Wista SP 45 vs. Linhof Technika

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by zenza_bronica, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. I`m looking for a folding camera that I can use for architecture when I don`t want to carry my big sinar. Does someone know both cameras and can tell me whats the difference? Is the built quality of the wista as good as the linhof? Do they offer movements with a 75mm lens? (my widest lens) Is the built quality of the wista as good as the linhof?
  2. Currently there are two different Linhof Technika 45 cameras; the Classic with rangefinder and the 3000 without rangefinder but with built-in extreme wide angle focusing for lenses as short as the 35mm 4.5 Apo Grandagon. The Wista can not handle lenses nearly this wide. The Technika has considerably more bellows then the Wista although extension beds and bellows are available for the Wista. Both Linhof and Wista cameras can use extension lensboards from Wista.
    Linhof's build quality is not equalled by anyone. But Wista's is excellent.
    Both offer movements with a 75mm but the Technika has more back swing. Wista has more back tilt as it is used to fold the camera.
    You might also want to look at Linhof's field camera, the TechniKardan 45. It has more movement then either the Technika or the Wista, all movements are on the optical axis and it has more bellows then either and can go down to a 35mm Apo Grandagon as well.
    Note: extreme wide angle lenses from 65mm down on the Master Technika Classic, Super Technika V or IV require special helical focusing lensboards for the 38, 47 and 58mm lenses. This is not necessary on the 3000 or the TK. Those extra wide lenses, below 65mm will not work on the Wista.
    Minimum bellows draw on the Linhof Master Technika Classic is 65mm, on the 3000 it is 35mm, on the TK it is 47mm and on the Wista it is 90mm. The Wista and the TK accept accessory wide angle bellows as well as recessed boards.
  3. bob, thank you very much!
  4. I concur with everything Bob say's of the Linhof. I use an early Super Technika III 4x5, which has been very good to work with. As well getting a feel for the beautiful engineering, the build quality, I have also come to appreciate the developments that followed, and will some day get a later model. I may well reserve the Technika I have for portrait and some copy work in the studio, and go for a Technikardan for landscape and architecture subjects. The Technika I have does not allow use of roll film backs which I'd like for some product/table-top work. That facility came in a later upgrade of the III. I miss it, and is something to watch for if you wish to have a roll film option.
    The lenses I have are the original Angulon 90mm, shown below, and the 150mm.
  5. Your camera accepts the Linhof Rapid Rollex 67 roll back for 4x5 cameras.
  6. OK Bob - thanks. I have Super Rollex backs, bought and stored for when acquiring appropriated camera/s. Of course I see now, the Rapid Rollex simply slips in the same as a sheet film holder. Have found a few online now. However, this older camera still lacks user-changeable viewing screen, the original lacking grid or any sort of format markings. Deviating off-topic now, but a desirable set up for the table-top projects is 4x5 Linhof Kardan with quick change sliding back for Super Rollex.
  7. Linhof does not make a sliding back for the Kardan. They do make them for the 45 Technika as well as ones for the M679 series and the Techno camera.
  8. Regarding current issue sliding backs for Linhof, I can not see any mention on the Linhof sites that these will interface with roll film magazines, neither Super Rollex nor Hasselblad. The V adaptor appears to be for V-compatible digital backs, thus lacking the necessary film transport lock and release mechanism.
    I have seen the sliding back made for 4x5 Linhof, and this of course can accommodate Super Rollex, but can not find it on any current product listing. And I can not see how this can be fitted to my early Technika III. To the later ones yes, but there appears no way of changing the back on mine.
  9. When the Technikardan 6x9 was released, many Hasselblad users wanted an adapter plate, and there was one made, but without film transport, and with the further limitation of not allowing the 47mm Super Angulon lens to reach infinity. These problems have been resolved, I know, with the adapter for M679. And users can work in the same way as they do with Hasselblad Superwide: View with Hasselblad viewing screen adapter, then remove this and mount the film magazine for the exposure. I see no way round the investment of an additional Linhof to obtain similar roll-film facility.
    Sorry, this has departed from Zenza's original question.
  10. Kevin,
    Linhof does make a Hasselblad V adapter for both the 23 TK/Technika and for 45 International back cameras. This will accept any Hasselblad H type film or digital back they have a film advance lever built into the adapter.
    The current sliding back for the Technika IV to Master Technikas accepts the same back adapters as the M679/Techno sliding backs accept. That means that there is a Hasselblad H adapter as well as an V back adapter. This sliding back can also accept any back for a Contax 645, or a Mamiya 645/AFD camera as well.
