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Bill_1856
23-Nov-2014, 18:23
Even with the outrageous prices they charge, I don't see how they keep going. Even Leica had to update their products to stay viable.
These days, how much market is there for Large Format stuff?

vinny
23-Nov-2014, 18:38
Small company owned by a much larger conglomerate?
There are those people who insist on only buying top of the line brand new equipment. I've met a few of them and their collection of gear and state of the art darkrooms have blown my mind.

Sal Santamaura
23-Nov-2014, 18:40
How does Linhof manage to stay in business?Selling at high prices to physicians who, unlike you, went into lucrative specialties? :D:D

Daniel Stone
23-Nov-2014, 18:41
They're probably smaller than most people realize. My guess is under 30 full-time employees, although I'm sure there was more than that "back in the day" when there was more of a ready market than there is today... And remember, they've not forgotten digital, they have the Techno and other digital-oriented products.

The Techno is a really cool little camera btw

-Dan

Bob Salomon
23-Nov-2014, 18:47
They're probably smaller than most people realize. My guess I'd under 30 full-time employees, although I'm sure there was more than that "back in the day" when there was more of a ready market than there is today... And remember, they've not forgotten digital, they have the Techno and other digital-oriented products.

The Techno is a really cool little camera btw

-Dan

And theM679cs system too.

Plus Linhof is not anymore expensive then other European high end view camera companies. And if Bill would peruse the Linhof web site he would discover that they do precision machining (obviously) for other companies. Not just camera machining. Interested in a precision, gear driven leveling head that can be buried under sand for prolonged periods and still properly position satellite and radar dishes? And is made to military spec?
Not everything is made for a camera that you might own.

Bill_1856
23-Nov-2014, 19:17
And theM679cs system too.

Plus Linhof is not anymore expensive then other European high end view camera companies. And if Bill would peruse the Linhof web site he would discover that they do precision machining (obviously) for other companies. Not just camera machining. Interested in a precision, gear driven leveling head that can be buried under sand for prolonged periods and still properly position satellite and radar dishes? And is made to military spec?
Not everything is made for a camera that you might own.
I'm certainly glad that they are managing to thrive. (If -- make that WHEN -- I hit the lottery, I'll trade my Tech IV on a Master Tech, and have all my beloved Schneider lenses re-cammed.)

toyotadesigner
24-Nov-2014, 12:56
How do Arca Swiss, Ebony, Cambo, Silvestri, Alpa, Gottschalt, Plaubel, Horseman et al manage to stay in business?

They manufacture precision tools and know how to calculate. They know the value they deliver with these instruments into your hands.

How do Rolls Royce, Lotus, Maserati, Lürssen Yachts, Abeking & Rasmussen, etc. manage to stay in business? For the same reason.

Small companies, bright, clever, proud and dedicated minds who meet the most demanding precision that is required to specific tasks, to make life of the craftsman and user easier.

djdister
24-Nov-2014, 13:04
Regarding Linhof - and they do make some tremendous photographic equipment - nearly every Technikardan 45S that I've seen for sale has said the bellows has pinholes, or that the bellows needs to be replaced or has been replaced. The odd thing is that the cameras themselves do not seem to be that old, so it makes me wonder if selling $800 replacement bellows is a cost recovery strategy for Linhof, especially since I've seen much older cameras with perfectly fine bellows.

toyotadesigner
24-Nov-2014, 13:26
You don't know how well or bad the owners treated and cared for the bellows. Bellows are delicate fabrics, and not every bellows is made of thick and durable cow hide as for the Arca Swiss monorails.

Daniel Stone
24-Nov-2014, 13:47
The Technikardan 45/45S bellows are EXTREMELY thin and flexible, compare to most other cameras, especially "studio" monorails such as Arca, Sinar, Horseman, etc...
This "flexibility" allows for a WIDE array of focal lengths to be used with a single set of bellows, but it has its drawbacks simultaneously. The design of the bellows does not allow for them to be protected by the camera's frames, so unless utmost care is taken with them in regards to handling/storage/transport, pinholes WILL develop.

And you don't "have" to get factory-made replacement bellows made. There are alternative sources for bellows, however, those alternative sources might not be able to deliver the same flexibility as the original factory bellows, due to differences in materials available for construction(while perhaps not "proprietary" to Linhof, the purchase of such specialty materials solely to make this model's bellows might preclude bellows makers from carrying it as an available material in their workshops).

-Dan

Bill_1856
24-Nov-2014, 15:33
Regarding Linhof - and they do make some tremendous photographic equipment - nearly every Technikardan 45S that I've seen for sale has said the bellows has pinholes, or that the bellows needs to be replaced or has been replaced. The odd thing is that the cameras themselves do not seem to be that old, so it makes me wonder if selling $800 replacement bellows is a cost recovery strategy for Linhof, especially since I've seen much older cameras with perfectly fine bellows.

My Tech IV needs its fourth bellows, and I assure you that the last two have had nothing but powder-puff care in a cool, humidity controlled environment, (the first one was shot when I got it). This time, I ordered a replacement bellows from China, instead of the $400 it always cost for factory-new bellows.

Dan Fromm
24-Nov-2014, 18:32
[QUOTE=toyotadesigner;1191201How do Rolls Royce, Lotus, Maserati[/QUOTE]

Rolls Royce is a division of BMW. Lotus has been in and out of administration for years. If I'm not mistaken, they're in now. Maserati is a division of Fiat, is reduced to selling upmarket versions of Chryslers.

Randy Moe
24-Nov-2014, 19:57
They obviously stay in business from artist residual rights transferred with each successive sale of anything Linhof.

KIDDING!

I will never afford new Linhof, but my 50's and older Linhof is superb. My old Linhof cameras have almost perfect bellows, even if the body paint did not wear as well. I have 4 50's Color Kardan studio cameras. 2 8x10, 1 5x7, those 3 all interchange parts. Then a jewel like 6 or 6.5x9 mm Color. I suppose it helps these are all studio camera, but my 5X7 self casing Standard Luftwaffeneigentum has also survived nearly mint, with thin as paper leather bellows. How? It's 70 years old!

That said, 4x5 and 5x7 turn of the century self casing Premo camera bellows have also aged without wear. Beautifully supple bellows without damage after 110 years! Those are all over Ebay for peanuts and make modern 4x5's look silly, heavy and clumsy.

Seems to me that bellows were definitely made better years past. My Linhof all have very thin leather that has amazing 'hand', silkiness and form. They bell out in delicate folds that resist droop.

I have never seen any other Linhof in person and cannot comment on new ones, except I sure hope they are as good. Because this old stuff is wonderful.

Liquid Artist
24-Nov-2014, 21:04
All that I know is my 1951 Linhof Standard Press still has the original bellows, and it didn't appear to have any light leaks the last time I used it 3 weeks ago.

I think that Linhof is still in business because they still have a quality product, and still have enough people willing to pay for it.
I don't think any of those people would call their cameras Perfect, but then again I don't think any camera is perfect.

Bob Salomon
25-Nov-2014, 07:56
...... The odd thing is that the cameras themselves do not seem to be that old, ......

The odd thing is that you haven't really checked. The TechniKardan has been available since 1986. Granted that is not a long time for a camera company that is over 125 years old. But for a camera that is almost 30 years old that is a good stretch of time.

As for TK bellows, the problem is with people not following the extremely simple instructions, as well as the pictograph on the focusing rack, on how to correctly open and close the camera. Unlike virtually everyother view camera when you open or close a TK you do a simultaneous shift and swing with both standards and you have to do it according to the instructions. We have only been opening and closing the cameras since prior to their introduction and there simply isn't a problem when you do it correctly. That means read the instructions and, if necessary, ask questions. We are just a phone call away on a toll free number.

Bob Salomon
25-Nov-2014, 08:03
My Tech IV needs its fourth bellows, and I assure you that the last two have had nothing but powder-puff care in a cool, humidity controlled environment, (the first one was shot when I got it). This time, I ordered a replacement bellows from China, instead of the $400 it always cost for factory-new bellows.

