Press cameras generally had fixed backs, while technical cameras support limited tilt and swing back movements and most rotate or reverse.
Except for the Graflex, this page includes only cameras with at least limited front movements.
The images below do not represent proportional sizes of the actual cameras.
Click an icon for more off-site information about each model.

Pacemaker 4x5 Speed Graphic

Pacemaker Graphics were the later series featuring metal front standards. Earlier Pacemakers had side mounted Kalart rangefinders; later models had top-mounted Graphic rangefinders. Crown Graphics have a between-the-lens shutter, while Speed Graphics add a focal plane shutter, allowing the use of barrel lenses. Limited front rise/fall, shift and tilt; no back movements and the back does not rotate. Crowns weigh in at about 4 pounds and Speeds about a pound heavier. Good clean examples will cost $200-300 with a decent lens, some of which can be very good.

Burke & James and Busch also made similar cameras.

3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Graflex Super D
The Super D was the last in a long line of medium and large format single lens reflex designs. The Super D was offered in 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 and 4x5 formats. Besides the Gowlandflex TLR, the Graflex is about the only option for those wanting a large format reflex. No perspective control but nearly all Graflexes had a rotating backand excellent barrel mount Ektar lenses. The smaller size is usually cheaper and supports both cut-down sheet film and rollbacks. Used $300-600

4x5 Super Graphic
The Super Graphic was the last 'press' design, though some make the case for a field camera. Significant improvements over the Pacemaker. Decent rise and fall, limited front shift, swing and tilt, a rotating back without other movements. Double extension handles lenses from 65mm in a receccessed lens board to about 300mm. About 5 pounds and $400-500 used with typically good normal length lenses.

Linhof Technika V
Sometimes called the 'Leica' of large format, Technikas are made with great precision, are heavy and expensive. They defined 'technical camera' when introduced in the late '40s. Technikas have rotating backs and that support decent swing and tilt. Front movements include shift, tilt and rise/fall. New Technikas sell for $4300-4600. A '70s Technika V like this from between $700-1500, depending on lens and condition.


Toyo 45CF
Using Polycarbonate/carbon-fiber material to reduce weight to about 4 pounds, Toyo has produced a modern camera with specifications similar to those of the Super Graphic but with a reversible rather than revolving back and without range- or viewfinder. It is about a pound lighter than the Super Graphic. Front rise/fall, shift, swing and base tilt; rear base tilt. G back. About $700 without lens. The Toyo 45A series is an alloy design, similar to the Technika. Older models are usually available for under $1000.

Meridian 45A

The Meridian and MPP (below) were metal technical cameras appearing after WWII and probably owed some of their design to the prewar Linhof. The Meridian has triple extension rack, an articulated, rotating back, that allows swing and tilt, but one that appears to be limited to conventional two sheet cut film holders. The A version has an unusual round bayonet style lens board; the B version has a square lens board. Estimated weight is about 6 pounds and cost $400-500.


Micro Precision Products made a series of metal technical cameras. The later ones had rotating, articulated backs allowing generous tilt and swing movements. They had triple extension rack and pinion front racks that supported all movements. Many had side-mounted rangefinders. Prices and weight vary by model. Since they were made in London, they are more available on the English market and usually expensive to ship abroad.


Wista Technical SP

Wista Technical cameras use an alloy case with a dropdown front bed and feature full front movements and center swing and base tilts in the rear These are currently in production and the new cost of about $1800 puts it out of the normal range of this site, but similar Wistas have been made for decades and should be available for under $1000. About 5-6 pounds, depending on model.

Medium Format alternatives to 4 x 5
Graphic '23' models are shrunken versions of the 4x5 Graphic models. They have limited perspective control and can use a variety of Ektar lenses that are easily affordable. With modern films, this format can rival the image quality of 4x5. The small Technikas and Japanese clones provide rotating backs with movements but are heavier

2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Pacemaker Crown Graphic
Pacemakers Crowns and Speeds were alike except for the addition of a flash-synced focal plane shutter on the Speed. A cheaper 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Century Graphic had a molded plastic body. Limited perspective control that can only be used in landscape orientation. This format is longer and narrower than 4x5. Graphic rollholders are readily available for 120/220 in 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9 formats. Crowns and Centurys were about 3 pounds, and in good condition are about $200-250 depending on lens.

Horseman VH-R
Horseman was one of several Japanese manufacurers that made technical cameras based on the Linhof design. The VH-R had a rotating, articulated back similar to the Technika 6x9 to the right. The R model had a view/rangefinder assembly; the VH didn't. The VH-R model had full movements, was about 4 1/2 pounds and may be available in the$600-800 range.


Linhof Technika 6x9

This smaller version of the Technika was available as a Super, with rangefinder, and the plain Technika, without, though the latter are rarer. Like the larger Technikas, they had rotating, articulated backs allowing swings and tilts; the front standard allowed rise and fall and tilt, but no swings. They had triple extension focusing racks. There are variations in range/viewfinder designs in later models. Even in the smaller format, the Technika 6x9 is 4+ pounds and therefore as heavy as most 4x5 wood field cameras. Linhof still makes the Super Technika 6x9, but the U. S. importer does not show these as available. $800-1200 in decent condition. Like-new recent models $4000+.

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02/25/2009 3:55