So, here I am with money than brains, and I'm thinking about splurging and purchasing a Technika. Why? No reason, really, other than I have more money than brains. I have a perfectly good field camera (a Gandolfi), and another monorail on the way, and I'm thinking about purchasing another.
Must be the Canadian winter....brain's frozen up, and I can't think straight.
Is there anyone in Calgary who participates here that has a Master Tech or a Master 2000? I'd really like the chance to play around with one before making the decision one way or the other to purchase.....
If not, then c'est la vie. I know a fellow who has a V (or is it a IV) that I could probably get a look at.
The only big difference between a Tech V and a Master is the flap that lets you get a little more front rise with very wide lenses (55-75mm). Bear in mind that only relatively new and expensive wide lenses have enough coverage to take advantage of that flap. The 2000 has no rangefinder and has a built-in wideangle focusing device.
If you already have a Gandolfi and a monorail, the big thing a Linhof could give you is the rangefinder, so I would think that a MT would be more attractive than the 2000. The rangefinder makes it easier to shoot handheld and is very handy for portraits, because you can check focus with a holder in the back.
Here I am agreeing with David again, I've never understood the facination with using the technika 2000 as a view camera, other than the fact that it closes up small and tight. view cameras make better view cameras than technical cameras. Use the master technika with a rangefinder, however, and you've added a huge amount of versatility to the package.
As I take more and more "people" pictures with my 5x7 view camera, I keep asking myself if a similar result couldn't be accomplished much more easily with an MT.
As someone who uses a 5x7" Technika III, I can say that they are heavy! For people photography, I would far rather use my ancient Voigtländer Bergheil 9x12cm at a fraction of the weight. No rangefinder, but a very precise focussing scale.
Handholding a Technika is feasible, and would be the only time I would prefer that over a field camera. Oh yes, if you're going to slam it around, the Technikas can take abuse that would turn any wood camera into kindling.
I thought the 4x5 versions of the Technika weighs in at about about 6 lbs? My Gandolfi is much heavier than that....
I doubt if I would every use the rangefinder, since I almost always photograph on a tripod. And, you can focus on the glass with wide angle lenses in the later Tech. versions, so I don't see a need for it.
Then again, I just might. It's always hard to predict what you'll use and not use on a camera before you actually get it.
If you don't think you'll use the rangefinder, then I don't think you're gaining much over the Gandolfi.
The rangefinder is still useful even when using a tripod. If you're shooting something that moves, like portrait subjects, you can work much more dynamically if you can leave a loaded holder in the back with the darkslide pulled and can focus at the same time. I do 8x10" and 11x14" portraits without a rangefinder, of course, and the need to focus, ask the subject to hold still, insert filmholder, remove darkslide, and click the shutter, means having to work with more static poses in general.
For landscapes and architecturals, the rangefinder can also be useful to confirm focus in low light or with wide lenses where it can be hard to see the corners.