Bill, you are not making sense. As we have told you previously, the IV was introduced in Oct. of 1956 and discontinued in May 1963. I do not know exactly when you bought your camera but that is an old camera! So, not knowing it's history, the bellows could have been bad. But why were they bad? Improper storage? Extremely heavy use? Incorrect lens boards? Who knows.

As for the later bellows. We know that you state that one is Chinese, we will not count that. Where did the other two come from? New from Linhof service? Installed by Linhof service?

Why do you seem to have the most problems with them? Or are you just happy stirring up mud?

Bob Salomon
25-Nov-2014, 08:06
.......so it makes me wonder if selling $800 replacement bellows is a cost recovery strategy for Linhof, especially since I've seen much older cameras with perfectly fine bellows.

The replacement bellows is actually a repair part, not an accessory. The price has more to do with volumn, or lack of it, then anything else. We simply do not have very much call for a spare bellows. We do have a much larger demand for a wide angle bellows for the TK. If more spare standard bellows were made, and sold, then you would see the price drop.

karl french
25-Nov-2014, 09:30
I've had 5 Technikas. Never had a problem with the bellows. Including a Tech IV that I know had the original bellows.

Drew Wiley
25-Nov-2014, 09:59
As someone who sells a helluva lot of German equipment, I pretty much understand the rationale, and so do my customers. And a long time ago my own brother
sold Linhof and Rollei gear. Making high-quality diecast components, and most other components precise and durable, is an expensive undertaking, and would be
almost cost prohibitive nowadays in the limited view camera market. So to turn a profit, replacement and secondary accessories have always tended to be pricey. I'm not a Technika shooter like my brother, but a Sinar guy, and I recently bagged two almost new old-style Norma tapered bellows. I ask myself why they ever switched them to the box style, since the tapered ones are so much more versatile, but came to the conclusion that the cost of mfg was simply too high, and that Studio users would just add extra support rails, or conversely, switch to bag bellows as needed. But for field photographers like myself, a tapered bellows makes things way more convenient. I have had custom bellows made for big enlargers, and they'll hold up fine. Being out in the weather year after year
is another matter. Often expensive gear is far cheaper in the long run, not to mention more reliable and precise. But we all have some kind of budget.

Bill_1856
25-Nov-2014, 11:56
. Where did the other two come from? New from Linhof service? Installed by Linhof service?

Why do you seem to have the most problems with them? Or are you just happy stirring up mud?

Bob, my first replacement was done by Marty Forsher with a bellows which he told me was obtained directly from Linhof in Germany. I just happened to find it last week in a box of old photo stuff. It was replaced with a Linhof factory bellows item #30LHMS-27955, purchased from a Linhof dealer in Columbus, Ohio, and installed by my excellent local repairman. (I believe that in those days, Kling was the importer.)
When I get the current replacement done, I will send both of them to Linhof in Germany so they can evaluate them. My guess is that they subcontracted the bellows and got some stinkers.
Incidentally, I just checked the bellows on my Kardon Color 45S, purchased new at about the same time, stored in the same room as the Technika, and found its bellows to be in perfect condition.
Why do you seem to be intent on blaming me for the problems, (although it is a well-known technique for European, particularly German, manufacturers to always "blame the victim")?

Bob Salomon
25-Nov-2014, 12:34
Bob, my first replacement was done by Marty Forsher with a bellows which he told me was obtained directly from Linhof in Germany. I just happened to find it last week in a box of old photo stuff. It was replaced with a Linhof factory bellows item #30LHMS-27955, purchased from a Linhof dealer in Columbus, Ohio, and installed by my excellent local repairman. (I believe that in those days, Kling was the importer.)
When I get the current replacement done, I will send both of them to Linhof in Germany so they can evaluate them. My guess is that they subcontracted the bellows and got some stinkers.
Incidentally, I just checked the bellows on my Kardon Color 45S, purchased new at about the same time, stored in the same room as the Technika, and found its bellows to be in perfect condition.
Why do you seem to be intent on blaming me for the problems, (although it is a well-known technique for European, particularly German, manufacturers to always "blame the victim")?

Bill,

Berkey Photo was the Linhof distributor in the USA until the late 70's. Then we took over the distributorship. Berkey Photo Marketing was the successor company to Kling Photo back in the 60's.

Back when Berkley was the distributor they were also the authorized service center and also the supplier of spare parts like the bellows. This was to save the time/cost and headaches of importing parts from a factory by individuals or repair centers. It would have been much faster for Forscher to have simply gotten the bellows from Kling in NYC or, if Berkley, from LI.

When we took over Linhof we had ZV Service trained and appointed as the official Linhof service center since we were formed from the former Zeiss Ikon Voightlander USA company and ZV Service was owned by the former service manager of Zeiss Ikon Voightlander, USA, Wolff Umbach. Additionally they had two service centers, one in NY and one in CA.
After Wolff retired we appointed Marflex Service as the Linhof service center and sent their people to the factory for training. Marflex was owned by Martin Arndt who had been the Rollei USA service manager and Marflex remained the service center and parts supplier until the death last year of Martin.
After Martin died we appointed Nippon Photoclinic in NY and Bob Watkins from Precision Camera the official service centers and parts suppliers. Nippon purchased all of the parts that Marflex had at the time of their closing.

Midwest is a camera store who is a dealer of ours but they are not an official source of Linhof parts and had been a major gray importer of Linhof parts and products through other exporters then the factory, same as Badger.

I have no doubt that you have an excellent repair person in FL. There are lots of excellent repair shops. But excellent is not the same as factory trained and we have sent both Rim from Nippon and Bob Watkins from Precision to the factory for training. Both have direct contact with both us and. more importantly, with the factory and with the technical people at the factory, none of which your repair person has.

Maybe it is strictly co-incidental but several threads here have stated how little problem has been experienced with the Technika bellows. Maybe you should go to Bob Watkins and have him install a genuine Linhof Technika bellows rather then experiment with a copy bellows and a not factory trained technician.

Why should you have to go through the time/expense/rik of sending two cameras to the factory when you can send them to IL faster/cheaper and with far less risk and get just as valid an answer.

And I am not European, and we sell not only European but also Japanese (Wista), Chinese/Taiwanese (Giottos), USA (Brno), Vue-All products as well. I am not blaming you. I have not said that you are the cause of the bellows problems, but you seem to have more then your share of them and that makes me wonder what is different in your situation.

But I am curious about your cameras. The IV, which I thought you have, was made from 1956 to 1963. The Kardan Color 45S was made from late 1970 to mid 1975 so if you bought the S new then the IV was a used camera. Correct? Or do you have a V? The V was made from early 1963 to early 1976. So while the V and the Master were both available new for about 4 years the IV and the S never were.

John Schneider
25-Nov-2014, 20:28
How do Rolls Royce, Lotus, Maserati, Lürssen Yachts, Abeking & Rasmussen, etc. manage to stay in business? For the same reason.

Rolls-Royce is a massive (>25,000 workers) company that has no problems staying in business selling aircraft and marine jet engines, stationary power turbines, etc. Cars were never more than a sideline to them, and they stopped making cars and sold the rights to BMW in the 1990s. So the R-R Ghost you're eying is made by a large Bavarian car company that likewise has no problems staying in business.

Likewise, Lamborghini is owned by VW, Maserati by Fiat, etc.

WayneStevenson
25-Nov-2014, 21:07
I am not blaming you. I have not said that you are the cause of the bellows problems

Heh. I don't know your guys' history together but it sure sounds like you're insinuating that, and at the very least insinuating that he may be stirring... Well, you can read for yourself. ;)


But why were they bad? Improper storage? Extremely heavy use? Incorrect lens boards? ..............................................................Why do you seem to have the most problems with them? Or are you just happy stirring up mud?

