Value of nice and extensive Linhof Technika kit

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by 2F/2F, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hello,

    Today at work, a client brought in one hell of a Linhof Technika kit for me to photograph and sell on consignment.

    I don't know Linhofs well. However, I think this is a III. It has no front tilt that I can see, and the lens boards are square, without clipped corners like the newer ones.

    The camera was bought new, with many accessories, and never heavily used.

    The kit includes:

    - body with instructions, sales brochures, and other such literature
    - 150mm lens on board, cam, and focusing scale
    - 90mm Angulon f/6.8 on board, cam, and focusing scale
    - 240mm Tele-Xenon on board, cam, and focusing scale
    - extra lens board, unused
    - left hand "anatomical" grip
    - flashgun
    - Linhof cable release
    - Super Rolex 6x7 back
    - 13 Riteway DDS film holders, clean, in boxes, practically unused
    - 4 Linhof film holders. These look like extra fat DDS holders with rounded edges, with instructions (still loaded, with a film with a double triangle notch code; with about a half inch between the notches: ---v----v--)
    - Vintage Polaroid 500 holder with instructions
    - "Off brand" Polaroid Packfilm holder (like the later Polaroid 405 holder that I have and love) with instructions
    - Weston meter/case
    - Brockway meter/case
    - Linhof lens shade/filter holder with three filters (rot, gelb, UV), in leather case
    - Another clip-on filter holder/barn-door lens shade
    - Sportsfinder frame for front standard
    - Various other odds and ends

    I was offered the option to buy the kit outright. The owner was looking to get "$1,100 or $1,200" for the entire kit. The guy who brought it in was a very knowledgeable retired commercial photographer and college photography instructor who was a friend of the owner, who must have had an idea of its value, so I would not feel bad for taking them up on the offer.

    Whaddayathink? Have the camera gods smiled on me again?

    It sounds like a deal to me, given all the accessories, the cams and focusing scales, and the barely-used condition of everything...but I understand that the IIIs are not worth anywhere near as much as later models, and will it really do anything more for me than my Speed Graphic already does?

    I am thinking that I could definitely benefit with it over a Speed from the movements. It is a shame it is not a later model, though. Front tilt would be nice (though I know how to fake it using rear movements).

    Whadday'all think?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2009
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    This sounds like a standard 3-lens kit. I'm assuming the 150mm is a Xenar or Symmar, if it's late enough. The cams should each have the serial number of the lens on top and the camera body on the bottom, if you want to expect them to be accurate. Even if the camera has never been used, you might want to send it to someone like Richard Ritter for a rangefinder adjustment and CLA.

    If the 6x7 back is a Super-Rollex with the lever wind (as opposed to a Rollex with the knob wind), and it was purchased new with the camera, that would suggest that it's one of the later versions of the III (I think there are five basic versions). The knob wind Rollex backs will have frame spacing problems with some modern films, due to the film and backing thickness, but the Super-Rollex backs don't have this problem.

    Is there an aluminum case? This is often overlooked, but if you try to buy one on eBay, it's worth a few hundred dollars. Leather cases less so.

    I'd say that price is reasonable, particularly if it's a III in like-new condition, since it would then have some value as a collectible.
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi, David. Thanks for the info. The cams match, the back is a lever-wind Super Rolex, but there is no case. I forgot what the 150 was exactly. It is not exactly like new, but it is in very good, if not excellent, condition. You can tell how little it was used by looking at the film holders. They look near new even though they are over 50 years old. Apparently, the original owner had lots of money, bought into systems with gusto, got bored, and then switched to a new system. The guy also had a set of Rolleis: wide, normal, and tele, which are not for sale, and a beautiful Exacta kit.
     
  4. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    A quick perusal of completed eBay auctions suggests you could find similar deals most any day of the week. Lots of Linhofs going begging or not matching reserves.

    My understanding is that III's are not nearly as desirable nor valuable because they have little if any interchange of parts with the IV's and V's. This is a significant because Linhof and Marflex no longer offer replacement bellows, etc.for the III (new Linhof bellows for Technika IV, V, 2000, 3000s are in the $500 range). Bellows could prove more expensive to have custom made than entire used cameras in pristine shape.

    Interestingly, the 3 lens Super Technika kits were under $700 new in the 1950's, I just noted yesterday in an old Peerless catalog.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Custombellows UK should be able to provide a bellows for under $300, possibly under $200 for a 4x5" camera like a Tech III. It's been several years since I last ordered from them (as Camerabellows UK), but my 11x14" bellows was around $350.

