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Thread: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

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    Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Stumbled upon this excellent writeup of the Linhof Techno by fellow forum user Torger on LL. It's the best I've read of the Techno and highly recommend reading it if you're considering your tech camera offerings.

    Review: Linhof Techno

    Seems to me the Techno is a very good replacement for a Technika in the digital era but brings with it some drawbacks, namely ease of GG focusing and absolute confidence in accuracy.

    TJV
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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I'm here too :-)

    It's a very personal review from the eyes of an amateur but I have tried to be as fair and informative as I can. The big question with Techno or not to Techno is if one can handle the ground glass at a precision level which is good enough for one's own expectations.

    I certainly understand the elegance and sense of absolute confidence pancake cameras with HPF rings provide, but if you feel that you can confidently work with the ground glass the Techno has a set of attractive properties.

    One ideal user I think is a (hiking) landscape photographer that have an IQ160, shoot at f/11 as optimal aperture, use many focal lengths including longer ones (probably mostly Schneider Digitars) and in addition to the shifts like to use tilt in many compositions, and do occasional closeups. That description fits myself quite well, except for the part I haven't got an IQ160 :-)

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    While personal, its also very thorough. Most importantly, it walks carefully through the issues that a user might have with the camera. In this camera, a "tweener" operating as both a traditional view camera and something suitable (appropriate?) for a digital back, the user interface, in particular the focusing on the GG, is key. Hats off to Anders for covering this.

    I wouldn't mind a bit more in the review about the sharpness of regular film lenses (although he does cover it), but its impressive nonetheless.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I really enjoyed the review, so thanks for putting it up.
    I guess I'm thinking in terms of a hard core 4x5" Technika user wanting to make the step to the digital realm. Or, if I'm being realistic, transitioning slowly by buying a Techno / Alpa system with a 6x7cm film back as a middle way to establishing a digital setup. I think Torger's review went a long way to answering most of my questions re. the Techno. I guess the GG accuracy freaks me out, but to be honest I can't imagine not using the GG for fine composition and focusing. Years under the dark cloth has probably ruined me!
    T
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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    ...but people see and use the Techno as a pro studio and interiors camera?

    ¿Does anyone use a "proper" MFD pro studio camera with a full range of yaw-free movements both ends?

    The trouble is that no-one makes a decent solid MFD view camera (with no slop between standards).

    ...and no one makes a decent field camera with rear tilt?

    Sinar come closest to making a decent lightweight field camera that uses the same lens boards as a pro studio camera... how hard can it be?

    ...and where is the GFAE CapCam?

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    A nice write-up, thanks for sharing Torger.

    Cheers, -Peter

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    ...but people see and use the Techno as a pro studio and interiors camera?

    ¿Does anyone use a "proper" MFD pro studio camera with a full range of yaw-free movements both ends?

    The trouble is that no-one makes a decent solid MFD view camera (with no slop between standards).

    ...and no one makes a decent field camera with rear tilt?

    Sinar come closest to making a decent lightweight field camera that uses the same lens boards as a pro studio camera... how hard can it be?

    ...and where is the GFAE CapCam?
    Linhof 679 and Arca - not sure if F or M line - could they fit your bill?

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I'm 90% sure I'm going to buy a Linhof Techno in the very near future. I'm going to use it with a 6x9cm film back at first and later upgrade to a digital setup. The deciding factor, as is often the case, sadly, that a comparable Alpa system is very expensive. This mostly due to the extra cost of the lens mount, the viewfinder, etc. The base body is about the same as the Techno, a little more expensive depending on the model.
    Torger, so let me get this straight...
    In your opinion, if shooting mostly at f11 on digital, the Techno GG setup is pretty easy to focus down to a 35mm lens? This is important to me because I'd never go wider than this on digital – my widest lens on 4x5" is 90mm. I'm very attached to my view camera workflow.
    TJV

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I read the review a few days back when a friend in Canada tipped me off. I found the review very thorough and practical. Very difficult to maintain such objectivity. Well done Torger.

    I'm also really happy having switched to a Techno. With the HR 40, it's just wonderful. Pancake tech cams were not for me, a proper field camera, however limited, is nice.

    For me, I never had on-axis front tilt before the techno, I haven't yet gotten over just how fantastic it is, so I essentially traded rear tilt + crude rear focusing (Toyo 45AII) for more precision + on-axis front tilt + geared movements. It's swings and roundabouts really.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Are you folks using the sliding GG adapter? I had a chance to try a friend's Techno last week and was impressed with the brightness and clarity of the sliding adapter with the fixed loupe/hood. However, it is a very ungainly setup and I'd be concerned about damage through handling the camera.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Were you using the Linhof sliding adapter? They come in long (44cm) and short (33 cm) versions. There is also a nifty 3 position Kapture Group stitching adapter - 4X5 sliding back adapter for digital backs

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Not sure on the size but I'd assume that it was the larger Linhof sliding back adapter. It certainly was flexible in so far as you could also use it for rear shift of the sensor vs just a central location.