StoneNYC
25-Nov-2014, 22:40
I don't understand why the linhof bellows need to be "installed" though I've owned a Toyo45a I never actually looked at removing them, but my Chamonix just pops out with a frame on either end that just pops into the body. Pretty simple and functional design, but the only kind I'm really familiar with, So I don't quite understand, how elaborate is the install?

toyotadesigner
26-Nov-2014, 00:32
Rolls-Royce is a massive (>25,000 workers) company that has no problems staying in business selling aircraft and marine jet engines, stationary power turbines, etc. Cars were never more than a sideline to them, and they stopped making cars and sold the rights to BMW in the 1990s. So the R-R Ghost you're eying is made by a large Bavarian car company that likewise has no problems staying in business.

Likewise, Lamborghini is owned by VW, Maserati by Fiat, etc.

I know these facts. What I wanted to point out is the quality and the market (target group) that can and will invest large amounts into excellent products. If there wouldn't be a market, the companies would be out of business.

BTW, I have learned in a studio with Linhof equipment, but somehow I never managed to own one myself. The Linhof cameras are built to last a century (at least). Don't ask me why I ended up with an Arca Swiss - it just happened, but I am not too delighted with it for the reason of spare parts - this is a point where Linhof really shines and excels. If I contact Arca for spare part for my model, they tell me they don't have any parts any more. If a friend of mine calls Linhof for spare parts for his very old Linhof, the just mail it to him in three days. This sort of service is what really counts if you make a living with your cameras...

Bob Salomon
26-Nov-2014, 07:07
Rolls-Royce is a massive (>25,000 workers) company that has no problems staying in business selling aircraft and marine jet engines, stationary power turbines, etc. Cars were never more than a sideline to them, and they stopped making cars and sold the rights to BMW in the 1990s. So the R-R Ghost you're eying is made by a large Bavarian car company that likewise has no problems staying in business.

Likewise, Lamborghini is owned by VW, Maserati by Fiat, etc.

Actually VW bought both Bentley and Rolls Royce and BMW objected since the engine in the Rolls is made by BMW. After a legal battle VW agreed to divest itself of Rolls and let BMW take it and VW kept Bently. VW also owns Seat, Lamborghini, Ducatti, Bugatti, Porsche, Audi and some others.

Bob Salomon
26-Nov-2014, 07:12
I don't understand why the linhof bellows need to be "installed" though I've owned a Toyo45a I never actually looked at removing them, but my Chamonix just pops out with a frame on either end that just pops into the body. Pretty simple and functional design, but the only kind I'm really familiar with, So I don't quite understand, how elaborate is the install?
On most Linhof Kardans, the TK, the M679, the Techno the bellows are interchangeable and do have frames and just snap in and out and are sold as accessories.

On Linhof cameras that have a universal bellows that work for extreme wide angle through long focal lengths like the Kardan Standard 45, the original Kardan and Kardan Color and the Technikas the bellows are not user interchangeable and do not have frames and replacemnet bellows need to be properly installed. Not by the user usually. Installing these requires gluing and some disassembly of the front/rear standards, depending on the model.

Noah A
26-Nov-2014, 07:34
My MT 2000 has been around the world with me, and I purchased it used from another busy pro photographer who traveled and used it in tough conditions. It's still working great and has the original bellows. I can't imagine a better camera or one that is more rugged or well-made.

It's true that a lot of used Technikardans have bad bellows--but perhaps that is because the camera was a workhorse for many travel and architectural photographers who used their equipment hard in real-world situations. It's also very flexible, which may mean it's not quite as durable, but it's great to shoot with.

Linhof service has also been top-notch. Martin, may he rest in peace, was amazing. I'm glad to hear that Bob Watkins is now an authorized repair shop, I've used him for other gear in the past with great results. And Bob S. has also been very helpful. His presence and advice here on the forum is much appreciated, and his customer service is exemplary. For example I needed a part at the last minute before a shooting trip, and he got it to me the following day! Service and support matter especially when you rely on your cameras for your livelihood.

My Linhof 3D Micro head is a wonderful product. It was expensive but now that I've tried it, I can't imagine working without it.

Linhof makes great products. They're pricey, but not out of line with other high-end european equipment.

StoneNYC
26-Nov-2014, 11:31
On most Linhof Kardans, the TK, the M679, the Techno the bellows are interchangeable and do have frames and just snap in and out and are sold as accessories.

On Linhof cameras that have a universal bellows that work for extreme wide angle through long focal lengths like the Kardan Standard 45, the original Kardan and Kardan Color and the Technikas the bellows are not user interchangeable and do not have frames and replacemnet bellows need to be properly installed. Not by the user usually. Installing these requires gluing and some disassembly of the front/rear standards, depending on the model.

Oh I see, thanks! I assume this is because wide angle "tightness" means the "snap in" bellows might snap out from compression or light leak, so fixing them in place ensures a good seal? Or some other reason?

Thanks.

Bob Salomon
26-Nov-2014, 11:49
Oh I see, thanks! I assume this is because wide angle "tightness" means the "snap in" bellows might snap out from compression or light leak, so fixing them in place ensures a good seal? Or some other reason?

Thanks.

The original Technika was introduced in 1936 and interchangeable bellows were not a consideration as the tapered bellows design allowed the use of extreme wide to long lenses, with lots of movements, with that bellows. So there was no need to interchange bellows. It is a function of the design that the bellows does not need to be interchanged even still today with the latest models, the Master Technika Classic and the Master Technika 3000. With the Master Technika 3000 the bellows accommodates lenses from 35mm to 400mm (on the proper boards, of course). On the Master Technika Classic the camera handles the same range of lenses but the 35 to 65mm lenses each has to be mounted on its own special board with its own focusing helical on each board that is specific to the lens' focal length. On the 2000 and the 3000 the extreme wide angle focusing system is built into the camera body.

I can not think of any other 45 view camera that is capable, with the regular bellows, to accommodate this range of focal lengths other then the Technika and still allow all movements!. And this range is not limited to the Master Technika Classic. The same lens boards with helical mounts for the 35 to 65mm lenses also fit and work, with movements, on the V and IV models as well!

For Noah,

The difference in the 2000 and the 3000 are mainly two things:

1: On the 3000 the focusing for the internal extreme wide angle focusing rails has been moved from the lever in front of the front standard to a knob on the bottom right front corner of the body so you don't have to worry about blocking part of the image with your hand while focusing the camera.

2: The front bed has an extra setting so it drops 90° straight down to eliminate any possibility of including part of the bed when shooting with the back in portrait orientation with a 75 or wider lens. This extra drop position can be added to some older models, like the 2000, by the Linhof Service Centers.

neil poulsen
26-Nov-2014, 12:52
I know that Linhof makes, and has made, some great equipment. But I've also seen some strange designs from them.

For example, I have a large Linhof ball head where the 1/4" socket that receives the tripod screw has been threaded into a about a 1" round, 1/8" thick plug that fits into a similarly sized hole on the bottom of the head. There's nothing but friction that keeps this plug fitted inside the hole, no threads, nothing to ensure that it can't just POP OUT with the camera mounted on the head. And guess what, one day it just POPPED OUT, and both the camera and the head fell off the tripod. It was an 8x10 Burke and James.

When I saw the design of this Linhof head, I couldn't believe it. The head was designed for, and could securely hold large cameras. But, everything depended on this little plug remaining inside the hole on the underside of the head.

Here's another example. I have a large, heavy duty Linhof tripod that has about a 2" or larger diameter column with a geared crank. Heavy, but it's a terrific tripod for large cameras. There's a rod with a detachable screw arrangement that fits up through the column and out through the hole on the tripod plate on which the head rests. The opposite end of the rod has a handle on it that extends out of the bottom of the column. By turning the handle at the bottom of the column, one can tighten the head to the tripod plate at the top of the column. So, this is all just fine, until one needs to remove the head from the tripod. Sure enough, turning the handle in reverse direction, the detachable screw arrangement that secures the head to the plate detaches and the rod comes apart inside the column. At this point, it can't be reattached without further tightening the head to the plate. The only way to remove the head is by disassembling the tripod.

Again, this was all BY DESIGN! It was a real head scratcher. A $3 fix solved the problem. I bought a long, threaded rod, a washer, and a bolt at the hardware store.

