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Anthony Roach
30-Jul-2004, 07:34
I have had a Master Tech for some time but am thinking about trying an extreme wide lens with the wide-angle focus attachement, for 55-65 mm lens. I have absolutely no experience with this device. I have seen some pictures of 2nd hand wa devices and read a few snippets in forum discussions and i know that the lens attach to the device on a 6x9 flat lens board

but after that is it just a matter of attaching the device by clipping into the lens board position and pushing the bellows all the way in - then focus ? Or is there more to it than that such as setting infinity.

can anyone share their experience with this device - how practical is it to use this in the field - also i have seen 2nd hand ones from time to time - are there different models is there a model particular to my Master Tech - thanks Anthony

Scott Walton
30-Jul-2004, 08:00
Yes, mount it to a flat lens board, push in the bellows and use the knob on the WA unit to focus. I have a Tec V at work and use a 65mm. At home my Tec III and my 65mm is on a recessed lens board I had the machine shop make and I do have to drop the bed when using it.

David A. Goldfarb
30-Jul-2004, 08:31
Yes, it's fairly simple. Just attach it like another lensboard, and the lens attaches to the device on its own 6x9 lensboard, and you focus with the screw knob with the lens on the inner rails. There is no need to set an infinity stop, because you're not using the rangefinder.

I've seen three versions, a tan one that matches the Tech IV/V tan leatherette, and a black one, which seem to be functionally identical, and an older silver one that doesn't take separate lensboards. I would get either the tan or the black one, so that you can use it conveniently with more than one lens.

Brian Ellis
31-Jul-2004, 23:43
I recently attended a Don Kirby workshop and noticed that he was using a very wide angle lens, I believe a 58mm, on his Technika IV without a wide angle focusing device. I wasn't interested enough to ask him how he was doing it but someone else mentioned here recently that very short lenses can be used on Technikas without the wide angle focusing device by focusing with the back. I hadn't thought of that and I can see that it would be a little bit of a pain but I suspect that's what Don was doing. You might try that before incurring the substantial expense of the wide angle focusing device.

Anthony Roach
1-Aug-2004, 01:18
Many thanks for you feedback - i'll keep an eye out for a 2nd hand tan or black one - i think the new ones are typical of linhof very expensive and can take a while to get down under - I have emailed robertwhite. co .uk about helical mounts to see if they can be easily mounted and used on the master tech as well - so i'll let you know what response i get there - that could be useful though i'm not sure how easy it is to focus with the gear pushed in all the way

btw a simple question- if the lens board is in all the way and therefore at the same distance from the film plane why does it work the same for a 58 and 65mm lens ? shouldn't they be at a slightly different distance from the film plane to get correct infinity (if you know what i mean) ? or is it they are so close it doesn't matter - hope this isn't too dumb a question its just i am used to have the infinity stops as a guide to positioning the lens.

thanks again

Jean-Louis Llech
1-Aug-2004, 04:19
Anthony,
I use the wide-angle focusing device on a Master Technika with a Schneider Super-Angulon XL 5.6/58mm and it works great.
The operations are as follows :
<ol>
<li>Remove the cam if one is in place (otherwise, when the drop-bed will be lowered, the cam might be damaged).
<li>Pull out the lens standard to the middle of the upper track,
<li>Insert the wide angle focusing device, fitted with the 6x9 lensboard and the lens, on the standard,
<li>Push back the lens standard deep into the camera housing,
<li>Press down on both struts to lower the drop-bed on the third notch (the last one) until it clicks. The drop-bed is lowered at 30. Otherwise, the drop-bed will be on the film.
<li>To focus for infinity : with the wide angle focusing device bellows completely retracted, grasp the lens standard by the pull-out grips, and move the lens standard back and forth on the inside housing track, in order to focus on the groundglass,
<li>Then, and only then, turn the focusing button of the wide angle device to fine focus the lens on the groundglass.
<li>You can use the flap on the top of the camera housing to rise the lens.
</ol>

The lensboard with helical mount to focus the lens is a new system, which works on the Master Technika.
I try it, it's easier to use than the wide angle device, as it is lighter and has no bellows, and the lensboard is a 45 one, not a 23.
But, on another hand, you need to buy one for each lens, as the helical mount is attached onto the lensboard.
When I bought the wide angle device with my SA 58mm lens a few years ago, this sytem was not yet into production.
I am very satisfied with the wide angle device, and I don't intend to change for the helical mount, as I would have to sell the W.A. device, the 23 lensboard and to pay for the helical mount.
If I buy another extreme wide angle lens, I'll use the wide angle device.
Hope this helps.

