Linhof 2x3's...what are they like?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by puketronic, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm interested in a Linhof 2x3 (Tech III/IV) but they seem not too popular.

    1. How is the viewfinder/rangefinder? With brightlines? Is it clear or is it very dim?
    2. What is the close-focus limit for the rangefinder? If it matters on which lens, then I am thinking of the normal lens?
    3. I assume that the backs are fixed and do not rotate?

    I guess that is about it. They seem like sweet cameras to me but not too popular, I guess most view camera useser prefer to stick with 4x5 for compact settups with movements or a MF RF (like a Mamiya or Makina).

    Oh and another thing. I guess, this is technically a large format camera? But I put this in the MF forum because I view this as more of as a MF camera of sorts. (But how you classify it doesn't really matter)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2013
  2. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have a Linhof 2x3 Vb, the last production model of this wonderful camera with 55, 100, and 180mm cammed lenses (Grandagon and Sironar S).

    It is basically a 2/3 scaled down version of the 4x5 Master Technika with a rotating roll film back (6x9 in my case) with the option of both rangefinder and ground-glass focusing. Composing and focusing are in different windows (as in the MT), but one quickly gets used to this when shooting hand-held.

    My main camera is a 4x5 Linhof Master Technika, but I never travel with it. The 2x3 is more portable and compact, and requires a smaller and lighter tripod (and bag!). I am very pleased with the results from 6x9 negatives. The quality of 16x20" prints come relatively close to 4x5 quality.

    As to why this 2x3 camera does not appear to be popular, it is a simple matter that it was always very expensive new, and priced the same as a 4x5 MT. It was never a mass-produced camera, but a specialized niche product, and priced accordingly.

    The 2x3 Linhof Technika is a wonderfully designed and engineered camera from the pinnacle of the glory days of high-end analog photography.
     
  3. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,221
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    These little beauties seem like a lot of fun, but still not cheap. Maybe $1000 for the camera, lens, and roll back.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    My setup is similar to Henry's, above (55/4.5 Apo-Grandagon, 105/2.8 Xenotar, 180/5.6 Caltar II-N all cammed, plus various uncammed lenses I could use, if I wanted, with groundglass focusing). I got it when we had a child, because as travel got more complicated, I still wanted a camera that functioned like my 4x5" Technika V, but in a smaller package, and the Tech V 23b kit with the same number of lenses and accessories fits in about half the space as my 4x5" version, as well as being lighter in weight. I can shoot either with filmholders for individual development control or rollfilm backs when that is more suited to the subject.

    Compared to other MF rangefinders or most TLRs, it's a heavy camera, but very versatile in that you can use it either press-camera style with the rangefinder or view-camera style with the groundglass and camera movements, and the grip is fairly ergonomic. The rollfilm backs are kind of bulky and add a fair amount to the weight compared to regular filmholders or Grafmatics. Of course a bag of filmholders is heavier and bulkier than a few pro-packs of rollfilm, but filmholders let you put the weight in your bag instead of having to support it with your wrist. I recently learned that my uncle, who was a professional photographer, once bought a 2x3" Technika to shoot weddings, and eventually he decided it was just too heavy for such long events (he must have been using a flash as well), and I think he ended up switching to a Rolleiflex.

    The side-mounted rangefinder is separate from the viewfinder on the 23 IV and V models, so focusing and composing are separate operations just like on the 4x5" rangefinder Technikas. The viewfinder slides into the accessory shoe on top of the camera, and you can set the focal length and distance on it, as well as changing masks for different formats. It's not coupled to the rangefinder in any way.

    As with most any rangefinder camera of any format, the close focus distance is around 3 feet for a normal lens with the rangefinder, maybe 2 feet with a wide lens, and around 4-5 feet with a long lens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2013
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,921
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For what you are getting, $1000 is a bargain.New, they'd probably be priced at about $10k for the body only.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The last ones were selling for a bit more than $7K a few years ago.
     
  7. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    And US$7k was for the body alone! Once you added a grip, optical viewfinder, and roll film back you were over 10k, and after adding 3 cammed lenses you were likely well over 12k or more. A wonderful system, but very expensive. This was a niche product for the lucky few.

    Older versions of this MF system were more widely used (for example as press cameras) in the 50's and 60's, and so 50 or 60 year old MF Technikas can be found for a reasonable cost today.
     
