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5x4 - wood (Ebony) vs metal (Linhof MT)

I am toying with the idea of going back into LF.
I used to own an Ebony RSW45 & 110 Super Symmar XL, but sold it a while back when Quickloads disappeared.
I've played with the Linhof MT in a shop, and was surprised just how much more solid it felt compared to a wooden camera - eg, no wobble at all even when pushing on the front standard.
My question - does the Linhof's precision and solidity make any difference compared to a wooden camera in terms of its printed output? Or is it simply nice to have the metal camera "feeling" more precise in use?
 

Geoff

Active member
Yes and no. The Linhof is more precise, but the pleasure of working with the Ebony is hard to deny. I've never seen any problem from wobble with Ebony shots, but then again, I haven't used it at maximum rack in the outdoors winds. If you were to put a digital back on it, and try stitching shots together, that could be an issue, as there is quite a bit of movement when considered that way. For a standard film shot, both are fine cameras. Choose what you prefer!
 

DougDolde

Well-known member
Biggest issue for me with an Ebony was the poor quality fresnel, Very dim and muddy. Other than that I think I'd prefer the Ebony and I have owned both. You could always get a Maxwell fresnel for it.

I don't think the Ebony would be that much less solid.
 

med

Active member
Yes it is, but usually with LF, precision is almost always proportional to weight... I absolutely love the precision of my Arca Monolith, but how many times do you think it’s been out in the field? I think I took it on one trip when one of my f-line function carriers was in the shop. It never made it more than 10 feet from the car!
 

lookbook

Well-known member
Yes it is, but usually with LF, precision is almost always proportional to weight... I absolutely love the precision of my Arca Monolith, but how many times do you think it’s been out in the field? I think I took it on one trip when one of my f-line function carriers was in the shop. It never made it more than 10 feet from the car!
Thank you for your opinion - you are right. But wood also has weight.

A comparable camera in terms of weight is the Ebony SV 45U2, which weighs exactly 3.15 kg.
The Master Technika 3000 weighs 2.55 KG and is therefore 0.55 KG lighter than the comparable Ebony.

500 grams is not a big difference - but the metal construction is more stable and much easier to handle.

Linhof still manufactures this camera and can also service and repair it if necessary.
Spare parts are readily available - the camera can be extended in any direction.
There are original accessories for digital integration.

So if you want to work with the camera rather than just fondle it, the Linhof is worth considering.

Best regads

Uwe
 

darr

Well-known member
Thank you for your opinion - you are right. But wood also has weight.

A comparable camera in terms of weight is the Ebony SV 45U2, which weighs exactly 3.15 kg.
The Master Technika 3000 weighs 2.55 KG and is therefore 0.55 KG lighter than the comparable Ebony.

500 grams is not a big difference - but the metal construction is more stable and much easier to handle.

Linhof still manufactures this camera and can also service and repair it if necessary.
Spare parts are readily available - the camera can be extended in any direction.
There are original accessories for digital integration.

So if you want to work with the camera rather than just fondle it, the Linhof is worth considering.

Best regads

Uwe

I have owned and used the SV45U2 (and 4 other Ebony models) and currently use the MT 3000.
For stability, the MT 3000 wins hands down.

If you ever try to use a 6x17 panoramic back on each of these cameras, it will not take long to understand why a metal camera is preferable in this scenario, although wood can be prettier to look at! I loved my Ebony cameras, but I need the versatility of the MT 3000 more.

Kind regards,
Darr
 

lookbook

Well-known member
I have owned and used the SV45U2 (and 4 other Ebony models) and currently use the MT 3000.
For stability, the MT 3000 wins hands down.

If you ever try to use a 6x17 panoramic back on each of these cameras, it will not take long to understand why a metal camera is preferable in this scenario, although wood can be prettier to look at! I loved my Ebony cameras, but I need the versatility of the MT 3000 more.

Kind regards,
Darr
... that's great Darr.
with me it was similar - I had the Linhof and could not resist the Ebony when it was offered to me.

At work and during transport - I carry the camera on a strap over my shoulder and lenses etc. in the bag - the Linhof is clearly the better camera
and the Ebony had to go again.

Best regards


Uwe
 

anyone

Well-known member
First of all: I have no experience with the Linhof 3000 or the Ebony. But I do use a Chamonix 4x5 wooden field camera, a Cambo tech camera with 4x5" film, and a Linhof Techno with digital and 6x9cm film.

In short I would say it depends on your intended output size. 4x5" film is a lot more forgiving than any sensor. My experience with the Chamonix is that I can get to large print sizes in very good quality at a very low weight level (If I say large, it means large to me = about 1m at the longer side). Is it as rigid as my Linhof Techno? No, not even close. Or to the Cambo? By design it cannot be, since the Cambo doesn't have a bellows. Is it a joy to use? Absolutely. Does it bring the results I wish for? Yes, it does.

So, it's a subjective matter. Things may change rapidly when you are departing from the 4x5" idea - I very well can understand Darr's comment on the 6x17 back. Having such a heavy piece hanging on the camera may cause instability. Also if you do want to mount a digital back. I have doubts the Chamonix would be precise enough (actually I'm as sure as one can be without trying it that it's not precise enough).
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Wow, this is an old thread. But I have always preferred metal flatbed cameras, called technical cameras. I used a Wista VX. Wista also made other models: one with a rangefinder and another with micro swings. The VX was the basic model with full movements on the front standard and tilt and swing on the rear with a rotating back. Great cameras and would also consider this is thinking about a Linhof.

 

lookbook

Well-known member
Wow, this is an old thread. But I have always preferred metal flatbed cameras, called technical cameras. I used a Wista VX. Wista also made other models: one with a rangefinder and another with micro swings. The VX was the basic model with full movements on the front standard and tilt and swing on the rear with a rotating back. Great cameras and would also consider this is thinking about a Linhof.

... if you want to bet on a dead horse, she is just right! : )
or is it still built, are there spare parts, except from china and is it still repaired by wista?

maintenance and repair is underestimated if you really want to work with a camera ...
 

Shashin

Well-known member
I owned that camera for 25 years without a single issue. They are not complicated machines. If you take care of a view camera, it is basically maintenance free.
 

bensonga

Well-known member
I have been tempted by the Linhof Super or Master Technika cameras many times and I often still am (including just a few days ago). It is great that the Linhof cameras are still made and it’s possible to get parts and have older Technikas serviced, repaired and restored. That said, over the past 40 years I have been quite happy with my Graphic View, Cambo, Sinar, Toyo 45AII and Ebony 45SU cameras. I expect the Shen Hao TFC617-A I recently purchased will also work just fine for my needs (6x17 roll film in this one only).

Is there only ONE brand of large format technical/folding view cameras people should consider buying today? I don’t think so. Not all of us have the same budgets, requirements or expectations.

Gary
 
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bensonga

Well-known member
I have been tempted by the Linhof Super or Master Technika cameras many times and I often still am (including just a few days ago).
After many years, my resistance was finally overcome.
 

AlanS

Well-known member
The only tech camera I ever owned was an ancient MPP, but it worked fine and gave me many memorable pics! I am sure you are going to enjoy this beautiful camera Gary.
 
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