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Thread: The Linhof Technika III

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    The Linhof Technika III

    Linhof Technika III Evolutionary style

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    PDF poster: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1chT...ew?usp=sharing

    3 distinct versions of the Technika III exist:
    Early, Mid, & Late.
    Within these 3 categories individual models can be separated out possessing slight cosmetic and minor functional changes. These models variations are described in the poster above.

    Serial Numbers
    The Technika III has 2 serial number lines. Cameras with Rangefinder have one line and cameras without the other. This has often resulted in some confusion as they are not sequential if combined.
    The Technika III serial number lines.
    One with rangefinder (2000 - 62,000) 1946-1957
    One without rangefinder (5000 - 16,000) 1946-1960

    The Technika III’s with RF:
    Early - The 20xx series was very short lived and replaced with the 2100 series in 47’ followed by the 5 digit series- 22,000 series, & 23,000 series in late 48’ - which was the Technika IIIE
    Mid - The 1950 Super-Technika begins with 30,001 and ends in Dec 1954 with 37,104.
    Late - The Dual focus with geometric bed model from Sep 1955 starts with 50,001. It ends with 62,236 in Aug 1957.

    The Technika III cameras without a Rangefinder:
    Early - Start with the 5006 in 1946 and continues until 1950.
    Mid - It becomes the 60xx series in 1950 lasting until June 1954. The 6k series stands out as unique to other Technika III cameras with a thinner body and wrap around leather.
    Late - Late 1955 nonRF models begin with 15,000 and end with the final Technika III 16,064 in Oct 1960

    My research on the Technika III was accomplished with help from a great number of wonderful Linhof fans, thank you. Especially knowledgable were the ever helpful Bob Salomon, Richard Shimonkevitz, and Barbara Wolff. I also used the following publications; Modern Photography Dec 1965, Photo Dealer Magazine 1971, Stephen Gandy’s CameraQuest website, Robert Monaghan’s LF website, QT Long’s Large Format Photography Forum, many Linhof company publications & The Linhof Camera Story book. Thanks also to Jan van Galenn, the friendly greeter and moderator at Linhof Camera Fans Facebook group.

    The Technika III quickly replaced the short lived Technika II in late 1946, and would be the camera that would cement Linhof’s place atop the professional camera world for the next 70 years.

    The Linhof Technika III was a major design and style change from the earlier Linhof’s. The exterior is no longer completely wrapped in black leather but instead a it is a satin chrome with black leather panels. Except for the interior, bed, and Art Deco pinstripe lensboard, the black paint is gone and the chrome and polished aluminum of the earliest Linhof cameras is back in a very impressive display of Streamline Moderne design. It has its origins in Art Deco, but goes beyond it by smoothing out Deco’s features.

    The major technical feat of the Technika III is the addition of a rangefinder with quick change cams capable of accepting the entire line of lenses available. The first version rangefinder housing is a simple square block but by 1950 the III has undergone a streamlined redesign and the camera appears smooth and far less boxy. The rangefinder housing is now geometrically shaped and streamlined as is the clip at the top of the lensboard. Controls along the front standard and bedrail that were once black anodized buttons are now thin aluminum levers. The leather handle on the side of the camera is removed and a thick strap held on with a long chrome plate lies nearly flush along the side, attached with 2 screws with low-profile oversized screw-heads. The black lensboard with white trim of the early III is replaced with a new polished aluminum board with the Linhof script logo across the top in red.

    The crowning jewel of the 1950 refresh is the new shutter and lens design. The rim set compur shutter is literally given a facelift. While still the same inside, the exterior of the shutter is now a modern gleaming chrome cone, emblazoned LINHOF in bold red block letters.
    To fill the new Linhof shutters Schneider, Voigtländer, and Zeiss are commissioned by Linhof to make special lenses to complete the camera. Some of the most iconic LF lenses ever made resulted. Each lens is made in matching chrome to the shutter and engraved with the Linhof logo script in red. Linhof was widely reported to have set particularly high quality control standards for acceptance of the lenses that bore their logo. This has led to a higher value being placed on the Linhof branded lenses over the same lens without the brand in a normal stock shutter.

    The Technika III is also the first Linhof camera to have a choice of color! Following the design update of 1953 a “burgundy red” or “forest green” version was available, coloring the leather, bellows, and interior paint, completely eliminating the black. Additionally since 1937 the white Linhof Technika Medizin has been available in a washable cream lacquer finish version exclusively for medical use.

    By the middle of the decade Linhof was hard at work designing the all new model Technika IV in an effort to release it on the company’s 75 anniversary in 1957. The last design of the Technika III foreshadowed the model IV’s arrival and it embraced an ultra modern style. No longer a basic box it sported a geometrically shaped satin chrome cam-shell design with Atomic Age sweep and tapered accents.

    Few camera models have seen so much change and yet remained the same camera. Built upon Linhof’s foundation of innovation and unyielding precision the Technika III is a bridge connecting the first 60 years of the company's esteemed past with its next 60 years. Linhof had a bright future ahead of it, in no small part because of the success of the Technika III.

