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Thread: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    This thread have been very inspiring and after looking at many of your works, I have decided to shoot more large format again. However, I own the Sinar P2 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 which are great in studio but for outside applications it may be too heavy. Thus, I am planning of getting the Linfhof camera for lighter weight and compactness. I plan to buy the Linhof adapter plate to the Sinar plate. What are your thought of the Linhof Technikardan 45 S? How does this camera fair with the field cameras such as the Linhof Technikardan Master 4x5 field camera or other brands?

    Best Regards,
    -Son

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    Member Seascape's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Large movements are really not needed for most field work, so a Technikardan is really more camera (movement wise) than is required.

    Most field shooters prefer a Technika 4x5. There are various models, but the classic Technika is the Master.....still available new, but plenty of used units out there.

    The Technika is compact for transportation (when folded), rugged, very solid with everything tightened up, and low windage when compared to a Technikardan, for instance. A Technika while not as versatile as a Technikardan, has sufficient movements for most field work.

    As a Linhof technician I know says, "a Technika is a camera for a lifetime"......it will outlast you

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    I have owned and used the Technikardan 45 pre-S (exact same camera as the S but without the zero detents), Technica 4, Sinar P and P2, Horseman, Toyo CF, VX125 and GX, Arca F Metric and Monolith, Ebony 45 SU (non-folder), Shen Hao 45, Phillips 45 and the Chamonix 45.

    With 4x5 film, I would not hesitate to repurchase again for field use the Tecnikardan, Toyo VX125, Arca F Metric, Ebony 45 SU or Chamonix, but would lean to the Ebony or Chamonix due to total weight, compactness and ease of use. The downside to the Ebony is it has asymmetrical rear tilt and swing and the axis is off most MF film -- and if I got back into using a camera with movements, I'd probably want to use MF film with it since I already own an excellent MF scanner.

    However with digital, the list narrows quickly. Here none of them really have precise enough locks and movements for MF digital IMO, though if I were pressed the Arca F-Metric would probably get the nod for its combination of precision and rigidity. It is more rigid than either the TK or Toyo VX, as fast as the Toyo and faster than the TK to set up. The TK is least rigid when extended but the most compact of the three when folded. I don't like the fact you have only base tilts with the Toyo VX, and much prefer the axis tilts on the TK, and with the Arca FM with Orbix, you get both base and axial tilts. All are excellent build quality and run about the same weight, all have graflok compatible backs.

    The Tech IV/V/Master are great, rigid cameras, but not as flexible to adjust and more fussy when using lenses shorter than 90mm (you have to drop the bed which takes some time and you then lose rise)...

    All said and done, if I were going back to a camera with full movements, I would shoot mostly MF film and so probably get another Chamonix...

    Sidebar note on the TK -- if you get one, practice folding it several times first with the bellows REMOVED! I can almost guarantee you will wrinkle the bellows of the TK the first few times you try to fold it with the bellows on...
    Jack
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    ..... on the TK -- if you get one, practice folding it several times first with the bellows REMOVED!......
    There is a natural flow to unfolding a TK on a tripod; it is a two handed operation with a hand on each of the Standards. It is important to unlock the the sideways shift locks on both standards, and unlock the focus racks on each side. Follow the safe unfolding of the compressed bellows and you will get the knack. Don't play with unfolding whilst off a tripod.

    .......... Chris

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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    We always left the bag bellows on the camera, made folding and unfolding much simpler.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    I recently had a chance to use a Technikardan 45 for a few hours. It seems too clumsy. Modern woodfields like Ebony are so much more productive in the field. While the folding system of the TK is clever, it's slower and more awkward than anything I've seen. Even my Toyo 8x10 monorail sets up quicker in the field. Also, the rear L standard of the TK gets in the way for some 4x5 rear accessories.
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    ... While the folding system of the TK is clever, it's slower and more awkward than anything I've seen. Even my Toyo 8x10 monorail sets up quicker.....
    Lars - No doubt you are marginally right about speed of set-up in the field, but the TK's great strength was it's compactness, and with the knack unfolding the camera can be pretty fast [ then one must lock and centre the standards , and lock the left rail from behind the camera]. I made thousands of images with my TK over many years working from a touring bicycle, setting the camera up takes less time than setting up a tripod. The selling point for me was it's compactness relative to the alternatives I considered at the time. All in the past as I have downsized to the M8.

