Classic Cameras
The Linhof Technika 70 Page 2

Why the Technika 70? Perhaps the ultimate "hand-and-stand" camera, the Technika 70's combined range/viewfinder allows it to be faster in use than any of its competitors. The viewfinder is bright, the rangefinder focusing patch definitive to allow available light photography, and the accurate frame lines allow precise subject positioning. Handheld focusing of a Super Technika V or one of the Horsemans or Graphics, with separate range and viewfinders, is an experience similar to using a Leica III-series camera. In contrast, the Technika 70 is like using a big (and hefty, at 6 lbs with lens and film back) Leica M2. On the tripod, the limitations of the Technika 70 are the lack of front swings and the restricted front rise using wide angle lenses. At infinity focus, my 53mm lens has only 3mm maximum front rise (due to the camera body) and 18mm with an 80mm lens (due to the bellows). The design was clearly a compromise between the fast-handling nature of the camera afforded by its integrated range/viewfinder and the amount of front rise the top-mounted rangefinder would allow. If necessary, the camera can be used on its side where tilt becomes swing, but front rise with extreme wide angle lenses is simply limited. Otherwise, the camera movements are comparable to compact 4x5 field cameras and the 3x bellows extension (with a 100mm normal lens) provides excellent macro capability.

Linhof advertisement, circa 1964.

Combined with its technical sophistication and quality of construction, manufacturing costs likely led Linhof to offer the less complex 2x3 Super Technika V as a replacement. Still pricey today, a used Technika 70 body will cost you around $500, and from $1000-$4000, depending upon condition and the number and make of coupled lenses (collectors going for Voigtländer and Zeiss). Nevertheless, for one camera used primarily for handheld on-location photography that also has the front and rear movements to provide perspective and sharpness corrections when the need arises, the Technika 70 was then, and remains now, unsurpassed.

Specifications For Maximum Movements
Front On-Axis Tilt (Forward Or Back): 15Þ
Front Shift (Left Or Right): 25mm
Geared Front Rise: 32mm
Front Fall (w/15Þ Dropped Bed): 34mm
Front Swing: 0
Rear Swing (Four-Way): 15Þ
Bellows Extension: 310mm