View Full Version : Linhof Technika for Medium Format Film

23-May-2013, 15:18
I`m looking for a very small, rugged, and not too expensive folding camera that i would use with a roll film back only. (6x7cm)
What do you think about this small Technikas Linhof used to built? Today i discovered that Linhof made several different models...
Can someone give me more information about this cameras?
Which one would you recommend and what was the latest model they built?
I need this camera to shoot landscapes and cityscapes.It should work with wide angle lenses (at least 65mm) and should offer some rise!
I do not need a model with this special viewfinder and handgrip that makes the camera bigger...

Oren Grad
23-May-2013, 16:56
If you intend to focus on the ground glass and don't care about having a viewfinder/rangefinder, look for a Horseman VH. They've become quite inexpensive these days. The 2x3 Technikas will be bigger, heavier and, especially for the latest models, much more expensive. Also, Technika 2x3 cameras use a rollholder with a proprietary mount, while the VH accepts standard baby Graflok rollholders that are generally cheaper and more widely available.

Bob Salomon
23-May-2013, 17:02
The last 23 Linhof Technika was the Super Technika V, 23b.

23-May-2013, 17:46
Century/Crown/Speed Graphics were made in the 6x9 size, will accept roll film backs, and are a lot less expensive than Linhofs.

Dan Fromm
23-May-2013, 18:11
Century/Crown/Speed Graphics were made in the 6x9 size, will accept roll film backs, and are a lot less expensive than Linhofs.

To expand on this comment, Century and 2x3 Crown Graphics can use very short lenses. I use a 35/4.5 Apo Grandagon and a 47/5.6 Super Angulon on my little Century. The cameras offer ~ 19 mm rise, although less is available when the lens focuses to the distance desired with the front standard inside the body. Removing the wire frame finder from the front standard gets a little more rise in this situation.

Ray Van Nes
23-May-2013, 18:17
I will throw my 2 cents worth in as well. I am voting for the little Graphic Century. For one thing, it is lighter , mine stripped down is 3 lbs. On the other hand, it has shorter bellows. However, with some small modification, you can use a 240mm Tele-Arton for a long lens. The whole rig goes into a Lowe camera pack - the Rover and you can throw it in the overhead luggage bin as carry-on. There are lots of them around as well as accessories. Mine has literally been around the world with me.

23-May-2013, 18:55
The Horseman is a nice little camera, I used to own a VH. And it Will handle a 65mm. But unless you have a recessed board, the bellows will be compressed enough that you won't get too much rise out of it. Plenty of movements with lenses longer than that though.

The Graphic- less movements overall (by quite a bit), but much easier to use with wide angles.

Either one is much lighter than the linhof FWIW.

I'd probably go for the Graphic. But I do feel the VH was a bit more useful to me overall. (decided to stick w/ 4x5/5x7 though, so sold off the 120 stuff).


Otto Seaman
23-May-2013, 19:02
Don't forget there are some non-folding but compact Ebonies and other exotics that are well suited for movements and wides. If you are intending to always focus on the ground glass and use a tripod, some of the old 6x9 monorail designs are quite light, compact, and rugged - and allow you to use pretty much any lens.

A lot depends on the range of lens you'll use. If you want long lenses you might consider some of the telephoto designs.

The Baby Linhofs are jewels if you can find a nice one that you can afford. The Graphics are very usable but a bit cruder in comparison, if that matters. The Horseman falls inbetween....

Mark Sampson
23-May-2013, 19:43
See the review of the 2x3 Linhof Technika on the front page of this site. I tried one of them in 2009 and didn't keep it, for reasons the review makes clear. One might work for you though.

Joseph Dickerson
24-May-2013, 10:40
Just one photographer's thoughts...I owned, for a short time, a Horseman VHR and found the knobs to be very small and twiddly. I do have fairly large hands so it could just be me. The small gg was also a bear to work with.

If you must have a 6x9 view camera a used Gowland or the Shen Hao 6x9 (Badger Graphics Sales) might be a better choice.

