View Full Version : In absence of a 8x10 Master Technika...

12-Nov-2003, 17:33
I am travelling several months a year, working with two 4x5 Linhof Master Technicas. I am satisfied with these cameras, the quality, robustness, compactness, low weight, and of course the quality of the images I produce with them. For some purposes, however, it would be beneficial to supplement my travelling equipment with a 8x10 camera, one that would have some of the same qualities as described above. If there had been any such thing as a new 8x10 Technika my choice would have been easy, but there is not.

When I bowse through the pages of this forum, there seem to be a preference to the wooden cameras for 8x10 fieldwork. For my purpose wood is not attractive due to the nature of my travels. Furthermore, I understand from the different forums (and from personal communication), that many current compact 8x10 folding metal cameras, are not always as solid as one would whish for (as compared to the standards of my current equipment).

This may leave me with the option of one of the light (but still robust) metal rail cameras on the marked. A 8x10 Linhof Kardan GT could be a useful compromise. I have only seen this camera in a 4x5 version (apparently there is not many 8x10's around) and I wonder if anyone in this forum have experiences in using this camera while travelling? Comments and practical experiences with this camera would be appreciated.

John Kasaian
12-Nov-2003, 17:54
J.S. My 2-cents:A Kodak Masterview might be worth looking at---a nice camera, even more so now that lensboards are avaliable. They certainly are robust and as precise and solid as any user would want, plus they are light wieght(magnesium or something---its be awhile since I had one) and fold up to about the same size as a 'dorff. Probably much easier to manage in the field than any 8x10 monorail except maybe Gowland's light wieght model.

David A. Goldfarb
12-Nov-2003, 17:56
I'd think the Toyo folding 8x10" would be a candidate:


tim atherton
12-Nov-2003, 17:59
Not being sure quite what kind of photography you are doing on your travels, but if you are willing to carry them, the nearest things to a metal "technika" type 8x10 would be somethiong like the Toyo 8x10 Field, or a used Kodak Master 8x10.

Not quite sure why you wouldn't go with wood, but you are unlikely to find a field camera much more sturdy and rigid than a Phillips Compact II if you aren't going for extreme movments. I've found it's actually more rigid than the Sinar F1/F2's 4x5's I've used (and barely weighs much more). I'm sure you will get plenty of other suggestions (not having tried it, but what about the metal Canham 8x10?)

Bob Salomon
12-Nov-2003, 18:02
"such thing as a new 8x10 Technika my choice would have been easy"

Are you sure? There once was an 8x10 Technika. It was made from 1938 to 45. And it weighed 22.25 lb. That was a lot of weight to carry around. Especially when you add the weight of a tripod and head that can support a 22+ lb. camera and its' lenses.

CP Goerz
12-Nov-2003, 18:14
Another question may be why take an 8x10 and a 4x5? Since both are the same shape there isn't much gained by taking the 8x10and/or 4x5's in the final print result unless you plan to print BIG.

When you get to your shot location you then have the question 'is it worth an 8x10 neg/chrome?-should I go back to the car and get the 8x10?' 'Should I go back to the car for the 4x5?' etc.

Possibly an 8x10 with a 4x5 reducing back might work better in that you could use the 4x5 for a polaroid preview but if you do shoot with the 4x5 you carried a lot of extra weight to take the same 4x5 shot that would have been easier with the original 4x5.

The small annoyance with a reducing back is that if you use WA lenses the bellows may not compress enough for use without a recessed board. The plus in favour of the 4x5 back on the 8x10 is that your negs will have very very little bellows flare so your negs/chromes will have more pop to them.

CP Goerz.

12-Nov-2003, 18:36
Thank you for the answers and suggestions sofar.

The reason for the 4x5's: I use them handheld much of the time.

The 8x10 would be tripod mounted and operated with the aid of an assistant.

Yes, the intention is to print BIG.

Ted Harris
12-Nov-2003, 18:38
A second vote for the Phillips Compact II. Weighs less than 9 pounds and is incredibly rigid. I use mine in blistering heat and in the dead of New England winter. The only drawback is that you will not find one used very often and could wait more than a year for a new onw. I waited 10 months.

Gem Singer
12-Nov-2003, 21:00
Hi J.S.

From what you described it sounds like the Canham 8X10 metal field JMC is what you are looking for. Quality camera(www.qualitycamera.com), Atlanta, GA, among others, sells them.

