Linhof was the first to produce a large-format camera in metal, and the Technika line has a well-deserved reputation for precision and strength.
The Linhof Technika Story
Linhof produced the camera that would become known as the Technika in 1903 and was constructed of aluminum. By 1910, the camera was known as the Ganzmetall – or “all-metal” in German. By the 1930s, the Technika line was born, with the name reflecting not only the quality build of the camera but the type of photography it was capable of capturing. That camera functioned substantially like all Technikas release since then.
The Technika III was released in 1946. I started my love affair with the Technika with a Model III. I found one as a flea market, with substantial damage to the body of the camera. I had a friend “weld” a new piece of aluminum into the chassis, and I used that camera for several years.
By the late 80s, I had purchased a Tech IV. It had been the technical camera at the Oregon State Health University here in Portland. This Linhof Super Technika IV 4×5 camera was made in the early ’60’s. I checked the serial number on it once, and I was made the year before I was born.
While I always wanted to get a Super Technika V or even a Master Technika, I could never find one at a suitable price. These are some of the finest large format cameras made. They are still produced to this day and will continue to be used for decades to come.
My Super Technika IV
The range finder, which was mounted on my camera’s far side, was removed to decrease size and weight. A custom rule has been added to aid in focusing.
The Linhof Super Technika IV 4×5 camera in the closed position. It is about 6 lbs in weight and 7 1/4″ H x 8 5/8″ W x 4 5/16″ D in size.
One of the innovations that the Technika brought to cameras was the rotating universal swing-back. It allows you to change the image format from vertical to horizontal and back to vertical without removing the film back. I really like this feature – I used to have a wooden 4×5 field camera, and I was always afraid that I would drop the back whenever I needed to change the back’s orientation.
More 4×5 Gear – Lenses
My favorite 4×5 lenses are on this page.