Linhof cameras

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by sbelyaev, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    I've been using 35mm and MF cameras for some time.
    I'm thinking about getting a LF camera, but honestly I don't know where to start.
    On B&H website I saw several Linhoff cameras: Master technika 2000. master technika 3000 and Master Technika Classic.

    What are the main differences among these cameras?
    What accessories (other than lenses and tripod) I have to obtain in order to use these cameras efficiently?

    Thank you.
    Stan
     
  2. rpsawin

    rpsawin Member

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  3. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Cable release, film holders, dark cloth, loupe and light meter.
    A self-made viewing frame might be beneficial in the beginning.

    Christoph
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The Master Tech Classic has a rangefinder, which is handy for shooting press camera style or for portraits, because it lets you check focus while there's a filmholder in the back. You can also focus with the groundglass.

    The Tech 2000 and 3000 don't have a rangefinder, but they are easier to use with lenses wider than 72mm. The 3000 has a few improvements over the 2000, allowing for faster setup with ultrawide lenses, and additional bed drop for verticals with the widest modern lenses. For lenses 72mm and longer, it operates the same way as the MT Classic, but without the option of rangefinder focus.

    The Tech V has almost all the features of the MT Classic, except for the flap on the top, which is useful for modern lenses of about 72-80mm. If you don't plan to use such a lens, then a Tech V is a better value.
     
  5. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    Thank you!
     
  6. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    You might ask yourself why you picked these cameras? They are excellent cameras, but are they the best for what you want to do? Another approach is to define what you want to do, define how you came to that conclusion and then try to figure out what camera best meets those goals. It may well be the Linhofs you picked, another Linhof (which I have), another brand, another format. People here love to give their opinions on all these things. Just the mental exercise may save you a lot of time, money and frustration. Don't ask them how to get the money to buy these items though.

    Good luck.

    John Powers
     
  7. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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  8. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Oops, a few too many zeros....
     
  9. photobum

    photobum Member

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    Wow. I've been shooting 4x5 through one camera or another since the late '60's. As much as I want a Linhof Master I can't get beyond the breath-taking price. You want to start with this? New???
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey, if there are folks who like new equipment and can afford to help keep these cameras in production, I wouldn't discourage them.

    A new Technika will remain in circulation a lot longer than a top-of-the-line DSLR that costs even more up front.
     
  11. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    I'm thinking about getting a new camera, but probably, used lenses. It is expensive, but it is a life-long "investment". At least I don't need to deal with holes, dust, rust, possibility that a camera was stolen.....
    David is absolutely correct Linhof cameras will outlive no only DSLRs but us as well.
     
  12. hka

    hka Member

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    I own a Linhof Technika V of more than 30 years (young). Some months ago I was at the company in Munchen and the man who has handbuild my camera in 1987 was still working there. He was very pleased to see that this camera looks and functions so well after all that years. I go for an other 60 years...
     
  13. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I also have a Tech 5 and it's a great camera. I can use a 90mm lens without dropping the bed which is handy and I also have the universal finder which is a good thing. This, combined with the rangefinder, allows you to use it as a press camera.
    I have to concur that the Tech 5 is a much better buy than the Master which sells for very inflated prices. the only advantage that the Master has is for using very wide angle lenses, with the hinged flap at the top also permitting some rise for the lens standard.
    They are very well built machines with the only problem I have encountered is the grey leather bits keep trying to escape. Also it pays to be a bit gentle with the lever that raises the lens standard.
    Tony
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The flap on the Master Tech is useful for a few modern lenses from 72-80mm, and maybe the newest 90mm lenses that would allow for enough front rise that the bellows might actually hit the front of the camera body. Wider than 72mm the lens will be too far into the camera body for the flap to be of use.

    Another thing that goes wrong on older Techs is the plastic covers on the back that guide the Graflok slides, which crack with fatigue after 20-odd years and make it impossible to use the slides. When I last sent my Tech V in for service and to have another lens cammed, I had these replaced and ordered a pair of spares, in case I have to replace them again.
     
  16. sharpnikkor

    sharpnikkor Subscriber

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    I would compare the quality of the Linhof Technika to that of a classic Leica or Rolleiflex. Cameras built to impeccable standards, made to be used for years and passed on to the next generation. I had the Tech V and now use a 30 year old Master Tech and wouldn't hesitate to replace it with one of the three models your were considering. If you don't need the rangefinder, then go for the Technika 2000 or 3000. Slightly smaller size and weight but any of the three models would serve you very well.
     
  17. Paddy

    Paddy Member

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    I had this exact problem, (i.e. mine broke) and had it replaced with a dial fabricated by our local repair guru Horst Wenzel. Except for a very wide angle lens, that's quite recessed within the body, it's sooo much easier to use.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The crank handle isn't usually the problem on the front rise. It's that people usually strip the first few teeth on the bottom of the gear track by overcranking it. If you have a 75mm or shorter lens, as I do, the crank lever is really useful. I wouldn't replace it with a knob.
     
  19. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I have a 5x7 Tech V, with metal gear track and gears, but with a plastic ratchet assembly. When my plastic ratchet eventually fails, I hope to do the same modification as Paddy did.
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    My 4x5" Tech V has a metal ratchet assembly and a plastic gear track. You've got to wonder in an otherwise over-engineered camera, why they wouldn't offer all metal gearing on this. Sinar uses plastic gear tracks, because they are smoother, but they offer at least the option of a brass gear track upgrade on the front rise of the P and P2 for people who regularly use heavier lenses.
     
  21. dslater

    dslater Subscriber

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    That's interesting - I have a Linhof Color monorail camera. The front standard on this is very similar if not the same as a Tech V. The front crank on it has stopped working. If the problem is with the gear track as you say, then would the front crank engage if I move standard up a bit?
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, if that's the problem, that's the standard solution. You should be able to tell just by looking at it. If the wheel is turning, the standard isn't moving, and the track looks stripped at the bottom, then it's stripped. I think Frank Petronio posted over on the LF forum that his Tech has this issue, and he asked Martin about it (Marflex), and even he said that this is very common, and it's usually not worth the expense of replacing the track if you only have to lift the standard a little to get it to engage.
     
  23. dslater

    dslater Subscriber

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    I was afraid you'd say that - mine doesn't work regardless of where the standard is. The wheel doesn't turn either. Marflex quoted me $250.00 to fix it.:sad:
     
  24. PBrooks

    PBrooks Member

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    John I don't think that 2950.00 is a pipe dream at all for a master. I have sold a Tech V for much more.
    PBrooks

     
  25. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    Of course, you could also get a shenhao ($650, more movements than the technika) or tachihara (lighter, less movements) and sell it later if you really do like the format and still want a linhof. These things hold their values reasonably well..

    'Course not everybody has the same budget, so if you're really a rich m**f**r go ahead and start out with the linhof. I did catch some Linhof envy today while out shooting with some other guys (mainly the rugged construction and the long extension, though I can use a bag bellows for very wide lenses on my shenhao which is a pain on a linhof).

    In any case, hope you enjoy 4x5. It's very rewarding.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2007
  26. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    I think people get confused by the european use of the comma to denote cents. You'd think the comma in the wrong place (for thousands) would tip 'em off :wink: