The Linhof Technika III, Type 5 (or Version 5) was a transitional model between the Tech III and Tech IV, being the only Tech III model to feature the now familiar reinforced angular front door design. It was produced for approximately one year until it was replaced by the Tech IV. The Type 5 was the first Technika to be factory-fitted with the international, or Graflok Back.
This camera sports a Technika branded Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar 1:5,6/150mm 1:12 265 lens in a Linhof branded, chrome-faced Compur shutter.
Originally introduced by Schneider Optics in 1920, the Symmar is a 6-element, 4-group, symmetrical lens design with a 70° angle of coverage. Constructed, like most large format lenses, with two cells fit into the front and back ends of a leaf shutter, Symmar lenses are “convertible”. One can create a lens with a substantially longer focal length by removing the front or rear cell and using only half the lens. This was especially useful for portrait photography, as the resulting longer focal length lens produced a softer image.
Because of their similarity to the Graflex Speed and Crown Graphic cameras, Technikas are often referred to as “Press Cameras”. However, while both offer fast 4x5 operation, Press Cameras do not have back movements. The Linhof is, therefore, more accurately referred to as a “Technical Field Camera”.
The 9 x 12cm / 4 x 5 inch Technika III was introduced in 1946, and had all the essential Tech III features:
- Rugged precision metal construction
- Quick, simple setup from closed storage position to picture taking position
- Common flat aluminum lens board (incompatible with IV and later cameras)
- Front backward base tilt (no front forward tilt)
- 15 degree left and right front swings
- 70 mm front rise (Type 5)
- 20 mm left and right front shift
- Back swings and tilts (no back rise, fall or shifts)
- Triple bellows extension
- Rotating back
- Black leather
- Interchangeable rangefinder cams
In all there were five versions of the Tech III. With the rangefinder, it was referred to as the Super Technika, simply Technika without the rangefinder.
- Version 1 (1946) introduced the pronounced “U” shaped front lens standard, had a square rangefinder housing with no flash bracket. The body design features square corners.
- Version 2 (1950) introduced the flash bracket on rangefinder housing, which was now angled rather than squared design. The camera body still square.
- Version 3 (1951) debuted the new curved-edge body design.
- Version 4 (1953) sees the back movement knob locks relocated on top of camera. Drop bed is also introduced.
- Version 5 (1955) features a stronger body design with a reinforced angular front door. Rangefinder focusing wheels now appear on both sides of the camera. A universal Graflok Back, which could be retrofitted to earlier cameras, is also introduced with this model. The V5 ends up being a Tech IV body with Tech III type front movements and black, not tan, leather.