What the hell is with the linhof technika

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Bobby Ironsights, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights Member

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    I just saw one go on ebay for almost 2 thousand dollars....that's dollars, not pesos!

    What am I missing? Isn't this just a metal press camera?
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    It has the most movements and the best build quality of any baseboard camera, many more movements than the average press camera, and $2000 is not much more than 1/3 of the new price of a late model. I personally find it too heavy to carry any distance, but others love them!

    Regards,

    David
     
  3. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    I had the chance to handle a linhof once an own a little Crown Graphic. The difference between a Graflex and a Linhof is like the difference between a VW Golf II and a Rolls Royce

    Ulrich
     
  4. panchro-press

    panchro-press Member

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    If Ulrich means the Speed Graphic is the Rolls and the Linhof the VW, I quite agree. The Linhof is half the camera a Speed Graphic is. It has no focal plane shutter which means it's not as good covering sports or action as the Speed. The Speed can use barrel lenses which opens a world not available to Linhof.
    To answer your question, the Linhof is just a metal press camera.
     
  5. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    AHH, but it has the badge just like Leica....... it's all about the pedigree don't you see.

    Tony
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have owned a 5x7" Linhof Technika, and I own a 4x5" Speed Graphic. IMO the price difference is justified: The Technika is in an entirely different league.
     
  7. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Even as a press camera, Linhofs have got some nifty features - how about the 3 lens cams on a rotating plate for fast changing? I personally favor a Speed Graphic over a Linhof, but the reason is weight!
     
  8. Antje

    Antje Member

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    Just trying to pick your brain: Why did you keep the Speed Graphic? I'm asking because I looked at various Linhofs and found them too heavy - I'd never lug one around probably.

    Antje
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I sold the 5x7" Technika when I bought a 5x7" Gandolfi.

    Then I got a cheap ($56) Speed Graphic for use with barrel lenses and for hand-held shooting, since the Carbon Infinity isn't that great for either of those two uses.

    The Technika is heavy, and the 5x7" Technika is even heavier. Yet it's still portable - and even hand-holdable as my avatar shows. :smile:
     
  10. snallan

    snallan Member

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    Now, I may be wrong. But I think Tony is trying to suggest that the Techica owners are involved in leicaphile style kit fondling, rather than using their cameras.

    From my experience this is far from the truth. Though he is correct, the pedigree does count. Having been building cameras for over a hundred years, they produce beautiful, solid, precise cameras.

    The Technicas are heavy compared to other field cameras, but then, they are technical cameras, and have movements for adjustment of perspective, and plane of focus on both front, and rear standards. A 5x7 is my main user camera at the moment. I'm not into sports, or action, but I do carry the camera fair distances when out photographing; the camera is such a joy to use, I am happy to carry the weight. :smile:
     
  11. Antje

    Antje Member

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    Oh. OK. No questions there. :smile:

    Yeah, but you surely are a direct Viking descendant. I'm speaking as a weakly German female here. :smile:

    Antje
     
  12. Don Dudenbostel

    Don Dudenbostel Member

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    Unfortunately in a moment of digital stupidity I sold my Master Technika after nearly 30 years of very heavy commercial use. In that time I can't even guess how many sheets went through that camera and how many miles it traveled. The day I sold it the camera was as tight as new and functioned perfectly. It never say a single day in the repair shop. I always said that if I coule only own one camera it would be my Master Technika. Speed graphics are fine but very limited. I still have my original Pacemaker Crown that my dad bought new in 1964 and shortly after gave me. It's still a great camera and has had quite a bit of film through it but given the same hard work as my Technika I would guess it would not be in nearly as nice a condition. The Technika is more a view camera than a press and the Speed / Crown is mostly a press.
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have never owned a Technika but I have rented and I do own both a Speed and a Crown, they are very different breeds. I think of the Technika and Horseman as technical cameras, excellent for commerical, industrial work, and the like with features that are not needed for most press work.
     
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  15. markbb

    markbb Member

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    Sounds a good deal to me, a Techika for under a grand is a steal.
     
