j a m e s  e d g e

Linhof Technika IV large format camera


Film type:

Image size:


Germany 1956 - 1964 (newer models still made)

4 x 5inch sheet film loaded by dark slide

4 x 5inches - slightly trimmed by border

Board mount. 90mm & 127mm are the most common


Once upon a time my mission in life was to become a professional photographer. Somewhere in the early 90's this waned after I had met some. However, as photography stayed with me as constant interest, one professional camera did sneak into my small collection of cameras - a Linhof Technika IV - and I'm glad it did.

The portable hybrid of a 1950's press camera and a mono-rail studio camera. It is a precision piece of art in itself. The process of taking a photo with one of these is not quick and by no means easy (in comparison to today's instant world). However, when you get it right with one of these you are rewarded with a beautiful, high quality, high resolution image that any small format camera would choke on.

I first used one of these at Uni, and soon picked up my own at Melbourne's Camberwell Photographic Market (every 6 months Mar/Oct) for about $400 AUD (about $200 US, £140 GBP). The market is a fantastic place to get older and collectable cameras and equipment.

My particular camera is a bit weathered and used, but I have reliably photographed many beautiful scenes and people with it. I have only a 127mm lens, and crave a 65mm or 70mm wide, but they are so expensive that I cannot justify it (...yet)!

Yet another camera that recieves strange looks from people when used, usually because it's so different and much larger than most cameras.


Buying Tips:

Buy a quality light meter and a set of quality dark slides which you will clean regularly. There's no use going to the effort of using 4x5 film if your negative ends up covered in dust.

Make sure you understand how much it is to buy and process 4x5 film - its not cheap so if you're like me you won't shoot too often - but it's well worth it when you do.

Make sure you check:
- the bellows to ensure no holes whatsoever (use a small torch inside the bellows in a dark cupboard or similar).
- the ground glass for scratches.
- the front dropdown spring isn't broken.
- the cable release works and is not bent (can get caught on the closing hinge)
- the lens fully


More Information:

Technkia IV Manual - Up on the web in nice large images - Small business with a website full of great camera information.

Large Format Forum - Searchable forum for large format cameras & related information.

Linhof - The manufacturers website