View Full Version : Recessed Board Not WA Bellows on Technikardan

Scott Rosenberg
20-Jan-2005, 17:17
hey y'all...

i'm expecting delivery of a new-to-me technikardan 45S in about a week. during that time, i'm trying to take care of as many of the little details as i can so that i'm up and running as soon as the camera arrives. i've now reached the stage in my preparations where i'm addressing my lens boards. i've read that you can use lenses down to 90mm before resorting to the bag bellows. to save the room in my pack, i'd like to leave the second bellows at home if it's at all possible.

my widest lens is a 75mm, next in line is a 110mm. is there a lens board out there that will allow me to use my 75mm lens with the standard bellows? what about the 110?

are copal 1 lenses difficult to use with recessed boards?


Paul Butzi
20-Jan-2005, 18:04
The short end of my lens lineup is 90mm and 135mm.

I never use the 90 without fitting the bag bellows. I use the 135 with the normal bellows if it's fitted to the camera when I start, but often I switch to the bag, usually because I want more rise or fall than I can get with the normal bellows.

One of the nice things about the TK45s is that you can use short lenses (down to 58mm?) on a flat board. Recessed boards are just a huge pain in the neck, at least in my opinion. you have to make arrangements for the cable release, either one of the elbows or one of the Linhof wire doogus things. You have to either have the fingers of a gekko or else use something pointed to set the aperture. It's a pain to cock the shutter, it's a pain to flip the focusing lever.

I know you're not me, and everyone's tradeoffs fall out differently. But my feeling is quite definitely that the bag bellows for the TK is compact, easy to swap even with cold, stiff fingers, and it's really a nice bag, very robust. In contrast, my feeling is that recessed lensboards are an evil instrument of Satan, devised to induce photographers to weep in frustration and then hurl their camera away from them with great force, preferably toward some deep body of water.

In your situation, I'd just buy flat boards and fit the lenses into them, then use the bag for both the 90 and the 110.

By the way, I've discovered to my great dismay that the Genuine Linhof boards fit more smoothly into the camera than Wista boards do. Naturally, the Linhof boards are atrociously expensive.

And the best deal on both Wista and Linhof boards I've found is thru Jeff Taugner, at Badger Graphic in Kaukana, WI.

Hopefully, someone else will weigh in with the opposing viewpoint so you get a little balance.

Scott Rosenberg
20-Jan-2005, 18:18
hey paul, thanks for the insights, and thanks for the informative review of the TK45S on your site. sounds like you have some pretty strong feelings regarding recessed boards! i suspected pretty much everything you said about them, but was sorta hoping i was off-base. i'm 6'5" with oversized hands, even for my frame, so i'm pretty certain that i don't have the dexterity to navigate around a tight recessed board. i know that there's no free lunch, so it looks as though the bag bellows is the way to go.

thanks for the heads-up on the linhof boards. i was leaning towards linhof brand boards anyhow, as a friend of mine put it this afternoon, "putting anything else on a linhof would be like putting ford hubcaps on a mercedes."

thanks again,

Jim Rice
20-Jan-2005, 18:25
It depends upon the recessed board. I once used a recessed 4"x4" board on a Kodak Master View with a 90/6.8 Grandagon (Copal 0) and it was barely possible. The most daunting thing was the release, which I solved with a (lamentably long gone) Prontor wide angle cable release which had to be left attached. The Toyo elbow extention would not have worked. Calumet currently sells a soft adaptor that should have worked. A Copal 1 would have simply not worked under those circumstances. It may have not even fit in the recess. OTOH it made the use of the 90 possible on a camera that was not designed for it and while it wasn't a walk in the park, it did work. A flat board with a bag bellows is significantly nicer. I really don't have any idea what size a TK board is so YMMV.

Scott Rosenberg
20-Jan-2005, 18:39
hey jim... both of my short lenses live in copal 1 shutters, so i think i need to simply eat the bulk and carry the bag bellows.

