View Full Version : Swap Linhof Technika III for a wooden folding?

3-May-2010, 10:55
After long time, the intention (or, being broke, should i say the hope?) of buying a good flatbed scanner that supports 4x5" or maybe even 5x7" films, has brought me a renewed interest on LF equipment.
So long the time since my last LF pictures, that when i opened the cases i wasn't aware anymore of which lenses i purchased and which were sold!
But the cameras are no suprise, i own an old and heavy 13x18/5x7" Fatif (old model, italian made, with a square rack and pinion rail, quickly detachable in two parts, with ball-head retainers), a Linhof Kardan Bi-System 4x5", and a Technika III 4x5".
The Technika III is the latest model before the IV, with RF and most of the body similar to that of the Technika IV. The camera is in good conditions, with a 90mm Angulon with original board and dedicated cam, and comes with the foldable focusing shade, the leather handle, and the original shutter release, that can be fitted either on the side or on the base of the camera. The front standart flexes (and very slightly) only if fitted with very heavy lenses. The rangefinder works OK and i have even adapted a Technika IV 150mm cam to be used with a 150mm convertible Symmar.
I hope the desciption has been precise enough, because i am looking for the help of the readers. These days i am thinking if i could sell the Technika, and get a modern wooden folding camera, like a Tachihara or a Shen Hao.
I see many reasons to do it:
A wooden camera would be lighter, easier to carry around, and would readily use all the lenses in standard Linhof board, the same boards used by the T. IV, but different from the older boards used by the T. III.
Of course a Tachihara, Wisner or Shen Hao (the latter being my favourite) have less movements, and no RF, but i don't use the RF very often, cause i have only two cams, and my preferred lenses have none. The same for extended movements, if i have a need for them i could use the Kardan.
The lens boards are a little problem now, cause the Fatif comes with Linhof board adapter, the Kardan Bi-System also uses standard boards, while the the T. III uses the older model.
The main problem, from my point of view, would be the financial viability.
I abolsutely don't know which could be the sale price for my Technika (excluding lenses and including one original board), and if it could be enough to purchase a good second-hand wooden camera.
Recently i have seen such cameras for around 600 euros MINIMUM here in Europe, looking at the offerings available on the bay.
I understand that the technical value of my Linhof is greatly bigger, as the workmanship and the materials involved in its production, but it's fifties camera, while the cameras i like are for the most part like-new and of very recent production.
I have even looked for the prices of a Technika IV, for which i have already some accessories, and that is at the same time compatible with all my lens boards and more robust if used with heavy lenses, but i have seen that it sells for more. Most of the times it's quite some money more!
Thre is some more: if i consider that the digital age has swept away nearly all the shops that were selling LF, professional and collectible photo equipments, at least in my area, the most likely way to follow would be a purchase from the bay, but unfortunately not all vendors are so honest, and most of the Technikas have been used profesionally for quite a long time, and the chance of getting a camera with loose tolerances is not so remote. On the other hand, a wooden camera is very likely to be of recent construction, and previously owned by a caring hobbyst, so the few that go on sale are nearly mint.
I'm not saying that a good Technika IV is impossible to find, i'm just saying that i must come to terms with reality, i am practically broke - i've already spent even the money i'd better save! - so the only options left would be to swap my camera for a shiny, like-new, Shen Hao (quite unlikely), or sell my stuff first and then wait for the first wooden camera that goes on sale for a decent price.
Before going that way i'd like to get your opinion. If i'd better kick away that crazy idea, or if it could be a viable option, after all? Would the money from the sale of the Technika III suffice for buying what i want?
If somebody has done the same thing before (i guess so), have you been satisfied, or maybe you're regretting having sold the Technika?
Is there something i didn't mention that should be taken into account?

thanks a lot in advance to anybody who will try to help

have fun


Jack Dahlgren
3-May-2010, 11:34
The fact that you are finding your TIII of little use and would rather have a TIV or later or a different camera altogether is probably the same way other people are feeling about TIII's. I don't see many recommendations for people to buy them.

With this in mind, and considering your use of this camera (none recently) and finances (practically broke), I'd think that this is the best time to sell it. I don't think that there will be a sudden demand and price escalation for this model of camera. So, unless you have an emotional attachment to the camera or think that your usage would change it is probably a good idea to let it go.

3-May-2010, 12:34
I have a III it's a nice camera a little heavy and not much front movement. I would sell all 3 cameras and get one camera that will do most everything you want. The 2 Linhof should get about $300 + each. Not sure about the other one you have. You can get a good used camera for about $800.00 maybe a older Chamonix 45N-1 a lot on the market with the new one out now.

I solved the III lens board problem by making my own. You can get aluminum or wood plates and a hole saw from the hardware store and make your lens board.

Patrik Roseen
3-May-2010, 15:12
Hi there, (first post in a long time...)
I have the same Tech III as you and I would not trade it for a wooden field camera. Setting up a tech iii is so muchfaster than any of the wooden field cameras I have seen.

Yes it is a bit heavier but it is also very rigid.

As to Tech IV I am not sure that is really an improvement apart from the lensboard as you say. I bought a Linhof color with the IV front and I was surprised to see that the movements were so limited. I actually expected more from it.

Good luck.