    I have to say that I REALLY felt the love ... very very well made and not really that heavy. The only issue I saw was having to change the bellows with longer lenses but it certainly was nice not to have to worry about mounting each lens on it's own helicoid (my Alpa glass is mounted and they charge $$$$ for the privilege).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    That is the secret joy of the Linhof: if the lenses are good enough (and that's an "if"), then its the cost of a lens board. There are lots of LF lenses floating around...

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I'm loving that there is some Linhof love here!

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I put a Docter Optic 240/4.8 on mine and was blown away by how good it was with the IQ160. The whole thing was almost fully extended. Will post some tests when I get time.

    Graham, exclusively use live-view on the IQ, have a cokin ND filter which I pop in and out. Required some external power to the IQ though and it gets rather warm! The P1 technician said you could fry an egg on the sensor they get that hot. Yet to try as it's never hot enough before b/fast, only afterwards.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    So, the rumour was true. Linhof just released a new ground glass for the Techno. I guess this means I must redo all my tedious focusing experiments :-)

    Traditional ground glass theory goes that if you increase resolution you make it dimmer. It shall be interesting to see how much of an improvement of the standard glass this is. I hope it does not cost a million, I want to try one. Now.


    New Groundglasses for System Linhof M679 und Linhof Techno

    The new Groundglasses are extreme fine and allows easier composition and focusing even with extremely short focal lengths.
    These Groundglasses replace the no longer available Acute groundglass.

    Technical details
    Code 021850-S Groundglass scoring 49x37 mm
    Code 021851-S Groundglass scoring 53,9x40,4 mm
    Code 021852-S Groundglass scoring 56x36 mm

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Where about can I read about the ne GG?

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Where about can I read about the ne GG?
    The cited text above is the only stuff I've been able to find, and I found that in the following:

    http://www.linhof.com/download_e/lin..._press_eng.pdf

    Linhof, like many other tech cam companies, are not exactly filling the internet with info about their gear :-) so unfortunately I think that is all there is without talking to them or a well-established Linhof dealer directly.

    I'll probably get one as soon as they can be ordered and make a comparison with the current standard glass.

    If the resolution is higher than the current glass more precise focusing will probably be possible, but not without a very strong loupe. Possibly they haven't really improved resolution but instead made it brighter, integrated the fresnel. Or both... I'm very curious about it.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Cool, thanks for posting. I'll contact a dealer and see what it costs over and above the standard GG and fresnel.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    With thanks to Torger's help via PM and through reading his review, plus talking with Paula at Linhof and Studio, I've ordered my very own Techno, Horseman 6x7cm back and digital ready lenses – even if one of them is really only good up to 40mp. It took a lot of research, but the Techno really does seem to be the best fit for me, especially considering I'm migrating "down" from 4x5" film – I love GG focusing – as well as have wide eyes locked on a purely digital workflow in the future. The process is very important to me and I think this route will keep things relatively intact...
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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Congratulations Torger for the article! It is the best review I've read for the Linhof Techno.
    Anyone uses Arca Swiss M2? What are the advantages/disadvantages compared to the Techno?
    Thanks.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I have not used the Arca Swiss MF-two, but it was one of the candidates I had so I have investigated it as good as I can from a purely theoretical perspective.

    Based on that, the advantages of MF-2 compared to Techno is lower price, better macro capability thanks to larger tilts/swings, and more flexibility concerning expansion into other view camera solutions (using a DSLR as back, putting there a 4x5" film frame etc).

    The disadvantages are a bit harder to pack when hiking, and slower to set up (since you're probably packing it in separate pieces), probably a bit less rigid and therefore less precise due to the larger movements (my guess is that it has little or no practical implication though).

    I like the Techno's bellows wide/standard better than the Arca-Swiss, both the look and the concerning packing. Arca's wide angle bellows works up to 135mm though, slightly longer than Techno's 120mm. But then Arca's WA bellows looks like a bag and Techno's actually have a shape :-)

    This is a good read: Christopher Barrett - Photographer: Blog : Arca Swiss M Line Two

    If I would not have got a Techno I think it is likely that it would have been an MF-two.