Anthony Roach
1-Aug-2004, 05:55
Jean-Louis - thanks for your detailed reply it was really helpful - i take it from your reply that the most retracted position isn't infinity for a 58 mm lens and that some tweaking is necessary - sorry for repeating this but the reason i'm a bit obsessed by this is that i do a lot of very low light landscape photography and knowing where infinity is (its out there somewhere) in the pitch black sort of helps.

Other than that it seems easy peezy - thanks Anthony

Jean-Louis Llech
2-Aug-2004, 05:56
Anthony,
While reading your post, I think about something simple :
<ol>
<li>Install the wide angle focusing device with the lens mounted on it,
<li>Be sure the wide angle device bellows is completely retracted,
<li>Under a bright light, focus the lens at infinity on the groundglass, using the pull-out grips,
<li>With a very fine brush, and red enamel paint (paint for modelling), do on the side and the upper part of the inside track a very thin line to mark the position of the lens standard for the lens focused to infinity.
<li>The next time, you will position the standard on this red mark.
</ol>

David A. Goldfarb
2-Aug-2004, 06:47
Jean-Louis' solution seems like a good one, since the inner rails aren't really set up to take infinity stops. That said, when I use the WA focusing device, I usually set the standard somewhere past infinity, because I can focus on infinity more precisely with the focus knob than with the pull-out grips.

Bob Salomon
2-Aug-2004, 07:07
" because I can focus on infinity more precisely with the focus knob than with the pull-out grips."

There is even a more important reason to use the Wide Angle Focusing Device the way David does. As you know the shorter the focal length the more critical the depth of focus becomes and the critical the alignment becomes between the lens and the film. Using the tabs that pull the standard out of the body to focus may result (and probably will result) in lesss then optimal alignment between the lens and the film. Placing the Focusing Device in the body until it stops and doing the focusing with the knob will result in the best alignment and, therfore, the optimal sharpness distribution across the film.

Bob Salomon
2-Aug-2004, 09:53
To be accurate, today there are two versions of the Master Technika; the Master Technika Classic - which requires a Wide Angle Focus Device for lenses from 55 to 65mm as well as the newer Master Technika 2000.

The 2000 has a built-in wide angle focusing system which accepts lenses from 35 to 65mm without the need for any additional accessory. All that is required is the proper lensboard - most of which have a cone rather then a recess.

Other then the wide angle focusing ability all other features are the same except the 2000 does not have a rangefinder mechanism.

So if extreme wide (wider then 75mm) is desired the 2000 would be the desired camera for many users.

Other then the wide angle focusing all other specs are identical, movements, extension, etc.

Anthony Roach
2-Aug-2004, 15:47
Jean-Louis / Bob and David - many thanks for your input - after my last post i was thinking the same thing as Jean-Louis but instead of the paint i was thinking a set of clips which attach to the rail to fix the point to which i can bring the standard out - shaped so it can be fitted under the rail also and then screwed into place from the top - the length of which is determined doing an infinity measurement for the lens in bright light - i have done that measurement for some of my other lenses. I need something like that because it is next to impossible getting a good measure of infinity in low light and i because the light changes so fast its imperative not to spend too much time setting things up. Just what i need a couple of extra grams of weight for my Linhof :-)

David and Bob - i take on board your comments re the positioning of inifinity and maybe its something to with which to experiment.

Thanks again Anthony

giancatarina
3-Aug-2004, 08:26
for infinity focus in dark situation, you can use a cheap laser (key holder), it makes a clear red spot that can help you for focusing !

Jean-Louis Llech
3-Aug-2004, 11:55
Bob Salomon,
"Using the tabs that pull the standard out of the body to focus may result (and probably will result) in less then optimal alignment between the lens and the film. Placing the Focusing Device in the body until it stops and doing the focusing with the knob will result in the best alignment and, therefore, the optimal sharpness distribution across the film."
If you carefully read what I wrote :
"6 - To focus for infinity : with the wide angle focusing device bellows completely retracted, grasp the lens standard by the pull-out grips, and move the lens standard back and forth on the inside housing track, in order to focus on the groundglass,
7 - Then, and only then, turn the focusing button of the wide angle device to fine focus the lens on the groundglass."

I NEVER said that focusing was done by means of the standard tabs.
Just read the Master Technika manual # 025642/9910/1,5 DEFS, page 17 :
"Focus for infinity by moving the lens standard on the body track back and forth. Care should be taken that the wide angle focusing device is completely retracted. Focus for near distances by turning the focusing button"

Anthony Roach
3-Aug-2004, 23:21
Just for information (i am sure many of you may know this already) - i have had an email disc with one of the guys from robertwhite in the uk about the helical mounted lenses

helical is mounted in a recessed panel - fitted into the standard and pushed all the way in and the helical mount is set at a distance appropriate for focussing at infinity without having to move the standard - ahhh but $$$$$