these cameras to the studio cameras.

-- Bob Salomon (, October 03, 2001.

While choice of a camera is a personal decision, I feel compelled to respond to one of Bob Salomon's comments, i.e. his statement to the effect that opening and closing the camera is a simple matter if you follow the instructions. First, you need to figure out which instructions to follow. My camera came with the normal "manual" (actually just a large fold-out) which provided one method for opening and closing, and an insert which provided a somewhat different method. Do we get a sense here that maybe the factory had a little trouble sorting things out? Second, once you've picked a method (or tried both, as I did, without much success using either method) you're faced with being ultra careful in closing because you're squeezing a 20" bellows in between two standards that are about an inch apart when fully closed. It doesn't take many misses before you've put enough wrinkles in the bellows to cause it to sag and hence to be ruined, at which point you're looking at $500 or so for a new one. And no, to me it just isn't acceptable to have to remove and replace the bellows every time I want to make a photograph. I don't mind someone saying that for them it became easy to open and close the camera without wrinkling the bellows - we all have different abilities and tolerances for what's acceptable and what isn't - but I don't like anyone saying that if you have trouble with something it's because you haven't read the instructions. Sorry Bob, believe me I wasn't thrilled with the constantly increasing number of wrinkles in the bellows. I pored over both sets of instructions and none of them worked very well for me or the several other large format photographers at a workshop I attended who I asked to use the camera and let me know if they could do it (they couldn't).

-- Brian Ellis (, October 03, 2001.


Too bad you never watched us do it 1000's of times at shows and demos all over the US. We will aslso do it endlessly again in NY at the show.

It is easy, it is fast.

Interestingly enough when the camera came out we sent 5 camera our for the press to test. 4 came back with a damaged bellows and one did not.

The one that had a pristine bellows bothered us as we assumed the writer did not use it.

So we called him and asked why he never used the camera.

He insisted he had and asked why we were asking. His response was that he followed the instructions.

You can always ask as he is a very visible writer today, Bob Mayer who reviewed it for Photo Methods Magazine

-- Bob Salomon (, October 03, 2001.

Oh my! Opening and closing the Technikardan is simplicity itself. After buying my TK, it took me probably all of two minutes to fully open and then fully close it. After that, ten seconds to open, ten seconds to close. Less if I'm in a hurry.

Pinching bellows? How? When?

This is not rocket science. Do it "once" and that should be the end of the learning curve. It is dirt simple.

Thanks Linhof for a masterfully simple, compact, portable design.

-- Jim Brick (, October 03, 2001.


Red levers unlocked, green levers locked, all settings at "0"


-- Bob Salomon (, October 03, 2001.


How do find the rigidity of the TK45S versus the MT? I'm considering either a MT2000 or a TK45S, but I'm concerned about the rigidity of the Technikardan when extended to the limits.

I'm also concerned about the L standards supporting only one side of the front and back of the camera.

In actual use, is this anything to be concerned about?

-- Jerry Gardner (, October 03, 2001.

Anyone have, or know of, a picture of the TK45S in the fully folded configuration?

-- Jerry Gardner (, October 03, 2001.

My personal experience is that the TK is much more rigid extended than the MT is. The MT track that extends out sags with a heavy (Nikkor T* ED) lens. The TK does not.

L standards have been used for various brands of studio view cameras, 4x5 & 8x10, for decades. It is a well proven design.

The MT when folded up is like a turtle in it's shell. But you pay for it in weight and inconvenience. There is no substitute for convenient movements by feel (your head under the dark cloth) and there is no substitute for versatility in lenses that can be used and situations that can be undertaken.

The MT is a great camera. I had one for years and loved it. But I find the TK better in nearly all aspects. All of the things I didn't like about the MT are non existent on the TK.

-- Jim Brick (, October 03, 2001.


Paul Butzi's complete review is at:

You can click on any of the photos that accompany the review to see a bigger version.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, October 03, 2001.

"How do find the rigidity of the TK45S versus the MT? I'm considering either a MT2000 or a TK45S, but I'm concerned about the rigidity of the Technikardan when extended to the limits. "

You can't make this comparison.

At the extension of a Master the TK is as solid. At the maximum extension of the TK the MAster can't extend that far.

Apples and oranges.

If you are at or near full extension the TK offers a solid accessory rail when using heavy lenses if you find it necessary.

As for pictures Linhof has a beautiful full color 8 page brochure that shows the camera open/closed and every way in between + all accessories.

We mail them at NC to anyone in the U.S.

Of course it also has specs.

-- Bob Salomon (, October 03, 2001.

Bob wrote:

"Of course it also has specs."

Have they ever updated the brochure to show the correct weight for the TK45S? The one you sent me a couple years ago (dated August, 1996) incorrectly lists the weight as 6.6 lb. (3000g). I believe this is the weight of the older non-S version. The actual weight of my TK45S is 7 lb. 8 1/4 oz. (3410g). Ironically, the instruction manual that came with my camera (dated November, 1994) lists the weight as a much more accurate 3400g.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, October 03, 2001.


Do you have the specs/brochure on a web site somewhere? Sending them by postal mail is so 20th century!

-- Jerry Gardner (, October 03, 2001.

I found a review of the TK45S on Paul Butzi's web site (thanks Kerry). This answered a lot of my questions.

Anyone care to comment on the TK45S versus the Arca-Swiss FC 4x5?

-- Jerry Gardner (, October 03, 2001.

