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.
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
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.
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)!
another camera that recieves strange looks from people when used,
usually because it's so different and much larger than most cameras.
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.
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.
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
- the lens fully
IV Manual - Up on the web in nice large images
- Small business with a website full of great camera information.
Format Forum - Searchable forum for large format cameras &
- The manufacturers website