Once you understand the principles, it is relatively easy to use a particular LF camera. I sort of remember some books about using press and view cameras, they were probably published in the s- s. As already suggested, you will probably find a general LF photography how-to book helpful. You could check some local used book stores, or your local public library. You must log in or sign up to reply here. Linhof could tell you where to find a manual,or get you one http: The bottom right knob is the geared rise and is designed to stay place — no locking knob is needed.
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While I think this might be a fair price for what it is, I feel it is too expensive for what it does. When buying used, chose your model carefully.
Each more recent model has more features which make it more convenient to use. Before even using it, I could see why it is a favorite of many landscape photographers, among them David Muench, John Sexton, or Bruce Barnbaum. The workmanship, precision, rigidity, and feel of quality is excellent, especially compared to a wooden camera. The focussing has a unique smoothness. It is manufactured with the highest quality materials and precision in the German tradition which has produced Leicas.
The Tech will fold up in a small and entirely self-protected package which looks undestructible. Note however that once I checked it in my luggage, the latch which is used to close the camera broke during transport. It is much faster opened and set up aligned than the wooden cameras. You just lower the bed and snap it in place, then pull out the front standard and you are set. When everything is locked, it feels much more solid.
Although there are lighter cameras with more movements or range of usable lenses, the Tech is fairly competent. It will let you use 65mm to mm lenses and give you all movements but rear translations. The back is pretty full-featured. It has a revolving back with the international attachment system and a focussing hood which protects the ground glass. The camera works perfectly for shooting straight with normal lenses. I suspect that it was what it was designed primarily for, since its basic design is very close to that of a press camera.
I did not really enjoy using the Tech in the field for that reason. The front movements are sort of limited, and the tilt is inconvenient to operate and therefore not so precise because of the weird zero-detent button that you need to keep pressed.
To unlock the "technical" back, you also need a third hand. This back is mounted to four horizontal sliding rods with a ball joint on one end so the rear can be slid back more or less independently in each corner. You can also use this feature to focus, if you must, or to get maximum bellows extension. The focussing hood was more a nuisance than a feature, since it gets in the way when using the lupe.
I guess it was not designed to do critical work. I work a lot with wide-angle lenses, and this implies awkward gymnastics. Even with a 90mm, a mild wide angle lens, the front of the camera will show up in the picture in vertical format.
Therefore, you have to drop the bed. Since it is no longer horizontal, you have to tilt the front standard. When you focus, you have to use the rise which is somewhat limited by belows compression to keep the image centered. The rise knob is not easily accessed at short extensions. At that time I had a 58mm lens which I was not even able to focus.
I learned that you needed an expensive accessory for that. I understand that the Master Technika, with its top panel flip and its differently positionned rise knob would be a better camera for wide angle use. This saves a little weight and bulk, and presumably diminishes bellows compression, giving you more movements. The Technika has just enough extension to use a lens at infinity. The other reason to use the Tech would be for its presumed hand-holdability.
However, in practice, besides the depth of field issues, the camera is just too heavy for me to hold comfortably in spite of a very good anatomical grip. The camera alone is 6lbs and half. Besides, the fact to have no meter and a rangefinder separate from the viewfinder does not help. Speaking of what, I have found the eye relief of the viewfinder so short that with my glasses and on a wide setting I can see only two thirds of the field.
Moreover, the cost of having a cam cut by Marflex to match a single existing lens with your Tech IV is almost the same as buying a Speed Graphic. According to Linhoff, with the Tech IV, each cam has to be cut for your specific camera and lens.
For hand-held operation, it would make sense to use the Grafmatic, which let you shoot a sequence relatively fast. However, in vertical position its dark slide would block the viewfinder. The 11 lbs of a 5x7 Tech are not looking too attractive. If I use 4x5, that would be mostly to save weight, and then I would prefer a lighter 4x5 camera with less gymnastics involved for wide-angle use.
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