    .............. Chris

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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
    Lars - No doubt you are marginally right about speed of set-up in the field, but the TK's great strength was it's compactness, and with the knack unfolding the camera can be pretty fast [ then one must lock and centre the standards , and lock the left rail from behind the camera]. I made thousands of images with my TK over many years working from a touring bicycle, setting the camera up takes less time than setting up a tripod. The selling point for me was it's compactness relative to the alternatives I considered at the time. All in the past as I have downsized to the M8.

    .............. Chris
    Admittedly I'm spoiled with the Ebony non-folders. I'm sure it's possible to get used to the TK design, I just found it more than marginally cumbersome.
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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Thanks everyone for your inputs. All the informations are interesting and helpful. I look forward to get the first field camera to complement my current Sinar P2 systems.

    Best Regards,
    -Son

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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Son, I would strongly suggest that you actually inspect an Ebony non folder. I think I have owned all the "big name" LF bodies and the Ebony non folders are IMHO the ultimate field cameras.

    Currently I have a SW810 Ebony with a 45 reduction back. It is WITHOUT DOUBT the most rigid of ANY LF camera - including Sinar and particularly the Arcas. I think I could park a Mack truck on top if the tripod was strong enough. Additionally the SW810 only weighs 8.5 pounds and setup is a 2 minute procedure - it is always square.

    Anyway that is my 2 cents.

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Tex,
    Thanks for the information. I do always love the 8x10 as well. So since I start fresh which model do you recommend to get or the one you already suggested? I have never seen the Ebony but heard too many folks speak of this system. Also what lens board does it use or compatible with? Finally, how do you digitize your 8x10 and do you prefer negative or slide film?
    Best Regards,
    Son
    Last edited by PSon; 6th August 2009 at 15:08.

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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    Tex,
    Thanks for the information. I do always love the 8x10 as well. So since I start fresh which model do you recommend to get or the one you already suggested? I have never seen the Ebony but heard too many folks speak of this system. Also what lens board does it use or compatible with? Finally, how do you digitize your 8x10 and do you prefer negative or slide film?
    Best Regards,
    Son
    I've been looking toward an 8x10 system this winter. Right now I'm rather taken with Chamonix if going new.

    I'm going to 8x10 to just do contact printing with alternate processes. To digitize that lovely negative just seems wrong.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Son,

    Ebony have a website that describes their cameras: http://www.ebonycamera.com/cam.html

    The 8x10 non-folder, for example, "Accepts Sinar-type lensboards, Linhof adapter board included."

    Steve

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    I've been looking toward an 8x10 system this winter. Right now I'm rather taken with Chamonix if going new.

    I'm going to 8x10 to just do contact printing with alternate processes. To digitize that lovely negative just seems wrong.
    I plan to use the file for much bigger print and in today service is more toward digitalizing the file. However, I feel that once you scan the film it still have the film characteristic and not the sensor. This is as far as I can do in term of film.

    Best Regards,
    -Son

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Son,

    Ebony have a website that describes their cameras: http://www.ebonycamera.com/cam.html

    The 8x10 non-folder, for example, "Accepts Sinar-type lensboards, Linhof adapter board included."

    Steve
    Steve,
    Thanks for he information which comes as a welcome since I already have the Sinar system and would like to have them complementing of each other.

    Best Regards,
    -Son

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by Tex View Post
    Currently I have a SW810 Ebony with a 45 reduction back. It is WITHOUT DOUBT the most rigid of ANY LF camera - including Sinar and particularly the Arcas.
    Not really. SW810 may be the most rigid bed-extension camera at short extensions, but no match for a good monorail like Toyo 810G once you get past wideangle extensions.

