47mm/58mm SA XL for Technikardan?

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Hi all,

Two weeks ago I bought my first LF camera, a 45 Technikardan, and I’m shopping for a lens and would like some feedback.

I’ve been shooting statuary for the last couple of years with a Canon 24mm rectilinear and 15mm fisheye, and lately with a 12mm Super Heliar. I guess I’m tired of lugging around a tripod and spending lots of time composing just to get a negative the size of a peanut…

I would like to continue in this very wide lens phase and am considering either a 47mm or 58mm Super Angulon XL. I will be using a 6x12 rollfilm back and a bag bellows with the ‘kardan.

What lensboards will I need with either of these lenses? What is the distortion like with these? What kind of movements will I have? I think I read somewhere that if I use the 47mm on 4x5, I won’t have any movements at all, is that correct? How about with the 58mm?

Oh yeah, what is the value of having a “press” shutter?

Any other helpful comments will be appreciated.



-- Jon (vze249jf@verizon.net), November 17, 2001


The 47mm f/5.6 Xl has coverage (on 4x5) that is about equal to the 14mm on the Canon (or Nikon) bodies. That is the angle of coverage along the 5" side of the film. You will also definitely want the centerweighted filter to even out the brightness of the image from the center to the edges of the film, especially along the long dimensions. With the 47mm you'll have some room for movements but not very much before you run out of image circle. In reality I think you'll find you won't want or need very much.

I wouldn't really say either lens has distortion in the sense of barrel or pincushion distortion (in other wordss : both lenses are rectilinear and probably better corrected than the 14mm) but your near to far relationships are certainly going to be exagerated. This will most clearly be seen if you are photographing a round object that has one edge nearer the camera than another.

You should get the lenses mounted in the dedicated Linhof Technika recessed lensboards.

The value of a press shutter is that you don't have to recock it after each exposure.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (ellis@ellisvener.com), November 17, 2001.

001095 it accepts the lens in Copal shutter.

-- Bob Salomon (bob@hpmaretingcorp.com), November 17, 2001.

Jon, the 47XL is an excellent lens when used for the right things. But I have used it for architecture and the only situation it works well in is when you have no objects with recognizable shape close to the camera, especially in the corners. Otherwise any round shape will be stretched to an oval and square to a rectangle, and when I say stretched, I really mean stretched! This is not distortion, but the normal way such wide angles affect images. The viewer should position to the picture the same way the camera was positioned to the subject, that mean your nose on the picture, to see it's perspectives correctly. However, on 6x9, it should work well for your purpose as it seems a little stretching would not bother you and you would have room for rise, but should use the center filter. On 6x12, it might be better to use something a little longer such as a 58 or 65mm, all depends on what extent you are seeking the wide-angle effect and also if you can have enough distance. The 47 XL allows for approx. 12mm of rise on 4x5 (specs say 9) . Seems little, but I guarantee it's a lot. A 80 XL on 4x5 and a 58 on 6x9 would be equivalent to your 24mm.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), November 18, 2001.

Hi Jon, I've used both lenses on my Technikardan - on 4x5" film. The 47mm XL requires a recessed lensboard and a center-filter. The 58mm XL works just fine on a flat lensboard. The center-filter is less necessary on the 58mm, especially on 6x12, but it's still a good idea for a "clean" image. Both lenses have the same image circle and I have used about 6mm of rise with the 47XL (with center-filter) without cut-off. With 6x12, you'll have noticeably more room.

-- Steve Artz (steveartz@hotmail.com), November 19, 2001.

Ellis, Bob, Paul, and Steve,

Thank you for the info. I think I'm going to try to rent them and see, but I'm leading towards the 58.

Thanks again! Jon

-- Jon (vze249jf@verizon.net), December 02, 2001.

Hey all,

Ok, looks like I'm getting the 58mm SA XL (finally!). My next question: What system do you use for attaching filters to that beast? I'm shooting about 95% infrared film (Wratten 87 filter or thereabouts) and the glass filters for that film are very expensive. IÕll put up the cash, but I thought IÕd get some suggestions first...

Thanks again, Jon

-- Jon (vze249jf@verizon.net), March 21, 2002.

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