View Full Version : linhof technika 6x9

5-May-2004, 04:21
i recently bought a linhof technika 6x9 kit with 3 lenses (53mm, 100mm, 180mm).

but when I mount the wide angle lense onto the body, I found out that if I try to do any correction at the back (with 4 knots), it is impossible to put an image into focuse.

anyone out there can solve this mystery for me???

thanks very very very much.

a puzzled beginner for linhof in amsterdam.

David A. Goldfarb
5-May-2004, 04:50
It's not really a mystery. The wide lens has a very short focal length, and if you extend the back in order to use the rear movements, it's the same as moving the lens forward, so you won't be able to focus with rear movements unless the subject is very close. This is just a physical limitation of the combination of camera and lens, unless you have some room to move the lens back a little more when you use rear movements (which I suspect you don't).

5-May-2004, 05:13
thanks david...

this news is rather a shocking one for me...becasue I bought the camera for the following purpose: to take pictue for interior design; to fullfill this purpose I need very often a wide angle lense and the perspective correction.

Which means the camera I bought will not do a good job for me? does it?

Then do you by any chance know a good prtable camera (whcih I can put all the kit--body and lenses--into a backpack) with the perspertive correction function???



David A. Goldfarb
5-May-2004, 05:43
There are cameras designed for wideangle use like the Cambo Wide DS, Silvestri, Ebony wide versions, and many monorails that handle this task with a bag bellows, but many of the dedicated wide cameras don't really have swing or tilt--only rise/fall and shift.

Do you have room to use front rise or shift on your camera with this lens (I have a Tech V 4x5", so I'm not sure what the limits are on the 6x9 Technikas)? I suspect that if you can get rise or shift with your Technika, you will probably need to rack the focus forward, make adjustments, and refocus, because there isn't a lot of room for your fingers when the lens is that far back (and I don't have particularly large fingers). If you can, this may be all you really need for interiors. Most interiors have perpendicular surfaces, so you can't use swing or tilt anyway to control the plane of focus (which changes even when you apply rear swing/tilt to adjust the shape of objects in the frame), so the lack of rear movements on the Technika isn't really a disadvantage.

A common situation in interior photography where you might need rise or fall is in photographing a room with a high ceiling where for some practical reason you can't use a ladder to get a better vantage point or where you are photographing a large room from a mezzanine and need to adjust the composition.

A common situation where you would need shift would be when you want to be able to look straight down a corridor, but you don't want the corridor in the center of the frame, so you position the camera such that the lens looking down the corridor, but shift left or right to incorporate the adjacent space.

5-May-2004, 09:33
dear daivd:

thanks for the help!.

I am an awful beginner, so I don't even know what is "swing or tilt" and "rise/fall and shift."

(I know I am terribly short of any knowledge on view camera, sorry about it.)

What I desperately want to do is this: when I tilt my camera lense looking upward or downward, I want the straight lines in the room looking straight.

Is it possible to achieve this with my technika (at the back it has 4 knots for me to adjust, in the front there is a 15 degree falling back and a knot that I can use to make the lense go up--but it's virtually impossible to use when I put a 53 mm lense on).??

If yes, how could I do that??

your student


Ernest Purdum
5-May-2004, 11:46
For vertical lines to be straight, the film must be straight up and down. A gridded groundglass or a little level helps to get it right. Try to keep the camera level and use the adjustment that moves the lens up and down to get the view that you want. (This is rise and fall.) If that isn't enough, tilt the camera as little as possible and use the adjustments at the back to get the film back to straight up and down. (This is tilt.)

A 53mm lens is quite short, even on a 6X9. It is common to run into camera limitations when using one.

There are several books that could help you understand movements. Some are:

"View Camera Technique" by Stroebel. (This is very thorough but some complain that it is harder to use than the others.)

"A User's Guide to the View Camera" by Stone.

"The View Camera" by Shaman.

"Using the View Camera" by Simmons (a frequent contributor to this forum.)

Ernest Purdum
5-May-2004, 12:02
Apparently one must have a name starting with "S" if intending to write a book about view cameras.

neil poulsen
7-May-2004, 07:19
There are a few 6x9 view cameras out there, but they're all expensive.

What else do you want to do with this camera? Does it include landscape? Do you need a camera that's portable, or is this the only application for which you need a 6x9 view camera?

Versus a 6x9 camera, a more reasonably priced option is a 4x5 camera using a 6x9 back that fits onto the 4x5 camera.

7-May-2004, 12:10
hey Neil:

thanks for the concerns.

I need a portable camera for mainly interior design photography. That's why I thought Linhof technika 6x9is a good option. But when I get the camera I realise there are some physical limitations...like the uncomfort of using a 53 mm wide angle lense, and the opacity of the ground class (really hard to see--compose and focuse an image).

Do you have any further suggestions? Or do you know how to better use this linhof camera (I am a total green hand to both view camera and my linhof technika baby)...


Mark Windom
8-May-2004, 22:24
Take a look at the Arca-Swiss 69. Even though the widest lens I use on mine is a 65, a 55 would be just fine with this camera giving you some movements to aid in perspective control. You might want to call Jeff at Badger Graphic to ask him more specifics re: this camera's wide angle capabilities.

neil poulsen
9-May-2004, 18:10
I second the Arca-Swiss. An excellent camera, although expensive. You will need two bellows for this camera to accomodate the 55mm, as well as other typical lenses. This adds significantly to the price.

