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  1. #1
    Fintan's Avatar
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    Linhof Technika IV - Where to buy?

    I'm in the market for a IV and wondering where is the best place to buy. Obviously I'm watching eBay but wondering where you guys buy from?

    I'd like to get a standard lens, some backs and a polaroid back. Can anyone say what the maximum cost I should bid for one in excellent condition?

    Any info appreciated,

    Fintan

  2. #2
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Fintan,

    If you can afford some time eBay can give you some valuable information. Search on Linhof Technika using advanced search options and then search completed auctions. This will show you what has been offered recently in all the Technika models and prices they are actually bringing. Ignore the IIIs and below, but do look at the 4, 5 and 2000 models. You may see something you like. Each auction you read will teach you something. Many Technikas come with accessories that may include what you want or what you decide you want after you learn more. If you see something you like that didnít sell open communication with the seller. If you canít get his email from that auction search by seller name. He may be selling something else. That will allow you to ask him a question. He may now realize his asking price was too high and be willing to consider a lower price. If you go outside of eBay you lose some protection, but you may find a better price. Your decision. If you are unfamiliar with eBay, be sure to buy from someone who has a good rating. You have to decide what is acceptable. Donít be afraid to buy from a good seller far away. I live in Ohio USA and bought my Technikadan in Scotland. The price was right and air freight was only a small percentage of the total.

    Good luck.

    John Powers

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    B&H has a nice one with a cammed 150mm Apo-Lanthar. Not sure what else is included. The lens and the fact that it's B&H could make it pricey.

    There's a good discussion of the various Technika models at cameraquest.com.

    The ability to use the rangefinder is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons to use a Technika as opposed to some other folding 4x5" camera. So if you're going to get a Tech IV, try to find one with one or more cammed lenses. With a Tech IV, lenses have to be cammed to the body, so the serial number of the lens should be on the top of each cam, and the serial number of the body should be on the bottom.

    Cost will depend on condition, lenses, and other accessories like a Linhof shade and slip-in filters or a compendium shade, compartment case, rollfilm backs, etc., but you should be able to find a nice kit with at least one cammed lens in the $1000-2000 range. An Apo-Lanthar or Zeiss lenses can push up the price even higher.

    Don't worry about whether it comes with filmholders or a Polaroid back. These items are not expensive, and you can find them easily elsewhere.

    If there are rollfilm backs, Super-Rollex backs with the lever wind are much more desirable than the older Rollex backs with the knob wind. Older Rollex backs are prone to frame spacing problems with certain modern films, and it's a design issue, so it can't be repaired.
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  4. #4
    Frank Petronio's Avatar
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    David's advice is right on, but you can also rely on the Technika as a very sturdy field camera using non-cammed, modern lenses. In this mode, it is very rugged and compact. I've even removed the RF to lighten it, and you can make it pretty as new with a cameraleather.com replacement covering. If I were going to get a cammed Technika, I would aim for a Tech V or later, with more modern multi-coated lenses or something exotic like a rare 150/2.8 Xenotar (I'd sell my DSLR for that baby...). If I were looking for a best bang for the buck field camera, I would get a user Technika IV for $500 to $750 on eBay and then get a modern 135 to 150mm Rodenstock Sironar-N MC in a black Copal shutter for $350. Polaroid 545 holders run $80 or so and I would shoot Readyloads in the same Polaroid holder, instead of tying $ up in expensive roll film holders. The cost of the roll film folders buys a lot of Readyloads and the quality is so much better with 4x5 instead of 6x9.

  5. #5
    Fintan's Avatar
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    Can you guys explain what cammed/non cammed means?

    Jeez B+H is very expensive on that one David, yikes! I dont have that sort of cash to throw at it

    I'll be sticking with one lens for the moment, standard focal length will do me fine. Any recomendations for that one. Thanks Frank for your suggestion.

    Thanks John, I've bought from far and wide myself so I've no problem buying anywhere.

    Cheers

    Fintan

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The rangefinder cam is a metal piece that looks something like a blade that calibrates the lens to the rangefinder. Linhof cams are individually ground for each individual lens, and for the Tech IV and III, they also need to be calibrated to the particular body that they will be used with. The Tech V and Master Tech have a zeroed groundglass, so cams only need to be calibrated to the lens and are interchangeable between bodies.

    You can use a Technika as a view camera with groundglass focusing, and you might in fact use it that way most of the time as I probably do, but if you have the ability to use the rangefinder for portraits (the advantage is that you can check the focus with a filmholder in the back) or handheld work, that's a capability that most 4x5" cameras don't have, and is something that really sets the Technika apart from other field cameras. Of course a Graphic also has the rangefinder, but it doesn't have the extensive movement capability that a Technika has.
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  7. #7
    Fintan's Avatar
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    Thanks David

  8. #8
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    B&H has a nice one with a cammed 150mm Apo-Lanthar. Not sure what else is included. The lens and the fact that it's B&H could make it pricey.
    If that's the one I saw in the display case this past weekend, its $3000USD.

    Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  9. #9
    Fintan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr82bart
    If that's the one I saw in the display case this past weekend, its $3000USD.

    Art.
    I think it is and it will be staying a while longer in the display case. I've spent a lot on studio gear this year and thats unreachable for me at the moment.

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    That's the one; it's been in stock for a few months; and the guys behind the counter are authorized to negotiate (but I don't expect they'd take less than $2500 or so).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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