    There is a new 6x9 Super Rollex back that is made for the M679 and Techno cameras. But this does not fit onto the current sliding backs either.
    You are correct, the old, no longer available, sliding back did accept the Super Rollex backs but that can not be mounted to an old III. With all of the limitations of the III, especially front tilts, why not update to at least a IV and then you would have modern accessories, front tilts and the possibility of using that sliding back (if you can find one). However, like the III most IVs are no longer repairable if parts are required specific to that IV or any III.
  11. Just checked and we do still have the Wista Quick Slide backs for both the wood and metal Wista cameras but these require special 120 or 220 Wista backs which are not available. Although they do pop up on eBay from time to time. These Wista sliding backs do not fit your III or any other camera and also do not accept digital backs.
  12. Thanks Bob, for providing that info. I don't know why LInhof can't have it more readily available on their site. As regards the upgrade from the Technika III, I agree absolutely, which is why the old III will serve happily for the most part as a portrait camera. For a later Technika, I will be aiming for the lastest I can afford, including new/current, for the all the reasons that the Linhof designers have spent 50 years improving it. ;-)
  13. Bob's right that if you want the ultimate flexibility, the Technikardan is hard to beat. I'm now using both the Technikardan 45S (Close to home and when I need extreme movements) and the Master Technika 2000 (for traveling light, quick setup and for extreme rigidity for long exposures). The TK is a miracle of engineering, but it is bigger than a Technika or Wista.
    Before I switched to the Linhofs, I was shooting with a Wista VX, which is almost identical to the SP.
    The Technika is probably going to be superior for your needs, especially if you can get a Master Technika or later model. The Master added a small flap on the top of the body which helps get more front rise without the body interfering with the bellows. That's the main advantage of the Linhof for the architectural work you're talking about. I can definitely get more front rise out of the Linhof than the Wista with the same lens. I have not used a 75mm on either camera though, only a 90mm.
    The Wista has a bag bellows available, which would normally be a benefit, but because of the box design of these technical cameras, the box seems to get in the way even with the bag bellows if you go for extreme movements. So in fact, the Linhof's single bellows is an advantage since you don't have to mess around with changing bellows in the field. I haven't held them side-by-side, but it feels like there is a little more room inside of the Technika, so even without the flap I think you'll get more usable rise before the camera body pushes the bellows into the light path.
    The Linhof has more tripod sockets, three to be precise, and they are all useful. The one on the bed balances nicely for longer lenses. I use it for the 210 when focused close and it would be good for longer lenses. This is the only option offered on the Wista.
    The Linhof adds a second socket on the bottom of the main body, which is great for shorter lenses. It's a real advantage since if you decide to drop the camera bed, you don't need to re-level the camera. I use this one most of the time.
    Finally, there's a hidden socket on the top of the body if you remove the accessory cold-shoe. This lets you mount the camera upside-down. This is useful since neither of these cameras offers front lens fall. I thought it would be awkward, but flipping the camera is fast and a nice way to work. (Alternatively, on either camera you can drop the bed and use the front tilt to get the lens parallel again, but this is quite annoying in practice.)
    The build quality of the Linhof is superior to the Wista. Not that the Wista is bad, but the Technika has that German engineering feel, as if the camera was carved from a solid block of metal. The Technika is by far the most rigid 4x5 camera I've seen. While the TK is rigid, I now use the Technika for long exposures or shooting in windy conditions (where its lower profile also helps avoid vibration).
    Both cameras have revolving backs, which can cause vignetting that gets worse with longer lenses. The Wista, however, vignettes much more than the Technika. I got clipped corners with a 150mm lens and the situation was pretty bad with a 210mm. The Technika has a minute amount of clipping with a 210mm (mostly this falls within the border of the film holder and is only visible in the wider cutaway areas at the top of the holder). I haven't used anything longer than a 210 with either camera.
    The Wista comes with a plastic fresnel/gg and a clear glass cover. The screen is nice and bright, but if you don't like fresnels, you're stuck. The Technika has a standard groundglass. A frensel can be added (and it clips in place so it can be easily removed by the user). I prefer the Technika setup since I find it easier to focus without a fresnel.
    In my opinion, the Wistas are great cameras but the Linhofs are better because of the increased usable front rise, the build quality and the reduced back vignetting.
  14. noah, thank you!

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