Here's another one. Why is it that one needs to pay SO MUCH MORE for a Master Technika, just to get that little flap at the top of the camera that enables one to obtain rise with wide angle lenses? I guess it was by design.

And of course, there's the "M" Linhof medium format view camera whose front and rear standards had no rise or fall. Are you kidding? (They added it on a subsequent model.)

So, I don't mean to unnecessarily rap what can be some really excellent equipment made by Linhof. But given my experiences, I'd be very cautious about purchasing Linhof equipment, without careful examination of its design. (Nor, without a flexible return policy.)

Bob Salomon
26-Nov-2014, 13:42
I know that Linhof makes, and has made, some great equipment. But I've also seen some strange designs from them.

For example, I have a large Linhof ball head where the 1/4" socket that receives the tripod screw has been threaded into a about a 1" round, 1/8" thick plug that fits into a similarly sized hole on the bottom of the head. There's nothing but friction that keeps this plug fitted inside the hole, no threads, nothing to ensure that it can't just POP OUT with the camera mounted on the head. And guess what, one day it just POPPED OUT, and both the camera and the head fell off the tripod. It was an 8x10 Burke and James.

When I saw the design of this Linhof head, I couldn't believe it. The head was designed for, and could securely hold large cameras. But, everything depended on this little plug remaining inside the hole on the underside of the head.

Here's another example. I have a large, heavy duty Linhof tripod that has about a 2" or larger diameter column with a geared crank. Heavy, but it's a terrific tripod for large cameras. There's a rod with a detachable screw arrangement that fits up through the column and out through the hole on the tripod plate on which the head rests. The opposite end of the rod has a handle on it that extends out of the bottom of the column. By turning the handle at the bottom of the column, one can tighten the head to the tripod plate at the top of the column. So, this is all just fine, until one needs to remove the head from the tripod. Sure enough, turning the handle in reverse direction, the detachable screw arrangement that secures the head to the plate detaches and the rod comes apart inside the column. At this point, it can't be reattached without further tightening the head to the plate. The only way to remove the head is by disassembling the tripod.

Again, this was all BY DESIGN! It was a real head scratcher. A $3 fix solved the problem. I bought a long, threaded rod, a washer, and a bolt at the hardware store.

Here's another one. Why is it that one needs to pay SO MUCH MORE for a Master Technika, just to get that little flap at the top of the camera that enables one to obtain rise with wide angle lenses? I guess it was by design.

And of course, there's the first "M" Linhof medium format view camera whose front and rear standards had no rise or fall. Are you kidding? (They added it on a subsequent model.)

So, I don't mean to unnecessarily rap what can be some really excellent equipment made by Linhof. But given my experiences, I'd be very cautious about purchasing Linhof equipment, without careful examination of its design. (Nor, without a flexible return policy.)

Neil,

You are a bit unspecific.

The Linhof ball heads made for the past 40 odd years, at least and especially the ones made since the mid 80's - the current ones, use on the Universal Ball 1, Profi 2 and Profi 3 a reversible dual thread top plate in either 46 or 77mm diameter. These have a ⅜" threaded bolt that goes through and is anchored in the top plate with pins. One side is ⅜" and the oter side ¼-20". On the bottom they have a ⅜" threaded female hole and come with a ¼-20 reducing bushing. I can't figure out exactly what head you have from your description. Can you send me a picture of it?
Simalrly you seem to be describing the 003323 Heavy Duty Pro Tripod and the Large Geared Center Column. But this tripod and column have a 90mm flat disk with a ⅜" threaded bolt embedded in it that you screw the head onto. This 90mm diameter plate is held in place with a strong clamp that has a short handle that is adjustable for best angle. If you prefer, rather then using the flat top plate you could get a Linhof head with a 90mm base like the 003650 Profi 3 which would drop directly into the 90mm hole and be held tightly in place with the clamp. One of the older heads for this tripod was the Large Pan/Tilt Head from Linhof which had a pair of slotted rods that the top of the head rode in when it was tilted up to 90°. The top of this head also had a hole and clamp arrangement that Linhof Monorail camera clamps for the B, original Super Color and some other models fit directly into and clamped tightly. Again a picture would help to figure out exactly what you are describing.

The Master replaced the V in 1976 and the big improvement was the flap on the top of the body housing. Back when the V was replaced the difference in price between a V and a Master was not very much. But that was almost 40 years ago and the cost of something back then in today's dollars has changed quite a bit! While it is another 20 years but when I was 15 the Leica M came out and it retailed for $350.00 with a lens (so did the Exacta with a Biotar). Have you checked the price of the current Leica M body only? How about a gallon of gas? or a loaf of bread? or a really good rib eye steak?

The current Master, adjusted for inflation, isn't that much more when you factor in the increase in wages, insurance, utilities, salaries, health care, rent, etc in Germany vs back then.

All of the Linhof distributors questioned the lack of some movements on the original M679 (the current model, the M679cs does have them). The factory's explanation when the M679 was introduced to us was that the people it was aimed at were not primarily photographers and the factory wanted to make the operation as easy to learn as possible so they limited the number of movements preferring to let it operate by indirect displacements rather then by direct displacements or by a combination of direct and indirect displacements. When they introduced the M679cc a couple of years later some of the direct displacements were added and with the M679cs came all of them plus the geared leveling head. In other words, they listened to the feedback from users, prospective users, dealers and distributors and changed the camera as it evolved. In fact the original M679 could be pretty much upgraded into the M679cc. However the cs is so much different that the upgrade path ended with the cc.

As for careful examination of its design that would be also true for any other capital purchase. As well as questioning owners of what you are considering as to how the product holds up and performs over time. Do the controls become sloppier? Do the locks loosen up too much? How often is cleaning and re-lubrication necessary? Do you need to do it more often with outdoor use?, etc.

In short, nothing is perfect! Especially my 2013 MB with 20K miles that just had its B1 service and two days later would not start!

StoneNYC
26-Nov-2014, 13:47
The original Technika was introduced in 1936 and interchangeable bellows were not a consideration as the tapered bellows design allowed the use of extreme wide to long lenses, with lots of movements, with that bellows. So there was no need to interchange bellows. It is a function of the design that the bellows does not need to be interchanged even still today with the latest models, the Master Technika Classic and the Master Technika 3000. With the Master Technika 3000 the bellows accommodates lenses from 35mm to 400mm (on the proper boards, of course). On the Master Technika Classic the camera handles the same range of lenses but the 35 to 65mm lenses each has to be mounted on its own special board with its own focusing helical on each board that is specific to the lens' focal length. On the 2000 and the 3000 the extreme wide angle focusing system is built into the camera body.

I can not think of any other 45 view camera that is capable, with the regular bellows, to accommodate this range of focal lengths other then the Technika and still allow all movements!. And this range is not limited to the Master Technika Classic. The same lens boards with helical mounts for the 35 to 65mm lenses also fit and work, with movements, on the V and IV models as well!

For Noah,

The difference in the 2000 and the 3000 are mainly two things:

1: On the 3000 the focusing for the internal extreme wide angle focusing rails has been moved from the lever in front of the front standard to a knob on the bottom right front corner of the body so you don't have to worry about blocking part of the image with your hand while focusing the camera.

2: The front bed has an extra setting so it drops 90° straight down to eliminate any possibility of including part of the bed when shooting with the back in portrait orientation with a 75 or wider lens. This extra drop position can be added to some older models, like the 2000, by the Linhof Service Centers.

Thank you, VERY good movement, although not a technical camera per-se, the Chamonix 45n-2 has a universal bellows design that goes from 45mm-395mm which is also generous, I do believe the linhof has has more rear movements though? Different animals but you mentioned you couldn't think of another 4x5 system that could accommodate so much, so wanted to mention it.

I know you're a rep so you have to tout your product (and it's a good one) just wanted to share the details of perhaps a close second, as I believe longer bellows more valuable than shorter, the linhof "wins" by 5mm :)

Thanks for the history and details, this certainly is why linhof has stayed strong, great design.

