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