  8. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  9. jcjohnnyrob4316

    jcjohnnyrob4316 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When the boss lets the designers loose!

    I must agree with what the above gentlemen have said about "baby" Technikas. I own a Technika 70 three lens outfit from the early sixties, and it performs like a teenager. We know that you trade one thing for another in camera purchases. These wonders are not for everyone. Some will not be comfortable with them. That's how it goes, sometimes. I love the messucher finder; combination viewfinder/rangefinder. I love the outstanding level of quality that is poured into the production of these cameras. And if you have an eye for industrial design, it will be a master class of visual delight. I have never seen so much depth of understanding,( in artistic design), lavished onto any production model as the T-70. There is not a careless line or curve in all its design ,(in my opinion). I understand that this has nothing to do with producing photos. But I do believe that whoever the designer(s) was/were, they deserve a rousing shout out for what they were allowed to produce. Every line, every curve is made with the intention of keeping your eye moving; no dead ends. Astonishing depth of creative sense. And if that were not enough, built to outlast their owners. Very few companies allow such freedom of excellence, even unto production! Cost, being a major factor. Perfect? Not in this world, brother. "But I wouldn't want to live on the difference." All the best!
     
  10. LJH

    LJH Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Too small and fiddly. I'd buy a Mamiya 7 kit or a 4x5 instead.
     
  11. ZenziFriend

    ZenziFriend Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I hope to get a Baby Linhof (called Super Technika III 6x9) here in Germany. Hope it will be all right, seems to be in good shape and was 600 Euro with cammend Angulon and Xenotar, only the 180 Xenotar missing. Comes with a rollex back, as I dont want to use sheet films...

    As I was born near Linhof City (Munich) I am happy to have my first linhof. My only 6x9 until now is a Contessa-Nettel Sonnar from 1925 with rollex patent.

    A question for a telephoto lens. Is it right that I can use any "Linhof" Lens if it is mounted on a 6x9 plate? Do lenses built for the 4x5 also fit (uncammed)?
    waht is the maximal focal length possible?

    Is it possible to mount the old lenses with compur built for the early 20s Plate Cameras, eg tessar 3.5/13,5 on a baby linhof?
     
  12. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    IIRC- the backs are linhof specific and rotate
    The rangefinder is frame line less- have to use accessory viewfinder

    They're cool, but go big or go home

    There's also the Technika 70 with the coupled and framelined rangefinder
     
  13. ZenziFriend

    ZenziFriend Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    The viewfinder hast front masks and a adjustable finder for 65/105mm (Model III)
    The rollex or super rollex backs are abundant in germany.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    NW Chicagola
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can't see why you can't use any lens that will fit on the camera lensboard and through the front standard hole. You will need to know the camera bellows length. A lens that requires more bellows to focus won't work and those that focus at infinity near the end of bellows travel won't focus closely. Did it come with a 180 Xenotar or a 180 Tele-Arton? The tele designs require less bellows travel to focus.
     
  16. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Chuck, there ain't no 180 Xenotar.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I use a 180/5.6 Caltar-IIN (Rodenstock Sironar-N) on by Tech V 23b, which I think has as much bellows as a III, so you don't absolutely need a tele design at that focal length. Mine is mounted on an extension board, since I happened to have one, and the extension makes it easier to deal with the Copal 1 shutter, but it's not necessary in terms of bellows extension.

    Linhof made an extension board for the 2x3 cameras, so you could use a 360mm Tele-Xenar on one, but since I also have a 4x5" Tech V, and my 360mm Tele-Xenar is cammed for the larger camera, it makes more sense just to use it on the sturdier 4x5" camera with a rollfilm back, if I want that combination of focal length and format.
     
  18. ZenziFriend

    ZenziFriend Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    sorry, edit: Xenar 180

    How easy it it to mount other LF Lenses to the baby Technika.
    For example classic old compur shutters from the 20ies?

    Is there any standard for the plate, so that the lenses that were made for the larger technika can just be screwed in?
     
  19. Neil Poulsen

    Neil Poulsen Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I had one years ago. Very well made, of course. I used it like a view camera and never used the range finder, and rarely the viewfinder.

    For longer lenses, it's a good camera. But, the viewfinder would interfere with rise for even moderate wide angle lenses.
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    It sounds like you are new to large format (and medium format cameras that function like large format cameras, such as the Tech 23).