Bob Salomon
26-Nov-2014, 13:56
Thank you, VERY good movement, although not a technical camera per-se, the Chamonix 45n-2 has a universal bellows design that goes from 45mm-395mm which is also generous, I do believe the linhof has has more rear movements though? Different animals but you mentioned you couldn't think of another 4x5 system that could accommodate so much, so wanted to mention it.

I know you're a rep so you have to tout your product (and it's a good one) just wanted to share the details of perhaps a close second, as I believe longer bellows more valuable than shorter, the linhof "wins" by 5mm :)

Thanks for the history and details, this certainly is why linhof has stayed strong, great design.

Stone,

Thanks, but one thing you need to remember. The Linhof Master Technika Classic, the current model, has been on the market and used under professional conditions since 1976. And it replaced the pretty similar Super Technika V which replaced the Super Technika IV which replaced the III that has been in use since 1946! That is a long time! Close to 70 years!

How long has the Chamonix been available at all? 10 years, maybe 15? Wait till it has the track record of just the Master and then compare them.

StoneNYC
26-Nov-2014, 14:33
Stone,

Thanks, but one thing you need to remember. The Linhof Master Technika Classic, the current model, has been on the market and used under professional conditions since 1976. And it replaced the pretty similar Super Technika V which replaced the Super Technika IV which replaced the III that has been in use since 1946! That is a long time! Close to 70 years!

How long has the Chamonix been available at all? 10 years, maybe 15? Wait till it has the track record of just the Master and then compare them.

Oh geeze, I wouldn't want to do that, the Chamonix might win... :whistling:

Seriously I'm kidding, they are all used for different things, the Chamonix is still an excellent camera, so is any Linhof.

Just because something is new doesn't mean it is of poor quality or of poor design, nor does something that is old mean that it is no longer any good compared to what is newer.

They are also apples and oranges.

Cheers.

Jeff Dexheimer
26-Nov-2014, 14:47
How long has the Chamonix been available at all? 10 years, maybe 15? Wait till it has the track record of just the Master and then compare them.

Linhof Master Technika Classic = $9411.99 (B&H)

Chamonix F1 = $1110 after shipping

Is the track record worth $8301.99. or an 848% higher price?

Bill_1856
26-Nov-2014, 17:27
Linhof Master Technika Classic = $9411.99 (B&H)

Chamonix F1 = $1110 after shipping

Is the track record worth $8301.99. or an 848% higher price?
Don't begrudge it. It helps support Bob's Mercedes-Benz Habit.

StoneNYC
26-Nov-2014, 17:36
Linhof Master Technika Classic = $9411.99 (B&H)

Chamonix F1 = $1110 after shipping

Is the track record worth $8301.99. or an 848% higher price?

Wow! I didn't know they were that expensive! Well I guess that answers the question of how they are still in business, they only need to sell one camera a year to cover operating costs... [emoji23]

Bill_1856
26-Nov-2014, 19:12
Somebody who knows how to do that sort of thing should check and see how many employees they have.

Bill McMannis
26-Nov-2014, 19:16
Regarding Linhof - and they do make some tremendous photographic equipment - nearly every Technikardan 45S that I've seen for sale has said the bellows has pinholes, or that the bellows needs to be replaced or has been replaced. The odd thing is that the cameras themselves do not seem to be that old, so it makes me wonder if selling $800 replacement bellows is a cost recovery strategy for Linhof, especially since I've seen much older cameras with perfectly fine bellows.

My TK 45S is over a decade old and the original bellows remains intact.

Corran
26-Nov-2014, 21:02
I have a Chamonix 45n1, and a Linhof Master Technika (Classic).

I was going to sell the Chamonix but decided against it. It's a better hiking camera simply because of weight. Also, the Linhof can't really handle front drop movements easily with wide-angles near the edge of the bed.

Furthermore, I would say the Chamonix is equal to the Linhof in terms of overall movement capability and lens compatibility. I've used 38mm lenses up to 720mm lenses on the Chamonix (the 720mm, alas, doesn't work on the Linhof!). However, the Linhof absolutely wins hands-down with rigidity and parallelism.

If I had to choose one...it would be the Technika. And I'm not even factoring in the extra features like rangefinder focusing, viewfinders, etc.

It's easy to dismiss the Technika...when you haven't owned one!

BTW, Bob, can the 90-degree drop bed modification be done on Technika Classics, and if so, can it still use the rangefinder (with the cam removed, obviously). I still am not sure where/how to buy the complete helical/mount/board for my 38/47/58 XL lenses, but I get by using them anyway w/o. Mainly on the Chamonix, though!

StoneNYC
26-Nov-2014, 23:18
I have a Chamonix 45n1, and a Linhof Master Technika (Classic).

I was going to sell the Chamonix but decided against it. It's a better hiking camera simply because of weight. Also, the Linhof can't really handle front drop movements easily with wide-angles near the edge of the bed.

Furthermore, I would say the Chamonix is equal to the Linhof in terms of overall movement capability and lens compatibility. I've used 38mm lenses up to 720mm lenses on the Chamonix (the 720mm, alas, doesn't work on the Linhof!). However, the Linhof absolutely wins hands-down with rigidity and parallelism.

If I had to choose one...it would be the Technika. And I'm not even factoring in the extra features like rangefinder focusing, viewfinders, etc.

It's easy to dismiss the Technika...when you haven't owned one!

BTW, Bob, can the 90-degree drop bed modification be done on Technika Classics, and if so, can it still use the rangefinder (with the cam removed, obviously). I still am not sure where/how to buy the complete helical/mount/board for my 38/47/58 XL lenses, but I get by using them anyway w/o. Mainly on the Chamonix, though!

Thanks for the info, the 720 fit on the 4x5 Chamonix? I assume with extension board? I thought the bellows didn't go that long, hmm, wonder if that means my 8x10 has longer bellows than listed.

Corran
26-Nov-2014, 23:41
Nikkor-T 720mm needs less then 720mm extension, of course, and I have an extension thing vinny made for the 4x5 Chamonix to make it work (as well as an ext. lens board).

mihag
27-Nov-2014, 02:01
How does Linhof manage to stay in business? With quality and care for their customers for the last 127 years I guess.

Bob Salomon
27-Nov-2014, 04:50
I have a Chamonix 45n1, and a Linhof Master Technika (Classic).

I was going to sell the Chamonix but decided against it. It's a better hiking camera simply because of weight. Also, the Linhof can't really handle front drop movements easily with wide-angles near the edge of the bed.

Furthermore, I would say the Chamonix is equal to the Linhof in terms of overall movement capability and lens compatibility. I've used 38mm lenses up to 720mm lenses on the Chamonix (the 720mm, alas, doesn't work on the Linhof!). However, the Linhof absolutely wins hands-down with rigidity and parallelism.

If I had to choose one...it would be the Technika. And I'm not even factoring in the extra features like rangefinder focusing, viewfinders, etc.

It's easy to dismiss the Technika...when you haven't owned one!

BTW, Bob, can the 90-degree drop bed modification be done on Technika Classics, and if so, can it still use the rangefinder (with the cam removed, obviously). I still am not sure where/how to buy the complete helical/mount/board for my 38/47/58 XL lenses, but I get by using them anyway w/o. Mainly on the Chamonix, though!

It can be done on some Master Technika cameras. Check with Bob Watkins.

Linhof has the special helical boards available on special order through most of our dealers.

Bob Salomon
27-Nov-2014, 04:52
Don't begrudge it. It helps support Bob's Mercedes-Benz Habit.

I got the MB when I discovered that it was less then my VW CC by 6K!

Daniel Stone
27-Nov-2014, 12:17
It's easy to dismiss the Technika...when you haven't owned one!


+1


Linhof Master Technika Classic = $9411.99 (B&H)

Chamonix F1 = $1110 after shipping

Is the track record worth $8301.99. or an 848% higher price?

No one is FORCING you to buy it ;)

I like the Chamonix camera, and I really love my Linhof(Technika V 5X7). However, they're two different cameras for two different purposes.
The Chamonix is what I'd choose if I were backpacking/hiking with LF gear, but shooting from the car, I prefer the layout of the Linhof, personally.
Apples vs. Oranges in the end

But yes, brand new, there IS a big price difference, no one is disputing that. But then again, there ARE those that REFUSE to buy anything "Made in China", despite the product's pedigree and proof of performance.