Tony Karnezis
12-Nov-2003, 23:42
Also consider the Toho 8x10. Very light and with the movements of a monorail.

Jean-Louis Llech
13-Nov-2003, 01:51
If you have been using a Master Technika, I think it will be difficult for you to find a 8x10 camera with the same characteristics.

I'am sorry to ask first a stupid question, but why two Linhofs ?

IMO, it would be better to continue with metal cameras, than wooden ones.
In the range of metal cameras, the choice is rather restricted.

The closest to the Linhof Master Technika would be the Toyo 8x10. It is a good folding, precise and sturdy camera, with sufficient movements. Second, the Canham 8x10.

But, if you choose a metal rail (view) camera, (That's what I would do too), look rather at the Kardan Bi-System 8x10.
It's one of the best view cameras I've ever seen, a milestone in large format cameras conception. It has both axis and base tilts, and can be easily converted to 5x7 or 4x5".
It's rock solid, and (quite) cheap. This camera can be found sometimes on ebay at rather low prices. But they do not remain a long time for sale.
On another hand, many accessories are common to all Linhof cameras, and you'll be able to re-use some accessories you currently use on your Master Technika, like reflex angle viewers, Linhof 120 backs, of course with a 8x10 to 4x5 back adapter.

I would prefer the Bi-system to the Kardan GT. Of course the best one would be the GTL but it's built like a heavy panzer, and rather a studio camera.
Best regards,

Ryan M
13-Nov-2003, 09:13
I use a Cambo SC 8x10 and it works pretty well, I also use a Cambo 4x5 so the lensboards fit both cameras. It aint light though. It is rigid and precise robust to the point to remind me of a tank, completely made of metal, but the best part was that it cost me only $175.00. Accesories are plentiful and it is really fun to use, I love the big gg, however, IT IS HEAVY. I still hike with it every so often with a Kelty backpack I converted to hold it, but, I can't say I still don't long for a Canham, Wisner, or Gandolfi. If your looking for inexpensive and metal, I would say to take a peak at a Cambo.

Jorge Gasteazoro
13-Nov-2003, 10:09
How about the Arca Swiss F line compact in 8x10? seems to me it meets all his requirements.

Christopher Condit
13-Nov-2003, 10:34
You may not have noticed the Wehman, which is worth a look. When folded up, it is all metal, though the standards and back are wood and some resin-like substance. If what you like about metal is bomb-proofness during transport, check out www.wehmancamera.com.

It only weighs about 8-9 pounds, but due to its size still requires a relatively hefty tripod. When I carry it any significant distance, the bulky, heavy, tripod is more of a drag than the camera itself.

Jay Lnch
14-Nov-2003, 06:38
Kodak Master View 8x10.. You can find used ones at around $1200. Well worth it. BTW my 4x5 is a Linhof V.


Julio Fernandez
14-Nov-2003, 12:14
Bob's right! ..and the GT is also a heavy brute. Bon voyage!

Mark Nowaczynski
14-Nov-2003, 19:57
Its good to see a 4X5 Technika user talk about the hand-held use of these wonderful cameras. Linhof is the only company in the world that still manufactures a 4X5 rangefinder camera that can be used hand-held. Large format photography has unfortunately become a tripod, ground glass, zone system, and dark-cloth activity. We have all but forgotten the grand tradition of 4X5 press camera use hand-held with range-finder focussing. This leads to rapid and spontaneous one-shot photography, which is a very different way of practicing LF photography. A large print from a large negative, even taken hand-held, proves the point. Long live hand-held large format photography!

Michael Heinrich
18-Nov-2003, 00:18
Hi, here in Munich you can buy a technika 8x10, there are only 24 but there is an offer of a local dealer. I am using a 13x18 Technika for architectural photography, in Germany you can get one for less than 800 €, you can take pictures without tripod and you can use nearly all 4x5 lenses. In Germany 13x18 is often used because it is a very nice print format. I tried all formats also in weight: 4/5 with lenses and films: 13kg (lbs??) 13/18 : 16 kg 8/10 : 24 Kg !!

If you insist in an 8/10, the Linhof Kardan GT 8/10 is not so small as a Philips, but it is a great, quite small camera, which you can get in Europe for a quite nice price because there is a lot of photographers throwing out there old cameras...