    Let me explain that statement a bit: The achilles heel of all designs with extending beds is that for long extensions the overlap is too small. This is even more true with the Ebony non-folders (I have an SW23 and a 45S) as the bed is too short short for much more than wideangle extensions.

    I've used my Toyo with over 900 mm bellows draw, outdoors in field conditions. At that level of extension the tripod becomes the weak link, not the camera, so dual tripods is a must to avoid oscillations.
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Not really. SW810 may be the most rigid bed-extension camera at short extensions, but no match for a good monorail like Toyo 810G once you get past wideangle extensions.

    Let me explain that statement a bit: The achilles heel of all designs with extending beds is that for long extensions the overlap is too small. This is even more true with the Ebony non-folders (I have an SW23 and a 45S) as the bed is too short short for much more than wideangle extensions.

    I've used my Toyo with over 900 mm bellows draw, outdoors in field conditions. At that level of extension the tripod becomes the weak link, not the camera, so dual tripods is a must to avoid oscillations.
    Lars, you are 100% correct. If the user does not mind the massive weight (19.6 pounds) of a Toyo G, you indeed have a sturdy camera. However, lugging that massive unit is not a task that 99% of LF users seek in a field camera - especially with two tripods. The Toyo G is a studio camera, not a field camera (at least by conventional standards).

    The SW810 is restricted to a 360 mm lens at the long end - most folks consider a 240 to 300 as a "normal" 810 lens - so the camera is not a wideangle camera - however it excels with a 150XL on it.

    I have used Sinar P2 810 cameras with over 8 feet of bellows with three HD tripods in a studio setting - the cameras were NOT stable. There is simply too much "loosey goosey" play in the standards of monorails - this is my opinion from years of use - but again is my opinion.

    Anyway, my entire point was that the SW810 is absolutely the strongest, most stable field camera made. The camera sets up in under two minutes - is always square - is always rock solid - and weighs 8.5 pounds.

    I have owned and used the SW23, SW45, 45SU, etc Ebonys - they are simply not in the same league as the SW810. I actually returned the SW45 because I thought it was simply too flimsy.

    I do appreciate hearing of your first hand experience with the Toyo G and always enjoy your magnificient images.

    Thanks and have a great weekend!

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technikardan 45 S

    Tex,

    I can imagine that the SW810 with a 150 XL to be a great setup. Love that lens, it's so sharp it hurts to look at the trannies.

    I've lugged my 810G around the world for a few years now, including a year in Australia. It fits nicely into a Supertrekker backpack. Yes it's heavy but it's still only a fraction of the setup - the camera is 9 kgs, the whole backpack 25+ kgs including a Gitzo CF 5-series with a Burzynski head. A lighter camera would shave off 3-5 kgs but that's it - one that can handle the Cooke at 646 mm would still be some 5-6 kgs.

    I did consider a non-folder for 8x10, but I found that if I shoot 8x10 then setup time is not so important. In smaller formats OTOH it really matters for me, as I can afford to be more spontaneous.

    I've taken great care of the standards on the Toyo - carefully adjusted them to be tight and firm. (I actually have two 810G's, one as backup and for parts.) I've never used a Sinar but P2 used to be more or less the reference design for monorails so it's a bit surprising that you found it to be sloppy.

    I found out that dual tripods is a must once you get past 300 mm focal length, if you want to take advantage of the 8x10 film for resolution. It doesn't matter what camera or tripod head you have, as the tripod legs becomes the weak link. It may be possible to get past that problem by using some heavy duty surveyor's tripods - nothing considered a camera tripod is torsionally strong enough (including 4 and 5 series gitzos). OTOH to stop any and all oscillations all it takes is a flimsy cheap second tripod clamped to the front of the camera - all oscillations disappear, the system becomes completely dead.

    I did a comparison once, shot the same subject with 4x5, and with 8x10 with and without a second tripod. Conditions were outdoors, with some wind. The 8x10 exposures without a second tripod did not resolve much more than the 4x5. With the second tripod there was a clear difference.
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