Home  Camera Articles   FOR SALE    Orders     I Buy / Wants     Repairs     Books   Adapters

Linhof Techs Vs. Speed Graphics:

Both is Better, unless you are Luke Skywalker!

In the 50's both the Speed/Crown  Graphics and Linhof Super Technikas were primarily used by working pros as Press/Field Cameras. Nowadays, these cameras have found a new life amongst landscape and art photographers who want a lighter mobile camera for field work (read that ANY place outside of the studio). Both cameras have rangefinders. A lot of modern photogs remove the rangefinders to save the weight. It all depends upon you own style.

While the Technika, has always been the best at providing the most, the Speed/Crown Graphics have always been the best at providing the most for the least.  The Technika  has always been the more expensive, more versatile camera of the two. But sometimes those extras are not needed and so go for naught.

In terms of a hand held 4x5 camera, there is really no contest.  Due to its light weight, any of the 4x5 Graphic Crown, Graphic, or Super Graphic cameras are far better choices than the heavy and tiring Linhof Tech.  Add a tripod, and the opposite is true. 

The Techs are the heaviest, the most precise, the most versatile, and by  far the most expensive of these two fine 4x5 field cameras. If you can justify the investment and you want the best in only one camera, the Tech IV or later is your choice. See separate profile on Techs.

The Speeds/Crowns/Super Graphics each offer definite advantages over the Techs in specific areas. Sometimes it is not a simple decision.

Nevertheless, Linhof Technikas are Beauuutifuuuul Woooonnnnderfullll cameras. To own a Tech IV or later camera is to know quality and craftsmanship. If you can justify the greater investment, you will have one of the best cameras made.

Customizing: If you use both systems, try using the much better Linhof Viewfinders and Grips on the Graphic. Mount a Linhof accessory shoe for the viewfinder and a Linhof grip base for their marvelous anatomical grip on your Graphic. The reverse is also true. Linhof folding focusing hoods have leather which cracks and tears. The Graphic all metal focusing hood can be grafted to the Linhof back to get a better camera. Graphic roll film backs can also be used on the Tech.   I suppose someone somewhere has figured how to standardize lens board between the two cameras.   I have seen one innovative camera repairman who offered a Crown Graphic to Tech conversion....well sort of, installing Tech type rear movements on a Crown. He pulled it off quite successfully. 

Don't worry about the old Technika Vs Speed Graphic argument.  Fit the tool to the task and use both!

Many will argue the most important thing about Graflex cameras has NOTHING to do with their millions of pictures.

A long time ago, in a Galaxy far far way, George Lucas was searching for Luke Skywalker's light saber.   Somehow he happened upon the large Graflex flashbulb gun with a red button on it.   With a few modifications, believe it or not, it became the Luke Skywalker Light Saber of Star Wars fame.  During filming the actors dueled with the sabers only: the "light" portion of the saber was added in post production.   

I suspect that George made  more money  with his Graflex Star Wars Light Saber than Graflex ever made selling  cameras!   Believe it or don't. 

Home  Camera Articles   FOR SALE    Orders     I Buy / Wants     Repairs     Books   Adapters

Revised: November 26, 2003 Copyright � 1997-2002  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.