Burtynsky's Linhoff?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Tom Nutter, May 17, 2011.

  1. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    I just watched the film about Edward Burtynsky, called "Manufactured Landscapes."

    In some scenes, he is using what looks like a linhoff field camera of some sort....4X5 for sure...I am completely unfamiliar with this brand.

    The camera seems to be upside down on the tripod...where the bed is at the top, over the lens instead of in the usual place. The camera also seems to have some sort of grip attached. Does anybody know what camera it is?
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I don't remember which model he used in that film, but I know that it has front tilt, but it only tilts the top of the front standard back, so to get it to tilt the top forward, the camera was used upside down to achieve the scheimpflug focus he needed.
     
  3. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    hmmm.....interesting! Now I'm more interested in the upside-down thing than the camera per se. Seems like a bit of a nightmare to arrange the camera upside down....wondering how I'd do this with my Toyo Field.
     
  4. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    The Linhof may have a tripod socket on the top, you would need to find out which model it is and then the spec for it. I thought the Toyo Field had front and back tilt on the front standard, no?
     
  5. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    Yes, it does....does the Linhof not? I've never found a reason to turn my camera upside down...perhaps this is why? Like I said, I know nothing about the Linhof system. Hence my curiosity about what he was doing.
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    If I am not mistaken, and I may be, the Linhof is similar to the Crown Graphic which only allows tilt in one direction rather than both. This was because the tilt wasn't for focus control, but rather to compensate for the drop bed design that allowed short focal length lenses.
     
  7. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Member

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    Linhof has one f... The Linhof Master Technika Classic 4x5 camera is still in production in Munich, and it is the current incarnation of a long-line of technical cameras first introduced in 1937.

    The reason it is upside down is that in order to accomplish front fall, you do front rise and then turn the camera upside-down. There is a mounting screw hole on the top plate of the camera to allow you to mount it upside-down.

    Though I love my Master Technika, I just added a Kardan GT 4x5 monorail camera to the family for architectural photography.
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Older Linhofs (of which I have two) are pretty much like Pacemakers in the front in terms of basic anatomy. (The Techs add swings and more extreme shifts, which are geared.) This means that the only tilt is rearward. Unless, of course, you have a dropping bed, in which case a combination of dropping the bed, repositioning the front standard vertically (using the rearward tilt), and raising the lens back to the "zeroed out" location gives you the ability to have forward tilt. By changing the position of the bed and standard at the "zeroed" position, "untilting" the rearward tilt actually becomes the same as using a forward tilt, as far as what the film sees.

    So, it sounds like either he was using a Linhof earlier than the Tech III version 3 (meaning that it had no drop bed), or he just didn't know this little trick to cheat the forward tilt from the camera.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Henry Carter's answer is correct. Technikas IV and later tilt in both directions, but if you're shooting from an elevated vantage point and need front fall, the easiest way is to turn the camera upside down and use the tripod socket on top of the camera body. If I'm shooting in a situation where I think I'll need this often, I'll even mount a QR plate on top of the camera.
     
  10. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    Of course the other advantage is the image appears the right way up on the ground glass:wink:
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Also, all Technikas at least from the Tech II forward, and probably the earliest ones, since this idea was central to the concept of a technical camera, have rear swings and tilts, so it is possible to get indirect front tilt by tilting the rear standard, then tilting the camera on the tripod head so the rear standard is plumb, and using front rise to recompose.

    With a strong tripod and head, another option is to tilt the camera on its side and use the front swing as tilt, since the back can rotate 360 degrees.

    There are focus knobs on both sides of the camera (IV and later--not sure about the IIIs), so you can focus left or right handed with the camera right side up or upside down.

    I haven't seen the film for a while, but I think Burtynski uses a Tech V or Master or maybe Tech 2000.
     
  12. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I use a Linhof MT3000. Most likely it was that a front fall was required. However you can drop the front bed and rack the front standard out onto it. You then would most likely need to do some correction with the front tilt. It might just be easier though to turn the camera upside and use the front rise as a fall. Both methods work.

    On the MT3000 the front tilt works in both directions. And if you need some rear tilt correction the back loosens and extends at the four corners allowing some rear standard tilt and swing. However this is limited with short lenses.