Try out the Linhof Technorama 617 S III or the Linhof Kardan Master 8x10


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Wide format panorama camera by Linhof

Several camera companies make a 6 x 17 centimeter ultra wide angle camera, but the Linhof model is the one I have the most experience with. These use 120 or 220 rollfilm. I enjoyed this camera and it clearly has a marketplace, since so many models are available from various sources. But in the long run I found a full scale 8 x 10 inch camera gave me more of what I really needed for architectural scenes: namely, camera movements and the capability to see everything on the ground glass.

In effect an 8 x 10 (18 x2 4 cm) camera does everything that the 6 x 17 format cameras can do, and better. The 617 class, however, is more portable, though I take my 8 x 10 out in the field constantly. There is, though, definitely an ease of use in rollfilm. It is hard to find a place to load 8x10 film when out on an expedition that covers large territories.

Before I got the 8 x 10, and after I had traded in the 617, I bought an unusual 6 x 24. These are hand made by adapting a Linhof Technikardan with an extremely wide back. I have seen one of these in use by an architectural photographer so I thought I would give it a try.

Linhof is imported into the USA by HP Marketing.

The main difficulty was in composing the picture, since there was not really a workable solution to viewing, except before you put in the roll of film. If you are specialized in rollfilm wide angle then this model might be appropriate for you. I got mine at Ken Hansen's, and later turned it back in to get a Zeiss lens for another panorama camera. I only took a single picture with it.

But after testing all these models, I am happier with the Linhof 8 x 10. I went whole hog and bought the largest and best model Linhof had, their Kardan Master GTL. I have taken lots of 8x10 photographs in Mexico and they sure are the best way to record ancient art and architecture.

Nonetheless, you should try out the Linhof 617 system for yourself. They just came out with some new models, the Technorama 617 S III.

I have visited the Linhof factory in Munich the last two times I was in Germany. The Linhof people are hospitable and make a quality product. Try the Linhof M 679 for medium format digital photography

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