Linhof Kardan Color 8x10 just obtained, first day!

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Randy Moe, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    Hi, Sorry, but I am kinda excited and tired. Drove 620 miles and 14 hours to pick up a Linhof Kardan Color 8x10. i don't know much about it, but I could not resist. It is a big thing and needs work, but everything is there and really only needs cleaning and lube. Possibly a re chrome on the rail. That is it's worst feature. The bellows are good and may be original as they have little metal hooks to hang on the front standard. The compendium hood is in excellent shape. The Linhof lens is clean and the shutter? The matching frame's serial #s are 91586.

    I am looking for advice, guidance, history, manual and that sort of thing. The pictures are as purchased with no cleaning. Please excuse my darkroom is under construction. I am NOT a large format expert, but I am willing to learn. I am a gearhead and former dyno test mechanic. I love all mechanical things!

    Before driving all day for this, I researched all night on the Internet. I did not find a lot of info or even many pictures. Were they that low of production, or unpopular or simply forgotten?

    I realize it is a monster and makes my Calumet C1 and Horseman 8x10 appear small. So what! It is a show off piece for studio portraits. If this thing doesn't scare a sitter, I will have to move up to? 06-DSCN1192.JPG 08-DSCN1194.JPG 09-DSCN1195.JPG 07-DSCN1193.JPG 12-DSCN1198.JPG

    First time posting images, hope it works...
     
  2. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    Randy, congratulatios on you new acquisition, looks like a beauty. Looks like with a little work it can be a nice camera. I know the excitement, yesterday I bought a nice Kodak Eastman No. 2D 8x10. It was a Craigslist purchase, and I too had to drive, 3 minutes, 12 blocks. Ok, Ok, sorry to rub it in, but it was literally just down the street and around the corner. Anyway have fun with your new camera.

    Btw, unfortunately I don't know anything about the Linhofs, sorry I can't be of more help.

    Roger
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice. One sees a lot more of these 1970's era Kardan Colors in 4x5.

    First thing to be aware of is the operation of a Compur air braked shutter. Don't try to cock the shutter and fire it on the B or T settings, or you'll strip it. You only need to cock it for the timed settings.

    You can order a copy of "The Linhof Story" from the German Linhof website for the history of Linhof cameras. You can also get some information from Bob Salomon at HP Marketing, the US rep for Linhof.
     
  4. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    Hi Roger,

    Thanks! Considering 2 years ago I could not drive more than a few miles (a long story) I was happy to fly down the highway and back. It was worth it. I see your avatar is a SLR Graflex. How do you like shooting one of those? I can get a 3x4 version very cheaply and I have plenty of 3x4 holders!

    Enjoy your 2D. I have a Eastman 2 7x11 with only a 8x10 back, and the sliding front lens board. I am scared to use it as I worry I will break it. I find I like metal cameras, I always have been a metal man.
     
  5. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    Hi David,

    Thanks for your advice. I will buy the Linhof book. The shutter was barely saved. The seller, forgot how it worked and I did not know. I stopped him from any abuse and got away clean. I just followed your advice and B&T work fine. The speeds vary, but 1 second is fast. Perhaps it needs some exercise. The seller claimed this rig was last used in the 80's. Aperture works fine. The elements are clean and unscratched. I assume one removes the rear element for the double effect...I will bother Bob Salomon when I have some real problems. Like parts!

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    Randy - When I was in my teens in the 1960s, I fell in love with Linhof and the Monster Kardan 8X10 became one of my dream cameras. Alas, as I got older and finally had a chance to buy one, common sense prevailed. I recall these were made in both 5X7 and 8X10 versions, and single-bellows and double-bellows (with an intermediate standard to join the bellows). http://www.cameraeccentric.com/info.html has a 1957 Linhof catalog with a page on the Kardan. If you look at eBay #251106277545, the catalog in the upper right of the first picture (blonde lady with Press 70) has about 8 pages on the Kardan cameras, including 2 pages showing all the available accessories. The upper middle catalog is slightly earlier and has a similar section on the Kardan, although with a couple less pages. Sometimes you see these catalogs available individually on eBay for not much money. If you search eBay for "photo technik", you will find examples of the beautiful magazine Linhof published quarterly for many years. I believe the English version started in about 1956 or '57, and the ones up to about 1970 or a little later are of most interest as far a classic Linhofs. Again, I sometimes see issues going for less than $10, so you might just watch eBay for awhile. Linhof published a book called "Linhof Practice" too. I see several copies on eBay under Completed Auctions so you can see what the book is. None under Current Auctions at the moment. Some of the online book sellers may have this or the Technik magazine. A site I found with pictures of a Kardan and the big Linhof double-leg tripod you need to go with your camera: http://barteess.blogspot.com/2012/03/linhof-kardan-color-5x7.html


    Len
     
  7. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    Hi Len,

    Thanks for your tips. My camera did come with the big twin spar tripod. The whole thing is quite impressive. I am going to have the monorail re chromed and polish the rest. I am your age and retired. I never got beyond shooting a Pentax H3 until a few years ago. It was all I needed, until digital... I now enjoy collecting very affordable film cameras in all sizes. As a collector, there is no rational explanation for what I collect. For example, in my time I have bought, rode and sold at least 200 motorcycles. As my friends have always been quick to point out, I can only ride one at a time. The same goes for cameras, almost. I have shifted my focus to camera collecting, a better hobby for an older person. I will never shoot some of my cameras, nonetheless I enjoy them and display them. Life is short and rationality is way overrated. Why else would I be building the darkroom of my dreams, now? Because I can. I won't discuss my enlarger collection, but suffice to say they are even cheaper than cameras...

    Thanks again for your sources and comments!
     
  8. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    Hi Randy,
    I think maybe you are a dangerous person for me to be talking to! Lol. I've been collecting/pack-ratting for about
    35 years, and only recently got some control over my buying impulses. But a recent topic on one of the forums on the 4X5 Linhof Color, and now your post on the big Kardan has me thinking maybe I could buy just one more camera (or maybe two). I have a few eBay searches I do on a regular basis, and somehow Linhof has been added to that list. Not that I would actually buy one of course. Just curious what is out there. I do have a rather well used Technika IV, so I'm not totally Linhof-less, so don't feel too sorry for me.

    If you have a chance, could you weigh your Kardan? For some reason, Linhof didn't go out of their way to publish weights of these. I suppose since they were a studio camera, as long as the floor was strong enough to hold them, the actual weight didn't matter.

    Len