The Graphics are nice but really don't offer a useful range of movements (let the flaming begin:rolleyes:).

Personally I think you'd be better off with a light weight 4x5 (Shen Hao, Chamonix, Wista, Tachihara/Osaka or some such) and a Calumet roll film holder. Not all agree, but I think you'll find more folks working that way than with a dedicated 6x9 camera. You'd also have the advantage of being able to shoot 4x5 should the need arise. Polaroid/Fuji instant backs are available for the Horseman, and they can be used on some other 6x9 cameras as well. However, they're difficult to find and they require a "ground glass spacer" which should be included with the back but often isn't.

After the Horseman I had a Gowland 6x9 which I liked a lot, and probably shouldn't have sold. Limited back movements (tilt only) but tons of movements on the front standard.


Drew Wiley
24-May-2013, 11:20
Rollfilm backs can be fussy to use. They are bulkier and heavier than a regular filmholder, so can tug on a weak back due to simple gravity. This smaller format is
also a lot fussier to focus on the GG than 4x5, so things get nitpicky. And not all rollfilm holders did a good job keeping the film plane flat. It just depends on how
precise you need to be. But if you want to simulate true LF results you'll want both camera and holder to be very well made. All I do under such circumstances is
use Horseman rollfilm holders on my Ebony 4x5 folder; but Ebony is a relatively expensive brand. I've seen a lot of Horseman metal technical cameras at very good
prices nowadays, even in good condition. There are beautifully made but a bit restrictive in terms of what focal lengths they'll accept. Baby Technikas are a bit more
versatile (at least the later ones), but can command steep prices. And they won't be any lighter than some decent field 4x5's, which of course can be used with
ordinary 4x5 sheet film holders as well as rollfilm backs.

Dan Fromm
24-May-2013, 12:02
The Graphics are nice but really don't offer a useful range of movements (let the flaming begin:rolleyes:).

I like my little Graphics but you're right about their lack of movements. Front rise is all they have that's generally usable.

Ivan J. Eberle
24-May-2013, 13:29
If you want to go wide, you're rather restricted with what you can do in MF with folders. You may be better off using a 4x5 body, with 4x5 lenses, for the wide stuff and roll film for the rest.
There won't be nearly as much of a weight penalty to this regime as you might expect.
The other thing that comes to mind is that there's a plethora of purpose-built MF cameras for the wide angle niche, some with camera moves. Many pages devoted to hacking Mamiya Press and Graflex XL's for the task; the Mamiyas have posts for back moves and perspective control.
Too, before buying a 40 or 50 year old Linhof MF Technika, I'd suggest looking at the availability of replacement bellows for it. There are Chinese replacement bellows for the 4x5 MTs but perhaps not for some of the others. Too, the cost of the bellows new from Linhof (if available yet) may set you back on your heels. It's unlikely that the original bellows on an old Linhof is going to hold up this long, and may again need replaced within a decade or so of use. (If you have few or no inexpensive off-the-shelf Linhof bellows options, you might find a second WA camera for the similar money to OEM or custom bellows, for instance)

26-May-2013, 03:07
thanks for all the info! @ mark sampson, can you post a link to the 2,3 technika review, i cant find it.

Stefaan VB
26-May-2013, 04:50
Despite the limitations in movements when using wide-angle lenses and the heavy metal camera body, I really like the Linhof Technika IV 6x9. I use the camera with 3 cammed lenses (65-100-180mm), two rollfilm-backs (one 6x7, one 6x9) and 6 double filmholders. The system simply covers my needs toward MF-photography, which is totally personal, of course.
The Technika 6x9 review is here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/linhof/technika-23.html

Bob Salomon
26-May-2013, 05:08
thanks for all the info! @ mark sampson, can you post a link to the 2,3 technika review, i cant find it.

Just bear in mind, this is a review of the Technika IV. Not the muck improved V or the even better, for short lenses, V 23b. Also consider the Technika 70 2x3 version.