Frank Petronio
20-Jan-2005, 18:58
Gepe makes the best adapter for tight recessed boards - Gepe 3.25" (8.3 cm) Flexible Cable Release Extension for Large Format Lenses Mounted in Recessed Lensboards

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=233735&is=REG (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=233735&is=REG)

If you have to use a recessed board, this is the best I've found. But sticking a Copal 1 into a Linhof recessed - fogetboutit!

(Get the Linhof OEM boards no matter what.)

Gem Singer
20-Jan-2005, 19:17
Hi Scott,

I doubt that there are any Linhof Tech type recessed lensboards capable of taking lenses that are mounted in a Copal 1 shutters. At least, I have never heard of any. You might as well plan on getting the bag bellows for the Technikardan and using flat lensboards for your 75 and 110.

Gem Singer
20-Jan-2005, 19:39
Hey Frank,

That same Gepe 3.25 in. flexible extension sells for $12 at Midwest Photo Exchange. I use them on all of my cable releases. They are handy, even for lenses mounted on flat lensboards. They seem to be easier to screw in than the standard cable threaded ends. However, they reduce the
throw length, resulting in the throw length being too short to operate my Copal 3 shutters.

Scott Rosenberg
20-Jan-2005, 19:43
i think we have a consensus... flat lens boards and a bag bellows. thanks for all the information, fellas.

Scott Rosenberg
20-Jan-2005, 19:56
for anyone who may search the archives in the future looking for information on the range of technikardan bellows, here's a summary of what i've found:

lenses from 58mm - 135mm are best used with the bag bellows.
lenses from 135 - 450mm are best used with the standard bellows.
the camera is capable of about 20 inches of draw, which is approximately 500mm.

the TK45S will focus a fujinon 450C, but may be a bit unstable stretched that far.
some ways to make the camera a bit more stable when racked out like that are:
- an extension lens board
- a RRS tripod mount allowing the camera to be better centered over the head
- the linhof long lens accessory bar

Bob Salomon
20-Jan-2005, 23:15
Both the 75 and the 90 require the wide angle bellows. Not use the WA bellows and you will mess up the standard bellows if you do any movements. Both lenses work on the flat board.

Brian Ellis
21-Jan-2005, 06:54
Heere's the balance Paul requested : - ):

I happen to use all Linhof boards, including one recessed board, on my Master Technika because I can afford them and I think they look nice. But at one time or another I've also used an Adorama board, a Horseman Woodfield board, and a Wista board on Linhof cameras. They all worked perfectly .

I didn't use a bag bellows on my Technikardan in the brief time I owned it but I did use one on my Ebony SVTe. It was easy enough to fit the bag bellows on the camera and remove it but to me it was a far greater pain to have to do that all the time than it is to use my recessed lens board (with the $10 cable release extender from MidWest Photo that Eugene mentioned).

John Hennessy
21-Jan-2005, 11:18
Nikkor lens boards work just as well as Linhof. They are often available new and used from (I think) KEH or maybe its Midwest. The no-name generic boards from Badger are just OK for fit but rather shiny.

I have had all sorts of Linhof type boards over the years and except for needing wiggle some a bit to get them to seat, (e.g., Wista) there is practically no difference. The only difference is cost; they are all about the same except actual Linhof boards which are 2-3 times more than all the others.

In sum, Nikkor for fit, finnish and price are the best I have seen.

As for the main subject of this thread: I would agree with everyone that a bag bellows (also very pricy) is the best choice. A 90mm or 110 are useless without it and sometimes even a 150 needs it. Since you're buying a used camera you might be content with a used bag bellows too. Protecting the bag bellows from dust and wear (or the normal bellows when off the camera) is the problem. I use a one gallon ziplock bag and as long as it is still air tight I figure it's still OK.

Kirk Keyes
21-Jan-2005, 15:37
Scott, more like putting Nissan hubcaps on a Mercedes. But then I've got some Honda and Toyota, and even some homemade boards for my Mercedes, oops, I mean Linhof.