View Full Version : Not the Toyo, Not an Ebony, but a....

Bill McMannis
25-Aug-2004, 20:12
Hello All,

Last month I solicited advise for a replacement for my Zone VI 4x5. At the time I was interested in the Toyo A45II, two of the folding Ebony cameras and the long shot was the Linhof MT 2000. I posted to the group that I was leaning towards the Ebony SV45U2. I had the nagging feeling that I was a "metal camera guy." Jean-Louis Llech suggested a MT Classic with coupled rangefinder. The more I thought about that, the more I was leaning towards Linhof, but I wanted more movements than the Technika's offer. This afternoon my new camera arrived from Badger Graphics;

A Linhof Techinkardan S45.

After spending the evening with the camera, it is everything I want. Thanks in part to a well written manual, plus Paul Butzi's webpage explanation of how to fold the camera, I having no difficulties opening and closing the camera. The bellows is as pristine after dozens of opening/closings as when it came out of the box. I guess it just makes sense to me. Closed the camera fits better in my Pelican case than my Zone VI

With one tiny exception that I plan to email Bob Salomon directly one, the workmanship of the camera is superb. The camera is solid. I love the zero detents. I spent the evening pushing tilts, rises and swings to the limits. The thing is simply solid and a joy.

I must admit, this is such a different camera than what I originally contemplated, I surprised I made this decision, but I am happy I did.

Thanks again for all of those who help with the decision making process.


David R Munson
25-Aug-2004, 21:02
I'm glad to hear that you are pleased with your new camera. Linhof does indeed make some fine products (my Linhof is twice as old as me and I love it). I hope you make many fine images with it.

Andre Noble
25-Aug-2004, 22:02
Congrats Bill. You made the right choice.

Jean-Louis Llech
26-Aug-2004, 03:13
The Technikardan is indeed a great camera. If you can, buy also a wide angle bellows.
I am glad if what I wrote helped you in some way to make your decision.

Bill McMannis
26-Aug-2004, 08:53

I ordered the WA bellows with the camera along with the Linhof Fresnel. I am looking forward to trying the bellows outh this evening. (We were rained out last night so I just played around with some tabletop stuff.)

Thanks again for the suggestion. Bill

26-Aug-2004, 09:42

What led you to choose the Technikardan over your original candidates?

Bill McMannis
26-Aug-2004, 10:12
CXC, I missed the movements I had with my old Sinar. I have done some architectural photography that has been published in trade magazines. When I took the field camera to photograph buildings (mostly theaters), the limited movements of the field camera created difficulties. As I plan on the bulk of my shooting to be architectural, I need a camera with generous rise and fall. Generous shift is also a must.

On the other hand, I liked the compactness of the field camera. I have a complete Canon kit with two bodies for 35mm. When I had the Sinar, I needed two cases for traveling: one for the Sinar and the other for the 35mm gear. With careful packing using the Zone VI, I could get both kits in one Pelican 1620. I often work out of the tailgate of my stationwagon and working out of a single case makes things go so much easier.

Part of the bulk with the Sinar was not so much the camera body, but those HUGE lensboards. The Zone VI not only folds nicely, but the lensboards are significantly smaller than the Sinar counterparts.

I also backpack with my cameras. With the Sinar I found I had little space left in my LowePro backpack for 35mm gear. With the Zone VI I could bring a couple more lenses for the Canon.

I wanted a solid, but compact 4x5 with the flexibility and range of movements that a monorail has.

This left me with one candidate: Technikardan S45. I have solid monorail performance with full movements. The thing folds as small as my Zone VI when you take into account the Zone VI's knobs. Atleast with the lenses in my 4x5 lens kit, you cannot fold the Zone VI with a lens installed. As an added bonus the Technikardan can be folded with my 150mm 5.6 lens mounted saving space in either the backpack or Pelican case. As a double bonus, the Technika lensboards are smaller than the Zone VI's.

There it is.


Mark Sampson
27-Aug-2004, 07:59
Bill, I've used a Zone VI for 12 years, and my choice to replace it would be a TK. I'm glad someone else thinks so. I just can't justify the expense right now, and the Zone VI still does the job. Good luck with your new camera!