Great review; very thorough, and you certainly know your optics!!
I wanted to ask you if you have any thoughts about the newer Linhof ground glass, particularly if it helps with ability to fine focus images on the ground glass.
I have two medium format cameras, but am struggling with the best way to focus a technical camera, and am considering getting a Techno with the sliding back. I miss seeing an image on the ground glass!
Another option is to use the Linhof sliding back on a Cambo technical camera.
Thanks. Further down on the loooong review page there's a mini review of the new ground glass, which I now have used for 9 months. The gain is image brightness for wide angles. The grain is not finer than on the standard ground glass, which is already very good. Some say that the new ground glass is "snappier", ie it's easier to see when something goes in and out of focus, but when I tested them side by side I could not detect such a difference.
Still I strongly recommend the new ground glass if you work with lenses shorter than 75mm, the brightness is very much appreciated.
The Silvestri/Linhof studio 12x loupe is a "must", you really need a strong loupe to focus digital backs on ground glass. I actually use a 20x belomo loupe myself most of the time (I own the 12x too), but I think most users will prefer the field of view / magnification balance of the 12x. Backorder time for the 12x has been really bad (I waited 6 months or so for mine), so it can be a good idea to order one if they still have stock.
Ground glass focusing is still limited in its precision, grain is only that fine. I'd say that with training you'll focus consistently correctly for f/11 and smaller apertures, but larger apertures will be hit-and-miss. On the other hand, tech cam photography with larger apertures than f/11 does not make much sense, you'll get a very small depth of field which is hard to work with, performance of shifted lenses will be a bit poor, and you'll get aliasing issues on the fine details. If you really need to focus at say f/8 or even f/5.6 ground glass is not the answer, then you should use a pancake camera like Arca-Swiss RM3Di with high precision focusing ring and use a laser distance meter or other way to find the exact distance to your target.
Tech cam lenses are small aperture and symmetrical or very weakly retrofocus. This means that the image will always be dimmer than for say a Hasselblad 500 or a modern SLR, so you won't get a very nice large SLR viewfinder type of experience, it will be dim and for wides you'll need to move your head around a bit to get a proper view of the full frame. So it won't be great
in any way you look at it, but I don't feel limited about it, and actually find it a bit charming old-school.
My review includes photos of the new ground glass with wide angle on it where I've tried to mimic the look of the web jpeg so it looks as similar as possible to the "real experience" so you can judge for yourself. Here's the image, new vs old. Do read the review as it has more details though.