  16. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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  17. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    What is that old cliche about quality being remembered long after the price is forgotten.
    2 years ago I picked up a Tech IV, 3 good lenses in shutters, 5 holders and an original linhof aluminium case for around USD1,000. However, the linhof badge was missing from the aluminimum case so I guess that explains the good price!
     
  18. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Just a few quick words: the Linhofs are the uber-LF for the serious, studious types with no wish for automation. They are all heavy, all metal, all precisely machined in the German tradition and matched with a lens, tranny film and an experienced, judgemental eye, the images will come back like nothing else you've seen (but the emphasis is on matching the camera to the subject to the film). The late Tasmanian photographer Peter Dombrovskis (1945-1996) carried a Linhof Master Technika and 3 lenses; his large format work has always been extraordinary to view. It is explained by his knowledge of the environment, choice of subject matter, skill with the camera, interaction with the environment and the common theme of blending atmosphere with full colour saturation provided by Velvia.

    The best camera in the world, heavy, cumbersome but precise, will not take you to the places Dombrovskis called his own; you've got to do the hard yards to bring out the best of the camera, but then pushing it too hard you could well end up like Peter did — dead from a heart attack at 52.
     
  19. philosomatographer

    philosomatographer Member

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    I have to add to this thread that, in addition to the nearly peerless construction quality of the cameras, Linhof is the company with the best customer service that I have ever experienced, period. I, as the owner of a 20-year-old second-hand Linhof Technorama 617S, and living way out in South Africa, have receive better personalised customer service straight from Linhof in Germany, than what I have ever received from even any local company.

    I have promised myself that, if I were to have the financial means one day, I would go and buy a brand new Technika just to support this wonderful company. You have to experience it to believe it. This counts for something, and is so unlike the empty promises, delays and frustrations people often experience these days with that other famous german small-camera brand.
     
  20. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    I would certainly agree with the sentiment that Linhof Technikas are overpriced. That being said, they have very nice geared movements not found on other press type cameras. They are wonderful to use, but very heavy. I prefer the Super Graphic myself.
     
  21. Seabird

    Seabird Member

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    A Tech IV was the first LF camera I purchased. It was also the last LF camera I purchased (and yes, it is still used regularly).

    According to a manufacturing date provided by Bob Salomon it was already over 40yrs old when I purchased it. In my view the purchase price was not excessive.

    Yes, it has gained a few minor nicks and wear marks and lost two pieces of leatherette (around the tripod hole, and on the round knob controlling the front rise). I dont have cammed lenses, but then I dont use the rangefinder.

    But it continues to do everything I need and I have no desire to purchase anything else (Ok, well perhaps a shiny new 3000...)

    Cheers

    Carey Bird
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~cbird/index.html
     
  22. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Funny I hadn't noticed anyone saying they were over priced. Anyway I have a Tech IV, have beat the crap out of it, lugged it all over the world and it has never failed me yet. It's worth a lot more to me than I paid for it. When you depend on something to bring the crop in, you don't quible about the price.

    The only thing I wish is that I had a Tech V so I wouldn't have to fuss around to get my lenses cammed.

    Eric
     
  23. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You probably would still fuss around having your lenses cammed. Marflex recommends sending in the camera anyway to check the rangefinder calibration when having a new lens cammed, which I've done with my Tech V, and it's proven to be wise advice. They can also do things like shim lenses so that two lenses can share one set of infinity stops. 150/90 and 135/75 are two common combinations, for instance, so with the wider lens, the rail is pushed back one stop.
     
  24. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    Why don't you just buy a Tech V instead of wishing? Sounds like you are quibbling about the price to me! :wink:
     
  25. junqbox

    junqbox Member

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    I have saome Linhof bits and pieces which were left to me among an LF kit and the gernal quality is outstanding, like comparing a mercedes to a Toyota. In particular there were a number of Linhof premium dark slides and they leave every other version I've laid eyes on for dead for attention to detail and quality of build.
     
  26. eddym

    eddym Member

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    A Linhof, like a Leica, is a lifetime camera. Not everybody needs one, nor wants one, nor likes them, but if you buy one, it will last you a lifetime it you take minimal care of it. The only thing I've ever done to my Tech V is replace the bellows.