How much Movement. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


Last couple of weeks, some people have been telling me to change my Tech V in favor of a new Shen Hao camera.

The reason they say I should change, is that the Shen Hao is ligther and have more movements than the Linhof.

My real question for you guys is?

How much real movement do you use on a Field Camera?

Will the added movements of the shen hao be really usefull?

Thanks in advance...

-- Enrique Vila (, January 07, 2002


Ah Heck Enrique, I have never used more than 3 to 5 degrees lens tilt or back tilt, specially in landscape photography. I beleive that if you plan to do some table top photography then maybe you would need more movement but for field or landscape as well as portraiture I would think that exchanging the Linhof for a Shen Hao would be foolhardy.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, January 07, 2002.

Enrique, I second the previous posting! I tend to use approx 5 degrees front tilt together with a small amount of front rise/fall and occasionally rear rise. I've never used a Linhof or the Shen Hao, but the pedigree of the former would prevent me from trading it in, unless it really wasn't doing the job I wanted! IMHO Keep the Linhof! Paul

-- paul owen (, January 07, 2002.

Didn't you start a thread similar to this on New Years Eve?

The answers won't change but if your V is in good condition there are lots of people who will trade you for the Shen Hao since they can sell tyhe V for more then a new Shen Hao.

If you really want one go do it. But repeated questions are not going to be the answer.

The concensus has been to keep what you have now.

-- Bob Salomon (, January 07, 2002.

"if your V is in good condition there are lots of people who will trade you for the Shen Hao since they can sell tyhe V for more then a new Shen Hao."

Or, he could sell the V himself on eBay and buy a new Shen Hao AND a new lens.

Enrique, this comes down to a matter of personal preference. The Linhofs are great cameras that are extremely well made. Still, there is no perfect camera for all users or all uses. I used to have a Master, but I sold it in favor of a Technikardan TK45S. Based on my personal experience, I found the back movements on the Master a royal pain to use. Very tedious and imprecise. I also found it difficult to use movements with wide angle lenses. And the bellows draw was a little short for my longest lens (450mm Fujinon C). I found, for my needs, the TK45S superior for all these reasons. That said, David Muench uses a Technika, shoots a LOT wth back tilts and ultrawide lenses. And who can argue with his success? So, like I said, personal preference.

WRT to the Shen Hao, it is much better made and a more original design than I anticipated. It is also one heck of a deal at current prices. But, like the Tech V, it is not the perfect camera for all users or uses. The back movements on the Shen Hao are more complete (includes rise and shift) than your Tech V, and easier to use (IMHO). The Shen Hao offers a reasonably priced bag bellows (and other accessories) for movements with ultrawide lenses. However, maximum bellows extension is shorter than your Tech V and it weighs nearly as much.

Which is better for you? I haven't a clue. Only you can answer that. You say others have suggested that your V doesn't have enough movements for you. That's interesting - how exactly do they know how much movement you require? Have you ever bumped up against a limitation - a situation your Tech V couldn't handle to your satisfcation? If yes, would the Shen Hao allowed you to get the image you wanted? These are questions only you can answer. What is best for me, will not likely be best for you or anybody else. Follow your own path and choose what's right for you (be it your current Tech V, a Shen Hao or something else) - not your "friends".


-- Kerry Thalmann (, January 07, 2002.

I second Bob's answer. 95-98% of what you will ever want to do with any large format camera can be done with the Linhof. This search for the "perfect" camera or the need for more movements beyond what you arleady have is a bunch of bunk.

The best way to resolve your situation is to just get out and make 50- 100 photographs and figure out for yourself what equipment issues you have. Sitting at your computer suffering through a perceived "deficiency anxiety" is a bunch of bunk, especially with a Linhof. You can get opinions from 20 people that will give you 20 different opinions. How you can relate this to your situation is beyond me. I have a Linhof Master and a Technikardan and they simply do not get any better. Period

-- Michael Kadillak (, January 07, 2002.

This seems like an idle suggestion. Unless you don't like the Linhof for some other reason or you've run out of movements repeatedly and really feel you need a different camera for the kind of work you're doing, I don't see much reason to switch.

-- David Goldfarb (, January 07, 2002.

I don't know how you can run out of movements on a Linhof V. You might get to the point where the bellows might intrude with long lenses, but with a tilted bed and front and back tilt, you can get all the rise in the world. Same with front and back tilts for extra shift. I agree with Bob.

-- Doug Paramore (, January 07, 2002.

At the most, I've used about 1 1/2 inches of rise for landscape photography. I suppose there are circumstances where one might need more, but they don't come along very often.

-- neil pouslen (, January 07, 2002.

If I were you, I wouldn't sell the Linhof. I just re-visited your New Year's eve post, and no one was suggesting you to trade your Linhof for a Shen-Hao. As I said, they are two different kinds of cameras.

The answers to your questions reside in what you shoot. If you do general photography, you are unlikely to run out of movements. You might run out of bellows extension. If you do architecture or product photography, neither Linhof nor Shen Hao is the right tool for you (better look at Arca Swiss and Sinar P). Tell us what you do, we can then better help you. Cheers,

-- Geoffrey Chen (DB45TEK@AOL.COM), January 07, 2002.

hi, Enrique The camera doesn't make the picture, I'm a beginner in LF an d I'd never used neither a Technika nor a Shen Hao, but if you grow weary in shooting with your Linhof, I'm sure you will find many good reasons to change it, And I'm sure your photos are going to be better with the new camera! Because pleasure is indissociable from shooting pictures, specialy in LF, as it's so long to set up all things. In that case, I think it's worth the money. Regards

-- Daniel Luu Van Lang (, January 08, 2002.

i'm selling my technika V, because i've just bought a....technikardan S 45. I didn't have enought movements with my previous camera, i wasn't able to use a 55 with front rise (using a 6x7 back), but this is a specific case. the technika is a very good camera, but not friendly with "short lens and movements" situation. if you want movement go for a technikardan S 45, arca F line, Sinar F2...otherwise i'd stick with the technika.

-- dg (, January 08, 2002.

How many times in the past 200 sheets of film did you find the limits of movement of your camera inadequate?

-- Dan Smith (, January 08, 2002.


It sounds to me you have not exploited you full creative capacity to the optimal level. I do not own a Technika - I own a Baby Speed Graphic and I have read amazing reviews about this camera. I find my Baby Speed very functional for what I do and you should push yourself a bit further in the exploitation of the camera. Most great photographers used worst cameras and yet produced timeless photographs. Go out and work harder with the camera and you'll enjoy it.


-- Adrian Ng'asi (, January 08, 2002.

A couple of non-technical thoughts: (1) Consider the economics of collectibles. The Techika has been in a recognized class by itself, relative to its purpose, for the half-century I've been a photographer. To my knowledge, no manufacturer of light-weight field cameras has similarly separated itself from its competitors. This may have an impact on long-term, proportionately-retained economic value. The Tech is an engineering/manufacturing masterpiece to a degree that few cameras are. (2) Functionally, the solid hand holdability of the Techika is a plus. One of my favorite pictures was taken, hand held, in 70 mph winds above Colorado's timberline. Since I spend a great deal of time in conditions that generally defeat view cameras, I appreciate one that lets me get at least a few shots in "impossible" conditions.

Best wishes.

-- Peter Free (, January 08, 2002.

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