View Full Version : Linhof Technika V

13-Mar-2008, 10:58

I know this web since 4 or 5 years but only read it.

They have offered me a Linhof Technika V,mint condition, for 1500 USD and I would like to know your opinion. My lenses are 75mm (recessed board), 150mm, 210mm and 300mm (copal 3). I´m amateur and want it for landscape.

Is it an obsolete camera? If in the future it was necessary, might it put the bellows of the Master Technika? Do spare parts exist? It´s better to pay more for a Master Technika?

Thank you very much, pardon for my english and regards from Spain.

David A. Goldfarb
13-Mar-2008, 11:07
The Tech V uses the same bellows as the Master Tech and has many parts in common with it. I sent mine to Marflex for a CLA and some repairs and to have another lens cammed a couple of years ago and there were no problems obtaining parts.

douglas antonio
13-Mar-2008, 12:00
hi orlandus,

the V is an excellent camera and will work very well with all your lenses. i believe it may be a bit more demanding working with the 75mm since the lens will be quite a bit in the housing at infinity but it will work. i have the same camera and am not thinking of changing it to the master. i even checked whether it works with digital backs and it does. perfectly!


Dave Parker
13-Mar-2008, 12:26
I think you would be hard pressed to find any Large Format camera that is "obsolete" they are as long in decent shape, are usable, even the oldest ones...the basic premise of LF photography has stayed pretty consistent over the last 125 years..one of my favorites to shoot with was made in 1897 and it still works just fine.


Frank Petronio
13-Mar-2008, 14:01
The only difference between the Master Technika and the V is that the Master has a flap on the top of the main housing that folds open. This allows the 90mm lens to be used with larger amounts of vertical rise without cramping the bellows. It is a very limited and infrequent issue, so consider the price difference between the cameras.

The condition and repair of the camera is more important. Some Master Technikas can be 30 years old now, so they may need a new bellows just as much as a 40 year old Technika V. Either way, plan on either replacing an older bellows and doing some adjustment work with a Linhof service center, or finding one that has already had service within the last ten years or so.

13-Mar-2008, 16:30
A new bellows will cost you $400, so check carefully. They definitely go bad (dry rot more than wear) and the model V is many years old.

Brian Ellis
13-Mar-2008, 20:11
I've owned the Tech V and the Master. Both are excellent cameras. $1500 is about top dollar for a Tech V but it's a fair price IF the bellows is light tight and the camera is otherwise in excellent condition. Make sure you have the right to return the camera no questions asked if it turns out that the bellows leaks. You, or preferably the seller, should do the "flash-light-in-a-dark-room" test and make sure the bellows is racked out all the way when the test is done. There can be pin holes at the lens-end of the bellows that won't show up until you put a 300mm lens on the camera.

I never had a problem with movements using a 90mm lens on the Tech V even with a flat lens board but a 75mm is pushing it. You'll need a recessed board and even then front rise will be almost non-existant.

Some of the internal parts for the V are different from the Master and can be difficult to impossible to find. When I dropped my Tech V one of the knobs that controls the back movements broke off. Turns out that the internal mechanism for the knobs is totally different on the Master and Marflex couldn't get the parts. I was able to replace the knob and once again have a functioning back only because S.K. Grimes just happened to have the needed parts sitting around in his shop. Still, I wouldn't let that potential problem stop me from buying a Tech V. If you take good care of the camera you won't need any parts. Just make sure you don't need any before you buy the camera.

David A. Goldfarb
13-Mar-2008, 20:31
I think the parts that are different are mainly the parts associated with the back movements, which are arranged differently to accommodate the flap on the top of the body. I think the extension rods that support the back on the Master are actually thinner than the rods on the Tech V.

On my Tech V, Martin replaced the base of the front standard and the spring that holds the cam shoe flat against the camera baseboard, and those were the same as current parts.

14-Mar-2008, 12:31
It is the IVth, not the V.

Thank you very much to all for your answers.