-Dan

David A. Goldfarb
27-Nov-2014, 13:56
Hey, for the price of a new Master Tech, you could line up 8 Chamonixes and shoot 4x5" at 8 fps! But if you want a rangefinder, a Master Tech would be a better choice.

StoneNYC
27-Nov-2014, 16:52
Hey, for the price of a new Master Tech, you could line up 8 Chamonixes and shoot 4x5" at 8 fps! But if you want a rangefinder, a Master Tech would be a better choice.

If you want a rangefinder you could buy 7 Chamonix's and then buy 3 speed graphics :-p

Does the master Tech (classic) at least come with a lens?

David A. Goldfarb
27-Nov-2014, 18:31
What view camera comes with a lens?

Really, if you want a Technika, you can find a Tech V with a cammed lens and maybe a couple of extra older lenses for around $1500. The wideangle flap on the Master is only useful if you happen to have one of the few modern ultrawide lenses, 72-90mm that has the coverage to allow for enough front rise to benefit from raising the flap. Any shorter, and the front standard is too far inside the box to clear the flap, and any longer and the flap is unnecessary.

Corran
27-Nov-2014, 18:34
Don't forget now, the Master Technika Classic can be found used for $2,000 or so. The price differential is only so huge with a new camera. And of course the camera doesn't come with a lens.

And NO other camera can use multiple lenses with full rangefinder compatibility (and not just via "distance scale refocusing" like on a Graphic). Mine has cams for my 150mm APO Lanthar, Xenotar, and 250mm Sonnar, and I'll be getting my 75mm Biogon cammed soon. Also I have some huge arm muscles LOL! :cool:

StoneNYC
27-Nov-2014, 21:56
What view camera comes with a lens?

Really, if you want a Technika, you can find a Tech V with a cammed lens and maybe a couple of extra older lenses for around $1500. The wideangle flap on the Master is only useful if you happen to have one of the few modern ultrawide lenses, 72-90mm that has the coverage to allow for enough front rise to benefit from raising the flap. Any shorter, and the front standard is too far inside the box to clear the flap, and any longer and the flap is unnecessary.

The reason I asked that question is I thought the point of Linhof was that the fancy camera also comes with a fancy lens that was Linhof approved, was look over and qualified as one of the ones they didn't send back to the factory? So I assumed that the camera came with a lens especially for that price. Guess not. Ok, now I learned something else. Thanks.

PS, Chamonix sell some of their cameras with lenses as a package deal.

8x10 user
28-Nov-2014, 12:51
Linhof partnered with Anagramm to sell a very expensive digital repo stand (http://www.linhof.com/Repro-digital_e.html).

I'm not sure if they are selling many new cameras these days. There is a lot of competition for MFD technical cameras. Alpa seems to be much more popular.

Service and support of their pre existing products is probably a substantial share of their current business.

Randy Moe
28-Nov-2014, 13:26
Linhof partnered with Anagramm to sell a very expensive digital repo stand (http://www.linhof.com/Repro-digital_e.html).

I'm not sure if they are selling many new cameras these days. There is a lot of competition for MFD technical cameras. Alpa seems to be much more popular.

Service and support of their pre existing products is probably a substantial share of their current business.

Very nice copy stand. I need those lights!

Jac@stafford.net
28-Nov-2014, 15:28
Even with the outrageous prices they charge, I don't see how they keep going. Even Leica had to update their products to stay viable.
These days, how much market is there for Large Format stuff?

Leica is taking a big hit due to sensor issues of their M9, Monochrom and ME cameras. Linhof is not as tightly coupled with digital. So far, so good.

I would worry for Linhof only if I were half my age.

8x10 user
28-Nov-2014, 16:20
Leica is doing pretty good IMO. The move away from the SLR and into mirrorless live view is very good for them. They are the masters of non retrofocus lens making and now they are making lenses for a larger number of non leica cameras.

Their new medium format camera sensor is very innovative. They have solved much of the problems with other CCD's by making the CCD wells wider and more shallow while making the micro lens taller.

In addition they purchased Sinar so they have a good foot hold in the Digital Reproduction and technical view camera market. Leica lenses are the best for fashion photography.

If given the choice, I'd put my money on Leica over Linhof, no doubts.

Jac@stafford.net
28-Nov-2014, 16:28
[..,]
If given the choice, I'd put my money on Leica over Linhof, no doubts.

The problematic Leicas are CCD, the rest are CMOS.

It is unfortunate that we cannot put our money on Leica because it is a private company, but that is to Leica's advantage.

Dan Fromm
28-Nov-2014, 17:58
They have solved much of the problems with other CCD's by making the CCD wells wider and more shallow while making the micro lens taller.

Leica has a chip foundry? Wow!

koh303
28-Nov-2014, 18:20
Leica, like Linhof, and several other name brands, are owned by wealthy patrons, who pour money into the companies out of some romantic notion of the value of the "prescription craftsmanship/customer service" lamented at length all along the previous 50 or so posts. It has nothing to do with business. Leica has no shown a profit since it was bought out of receivership in 2004? (AGX - help me here with dates) by above mentioned wealthy patrons.

For a while saab had the same deal, but on a large scale of a car manufacturer that may not work. In the case of Leica and Linhof its "not that expensive" (relatively speaking).

As bob has discussed many times in the past, a strong used market, for products that have relatively little wear over time, and massive price differences compared to new, meant that most of this gear is no longer being made new, as there is no market for it.

Leica still makes film cameras, but they comprise less then 8% of everything hey make, all are made at a loss (kind of like saabs of the GM era).

How many 4X5 cameras does linhof make every year? Who knows.

Ebony, Canham and other small camera makers are small operations which are usually a one man show (or maybe one and half), which is the most that type of business can sustain, they work in small scale, following the toyota philosophy (albeit in a small scale level production).

Quality and reputation has nothing to do with it.

Jac@stafford.net
28-Nov-2014, 19:05
Leica, like Linhof, and several other name brands, are owned by wealthy patrons, who pour money into the companies out of some romantic notion of the value of the "prescription craftsmanship/customer service" lamented at length all along the previous 50 or so posts. It has nothing to do with business. Leica has no shown a profit since it was bought out of receivership in 2004? (AGX - help me here with dates) by above mentioned wealthy patrons.

Can you post substantiations to support your claim? Thank you
.

Richard Johnson
28-Nov-2014, 19:31
My MT 2000 has been around the world with me, and I purchased it used from another busy pro photographer who traveled and used it in tough conditions. It's still working great and has the original bellows. I can't imagine a better camera or one that is more rugged or well-made.

It's true that a lot of used Technikardans have bad bellows--but perhaps that is because the camera was a workhorse for many travel and architectural photographers who used their equipment hard in real-world situations. It's also very flexible, which may mean it's not quite as durable, but it's great to shoot with.

Linhof service has also been top-notch. Martin, may he rest in peace, was amazing. I'm glad to hear that Bob Watkins is now an authorized repair shop, I've used him for other gear in the past with great results. And Bob S. has also been very helpful. His presence and advice here on the forum is much appreciated, and his customer service is exemplary. For example I needed a part at the last minute before a shooting trip, and he got it to me the following day! Service and support matter especially when you rely on your cameras for your livelihood.

My Linhof 3D Micro head is a wonderful product. It was expensive but now that I've tried it, I can't imagine working without it.

Linhof makes great products. They're pricey, but not out of line with other high-end european equipment.

+1

Daniel Stone
28-Nov-2014, 21:26
Leica, like Linhof, and several other name brands, are owned by wealthy patrons, who pour money into the companies out of some romantic notion of the value of the "prescription craftsmanship/customer service" lamented at length all along the previous 50 or so posts. It has nothing to do with business. Leica has no shown a profit since it was bought out of receivership in 2004? (AGX - help me here with dates) by above mentioned wealthy patrons.

For a while saab had the same deal, but on a large scale of a car manufacturer that may not work. In the case of Leica and Linhof its "not that expensive" (relatively speaking).