    I hope someone that has actually used the camera can reply too... like the Techno it's hard to find user-provided information about it.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    The Arca M Line Two looks cool but seems a lot slower to set up and pack down than the Techno. Obviously, it has it's strengths over the Techno too, especially with regard to movements, it just isn't what I'd personally want in a field camera. Then again, I'm coming from using a Technika, so my working habits are biased to start with. Looks like a sweet system, though, especially for those working both in and out of a studio.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Torger & tiv....Thanks very much for your thoughtful comments.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I'm still waiting for my Techno to arrive...
    Thought I'd post an update regarding the newly announced bright GG. While putting my kit together I asked Paula at Linhof & Studio if she'd used / seen the screen. She said it is AMAZING, at least three stops brighter and sharper than the standard GG. It does, however, come at an amazing price to match. From memory, something like 550GBP. Because I'm starting by shooting 6x7cm film I opted for the Silvestri GG. When I got digital I'll certainly get the new screen to replace it.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Has anyone used the little metal Infinity Stops/ Parallel Stops which are added to the techno rail. Wondering if they work well for setting infinity for a specific lens.

    Quote from Linhif studio website
    Infinity Stops/ Parallel Stops -
    ( Whilst on a Technika Infinity Stops are used to ensure the front standard is set to a true infinity for rangefinder coupling purposes , on the Techno - we use then purely as a parallel point for the front standard to ensure ultimate parallelism as demanded by the digital lenses of today.
    318827 £46.00 )

    Neil

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    Has anyone used the little metal Infinity Stops/ Parallel Stops which are added to the techno rail. Wondering if they work well for setting infinity for a specific lens.

    Quote from Linhif studio website
    Infinity Stops/ Parallel Stops -
    ( Whilst on a Technika Infinity Stops are used to ensure the front standard is set to a true infinity for rangefinder coupling purposes , on the Techno - we use then purely as a parallel point for the front standard to ensure ultimate parallelism as demanded by the digital lenses of today.
    318827 £46.00 )

    Neil
    I'm curious about that as well. I think I've read on a forum or article somewhere a user that did use it successfully as infinity/hyperfocal stops, but I don't remember where. I have no stops myself and from reading or looking at photographs I have not really understood how these infinity stops are used, and limitations when you have many on the rail etc.

    Using the infinity stops as described on linhofstudio web site seems a bit strange. The Techno does not need parallel point support. It is true though that you need to make sure that the front standard has snapped into place properly after moving it on the rail (by applying a small bit of pulling force on the standard), as the springs are not strong enough to guarantee automatic snapping in place (I describe this in the review).

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    I have two pairs installed, both behind the front 'standard' - one pair for when the wide bellows are installed (furthest back), and one pair for when the normal bellows are installed. Before shooting, I push the front standard against one pair (depending on which bellows are installed) in order to make sure it's parallel with the DB. Initially I used 'zig-align' to correctly position the stops, and once in a while I check everything is ok. Never needed to adjust them yet.

    What this also means is that focussing a lens is always done from the same initial 'starting point' (one of the pairs of stops) - so it's easy to mark (e.g. with pencil) where a particular focus point is for a lens - e.g. 5m with the 43mm - which means I can focus (on this marked distance) without having to use the gg/sliding back.
    Last edited by greygrad; 20th March 2013 at 09:07.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Is it possible to have several pairs of these stops? So instead of that pencil mark you could have a pair of stops instead? Or is it just a simple stop, i e impossible to bypass so you can just have one at the start and at the end in some range?

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    They flip up and down so the standard can pass over the ones not in use, you can have many pairs, if you like. Generally they're used to mark infinity for a lens and usually you'd make markings from there, however it is possible to do what you suggest. For Wide lenses where the stops need to be closer together you'd be limited by the width of the stop.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Even though the stops are small, there's only so much room to fit them. Some of the older Technika stops that you can pick up on eBay are narrower than the present ones, so you can use more of them. They're easily bypassed (if I understand your question correctly) by raising/lowering them.

    A pair of stops would certainly work instead of the pencil mark to establish a set focus distance for a particular lens, however I've found the pencil mark just as simple - and it allows you to use the focus knob rather than positioning the standard by hand. At the moment I've gone high tech and am using a $2 stick-on ruler, so - once I've set the starting position (by pulling the standard against one set of stops as described above) - I easily know where to focus for a particular distance (having figured it out before). Now this doesn't allow me to focus super accurately (a la an RM3d/i) - I'll use the gg for that - but it does work perfectly for a list of presets I've got written down - e.g. with the 35mm lens, 120cm off the ground @f11, with 1.7ish degrees of tilt, I need to focus no closer than 3m in order to get everything to fit in a 'typical' wedge - so here the pencil mark or distance noted on the ruler simply tells me not to move the lens any further away than that (which would focus closer). All I have to do is move the lens out to the pencil mark and then back just a tiny bit and I'm set.
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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    greygrad, can I ask what technique you used to find infinity in the first place?