I have returned to speak with the seller and he says to me that the camera is a Technika IV.

I have read the information that exists in this web about technikas, but I would like that you were advising me if the IV is a good option or if it is preferable to look for a V or a MT, though they are more expensive.

Thank you very much.

Frank Petronio
14-Mar-2008, 12:47
The main difference between the IV and the V is that the front rise mechanism is a lever on the V and a knob on the IV. The IV is slightly harder to access when using shorter bellows extensions (wide angle lenses) but it can be done. But the lever on the V often has chipped gear teeth and can sometimes break, so the IV is actually more robust and reliable.

The other big difference is that if you want lenses cammed and adjusted to the rangefinder, with the IV each lens must be cammed to that specific camera. With the V and later the theory is that the lens, cam, and cameras will be consistent and you can buy lenses with cams (cut for the V or later) and they will work without any adjustment. In real world practice, my experience is that you would still want a service technician (in the USA it is Marflex) to check and adjust the rangefinder and cam on even the V and Master Technikas. I bought a lens with a V cam and it was not perfectly interchangable and really needed a service call anyway.

On the positive side, the IVs are quite a bit less expensive and if you need to send it in for service and a new bellows anyway, you might as well purchase a $800 IV and spend $600 on the service rather than $1200 for a V that needs $600 of service.

Again the bellows are the most likely problem with any Technika more than 10-15 years old, as well as it needing a general cleaning and lubrication.

Also, having had both the IV and V, I would get the IV again, at a good price. It has slightly heavier castings for the front standard and otherwise seems just as nice as the later Technikas.

14-Mar-2008, 13:54
Thank you Frank.

I have a Technikardan and it would use the same lenses in the lens board. I do not need the rangefinder.

In Spain the cameras of large format are much more expensive than in other countries. And the offer of cameras of the second hand is very small what does that the prices are very high.

Another option is Ebay. But there is no offer in the Spanish version. It would have to buy it abroad and already they have tried to cheat me once. I prefer paying something more to a shop of photography in Spain. I have called the principal ones and only in one of them they have one IV 2200 USD and one V 5000 USD:mad: ,both mint condition .It is a site of total confidence with guarantee and facilities of payment.

Once again, I will be grateful for any commentary in the matter.

Best regards.

Frank Petronio
14-Mar-2008, 17:17
Those prices are more than double what you would pay in the USA. There are good dealers that will sell internationally, although you might pay more than what you would on eBay I think they are more reliable.


Jim at www.mpex.com would be my first choice to buy a used camera from. He may not have a Technika in stock at the moment but he does get them.

Other good used dealers?

Brian Ellis
14-Mar-2008, 20:11
As Frank says, the IV and V are almost identical cameras but the IV commands a lower price on the used market, partly because it's older, partly because that front rise knob is something of a pain to use especially with your 75mm lens. I don't know where you live and what things are like in terms of available cameras and their prices wherever you are. However, speaking from the standpoint of the U.S., I wouldn't pay $1500 for a IV. $1500 is IMHO absolute top dollar for a V and IMHO a lot too much for a IV. With some patience and looking a IV in excellent condition can be bought in the U.S. for $900 - $1000. Just a couple weeks ago I saw a Tech V with the anatomical grip, cable release, and universal viewfinder sell on ebay for $1425 and a Tech IV sell for $915. Both appeared to be in excellent condition.

17-Mar-2008, 01:59
I am going to continue searching.Thank you very much for your opinions. They me will be of great help.

Frank Petronio
17-Mar-2008, 04:38
It's a real shame you weren't looking for one last month when I sold mine because it was completely updated and cleaned, and I ended up selling it for quite a bit less than what I thought I should reasonably expect. But with expensive cameras it is often a matter of being patient and waiting for the right match.

So if anything the prices are headed down! Especially with the strong Euro, you should be able to get quite a nice bargain if you buy from a known seller in the USA. Watch this forum as most transactions are very successful here.