As bob has discussed many times in the past, a strong used market, for products that have relatively little wear over time, and massive price differences compared to new, meant that most of this gear is no longer being made new, as there is no market for it.

Leica still makes film cameras, but they comprise less then 8% of everything hey make, all are made at a loss (kind of like saabs of the GM era).

How many 4X5 cameras does linhof make every year? Who knows.

Ebony, Canham and other small camera makers are small operations which are usually a one man show (or maybe one and half), which is the most that type of business can sustain, they work in small scale, following the toyota philosophy (albeit in a small scale level production).

Quality and reputation has nothing to do with it.

Sorry, but this has been the COMPLETE opposite of what I've experienced, both having talked with Leica/Linhof owners(and more importantly, those that USE their cameras regularly). I'd liken it to buying any piece of industrial equipment: "you get what you pay for".
Leica has never been an "inexpensive" option. Linhof(that I can tell) has NEVER been one either. Neither has Festool, Stihl, Husqvarna, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Caterpillar, et al...

For those of us who have learned "buy once, cry once", sometimes the hard way(how I learned it, and thankfully by age 26!), I would rather pony-up for good tools/equipment from the start(as long as the price of such equipment is warranted through the service it will provide).

Now, we can all have our own opinions on the matter, but saying that "Quality and reputation has nothing to do with it", that's pure rubbish mate... Buying a quality product that had been proven by its heritage/lineage is proof-enough in most cases, especially to critical buyers who said companies rely upon to stay on business.

And camera equipment is NOT Linhof's sole business, as Bob pointed out previously, they also do contract work machining critical parts/assemblies for other clientele.
Just as Leica also has other business lines other than camera gear, such as the medical field, and surveying/topographical equipment which, in some cases, makes that $8,000 Leica body less expensive than some of the (accessories) for the main piece of equipment being purchased.

I'm sure that since you are a dealer/importer of Jobo goods, you didn't make the decision to become such without considering THEIR heritage, quality and reputation?

-Dan

analoguey
28-Nov-2014, 22:30
Are there any Leica digital owners who claim it to be the best there is? Curious.

Corran
28-Nov-2014, 23:42
Define best there is???

It is absolutely the best digital FF rangefinder on the market...just like the Linhof is the best interchangeable-lens rangefinder LF camera...

I have an M9. It is a great camera but has more limitations than, say, my D800. But the D800 is twice the size, the lenses as well, has feature bloat, and isn't any fun to shoot. So, winner, for me, is the M9, if I'm shooting digital for my own enjoyment. D800 for commercial work usually, or both (I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow and will have the D800, D700, AND M9).

StoneNYC
29-Nov-2014, 00:07
Define best there is???

It is absolutely the best digital FF rangefinder on the market...just like the Linhof is the best interchangeable-lens rangefinder LF camera...


Haha that's like saying I shoot Lomography 110 film because it's the best there's is (when it's the ONLY film there's is....)

Haha!!!

Jac@stafford.net
29-Nov-2014, 07:06
[...]Their (Leica's) new medium format camera sensor is very innovative. They have solved much of the problems with other CCD's by making the CCD wells wider and more shallow while making the micro lens taller.

Typos?

Leica's S cameras and M Typ 240 and later are CMOS made by CMOSIS of Belgium. Dan Fromm, it is a custom designed chip.


Corran: "It is absolutely the best digital FF rangefinder on the market...just like the Linhof is the best interchangeable-lens rangefinder LF camera...

I have an M9. "

Leica very recently posted their plan to replace M9 sensors (with a graduated service charge based upon age) because of anticipated sensor failures due to corrosion of very many of them.

I have an M9 as well.

Corran
29-Nov-2014, 07:48
Haha!

???
What was the point of this post?



Leica very recently posted their plan to replace M9 sensors (with a graduated service charge based upon age) because of anticipated sensor failures due to corrosion of very many of them.

I have an M9 as well.

I heard, but, I'm not really worried right now. ALL digital gadgets will fail eventually.

Delfi_r
29-Nov-2014, 09:06
Leica Camera AG it's a business without connections with Leica Microsystems, Leica Biosystems (new one) and Leica Geosystems, all sharing the Leica (http://leica.com/) brand. Leica Camera AG it's on profits and they make film cameras (in numbers not so small than those made when there wasn't digital cameras made). I love my M7 and my M9, but this post is about Linhof. My Super Technika V 13x18/5x7 (1966) it's like new after all those years and I expect to use it for a long time.

Actually Linhof produces camera for film and digital and other equipment not in the camera bushiness. But they stock parts for many old cameras and you can maintain them in use for life, so it's possible they have chances for a long future.

StoneNYC
29-Nov-2014, 12:13
???
What was the point of this post?



I heard, but, I'm not really worried right now. ALL digital gadgets will fail eventually.

It was funny and I laughed, it was ironic, or at least comical. When there is only one maker of a system and you say "it's the best out there" it's ironic because it's the ONLY one out there...

That MAY be because it was the best and last to survive, or good marketing or business management, but saying it's the best when it's the only, is just a funny statement.

My digital photography is the best photography that has ever been made on my Canon 5D Mk II... Because I'm the only one who's ever used it... But it's the best there is... :)

8x10 user
29-Nov-2014, 13:31
IMO, there is no best there is. It really depends what the use is. Lecia is more of a very high end point and shoot. Their medium format option is basically a very nice 37.5MP SLR. Of course the cool thing about a leica is having access to their high quality lenses. They have the most expensive medium format lenses with very complicated designs that incorporate features such as floating elements. The lenses will have a good look to the out of focus areas making them ideal for portraiture and selective focus photography. There are higher resolution backs on the market but megapixels is not everything. (http://www.reddotforum.com/content/2014/11/why-leica-is-staying-at-37-5mp-for-the-s-typ-007/) I known people who have downgraded their MFD system after they learn about the limits of diffraction and its role on aperture selection, DOF, and sensor density.

Leicas S line is not the type of system that one would want for the best landscapes or architectural photography. These areas are better served by technical and view cameras. Alpa seems to have the most popular technical camera, followed by cambo, and then Arca. I find it impressive that Alpa was able to have new lens designs manufactured just for their camera system. The market for brand new high end view cameras has to be very small and there are a large number of high quality cameras on the market (many are one man operations). A full Alpa camera system might be 50k or more.

I just dont see someone spending that kind of money on a new linhof system today. Except perhaps for reproduction use. I'm not sure how well the master digi repo system is selling. My understanding is that they plan to partner with Rency as the did when they were Anagramm. It looks like a nice system and the patented front focus projection system that Rencay uses seems nice. However now rency is also selling their own horizontal system and Linhof is competing with Cruise, Metis, and Sinar who also have very nice systems. Sinar has the most color accurate solution while Cruise and Metis offer very good lighting and texture control options. Sinar is now owned by Leica.

There are now (from Schneider and Leica) high quality tilt shift lenses for medium format digital so there is less of a need for a camera with movements.

Ari
29-Nov-2014, 13:37
Are there any Leica digital owners who claim it to be the best there is? Curious.

Yes, they're called Leicaphiles, and they will tell you that the Leica lens cloth falls a close second to man discovering fire.

Jac@stafford.net
29-Nov-2014, 13:43
[...]
and I'll be getting my 75mm Biogon cammed soon. Also I have some huge arm muscles LOL! :cool:

Linhof sells muscles, too? What a niche!

Bob Salomon
29-Nov-2014, 14:38
The Master Digi Repro was discontinued a few years ago. Most libraries, archives and museums in the USA that would be customers for stands like this are using the Kaiser RSP, RS 2Motion or the RSP Xtra copy stands.

At the recent PhotoPlus Expo in NYC there was a German Pavilion and Linhof was in the Rodenstock booth and Rencay was in the Kaiser/Heliopan booth. Georg from Rencay was showing their new system camera and back on the new Kaiser RSD motorized stand equipped with the new Kaiser LED copy light system.
Sinar was showing their system in the Leica booth on a Kaiser RS1 copy stand equipped with the LED lights and FotoCare was showing Alpa in their booth on a Kaiser RS1 stand with HF florescent lighting.