    Most large format cameras use lensboards that can be drilled to any size, though the manufacturer may provide some pre-drilled to common sizes like Copal 0, 1, and 3. There is no connection between the manufacturer of the lens and the manufacturer of the camera, as there is with cameras that have a particular mount, like most 35mm or medium format SLRs or rangefinder cameras. "Linhof" engraved lenses are just lenses that have been tested and approved by Linhof, but they are in most cases no different from the same lenses that come direct from the lens manufacturer (Schneider, Rodenstock, and older Zeiss and Voigtlander). As long as the lens isn't too big for the lensboard and the rear cell fits through the front standard, you can use it.

    In the case of most 2x3" press/technical/view cameras, the lensboard size can be a real limitation. You can use lenses in larger shutters on a 2x3" Technika if you have an extension or "top-hat" type lensboard, but the rear cell of the lens still has to fit in the tube.

    The modern style Technika 2x3" lensboard (which doesn't fit the Tech III) is also the lensboard used for the modern 4x5" Technika wideangle focusing device, so I have some wide lenses mounted on these boards that I use on both cameras, and I also have a 4x5-> 2x3 adapter board that I use occasionally for lenses I have mounted for the 2x3" camera but might want to use on the 4x5" camera.
     
  21. ZenziFriend

    ZenziFriend Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    yes, it will be my first serious "MF LF Camera". I want to stay with roll film as it fits into my post processing infrastructure, so a 6x9 Baby Technika is the best solution. And Linhof is preferred a I was born near their factory...

    I get two lensbords, a Compur 00 Size (with the 65 Angulon) and one compur 0 with the Xenar 105.

    I have some little experiance with 1920s LF Cameras, 9x12 plate Cameras like the ICa Maximar, with a old but good working tollex 6x9 magazine. but these cameras are a little cumbersome, the lens stand is too wobbly for critical uses...

    As I have some nice lenses (i like old lenses) from these cameras in working Compur 00 and 0 size shutters, I want to adapt these on the Linhof.. I have some 135mm and 150mm lenses, like a Steinheil Doppelanastigmat, a Dogmar, a Sonnar (rebadged Xenar)I get a Schneider Isconar Doppelanastigmat.... These lenses and functioning old compur shutters are widespread in germany, as its all made in germany stuff und the poeple clean up their attics...

    Especially the double anastigmats can be used with only one doubet for long focal length.

    Is it easy to remeove the Xenar from its board frquently to use my old lenses, or is it advisable to organise another Size Zero Lensboard?
    here in germany some peaple have NOS spareparts from linhof, I supered my Contessa Nettel Sonnar with a linhof matte screen.

    the plates for baby technika III and for are the same and always silver, the plates for the V are different ans black? Is that right??

    what is the maximal useful focal lenght for a lens with the III? About 300 i Think, does a non Tele 360 lens work?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2015
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    While not too hard to change lenses on lensboards, it's convenient to have a separate lensboard for each lens. You wouldn't want to be unscrewing lenses from the lensboard in the field.

    Lensboards for the III have a different light trap and are a slightly different size, in comparison for the later style used on the V, Tech 70, and others. The III lensboards I've seen are usually silver and the later style are usually black, but there may be some of the later style in the tan color of the IV era, and there could be other oddities out there (white glaze for the Linhof Medizin, perhaps, but not sure that came in a 2x3" version).

    I doubt you could use a non-tele 360mm on a 2x3" Technika.
     
  23. ZenziFriend

    ZenziFriend Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    the Manual names the 360mm Tele-Xenar as longest lens.

    I have to check what focal legth my Doppelanastigmats- Groups have. A symmetrical Doppelanastigmat should double the focal lenght in Single use?
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    A single cell of a Goerz Dagor is around 70% as long as the pair usually.
     
  25. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Typo or mental slip? I just checked my Boyer fiches techniques for Beryls (Boyer's version of the Dagor). Beryls were sold as separable, single cells' focal lengths are ~ 1.7x the pair's focal length.
     
  26. ZenziFriend

    ZenziFriend Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    the single cells are always longer, x1.7 should be a good guess...

    I will see, I will get the Technika on saturday, its delivered, but i am abroad:confused::confused:
    have got a 00 and a 0 plate extra (new old stock) so i am flexible for the old lenses....