Linhof Techno seems like an interesting MF tech system for cost-sensitive amateurs like myself since lenses can be had realtively low cost (Schneider Digitar) compared to ALPA or Arca-Swiss R-Line.
What I don't understand is how Linhof claims focusing ability that no other bellows camera does. While for example Arca-Swiss say that less than 45mm is not suitable for their bellows cameras due to precision issues (they recommend R-Line), Linhof says 23mm is ok with the Techno (I would not use shorter than 35mm myself though).
It's not only the wide angles, it's also about the ground glass -- can it really be used for critical focus? Or do you need ALPA-style distance-calibrated focus rings and laser distance meters? Lets assume a world where there is no live view on the digital back, since that is where I'm going to be if I enter MF digital.
Anyway, my educated guess from all theory I know is actually that the Techno should probably work. But when I read about MF digital for landscape photography it seems like a lot of stuff is about difficulty focusing. I grasp all the technical aspects, shimming, micrometric precision required from optics etc, but still it makes me wonder at which apertures people are shooting, and if the ground glass really is unusable for final focusing.
Say shooting individual flowers with a short DOF I guess you'd probably want to check focus on a large screen preferably. But larger landscape scenes, I was thinking that in 99% of those cases you'd use an aperture say f/8 - f/11 and focus at a distance such that DOF is sufficiently large so minor focus errors would be masked, and thus it would be possible to use a loupe on the ground glass and make as sufficently good focusing. In other words, that all the talk about how difficult it is to focus MF systems is a bit exaggerated. But perhaps the ground glass is too grainy to see good focus or impossible to get sufficiently well-matched with the back?
If that would be the case the Techno seems pretty unusable without a live view back.
I've read Joseph Holmes interesting articles http://www.josephholmes.com/news-medformatprecision.html
and from those MF, especially tech cam systems, seems pretty hopeless to get perform well. But on the other hand he seems to be extremely picky about quality, expecting full corner-to-corner sharpness at maximum aperture, something I'm not used to demanding in the 35mm world...
With the live view on 35mm digital I've never felt the need to have a distance scale on the lens, except for certain focus stacking situations, but in those cases I've solved it by focusing on objects in the scene at different distances. I never set the lens to infinity or hyperfocal etc, I always focus on something. So if the ground glass can be made to work similary to a live view, I'm good.
Has anyone used the Techno and has anything to report about focusing?
(If someone wonders why I ask stuff all over the place about 4x5" film, digital, stitching etc, the reason is I'm investigating several options to get to a more view camera-like workflow with high resolution potential, which suits my photographer's personality better than running around with 35mm digital and tilt-shift lenses.)