View Full Version : Using Hand-Held Tele-Arton 240 on 4x5 Technika IV

David Finch
29-Aug-2005, 18:46
I have been trying to teach myself to hand-hold a 4x5 Technika IV that I bought recently. I've had some success using the cammed 90mm and 150mm lenses that came with the camera (using Tri-X helps a lot; using a flash for indoor shots helps even more).

I also have an old Linhof-select Tele-Arton 240mm in excellent shape. I'm thinking of having Marflex cam this lens as well. I understand that the Tele-Arton was designed primarily for hand-held use on Baby Linhofs, but Linhof evidently sold the lens to 4x5 Tech users as well.

I am worried, however, by camera shake and depth-of-field issues. If I want to maximize depth-of-field by shooting Tri-X at, say F.22, I'd have to use shutter speeds of 1/200 or slower, which invites shake. If I want to keep the shutter at its fastest speed (1/400), I'd have to open up to F.11 or more, which will result in a very shallow depth-of-field as well as loss of sharpness due to the wider aperture.

Does anyone have any experience hand-holding short telephoto lens on a 4x5 Tech? Can these problems be solved? Is it worth spending the money to have this lens cammed?

29-Aug-2005, 18:59
According to the Schneider website, the 240 will cover 4x5, (and I'm sure that you won't be using any movements when hand holding), so you should be okay there. I find it a struggle to hand-hold my 240 Symmar, or 360 Tele-Xenar on the Technika, but often hand-hold a 10" Tele-Raptar on my Crown Graphic, in fact it's my favorite 4x5 combination. Personally, I wouldn't spend the money to have Marflex cut a cam.

Henry Ambrose
29-Aug-2005, 19:12
If the decision about camming the lens depends only on being able to use it handheld - keep your money. On the other hand it could still be useful to have a cammed lens for shooting from a very steady position or a tripod. I suspect that the Linhof grip and the weight of a Tecnika would help steady things some as well.

I have a 240 Tele Xenar that I've used on a Crown Graphic but would not consider handholding expecting sharp results. I found that I'd get it right sometimes but more often than not it'll be a bit soft all over. For that matter its not that easy to get great results -everytime- even with the shorter focal lengths. A big handle mount flash is good to use even outdoors!

David A. Goldfarb
29-Aug-2005, 20:28
With any camera a tripod always produces sharper results, but some shots are more suited to handheld work.

I shoot handheld with my 210/5.6 Symmar convertible often and sometimes with a 360/5.5 Tele-Xenar, both cammed, on the Tech V. I get pretty good results with the 210. With the 360 the limiting factor is the shutter that only goes to 1/100 sec.

Short DOF is part of the look, as I see it, and I like selective focus, so that isn't a problem for me. I try to stay at my top shutter speed when possible, and sometimes I use flash (usually a Norman 200C). For handheld work, I usually shoot Tri-X or J&C Classic 400 at EI 640, processed in Acufine. With flash I might use a slower film/dev combination.

Frank Petronio
30-Aug-2005, 07:02
It is a nice portrait lens and I got good results with it tripod mounted. However I recently did some hand held 4x5 portraits with short depth of field situations and I found that I got more reliable results by focusing on the ground glass. The problem with handheld 4x5 is not with the RF or GG focusing, but with changing the camera position while loading the film and shooting. Even a slight tilt or change of an inch will have an effect on the focus, no matter how steady your hold is. Of coursee if you shoot f/11 at infinity it doesn't matter as much as a portrait head shot.

A monopod helps by defining a fixed point, but I think that even a cheap, light tripod would be the best. I note that David Burnett (Speed Graphic and Aero Ektar) uses what looks like a $29.95 consumer tripod - much too light for the gear - but it "fixes" the camera position for reliable focus. I'm sure he still has the use his hands and body mass to "steady" the camera.

David Finch
30-Aug-2005, 12:13
These replies have been very helpful. I am heartened that folks have gotten good (if not excellent) results with 200-plus lenses on hand-held Techs.

It will cost around $300 (including shipping) to get Marflex to cut a cam. The Tele-Arton probably isn't worth much more than that. Still, I think I might do it. I am reminded that RF hyperfocusing is fast and easy compared to using a GG, making RF worthwhile even if the camera is on a tripod. An alternative is buying and camming a modern long lens that permits movements. I can't imagine, however, hand-holding a Tech with a lens that requires 250 or 300mm of bellows draw.

I like the idea of using a light tripod to fix the camera's position. It sounds like a better idea than using a monopod, which is useless for focusing. I agree that even slight shifts in position will throw off the focus. Someone once told me that with shallow DOF, the eye should stay on the rangefinder patch after initial composition through the viewfinder.

Ed Richards
30-Aug-2005, 16:28
I would buy a better lens if you are going to spend the money on a cam. The Fuji 250 6.3 makes a great lens on a Technika and is pretty cheap. Since the V's have a standard back distance, you can also buy some cams from dealers with a return privilege and see if you can get one that fits.

Bob Salomon
30-Aug-2005, 16:58
"Since the V's have a standard back distance, you can also buy some cams from dealers with a return privilege and see if you can get one that fits."

Except he says he has a IV which do not have the zeroed gg.

Ed Richards
30-Aug-2005, 17:20
Sorry about that - I better put my glasses on. I have a IV and found a cam that was close for a 90, then cut it to an exact fit myself. Not recommended for the faint of heart, and 90s are the easy ones. Given that cams for a IV are strictly one shot, I would double my recommendation that you get a really good lens that will allow movements, then send it off to Marflex. I was going to have my 90 and 250 cammed, but went the cheap route because the IV limits movements with the 90 so much that I did not want to put any more money in it. If I hit the lottery I will get a Master.:-)