    Richard Ritter services and makes cams for the Tech III.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I have another question: I know cams and such are not interchangeable between later models and the IIIs, but will all Super Rolex 4x5 backs work on this camera, or are there different roll film backs for the post-III models?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Super-Rollex backs are Graflok type backs, so they'll work on any camera that has a Graflok/International style back.
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    I will determine what model this is the next time I go in. I know it is a III, but I'm not sure which of the five IIIs it is. Unfortunately, based on the Cameraquest information, I think it is a pre-version-5 model with a flat bed that does not drop (making it a pre-version-4 model as well), so I will likely pass on it. It may even be a version 1. Not being able to drop the bed would pretty much kill 50% of its usability for me. Not only does that give you the ability to use super wides, but it makes achieving a front tilt very quick and easy even though it is not a feature of the camera. If it is a flat bed version that drops (version 4), I will think about it if I can get them down below $800. You are right, Pupfish. If they sell at all, it seems to be for very little. It is the entire kit that makes this particular one attractive to me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2009
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Update: I have had another exchange with the middleman, and the owner has offered the entire kit to me for $1,000 after I explained the relatively low desirability of the III; especially the models without the drop bed. This is a version four or earlier (totally flat bed with one focusing knob), and I am fairly sure this is a pre-version-three non-drop-bed model (will find out for sure when I go back in this week), but on consideration, I still think it may be worth $1,000 as a tool to me. I don't have a field camera with any sort of movements past what a Pacemaker can do, I do find myself wanting them in "the field", and this fall I will be undertaking a huge project for which this camera would be perfect. A Shen-Hao might be better for me (and I have been thinking about one for quite some time), but I would have to procure a set of lenses, as all my stuff is Sinar DB with the exception of the lenses for my Graphic, which all allow practically no movement (Ektar 127, designed for 3x4 film, Wolly 90/6.8, and Linhof 180mm Tele-Xenar, designed for 2x3). The matched lenses and all the original accessories, including all sorts of literature, are really swaying my decision. I will be selling two guitar amplifiers that I inherited from my father, but don't use, to get the Linhof kit. They are great amps (Marshall JCM-2000 TSL 122 combo and Fender Super Reverb), but not cool, old, or interesting like the Linhof, and certainly nowhere near as useful to me. (I use my Ampeg amps instead. :D)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2009
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    150mm Xenar? not a huge image circle
    240mm tele? How big is the circle on that?
    The 90mm won't be much better.

    I can't imagine those three lenses are that expensive if bought on their own. Outside of people with short bellows cameras who is going to consider that 240mm?

    You could pickup something like an Ansco 5x7 with a 4x5 back for very little have lots of money left over for a lens set. A nicer lens set.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi, Nick.

    Good thoughts indeed, but I also would use this camera extensively hand held, and doing this, would probably never need any other FLs. The movements would be like an added bonus. The Speed is great, but the RF is good for my 127 only. The ability to change FLs in "the field" and still have RF focusing is a great advantage to my current setup.

    I have a Kodak No. 2 5x7 with a brand new bellows that I just love. It doesn't also double as a handheld camera, though. It also does not have a Graflok, nor the build quality of a Linhof.

    It is a hard decision. The kit makes me drool as a both a psuedo collector and as a shooter, and I would use it a lot.

    I will check out the movements in detail before I make my decision. If the minimal movements on the camera cause vignetting with the original matching lens kit, that would be pretty poor design!

    At any rate, I can always use different lenses for GG focusing, which is when I will be using mov'ts.

    I will try to get pix of it at work this week. It is a beaut.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2009
  12. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    You may find that you can nowadays buy a Master Technika V for nearly the same money in good shape, without the lenses. Personally I'd much rather go this route; these work better with wide angles. Cams are available and the GG is zero'd so that they're all interchangeable instead of being filed to fit each individual lens and camera.
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The lenses are nothing special, but they are cammed, so that makes them more desirable. You may find that you use them for rangefinder shots and use other lenses for shooting with movements and the groundglass. It's nice to have modern lenses that do double duty--big coverage and fast enough for handheld shooting--but then we're not talking about a 3-lens kit for around $1000.
     
  14. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I took some piX today. Sorry for the loss of detail. I did not put a lot of time into this, and used a pre existing lighting setup generalized for small, non-shiny objects. I am just learning to use Flicker. Hopefully this will work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8266378@N05/sets/72157621816935732/.

    I did not shoot the Riteway holder or the lens hoods, meters, filter, cable releases, etc.

    Biggest drag for me practically speaking? No optical finder. I will have to track one down, but they are pricey.

    Like David said, these lenses are for hand held use primarily. I will eventually pick up some good lenses for mov'ts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2009
  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Out of curiosity, can we go into the "zeroed" ground glass thing. I don't quite get it, physically speaking.

    Is there any way to convert a Tech. III to a "zeroed" type and use later cams?
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Nice, I am green with envy!

    Steve
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The later cams don't fit into the shoe of the III. IV and later cams use the same shoe, but the IV doesn't have the zeroed groundglass.

    The V and MT backs have an adjustable groundglass, so all bodies can be zeroed. I don't know if you can fit a newer back on a IV, so that it also could have a zeroable groundglass, but the back for the III is different.

    In practical terms, the zeroed groundglass isn't as much of an advantage as it seems, because it's always a good idea to send the camera in anyway to have the rangefinder and groundglass calibration checked and the infinity stops and scales installed when adding a new lens to the kit. You can set the infinity stops and scales yourself, but Marflex or Linhof service can do other things like shimming lenses so that two lenses can share one set of infinity stops. For instance, a 90mm with the top rail in the retracted (-1) position can usually use the same stops as a 150mm, same for a 75mm and 135mm. Also, lenses with V/MT cams are few and far between, unless you order them new or they come with another camera body.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    wow, very nice!
    they say, once your camera-bits are all calibrated
    your focus through the rf is perfect.
    (more perfect than focus through the ground glass)

    are you going to scotland with this ?
    have fun!
    john
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Just looked at the photos--very clean looking kit.

    Lacking a zoom finder, do you have the sight that goes with the wire frame finder? It fits in the accessory shoe. I've never used one, but they show up on eBay with some regularity.
     
  20. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    My question about this combo is, with the 90 and a bed that doesn't drop, can you go vertical using the revolving back-- and not have the bed in the image?
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The solution for that is to shoot with a small amount of front rise, which is often needed anyway with the kinds of subjects one is likely to shoot with a 90mm lens and vertical orientation, or turn the camera sideways with the back in the horizontal orientation. While this is an issue with the 90mm/6.8 Angulon on a Technika, it isn't a problem with the 90mm/8.0 Super-Angulon where the front element of the lens protrudes farther out toward the end of the camera bed.