View Full Version : Toyo VX125 vs Linhof Technikardan

Greg Liscio
27-Nov-2007, 20:28
My last two choices. I will shoot mostly outside - landscapes and architecture. Some inside which will be portraits and macro work.

As always, input appreciated.

Jack Flesher
28-Nov-2007, 08:47
Totally different cameras to use, both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Toyo: Geared rise and focus on both standards, quick to set up. Limited to ~ 300mm extension with stock sliding base rail and bellows, base tilt only - no axial tilts.

Technikardan: Over 450mm extension in stock trim, can use a 58 and 450 on flat boards, folds up compact, yaw-free if used 90 degrees on its side (well, that could be a feature for some :)). Slow to set up, clugy to fold back up, pretty flimsy when the third rail is extended, friction everything except rear focus, no base tilt.

My only comment on your intended uses is macro, which generally requires a lot of bellows and you may be limited on the Toyo. A 120mm lens at 1:1 needs 240mm of bellows, which the Toyo can handle...

Brian Ellis
28-Nov-2007, 09:15
There are two reviews of the Technikardan in the 4x5 camera review section of this site, one written by someone who didn't like it (me) and one by Paul Butzi who did like it. I don't know anything about the VX125. There was an article in Shutterbug years ago comparing the two cameras, it might be available on their web site.

Rob Champagne
28-Nov-2007, 10:43
Those were my two choices of camera. I went for the Technikardan in the end. I now wish that I had gone for a Technika instead.
The reason is that most of my photography is done in the field and most is landscape. The technika is a far better tool for this in my opinion. The Technikardan is a nice camera and has masses of shift but in reality it is extremely rare that you ever need that much shift.
A Technika has as much shift as you need for the vast majority of situations. And very importantly, is far less hassle to throw in a rucksack when folded away. The technikardan bellows needs to be protected when it is folded up. The claimed folding problems that people have with Technikardans are IMO down to ham fisted people. I have always found it really simple and quick to set up and put away. But it is a camera which is neither a field camera nor a studio camera but is trying to be both.
The Toyo is bigger and again will need some protection when put in a rucksack. Perhaps less so.
If your work is primarily in the field then get a fully folding field camera and a technika is probably the most robust and best protected when folded away.

Others mileage may vary.

Bob Salomon
28-Nov-2007, 11:30
is far less hassle to throw in a rucksack when folded away. The technikardan bellows needs to be protected when it is folded up.

When we introduced the first TK the large format manager at Ken Hansen Photo pointed out that he would like to see some sort of protection for the bellows when the camera is folded. We contacted Jim Domke who invented the Lens Wrap and asked him if he could make a larger Lens Wrap that we could market as a Linhof Camera Wrap. This was made in black only and we sold it for several years to wrap up a folded TK 45 camera. Dealers stared selling it to wrap up other products and eventually Jim wanted to add it to the Lens Wrap lineup as an extra large Lens Wrap. It may still be sold by Domke today.

But if you want an even better product to protect a folded TK then you might check out the WRAP-L and the WRAP-XL from Novoflex. These are padded, stretchable wraps. The XL is 19 x 19" and the L is 15 x 15".

28-Nov-2007, 12:35
Another plug for the Technikardan. I use mine for architectural and landscape work. I do not "backpack" with it but have carried it plus 6 lenses on 15 to 20 mile day hikes. I find the shift (and rise/fall) invaluable for refining compositions as well as for their intended purposes. I also use the full bellows extention much more regularly than I thought I would. Ditto the bag bellows (changing bellows on this camera is really quick and easy!). I have never had any problems with folding the camera and find set up to be very quick and easy too, however I do know people who have struggled with both. I cannot fault it and would willingly buy another if anything happened to this one.

David Whistance

Brian Sims
30-Nov-2007, 16:08
I backpack in rugged territory with the Technikardan. I was not confident that the soft wraps would provide enough protection, so I built a box out of instrument grade spruce with walnut edging. The spruce is lite and strong. The camera attaches to the box with the tripod screw. The box adds about two pounds, but the camera is protected from all the typical abuse that comes from rugged backpacking. Here are some photos:





Ben Chase
30-Nov-2007, 17:54
I've used the Technikardan for everything from car trips, site camping, backpacking, and day hiking - I am one of those people who removes/reattaches the bellows with every use. I don't fold up the bellows with the camera. Everything sits inside a photobackpacker case nicely and I am not too disappointed with the setup time.

All things considered, if I had it to do over again, I might have considered the MT 2000 or 3000, but I can't justify shelling out the $$$ necessary for either of those fine pieces of engineering right now.

Greg Liscio
30-Nov-2007, 18:43

That's a very nice piece of woodworking.

7-Dec-2007, 14:41
I will cast another vote for Technikardan. A studio shooter working w/ Sinar P2, this camera is a joy to take out into the field. All the movements I could ever use, great extension, easy setup. I shoot architecture, landscape, even product in the field with this camera. I had Jeff Gnass custom make a case for the body which I then slip into my backpack. Really Right Stuff base plate and arcaswiss monoball make for a solid non-torquing mount on the tripod. As for the setup - when I researched this camera I went to the HP guys at Photo Plus, asked to see the origami demonstration on how to fold this thing up. It is VERY easy.

David Crosby