Linhof monorail - Technikardan 45s or Kardan GT???

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Henry Carter, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    4x5 Format
    I have been using a 4x5 Master Technika for 10+ years, but there are times when I really wished I had a monorail. Given that I have many Linhof accessories and lenses, it would make sense to consider a Linhof monorail for architecture and urban landscapes.

    I am working on a night project needing long exposures (up to 10 min), and a stable and rigid camera is a must. Though the TK 45s is more portable, the Kardan GT is probably more rigid, albeit heavier and bulkier.

    It sounds like the TK might be the better choice given its greater portability while still being sufficiently rigid. The Kardan is probably a little more robust and rigid, but at the expense of weight, size and portablity.

    I have two Linhof tripods, both excellent, but for different purposes - the Twin Shank Pro (3317) and the much heavier Profi 3 (3454). I use the Profi 3 for night photography with my MT and a Profi 3 Universal Pan/Tilt Head (3669) - a heavy combination but absolutely rock-solid for long exposures.

    Moving forward, I see two possible combinations of cameras, heads, and tripods:

    (1) Technikardan 45s, 3-Way Leveling Head (3663), Twin Shank Pro Tripod (3317).

    (2) Kardan GT, Levelling Pan/Tilt Head 90 (3668), Profi 3 Tripod (3454).

    The Profi 3 has a 90mm clamp mount for the Levelling Pan/Tilt Head 90, and the head accepts the Kardan rail directly, permiting sliding back and forth and locking. This would be the ultimate combination for stability and rigidity, but it would be heavier, bulkier, and less portable.

    If I was considering only daylight photography, the TK would be the better choice, but as you can see I am still torn about the right monorail for night photography.

    Am I just obsessing between 98% vs. 99% of perfection, or is there a bigger difference than that between the two above choices?

    Many thanks for your advice!
  2. healingvirtue

    healingvirtue Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    8x10 Format
    I have the technikardan 45s right now... Just by the looks of it, I am not so impressed with it's rigidity. The last camera I used was a Wista 45D which was built like a tank, that might be why. Personally, I love the tk 45s though and I think it is sufficiently rigid for most situations, but for very long exposures, I would go for the kardan. It is a tough choice I know! They are both awesome cameras, and I like them both better than the field cameras. I found a kardan GT at a bargain price, so I am actually trading in the TK for it, otherwise, I would probably keep the TK and own both. The TK is so portable and fold and unfolds just as fast as any field camera. It's also much more attractive in my opinion and everything about it feels amazing. Let me know if your interested, mine is in mint condition and has a brand new bellows.
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 7, 2002
    Honolulu, Ha
    Large Format
    So Henry, if you're still following after three and a half years, what did you pick?