Well Bob, I guess you're right as always and I'm just wrong. Gee, I could have sworn I read, studied, and followed those instructions (both sets) but since you tell me it's simple if you read the instructions, and since it wasn't simple, I guess I just didn't read the instructions after all. Thanks for letting me know that. Let's see . . . you say you sent out five cameras, four came back with wrinkled bellows. Hmmmm.

-- Brian Ellis (, October 03, 2001.

"Do you have the specs/brochure on a web site somewhere? "

No mail only or pickup at a show like Photo Plus East next month.

-- Bob Salomon (, October 03, 2001.

TK45s = center axis tilts , not yaw free (this isn't an issue until you do a combination of tilt and swing and are tryingto keep your rear standard vertical). Bob Saloman will shortly point out that if you tip the camera over on it's side it will act like a yaw free camera.

Arca-Swiss Fc camera. A yaw free base tilt design. Some people don't like base tilts.

Both are terrificly well made and handling cameras that have radically different design philospohies behind them. you might also want to compare prices, but you'll be hard put to go wrong with either. Having said that l confess; I love using the Arca-Swiss F-line.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, October 03, 2001.

"not yaw free "

So what?

The vast majority of all large format photos ever made were on yaw prone cameras.

And Ellis, in case you were wondering, the very first yaw free large format camera was the huge, original version of the Linhof Kardan introduced in 1952.

The name Kardan is derived from the German word cardanic which was the knuckle type joint on the Kardan (not the later Kardan Color) this joint allowed for yaw free movements as the tilt and swing were at the same point rather then the later designs which usually have 2 tilt points and was much simpler to produce. The yaw free Kardan was discontinued in 1956. Well before any other yaw free design was even introduced.

the demise of the yaw free kardan and the introduction of the yaw prone Kardan Color was virtually unnoticed.

For the vast majority of view camera users yaw free is so what.

And yes, you are right, any yaw prone camera becomes yaw free when used 90° from right side up. As the TK is so small an additional bubble level was added to it for use when it is on its' side.

Virtually no one takes advantage of this.

Now if you have base tilts and do a simulltaneous tilt and swing with an inclined camera yaw could be problematic. But then the TK is not a base tilt camera.

-- Bob Salomon (, October 03, 2001.

There are only two things about Bob Salomon of which I am certain. First, he has never been to prison. Second, I dont know why. Once again he has stolen my dignity. I dont need anyone's help to make me look like a fo

-- David (, October 03, 2001.

there seems to be a common thread running though many aspects of photography. one of discovery, or lack thereof. how many times do I read of someone purchasing a very expensive camera, only to struggle with the notion of reading the manual, spending time exploring the camera, and investing a few pesos for films to experiment with.

read other threads, and you discover many who spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses, and darkroom equipment, only to bemoan the fact that their bottle of D76 (or Xtol) that had been stored for six months, had gone flat and ruined their films. invest five dollars a month and mix a new batch of developer!

my point? spend an hour with the Technikardan and modify the instructions to find what works for you. lock it in memory. it really is a fifteen second operation, and if it is taking your longer, your technique needs adjustment.

-- daniel taylor (, October 04, 2001.

Tony the best I can do is provide you with a comparison of two people shooting with these cameras, I have a TK45 and a friend has a MT. When we both went out to take some pics here are some of the differences I noticed.

With the MT he was able to use a much more compact backpack because his camera folds much smaller. Although the MT is a little heavier than the TK, once you add 5 lenses, 10 to 15 holders, and all the adjuntant paraphernalia, his pack was not much heavier than mine.

With wide angle lenses, 65 mm specially, his camera was a pain in the butt to use, due to the need of a recessed lens board, it was hard to attach the cable release, hard to set the aperture, etc. with my TK this is a simple as it can get, specially if you have the wide angle bellows.

Folding and unfolding operations were not any faster with his camera than mine, of course I have been using my camera for 10 years, so I am practiced with this operation in my camera. I will not deceive you, if you are not careful folding the TK can cause wrinkles in the bellows, in my case sometimes I forgot to unlock the red levers and the standards were not centered, so the bellows got wrinkled. With time you learn not to do this, but I am sure you will at one time or another.

at full extension my camera was much more stable than his, and I also have the advantage of adding a support rail if I wish to. I have not, but is nice to know is there if I want it.

the L standards are very rigid and support a lot of weight, I use a 300 Sironar N on occasion and the camera has no problems handeling this weight, but then neither does the MT.

Movements are a lot easier to do while looking in the gg with the TK, that is once you learn which levers unlock which movements. Again movemets with the MT are a little more difficult specially in the wide angle range (drop the bed, use the recessed lens board, etc..)

Overall knowing what I know now, I still feel the TK was a better choice, it is a much more versatile camera that will allow you to explore more types of photography with ease. The MT obviously is not a bad camera after all it is still a Linhof with it's attached quality and beauty, but if I had to describe in a few words both cameras I would say the TK is a working photographers camera and the MT is a weekend warrior camera.

I hope this helped in your desicion and let us know what your choice was.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, October 04, 2001.

Tony If you intend to photograph architecture a lot I would say the TK is by far the easier camera to use. I earn my living using this camera photographing buildings, landscapes, and cars. I have used all types of large format cameras over the years - Sinar, MT, wooden field cameras, but always come back to the TK. It is beautifully built and very versatile. Beleive me the folding bellows is not an issue, I have had mine since 1991 and I'm still using the original bellows. Go for it! ATB Alan.

-- Alan Davey (, October 07, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