A "universal" camera intended for both handheld action and tripod-mounted
corrective photography, the Linhof Technika 70 is a combination of press and
technical designs. Introduced in 1963 by Nikolaus Karpf KG in Munich, Germany,
the Technika 70 was similar in concept (combined range/viewfinder focusing,
folding-bed bellows camera of alloy metal construction) to the previous Super
Technika's III and IV. For the Technika 70, the top-mounted rangefinder
was a completely new design with a larger, brighter finder having 6x7cm format
reflected frame lines for up to three rangefinder-coupled lenses. The lens-coupling
cam had a ratcheted mechanism allowing faster lens switching. An uncoupled selenium
meter was built-in. The front standard was new, introducing on-axis tilt and
lateral shift. The revolving four-way articulating back was retained from the
earlier models, as were front rise and the drop bed to allow use of wide angle
lenses. A system camera, 6x7cm rollfilm backs, sheet film holders, Polaroid
backs, and a number of focusing accessories were available. Superbly crafted,
the Technika 70 was manufactured until '79 and replaced by the 2x3 Super
Technika V which, with its side-mounted rangefinder, resembles a "baby"
version of the 4x5" Super Technika cameras.
Technika 70 viewfinder, from International Photo Technik 1/1963.
Photos © 2004, Rick Shimonkevitz, All Rights Reserved
The highlight of the Technika 70 is the integrated range/viewfinder which
shows 6x7cm frame lines for three rangefinder-coupled lenses. "Type 1"
cameras were made with 65/100/180mm frame lines, "Type 2" cameras
had 53/80/180mm frame lines, and "Type 3" cameras had 53/100/180mm
frame lines. The rangefinder focuses as close as 32" and the frame lines
are corrected for parallax and field reduction to 4 ft with wide angle and normal
lenses, and 6.5 ft with the 180mm telephoto lens. Red warning signals appear
in the finder frame lines when one focuses closer than the field is accurately
indicated. The finder is vertically oriented and not horizontally switchable.
Therefore, in the aircraft picture shown (at infinity focus) the camera is being
held sideways. In the candid photo the camera is in the upright position and
close-up, with the innermost telephoto frame line switched off.
The Technika 70's viewfinder is similar to the Leica M camera, except
that the normal and wide angle frame lines are always visible and only the telephoto
can be switched on/off. The rangefinder has a base length of 93.5mm, one of
the longest ever offered on a medium format camera. This allowed accurate focusing
of 240mm telephoto lenses at middle distances and according to the instruction
manual, objects at 600 ft could be accurately differentiated from infinity.
In addition to a vertical-leveling indicator located within the viewfinder,
there is a rangefinder-coupled distance meter reading out on the back of the
Lenses from 53-180mm (telephoto lenses to 240mm) were coupled to the rangefinder
via a trilobed metal cam placed in the bed of the camera. Cams have the serial
numbers of the lenses for which they were cut engraved on their top surface,
along with the focal length and a color code as to which lens stops on the focusing
track are used.
70 with dropped bed, maximum front rise, lens and rear standards
tilted back to maximum. Camera back can be adjusted for four-way
Linhof quality-tested and selected lenses from Rodenstock, Schneider, Voigtländer,
and Zeiss, mounted in Synchro Compur shutters, were available factory cammed
to the Technika 70 rangefinder. These included the high-grade optics of the
day, such as the Zeiss Biogon, Planar, and Sonnar; the Voigtländer Apo
Lanthar and Telomar; Schneider Super Angulon, Xenotar, Tele Arton, and Symmar;
and Rodenstock Grandagon and Rotelar. These single-coated lenses are still capable
of excellent results and, except for the 80mm Planar/Xenotar, have the capability
for at least limited camera movements at smaller apertures.
The Technika 70 will accept lenses whose rear element is less than 62mm diameter
and whose shutter will fit between the front standards (approximately 80mm wide;
lensboards are 75mm wide). Essentially, this means a Compur/Copal size 1 or
smaller shutter. If you require the ultimate in image quality, the latest production
multi-coated lenses can still be factory cammed for rangefinder focusing (new
focusing cam from www.linhof.de, Euro 50.29 and coupling costs per each lens,
$200 by Linhof or Marflex). Alternatively, new and vintage lenses, offering
their unique image qualities and coverage capabilities, can be used by simply
mounting on a lensboard for ground-glass focusing as on any view camera.