Arca Swiss 6x9 FC vs. Linhof Techikardan 23S : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am seeking opinions on Arca Swiss 6x9 FC vs. Linhof Techikardan 23S. My interests are wide-angle field photography (so the camera must accept 35mm lens) and macro. In macro I am interested in magnification more than in depth-of field (I actually shot macro mostly wide open). I also would like to have full movements, including rear tilt. Weight is second priority since I don't do long hikes: couple of miles tops. I am not very interested in 4x5 film, 6x9 is fine for my work. I also considered Ebony, but it seems that interesting models are expensier than AS or Linhof. From Ebonys I considered 45S and SV45Ti - as far as I understand, I don't need WA bellows wih Ebony, right? Thank you for your replies.

-- Michael Arkhipov (, April 13, 2002


If weight's not too much of a consideration, why not consider a Calumet-Cambo 23SF? It's got lots of accessories, it's easily upgraded to 4x5, it's reasonable in price, and it's a well built camera. (Ezra Stoller used one.) It also has geared movements, which neither the Arca (non-metric) nor the Lihnof have. It takes standard Grafloc 6x7, 6x9 backs.

I have an Arca F, and can attest to it's quality. I had a chance to use a 6x9. One drawback to the Arca 6x9 is the use of Polaroid in vertical orientation. It's rediculous, but one needs to substantially raise the back standard so that the Polaroid back can fit on the camera. Of course, in typical situations, this means raising the front standard as well, and this can lead to potential instability. The Arca 6x9 also has a special attachment one must purchase at high cost to use grafloc backs. But, it's not really that inconvenient to use. (High cost pretty much goes hand-in-hand with Arca.)

Compared to the Linhof, the latter has smaller boards. I think that the Arca 110mm boards are a bit large for a 6x9. (But, probably no larger than those for the SF23.)

-- neil poulsen (, April 13, 2002.

What about a more conventional 4x5 camera and then a 6x12 film back? I know that you have indicated a lack of interest in 4x5 but they are certainly more common and would give you more capability should your interests change. A 35 mm lens would be very difficult to use in this configuration but with the additional width of the 6x12 format a longer lens would have the same wide effect without as much distortion. A 4x5 camera would also have (almost always) a longer bellows so your macro work would be easier.

I know that this wasn't on point but perhaps some of this could help.

-- David Grandy (, April 14, 2002.

I do this. There's also less potential for internal reflections, so potentially one can get better contrast.

-- neil poulsen (, April 14, 2002.

If you don't need rise and fall of the back, the Canham DLC is excellent for the work you want to do because you won't ever need to change bellows (although you will need ecessed lensboards for lenses shorter than 58mm) as the canham DLC bellows can extend up to 550mm or be compact enough for using a 58mm lens on a flat board. You'll have more precision with the Arca and the Linhof. cameras.

Because the Arca lensboard is bigger than the Linhof's this makes it easier to reach the shutter speed and aperture controls on ultra wide angle lenses shorter than say 58mm. The 4x5 Arca-Swiis F camera might be even more ideal for this than any of the 6x9cm cameras you have asked about for this very reason. With the 4x5 camera and thestandard Arca-Swiss lensboard (which is recessed 13mm at the perimeter of the board) and the synthetic w/a bellows you can use (according to Arca-Swiss) lenses as short as 43mm before needing a deeper recessed board. with wide angle lenses this openess to the controls is really a big operational issue --unless you have fingers like a squid's tentacles.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, April 14, 2002.

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