    If you are still reading, thank you. The 4x5 Technika III was my first Linhof camera and is still my favorite.
    Everything is as complete and accurate as I can make it at this time. Quite possibly I will need to update some as I learn new things about the Technika III.
    - Christopher Cox

  2. #2

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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    Great that you gathered this information about this classic camera!!!

    I'm still using a flat bed III, after using it as a portable 4X5 location camera professionally for years, and serviced it about 10 years ago for personal fine art work... Finally replaced the bellows this year (Camera Bellows/UK), and the camera seems very happy, and likes to be out shooting!!! Love how it zeros out movements when opened exactly to tiny tolerances, and sets up very quickly... Only downside is camera + kit is quite heavy together in photo backpack... But near the car, it's fine...

    One thing you can explore about this series is there seems to be about 3 different styles of lensboards for these with minor variations... One is a flat bottom edge, another is a flat edge with a V notch on the bottom center that some cameras will reject non-V boards, then there is a style that is a little thicker, and has some small rectangular notches on bottom edge... Then there's the later style like today's with notched bottom/cut bottom corners, but has the different deep light trap that extends into the FS (not the flat boards anymore)... Some minor filing on the early boards will make them work on the different early models usually... Boards can be made from aluminium stock from scratch, but I haven't tried it yet, but just used up my stash of old orphan boards, but will do some in the near future...

    I think these cameras should be able to live forever, with some service per decade!!! ;-)

    Thanks,

    Steve K

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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    I had #5303 out for a walk on the beach this evening.

    It was a 200 euro "parts/repair" deal on ebay last year from Canada.

    Some radical surgery was needed to get it operational.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...908950&thumb=1


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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    Why did they make the front standard release button so small and awkward to get to?
    I have the last version, that I thought was the 5th.
    Was in near mint until I got, but they were ment to be used.
    Great camera, ( except for that bloody release button) my most used 4x5.

  5. #5
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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post

    One thing you can explore about this series is there seems to be about 3 different styles of lensboards for these with minor variations... One is a flat bottom edge, another is a flat edge with a V notch on the bottom center that some cameras will reject non-V boards, then there is a style that is a little thicker, and has some small rectangular notches on bottom edge... Then there's the later style like today's with notched bottom/cut bottom corners, but has the different deep light trap that extends into the FS (not the flat boards anymore)... Some minor filing on the early boards will make them work on the different early models usually... Boards can be made from aluminium stock from scratch, but I haven't tried it yet, but just used up my stash of old orphan boards, but will do some in the near future...

    Steve K
    Thanks Steve! Yes the III had quite a progression of lensboards over the years it was made (1946-1960). The bottom notch appeared with the 1955 boards for the Late model III's. The IV and later style boards are slightly wider than the III boards with a lighttrap as well that makes it too hard to mount to a III. As you say a III board can be cut to work with a IV or later standard... I have some graphics for the lensboards as well...

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    Enjoy!

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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Mac View Post
    I had #5303 out for a walk on the beach this evening.

    It was a 200 euro "parts/repair" deal on ebay last year from Canada.

    Some radical surgery was needed to get it operational.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...908950&thumb=1


    Wow a III with a IV standard! that sure is radical surgery! as the bedrails are very different between the 2 models... #5303 was an "Early" non-rf Technika III. For the non-rf models of this era as it appears there were a few made in the original 1946 style but most are of the 1949 style. I have not seen an early non-rf model in the 1947 or 1948 styles...

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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    Quote Originally Posted by awty View Post
    Why did they make the front standard release button so small and awkward to get to?
    I have the last version, that I thought was the 5th.
    Was in near mint until I got, but they were ment to be used.
    Great camera, ( except for that bloody release button) my most used 4x5.

    Well the release is not needed to get the standard out of the box and onto the rail, you can just use the pull handle... unless somehow you have a notch on the perch rail?

    Stephen Gandy’s CameraQuest website has a nice page about the Technika III that makes the 5 versions claim and I think that is where most people are getting there version info from. Prior to CameraQuests page Robert Monaghan’s LF website had similar information which was credited to an article in Modern Photography's Dec 1965 issue. I corresponded briefly with Mr Gandy and he believes the Modern Photography article as his likely source. In addition there are a couple of other articles that also list model numbers between 4-7 versions. Linhof itself never gave any designations than Technika III and likely relied solely on serial number batches to tell them apart.

    When I did my research I found there were 11 distinct versions but that there were 3 major groups - early, mid, & late.

    To avoid even more confusion I chose to avoid numbers in my naming scheme and instead choose letters and nicknames to identify particular style differences.
    Last edited by Embdude; 17-Jun-2021 at 15:58.

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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    I had mine serviced when I bought and after 4 years of use its starting to loosen a bit. The swing and tilt still takes a bit of force though.
    Great camera though, solid as a rock.

    Linholf Technika III by Paul Fitz, on Flickr

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    Re: The Linhof Technika III

    Quote Originally Posted by awty View Post
    I had mine serviced when I bought and after 4 years of use its starting to loosen a bit. The swing and tilt still takes a bit of force though.
    Great camera though, solid as a rock.

    Linholf Technika III by Paul Fitz, on Flickr
    Very nice Late model Technika III. It must have been made near the release of the IV as it has the tapered IV style rear lock knobs. The very last version of the late model III had black accents on the focus wheels and the rise and shift wheels...

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