Practically Panorama by Linhof (Linhof Technorama 617S).

Several camera companies make a 6x17 centimeter ultra wide angle camera, but the Linhof model is the one I have the most experience with. These use 120 or 220 rollfilm. I enjoyed this camera and it clearly has a marketplace, since so many models are available from various sources. But in the long run I found a full scale 8x10 inch camera gave me more of what I really needed for architectural scenes: namely, camera movements and the capability to see everything on the ground glass.

In effect an 8x10 (18x24 cm) camera does everything that the 6x17 format cameras can do, and better. The 617 class, however, is more portable, though I take my 8x10 out in the field constantly. There is, though, definitely an ease of use in rollfilm. It is hard to find a place to load 8x10 film when out on an expedition that covers large territories.

Before I got the 8x10, and after I had traded in the 617, I bought a 6x24. These are hand made by adapting a Linhof Technikardan with an extremely wide back. I have seen one of these in use by an architectural photographer so I thought I would give it a try.

The main difficulty was in composing the picture, since there was not really a workable solution to viewing, except before you put in the roll of film. If you are specialized in rollfilm wide angle then this model might be appropriate for you. I got mine at Ken Hansen's, and later turned it back in to get a Zeiss lens for another panorama camera. I only took a single picture with it.

But after testing all these models, I am happier with the Linhof 8x10. I went whole hog and bought the largest and best model Linhof had, their Kardan Master GTL. I have taken lots of 8x10 photographs in Mexico and they sure are the best way to record ancient art and architecture.

The fine German cameras of Linhof are imported into the USA by H. P. Marketing.


Design updated July 09, 2008.