Another expensive option is the Linhof 2x3 Technikardon. It's priced at about the same as the Arca (without extra bellows) at around $3600.

Calumet used to market a 23SF Cambo. If you can find one of these used with the wide-angle bellows, it would be quite good. It's a little heavy at about 7 lbs. Unfortunately, they don't carry these cameras anymore. They probably don't want to compete with their Cambo Ultima, that's more expensive than even the Arca. Ezra Stoller (finest 20th century architectural photographer) used one of these when he didn't have an assistent. It's too bad they don't still carry this camera. It was reasonably priced, and for just over $2000, one could get both the 4x5 and the 6x9.

A less expensive alternative than a 6x9 camera is a 4x5 with a wide-field bellows. You could get a 4x5 rollfilm back and shoot medium format film. It's a little heavy, but it would get the job done. It would need to have the International Standard Graflok back for the roll film holder. I think that shooting 6x9 on 4x5 even has the advantage that, with the bellows being quite a bit larger than normal for 6x9, it's prone to less flare.

David A. Goldfarb
14-Dec-2005, 11:04
I've just acquired a 6x9 Tech V. Does this camera not have front swings? If it doesn't I know I can do it indirectly using rear swing and panning the camera or turning the camera on its side and using front tilt, but I just want to be sure I'm not missing some secret Linhof button.

Bob Salomon
14-Dec-2005, 14:14

A ST V 23 and the 23b has no front swing. It has 15 of front back tilt and 15 drop bed and 32mm of rise and 24mm of shift. To get a swing on the front you have to rotate the camera 90 so the tilt would function as a swing.

The MT 45 has front tilt and swing as does a TK23 and 45. But your model has none.

You do have 15 of back swing and tilt however.

Did you get the 23 or the later 23b?

14-Dec-2005, 14:20
If you can send it back, do so quickly. Even if it costs you a few bucks for shipping.

David A. Goldfarb
14-Dec-2005, 17:06
I don't see any reason to send it back, Bill. As I said, I can function without front swings, and I've got other cameras that have them, including a 4x5" Tech V. The 2x3 is a neat little camera. Once I have my lenses cammed for it, it will probably replace some of my other medium format cameras.

Bob, thanks for the reply.

What's the difference between a ST V 23 and a 23b? The camera looks fairly old (brand new bellows, though), but it does have the wideangle flap on top like the MT 45, and it has both +15 deg. and -15 deg. front tilt in addition to front rise and shift and the usual Technika rear movements. The serial number is 5081103.

14-Dec-2005, 17:42
Goldfarb I don't see any reason to send it back

You clearly have the money to afford mistakes. When you get it the Rest Of Us might like to know what drawbacks exist.

David A. Goldfarb
14-Dec-2005, 17:48
Fortunately it was a pretty good deal, and I can sell off a few other things once I've got it set up. It is something of a luxury, but I don't consider it a mistake. I've been looking for a 6x9 Tech for a while.

Bob Salomon
14-Dec-2005, 18:53
" it does have the wideangle flap on top like the MT 45,"

That makes it the Super Technika V 23b. The last version is black. The earlier one is tan.

David A. Goldfarb
14-Dec-2005, 19:37
Thanks, Bob. Mine is tan, but has some black leatherette and a black groundglass cover, which I'm guessing are replacements.

Bob Salomon
15-Dec-2005, 00:57
No that is how it was supplied.

15-Dec-2005, 06:52
My suggestion to send it back was for Yang. His camera would be okay for landscape, but his primary use was to be interiors. While, of course, any camera might be used, I don't think that a technical/field camera is a good choice. Incidentally, can you still get cams cut for the 6x9 Tech?

David A. Goldfarb
15-Dec-2005, 07:05
Ahh... Yang's post was from May 2004. I was just adding to it, rather than starting a new thread.

You can still purchase a new 6x9 Super Tech V (for about ten times what mine cost), so yes, they're still camming lenses for them.

Bob Salomon
15-Dec-2005, 07:31
"new 6x9 Super Tech V"

Not wishing to start a stampede but while yes, the Super Technika V, 23b is still available new, it won't be for much longer. Only 5 more cameras can be made at the factory.

15-Dec-2005, 08:28
Guess that I get the Homer Simpson Award again this week for not noticing the date on the original post. D'oh!

David A. Goldfarb
16-Dec-2005, 12:47
So, I've been testing my new Tech V 23b a bit and finding a few simple but neat features that I hadn't expected.

With the 55mm Apo-Grandagon it is possible to shoot in the horizontal mode without the bed obstructing the image (no suprise there). To focus to infinity, the rail needs to be in the retracted position, pushed back one notch so the rail on the bed bumps up against the inner rail. To shoot with the back in the vertical position, it's necessary to drop the bed and tilt the lens back, which normally requires refocusing, since that puts the lens farther from the film. In the dropped position, however, you can retract the bed one more notch, and thanks to the simple laws of geometry, the image will be in focus again with no additional refocusing required. That's a thoughtful improvement to earlier Technikas I've tried.

Another nice thing about this camera is that the back is both revolving and easily reversible, so that normally you can just turn it from horizontal to vertical, or with a tripod head that has a large platform, it just takes one lever to remove the back and put it back on in the opposite position.

The sliding locks that release the back to allow the use of the rear movements are also a big improvement over those heavy spring releases on my 4x5" Tech V.