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  1. #11

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    David,

    Thanks for the response. I guess what I'm thinking is that since I have a regular Rolleiflex, the Technika would add more flexibility than a tele does. I haven't tried one out, but I'm thinking that the slower process and bigger negative might be a evolutionary switch. With the Technika, I'd be able to get as close as I want, right?

  2. #12

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    Your closeness will be determined by the length of the bellows and the focal length of your lens ( and true tele lens or not), not by what you want. The design of bellows cameras create a large practical difference in the ability of the camera to get close compared to your rolle or 35mm cameras. That said, if you are talking head shots, no problem. Ground glass viewing has been used for more than 150 years for portraiture and the 4X5 image is great but difference from medium format or 35mm.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  3. #13

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    Bill, appreciate your input. If there is a stellar lens you could recommend I'd appreciate that too. I've read some on the Rodenstock 240mm APO and the 180mm Macro.

  4. #14
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    A Technika has a triple-extension bellows (17.5 inches, if I remember correctly), so you can get as close as you want and then some with any kind of lens you would be likely to use for portraits, but bear in mind that rangefinder focus only goes so close, depending on the focal length. I think it's about 3 feet with a 150mm lens and about 5 feet with a 360mm lens, offhand. The cams are usually ground to be accurate at closer distances than the official specs, but once you focus beyond the point at which the cam follower is tracking the cam, you're out of rangefinder range.

    Closer than that and you need to use groundglass focusing, but there are techniques to make that easier for portraits. When I'm shooting 8x10" portraits or otherwise shooting large format with groundglass focusing, I usually tie a string to a stable place on the tripod with a knot placed so that the subject can hold it taught to his/her nose while I focus, usually on the near eye (not on the end of the string). Then I can set the shutter and aperture, insert the film and remove the darkslide and recheck focus with the string just before making the exposure. Even with very narrow depth of field, this is very accurate.

    Another method is to use a sliding back, so you have a groundglass on one side and a filmholder on the other and can switch between them quickly.

    Another approach that works well with studio lighting and a seated subject is to look closely at the shadows on the face when focusing, like where the end of the nose shadow falls on the upper lip, and then be sure the head is positioned in the same way when making the exposure, and most of the time, the subject will be in focus.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #15
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Regarding lenses, I'd look for a modern 210mm lens (something made since the 1970s) from one of the major manufacturers, if you want something that is a good focal length for portraits and that can be cammed. 240mm lenses tend to be designed really for 8x10", so there is way more excess coverage than you need for 4x5", meaning they'll require more shading to reduce flare, and they are larger and heavier than you need for your purposes.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #16
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    I happily gave up my Linhof Technika; for handheld portraits, a Leica flat kills it. A Tele-Rollei beats it ten ways to Sunday. For tripod portraits, a Crown Graphic is its equal, unless you've gone to the remarkable expense to have accurately cammed lenses for the Linhof. And if you are somehow into using swings and tilts for a portrait, a Technical camera really is a hard way to do it.

    (Nomex) Linhofs are perfect and affordable and wonderful. I am a heathen barbarian, and after shooting mine every day for 20 years, realized I could live without it. But that is just me.(/Nomex)

    Maybe you could KEEP THE FLIPPIN' ROLLEI for a while, and get a nice Crown with couple lenses and play with it ?

    WARNING: the further you live from NYC / Munich the more difficult it is to buy/repair Linhof stuff. Also, the further you live from 1974, the more difficult it is to get all the fiddly pieces that make Linhof shooting rewarding.

  7. #17
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Martin Arndt (Marflex--authorized US Linhof service) actually moved down to North Carolina a few years ago, so even if you are in New York, you've got to ship the camera for service.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokeh Guy View Post
    Bill, appreciate your input. If there is a stellar lens you could recommend I'd appreciate that too. I've read some on the Rodenstock 240mm APO and the 180mm Macro.
    I use a 10 inch tele raptar in a rapax shutter. Just crappy enough to be an ok portrait lens and doesn't stick so far out you are waving the camera around like one of the 3 stooges and not too much money. For more money and effect a 250 mm Imagon in shutter, which are cheaper now than they were.
    But I never use the rangefinder, prefering to compose on the ground glass as befits a large format.
    For the rangefinder experience I use medium format, Contax 645.
    Either way wysiwyg. I wonder if the close up Linhof rangefinder view is also, or is there a parallax error.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  9. #19
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    My post is predictable. Your handle predicts that eventually you'll want to shoot old and older glass that has the lovely bokeh and different personality profiles. Why not get a Speed Graphic with the focal plane shutter. 1/1000th second is much faster than you'll ever get with modern shutters. Wade through some of my web pages and you may be hooked. Barrel lenses are a lot of fun.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  10. #20
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    I wonder if the close up Linhof rangefinder view is also, or is there a parallax error.
    The viewfinder is separate from the rangefinder, so you have to move the camera slightly between focusing and composing when shooting rangefinder style. The zoom finders, old and new style, are parallax correcting, but the range is generally the same as the official range of the rangefinder cams.

    Soft focus lenses are usable on a Technika, but might require some gymnastics to fit on the small lensboard, and it doesn't make sense to use them with the rangefinder, because you need to see the effect on the groundglass, and where you decide to focus is a matter of taste. Linhof won't cam an Imagon, for instance. I also find classic lenses more interesting on formats that I contact print, so I've got an 11.5" Verito that I use sometimes on my 4x5" Technika, but I have the 14" Verito, 36 cm Heliar, and 10" Petzval set up mainly for 8x10" and 11x14".
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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