The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
2011/59/1-1 Camera, 'Linhof Technika', metal / plastic / glass, made by Linhof, Germany, c. 1959, used by Max Dupain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1959-1980s. Click to enlarge.

‘Linhof Technika’ camera used by Max Dupain

Made
This Linhof Technika bellows camera and accessories were owned and used by Max Dupain, one of Australia's most notable modern architectural photographers. Dupain began using the camera in 1959, whereupon it quickly become his 'go to' camera for architectural photography, and he continued using it through until the 1980s. Dupain is known, amongst other things, for his documentary photography of the Sydney Opera House and workers during its construction from 1959-1973.

Besides its connection to Dupain, the camera and its accessories are important because they demonstrate the slow manual and mechanical processed involved in capturing and developing images at that time. Photographers would manually load individual negatives into a cartridge which slid into the back of the camera. When they gazed through the lens, everything would appear upside down, so the photographer would have to imagine what the scene would look like inverted. The shutter speed on these cameras was very slow, and only a few shots of any given subject would be taken because of the time and expense involved. The technical manual also provides a nice stylistic representation of the era, and explains in detail how the camera worked and was operated.

The Linhof Technika was relatively lightweight and portable, while also being a sturdy and durable 'field' camera with an optical range finder, and consequently became the camera of choice for many photographers.

Written by Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator, June 2011
Updated by Sarah Reeves, Assistant Curator, October 2019

Summary

Object No.

2011/59/1-1

Object Statement

Camera, 'Linhof Technika', metal / plastic / glass, made by Linhof, Germany, c. 1959, used by Max Dupain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1959-1980s

Physical Description

Linhof Technika camera with attached Schneider 127mm lens (Serial Number 2360420) and black plastic metal lens hood with ultraviolet lens filter inserted. The camera also comes with a silver metal cable release, a black plastic Leica lens cap and an aluminium sports finder.

Dimensions

Height

273 mm

Width

212 mm

Depth

254 mm

Production

Notes

This camera was made by Linhof Präzisions-Systemtechnik GmbH in Germany, c.1959. The accessories were made by various makers including Kodak Pty Ltd, Sangamo Weston Ltd and Dallan.

Linhof began manufacturing the Technika from around 1950, though earlier models were being made from the early 20th century. The cameras were distributed around the world and became popular with many prominent photographers of the era.

History

Notes

This camera and accessories belonged to Sydney-based photographer, Max Dupain (1911-1992). The camera was acquired from the Max Dupain studio when Dupain downsized and moved his studio into the L&P Photographics Building at 96 Reserve Road, Artarmon. Dupain used this camera for many years, mainly for architectural photography.

The Linhof Technika used single sheet 4 x 5 inch negatives loaded into cartridges at the back of the camera. At the time, because of the slow shutter speed, models had to remain very still when being photographed. By the end of the decade, this all changed when smaller roll film (medium format 2 1/4" x 2 1/4") cameras with faster shutter speeds began replacing the larger format Linhof Technika. Generally though, it appears to have been a sturdy, versatile and comparatively easy camera to use.

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Linhof Technika' camera used by Max Dupain 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 September 2020, <https://ma.as/430169>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/430169 |title='Linhof Technika' camera used by Max Dupain |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}