Linhof 4x5 Kardan Color 45S

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Alexz, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    How would you rate this camera ? I'm novice to LF, considered this one if the price is right. It's monorail, does that mean its too heavy/bulky for outdoor use (local landscapes, some external architecture) ?
    Does it have rotating back ? (Graflex ?)
    Ae front and rear movements ample enough for regular landscape/architectural work (no superwide is considered - as wide as up to about 75mm lens is enough, probably even 90mm) ?

    Any info and personal experiences are welcome.

    Thanks in advance, Alex
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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  3. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thanks, but don't read French.

    Alex
     
  4. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    The way to get a bargain can be to buy what is unjustifiably unpopular!
    Here's some info:
    http://www.shutterbug.com/columns/1104sb_classic/
    For some reason (probably price) Linhof monorails have always been shunned in favor of Sinar. They are beautifully made, the one you're thinking of was meant to be cheap, so Linhof forced themselves to build it lighter (which will be an advantage for you). I just bought a 13 x 18 cm Kardan Color for £100 (great condition, missing front panel). I bought this to get the back to use on my Linhof Technika. This model of Kardan Color is huge, I would say 50% larger and heavier than my Sinar Norma 5x7".
    To give you a short answer - the camera you're considering is only slighter heavier than the average monorail and could be interesting if cheap enough - check e-bay for past sales to get an idea of prices.
     
  5. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thank you David, sounds indeed as a worthy consideration even for short hikes (within feasable distance out of the car). I just wonder why they are usually go for quite low on Ebay ? All in all it is Linhof and looks pretty good and very solid (at least on pictures)...
    BTW, according to its specifications this model doesn't offer tilts around the base, only around optical axis. Does it really affect landscape/moderate architecture work ? Or it is only issue of convenience ?
     
  6. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I think the relative unpopularity of Linhof was due originally to high prices, now it's just fashion and perhaps the fact that there are many more Sinar accessories available than Linhof. For example, if you bought a Linhof monorail without a bag bellows, finding one would be harder than with Sinar (but not impossible). Same thing with lens panels, lots of Sinar, both original and third-party.
    On-axis tilts some would say are better, the image stays in focus as you tilt, with base tilts the amount of available tilt tends to be much bigger, in fact far more than you would need for landscape.

    Regards,

    David
     
  7. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thanks David once again.
    Well, I guess my chances are apparently narrowing down to this one or Tachihara/used Shen-Hao folders cost-wise. I hope all these can be figured within 200-350$ range (perhasp not Shen-Hao due to being still quite new on the market).
     
  8. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    a linhof kardan was my first 4x5 camera, i didn't like it, we always fought in the field.
    Don't remember which version
    that is a personal viewpoint and many at the time (the early 70's) found them great for studio work.
     
  9. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    I just got a 45s. It's amazingly smooth and rigid. The bellows comes off in a blink and the standards can turn to parallel with the rail and lay flat. Leave the rail mount on the tripod and it packs well enough. The shift assembly is ultra smooth. Zero detents on swing and tilt. Generous rise/fall.

    I believe they made a longer rail as well. The newer G series has the telescoping rail, which will compact a bit more. Linhof means precision.
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Pity that you don't read french. That thread was not very positive about the Color Kardan. The COLOR KARDAN that you asked about is essentially a set of Technika standards on a monorail, has all of the Technika limitations.

    FWIW, hefting a 6x9 COLOR KARDAN was enough to convince me, wrongly I now believe, that a 6x9 monorail was not what I wanted to take to the field. There are other nicer monorails.
     
  11. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    Dan, he asked about the 45s, which is different and superior to the color karden with technica standards on a rail.
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Color Kardan is "intermediate" between the Color, which really is a Technika on a rail (I have one), and the Kardan which is a "full-blown" monorail. The Color Kardan does not have "all the Technika limitations" - not even the Color is that bad! The French text is about the COLOR, not the COLOR KARDAN!
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Ole, both were discussed.
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Color Kardan was mentioned in passing, and it seems only Emmanuel Bigler was clear on the difference. But my French is between "poor" and "non-existent", so I could be mistaken. But your post on the first side seems to me to quote what was said about the Color, and attributing that to the Kardan Color. The two are very different beasts!

    BTW, I like my Color! I haven't found any other camera that is so quick and easy to set up, except possibly the old metal folders :smile:
     
  15. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    I'm glad you like yours. Emmanuel wasn't particularly enthusiastic about either.

    My first exposure to 'em was a 6x9 Color Kardan in around 1990. I was then thinking of moving up from 35 mm, mainly for shooting flowers and such. The camera was beautiful, beautifully made, huge for what it was, heavy, and intimidating. Not a bad tool, y'understand, but not obviously a good one for what I had in mind at the time.