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Thread: Linhof Technika III... Double Headed Rangefinder Cam...

  1. #1
    Embdude's Avatar
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    Linhof Technika III... Double Headed Rangefinder Cam...

    My oldest Linhof Technika has an unusual (at least to me) rangefinder cam...

    It is slightly wider where it attaches to the camera than later cams and It is double headed!

    On one side it is for 9cm and on the other 50cm... My other Technika III cams are in mm and wont fit.

    It is the only one like this that I have seen, I assume it was an early style that was quickly phased out...

    I always found it clever that the 23 and later MF Technika's had a triple cam.... too bad the 4x5 didn't keep it up

    anyone have any more info about this?

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  2. #2
    Embdude's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technika III... Double Headed Rangefinder Cam...

    Turns out the early Technika III Rangefinders used this type of cam until 1950 then switched to the butter knife style. Linhof switched again in 1957 with the new IV...

  3. #3
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    Re: Linhof Technika III... Double Headed Rangefinder Cam...

    4x5” RF Cams - The cams have evolved over time as well. The early Technika III E cams 1947-1949 are different than the Super Technika III 1950-1957. The early cams are wider and stubbier than the butterknife like cams of 1950 onward. The early cams are double sided with 150mm and 90mm and the base where they plug in is wider than the later style. As such they are too wide to fit into a 1950 or later model and the later style are too narrow to attach to the early model. The cam changed for the final time with the IV of 1957, once again they do not fit in or accept earlier types. All III and IV cams are lens and camera specific. When the lens is calibrated to the cameras rangefinder both the serial number of the camera and the lens is engraved into the cam, and precise focus is only assured if a matched cam for a particular body and lens are used. From the Technika V up through todays Master Technika the cams only need be calibrated to the lens and only the lens serial number is engraved onto the cam. This allows lens and matched cam to be used interchangeably on all Super Technika V and Master cameras. Just exactly what Linhof did between the IV and V to zero the ground glass and allow for greater cam interchangeability is unknown to me. If I find out I will share this information.

  4. #4

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    Re: Linhof Technika III... Double Headed Rangefinder Cam...

    Interesting. I wasn't aware that these double-headed beasts were out there.

    I've never used an III, and I don't know how well these older cams worked. My assumption is the flat faced ends were prone to being "sloppy" or "tight", and that's why they moved to the grooved face for the IV and later. Is it true that the III cams do not engage as solidly or easily as the IV and later versions, or is that just my bad assumption?

  5. #5
    Sean Mac's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technika III... Double Headed Rangefinder Cam...

    There seems to be a lot of small variations in production back then.

    The shape of the top slide on my Technika (5303) is different to your Super Technika.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I may have spent too much time staring at pictures of old Linhofs over the years

  6. #6
    Embdude's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technika III... Double Headed Rangefinder Cam...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Mac View Post
    There seems to be a lot of small variations in production back then.

    The shape of the top slide on my Technika (5303) is different to your Super Technika.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I may have spent too much time staring at pictures of old Linhofs over the years
    Yes the shape of the cutouts on the bedrails seemed to change at least 4 times over the period of the "Early" Technika III cameras 1946-1949.

    Your Technika #5103 indicates a rangefinderless model. The early non-rf models began in 1947 with #5006 and ended in 5,999 in 1949. I have far less info about the non-rf III's than the more common RF models. The size of the front able release clip indicates a style that began in 1949 with 5,400. I would be very interested to see more photos of your camera. It would help me more accurately set the serial numbers for the early non-rf cameras...

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