View Full Version : Replacing Focusing Screen on a Master Technika

Brian Ellis
13-Sep-2004, 08:01
I want to replace the Beattie screen on my 4x5 Master Technika with a SatinSnow ground glass to see how the SatinSnow compares. Can anyone who has switched screens on a Master Technika (or, I suppose, any other model Technika) tell me whether changing from one screen to another is an easy, straight-forward operation as it has been on other cameras where I've done this or whether there are potential problems I should watch out for, any special tools that are needed, etc.?

I'm mostly concerned with just the mechanics of doing it, not with the wisdom of doing it or with possible focusing problems after it's done. I know how to check focusing after it's done and I have both screens already so it isn't a question of which to buy, I just don't want to bump into some strange Linhof/German over-engineered gizmo or design that only the factory or Marflex has to know-how and tools to handle.

I ask here first rather than just trying to do it because I'm going on a lengthy photography trip in a couple weeks. I don't want to mess things up and not be able to properly use either the Beattie or the SatinSnow screen with insufficient time before the trip to get things corrected.

Juergen Sattler
13-Sep-2004, 08:20
Hi Brian,

I just changed from a regular screen to a Beattie on my Technika III without any problems - all you need is a Philips screw driver and you are ready to go - I don't know if the later Technika screen fixtures are any different, but I doubt it. Bob Salomon will probably chime in as well - he seems to be the expert on Linhof cameras.


David A. Goldfarb
13-Sep-2004, 08:35
It's fairly straightfoward. Just remove the screws on the clips that hold down the GG and replace. You'll see there's some play in the clips to allow you to center it properly before tightening fully.

The ground surface of the glass should sit on the four positioning rests, and if you have a fresnel, that goes on top. Be careful not to adjust the screws on the side of the frame that face the lens, which are used to calibrate the groundglass position by controlling the depth of those four rests.

John Cook
13-Sep-2004, 08:36
I have owned two of these. Wonderful cameras. But sufficiently over-engineered that I would probably send it back to them to do this sort of work. Last time I tried fooling with the GG I wound up with a handful of paper-thin shims.

roger michel
13-Sep-2004, 09:33
very easy to do -- completely straightforward and simple.. make sure you use correct size screwdriver to avoid scarring screws.

having said that, the advice you have received about potential focus problems should not be ignored. i used many many aftermarket screens on my view cameras (the beatties are quite bad; the 20/20s are quite good as are the maxwell screens), and i have never encountered a screen that did not require some degree of shimming/tweaking to get the focus just right. this is potentially a very time-consuming and annoying problem. consider carefully whether you wish to undertake it so close in time to an important trip.

best regards, roger

Bob Salomon
13-Sep-2004, 09:41

Assuming that nobody has re-set the shims and that your current screen and the new screen are both similar to a standard ground glass - that means the ground or frosted side of the screen is placed torwards the screen.

Then replacing the ground glass is very easy. 1: Remove both black hold down strips - there is one on each end of the gg held in with 3 screws. The middle screw may be longer then the end screws depending on the age of the camera. 2: Lift off the hold down strips and the fresnel clips (if installed under the middle screw. 3: Lift the old screen off. 4: Place new screen, ground side down, on the shims. 5: Place hold down strips on either end of the new GG. 6: Replace screw and, if present, the fresnel clips.

If your shims have been re-set or your screens do not have the ground side facing the lens then the replacement must be done by the service center - providing the camera is not gray market.

roger michel
13-Sep-2004, 11:10
ah . . . but there's the rub bob . . . "assuming that the new screen [is] similar to a standard ground glass." many of the replacement screens exhibit small variations.

Bob Salomon
13-Sep-2004, 13:54
"assuming that the new screen [is] similar to a standard ground glass." many of the replacement screens exhibit small variations."

No it isn't.

As long as the ground or frosted side faces the lens it is a 5 minute DIY project.

If the grain side does not face the lens, or you have the fresnel facing the lens it is a service center project.

Linhof has not placed the fresnel under the ground glass in several decades so this is unlikely to be the case with a MT. Unless someone has played with it.

Brian Ellis
14-Sep-2004, 20:48
Thanks very much to all who responded. Bob, when you say to "replace the screw and, if present, the Fresnel clips" do you mean to replace those clips even though a Fresnel isn't being used with the new ground glass?

Bob Salomon
15-Sep-2004, 02:01
If you ever want to use a fresnel then you leave the clips on. Since you will never really know if you will use a fresnel at any time in the future or if a furure buyer would want to you really want to put them on the camera. They are very easy to lose off the camera.