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    To be honest I rarely focus at infinity - if I need to I'll just use the gg. The infinity stops I have fitted are there only to ensure everything is parallel. If I shot a lot at infinity, I'd definitely want to nail it - and thus save myself the 'hassle' of focussing - in which case I'd probably figure it out by shooting tethered and using a pair of infinity stops to record it's position (for each lens I wanted it set for).

    To find other distances: e.g. the 3m noted above - I positioned an object 3m away and focussed on it with the gg, and then noted it on the ruler / or with a pencil mark. Not exactly high tech, but it works.
    Last edited by greygrad; 20th March 2013 at 15:12.
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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Thanks for describing your technique greygrad, it's great to know how others are using their Techno.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Yes thanks for explaining, it's so hard to get this type of information.
    It's an important plus for this camera.
    I am currently using a silvestri camera and am thinking about moving to a techno so am trying to understand the details of using a techno camera.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by greygrad View Post
    To be honest I rarely focus at infinity - if I need to I'll just use the gg. The infinity stops I have fitted are there only to ensure everything is parallel. If I shot a lot at infinity, I'd definitely want to nail it - and thus save myself the 'hassle' of focussing - in which case I'd probably figure it out by shooting tethered and using a pair of infinity stops to record it's position (for each lens I wanted it set for).

    To find other distances: e.g. the 3m noted above - I positioned an object 3m away and focussed on it with the gg, and then noted it on the ruler / or with a pencil mark. Not exactly high tech, but it works.
    Great tips! Many thanks!

    My 4x5 had a little area to stick a strip of paper that could be marked up, so here's a tip from those days. When marking things is to get outside with something in the far far distance, using a long tape measure, set playing cards out along the ground at useful distances (e.g. 3, 5 & 10m) - hold them up with stones or stick the in the ground. Here, as you mark out the board of the Techno take a moment to stop down until you find acceptable infinity sharpness and make a note of that too so you have the hyperfocal f-stop for each mark! Use a torch or laser pointer on the cards to be more precise. Once you've done this you'll never care about a CoC again.

    - Paul
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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    The stops I think should be considered more for establishing a general position for the front standard to ensure parallelism. If you set them in a position for each lens (or a select few key lenses) for infinity when all movements are zeroed, you'll find as soon as you employ tilt you need to reposition the front standard. For people who make use of tilts in the landscape, it's best to have them positioned for slightly beyond infinity.

    My Techno setup is quite simple. I have two lenses, a 55mm and a 90mm, and I have one pair of stops. This way, when the Techno's rail is set to the shortest position, it's set up for the 55mm. When I extend the rail one click it's perfect for the 90mm. Smart!

    I love the Techno to pieces and in four months have run around 100 rolls of 120 film through a Horseman 6x7cm back. I know it's not digital and that film has a kind of depth and forgiveness that makes critical focusing less of a hassle that with digital, but I've never once missed a focus point, even in dim light, using the GG. I have just received the new Linhof & Studio 12x loupe with the small 1cm square base for critical focus and although I have not yet had a chance to use it in the field I can straight away see that it's going to make things easier again. I HATED my Silvestri 10x loupe. It had way too much distortion and I couldn't get to the corners, hence the new 12x replacement. I also picked up a small Schneider 8x loupe and it's WAY better. I will use it for general purpose GG assessment and for focusing in situations where being 100% precise is not so needed, e.g. shooting landscapes at f11-16.

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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    PS: The Linhof & Studio 12x loupe is fantastically sharp, has good eye relief and has no distortion. A great investment for anyone using a GG to focus.
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    Re: Best writeup of Linhof Techno yet!

    FWIW, I set up infinity stops on the Techno for a good hyperfocal setting for a 55 mm lens, for f16 from about 15' to infinity. Pull out the lens, figure out the composition, shoot, adjust slightly for exposure, and done. A view camera as point and shoot?

    One infinity stop seems to fit a bit different than the other, but with both set up using a right angle square, they help with parallelism. One test at f4 shooting at 8' gave me worries as one side was consistently out of focus - but it turned out to be a slightly cocked front standard. With the infinity stops, that issue went away.

    Some additional notes on use of the camera and a stitching back can be found here:

    http://www.gigi-photos.com/techno-re...-1-22-2013.pdf
    www.gigi-photos.com
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