While the owner of Linhof had a financial interest in Anagramm it seems that he does not have one in Rencay.

Corran
29-Nov-2014, 20:35
It was funny and I laughed, it was ironic, or at least comical.

I don't think it's ironic or comical at all. The statement "is xyz the best there is" is just ridiculous. That said, Leica stuck to what they knew (rangefinders) and therefore makes a unique product, and one that is very different in function, ergonomics, and results. Pretty much any DSLR from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, et al, is indistinguishable from another, save for small technical things, even down to the lens line-ups. Leica is doing something different and, for some, superior.

StoneNYC
30-Nov-2014, 04:56
I don't think it's ironic or comical at all. The statement "is xyz the best there is" is just ridiculous. That said, Leica stuck to what they knew (rangefinders) and therefore makes a unique product, and one that is very different in function, ergonomics, and results. Pretty much any DSLR from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, et al, is indistinguishable from another, save for small technical things, even down to the lens line-ups. Leica is doing something different and, for some, superior.

Ugh...

I didn't say it wasn't a good thing, what Leica or Linhof has, both are excellent products, I just laughed at the reasoning that was used. which was highly flawed logic.

It's a nice sentiment never the less.

If you don't understand the irony, it's ok, not everyone gets this kind of thing.

Have a good rest of the weekend.

Corran
30-Nov-2014, 08:52
"If you don't understand"
Good Lord Stone, I understand irony, and that wasn't it.

Leica was and is the top of the heap for 35mm rangefinders. The fact that they stuck to it even into digital is telling. Have you used one?

StoneNYC
30-Nov-2014, 09:21
"If you don't understand"
Good Lord Stone, I understand irony, and that wasn't it.

Leica was and is the top of the heap for 35mm rangefinders. The fact that they stuck to it even into digital is telling. Have you used one?

Dude, I'm frigging agreeing with you that leica is an excellent 35mm rangefinder camera...

8x10 user
1-Dec-2014, 12:07
I was interested in Linhofs glass plate holder and light table combination. When Anagramm went under I contact them to see if they were still selling this accessory or to find out if they had any extras that they would sell for a reduced price. This is when I learned about Recay from Linhof. I guess they changed their mind about the partnership.




The Master Digi Repro was discontinued a few years ago. Most libraries, archives and museums in the USA that would be customers for stands like this are using the Kaiser RSP, RS 2Motion or the RSP Xtra copy stands.

At the recent PhotoPlus Expo in NYC there was a German Pavilion and Linhof was in the Rodenstock booth and Rencay was in the Kaiser/Heliopan booth. Georg from Rencay was showing their new system camera and back on the new Kaiser RSD motorized stand equipped with the new Kaiser LED copy light system.
Sinar was showing their system in the Leica booth on a Kaiser RS1 copy stand equipped with the LED lights and FotoCare was showing Alpa in their booth on a Kaiser RS1 stand with HF florescent lighting.

While the owner of Linhof had a financial interest in Anagramm it seems that he does not have one in Rencay.

towolf
2-Dec-2014, 04:31
Linhof partnered with Anagramm to sell a very expensive digital repo stand (http://www.linhof.com/Repro-digital_e.html).

I'm not sure if they are selling many new cameras these days. There is a lot of competition for MFD technical cameras. Alpa seems to be much more popular.

Service and support of their pre existing products is probably a substantial share of their current business.


Very nice copy stand. I need those lights!

Pretty sure it’s one of these high frequency fluorescent efpe-design "Flächenleuchten" (http://www.efpe-design.de/deutsch/kapitel_flaechenleuchten.htm).

Rick Rosen
30-Dec-2014, 14:17
And theM679cs system too.

Plus Linhof is not anymore expensive then other European high end view camera companies. And if Bill would peruse the Linhof web site he would discover that they do precision machining (obviously) for other companies. Not just camera machining. Interested in a precision, gear driven leveling head that can be buried under sand for prolonged periods and still properly position satellite and radar dishes? And is made to military spec?
Not everything is made for a camera that you might own.

There will always be a market for high quality gear. Sinar also sold much more than their camera line. What has put them into the lesser position that they have today was/is bad management coupled with a healthy does of Swiss arrogance.

Bob Salomon
30-Dec-2014, 14:34
There will always be a market for high quality gear. Sinar also sold much more than their camera line. What has put them into the lesser position that they have today was/is bad management coupled with a healthy does of Swiss arrogance.

I think that some of their problems were created by that fellow who sneezed his teeth out at a meeting we had once as well.

Rick Rosen
30-Dec-2014, 15:08
I think that some of their problems were created by that fellow who sneezed his teeth out at a meeting we had once as well.

LOL, ya think?

Sevo
30-Dec-2014, 15:14
Sinar also sold much more than their camera line. What has put them into the lesser position that they have today was/is bad management coupled with a healthy does of Swiss arrogance.

Linhof actually had a much broader range of products than Sinar - down to camera and light stands, microscope attachments and repro gear. They even acted as the German distributor for a range of other pro equipment makers (most notably Zenza Bronica). So that can't explain it. I suspect that the management and ownership issues actually came late in the downfall of Sinar. Sinar was a founder-inventor driven company until the mid eighties, when the patriarch slowly pulled out and the next generation (along with the regular rabble of consultants and investors) tried to run a MBA driven growth operation. So they faced the usual second generation crisis on top of the general camera industry crisis. Linhof still is privately owned, and never was fleeced by consultants and VC stealing their assets. So they remained capable of sustaining no-growth periods and downscaling...

Bill_1856
30-Dec-2014, 16:43
Linhof actually had a much broader range of products than Sinar - down to camera and light stands, microscope attachments and repro gear. They even acted as the German distributor for a range of other pro equipment makers (most notably Zenza Bronica). So that can't explain it.. Linhof still is privately owned, and never was fleeced by consultants and VC stealing their assets. So they remained capable of sustaining no-growth periods and downscaling...

I certainly hope that Linhof manages to keep going. Wonder how many employees they have?

toyotadesigner
31-Dec-2014, 02:56
Here is the bandwidth of Linhof manufacturing:

http://www.linhof.de/just_in_time_e.html

http://www.linhof.de/opt_system_e.html

Rick Rosen
1-Jan-2015, 18:22
Linhof actually had a much broader range of products than Sinar - down to camera and light stands, microscope attachments and repro gear. They even acted as the German distributor for a range of other pro equipment makers (most notably Zenza Bronica). So that can't explain it. I suspect that the management and ownership issues actually came late in the downfall of Sinar. Sinar was a founder-inventor driven company until the mid eighties, when the patriarch slowly pulled out and the next generation (along with the regular rabble of consultants and investors) tried to run a MBA driven growth operation. So they faced the usual second generation crisis on top of the general camera industry crisis. Linhof still is privately owned, and never was fleeced by consultants and VC stealing their assets. So they remained capable of sustaining no-growth periods and downscaling...

I never meant to suggest that Sinar sold more diverse products than Linhof.

I worked for the succession of US distributors of Sinar in the '70's and early '80's. I never met Karl Hans Koch, the patriarch founder photographer, but I did deal with his son Hans Karl. From what I know, Hans Karl was a mechanical engineer living in No. CA when his father convinced him to move home and run the company. He was not trained as a photographer. He designed the Sinar P as an engineer not as a photographer. The concept of working out your swing/tilt angles on the back of the camera and then transferring them to the front standard made sense, to him, because the photographer worked at the back of the camera. Then came the digital shutter and film plane metering, which worked well until they added the metering module that automatically computed the reciprocity values for any film. The designers took the published data from the film manufacturers and used that data in their computer. What they never realized, being engineers, was that film manufacturing is not a 100% exact science and emulsion batches often required adjusted EI values, not the published ISO values and the reciprocity values changed. What value to the photographer was a $20,000 Sinar with all the electronics if the computer output was not accurate 100% of the time? A friend of mine at Polaroid got an angry call from Hans Karl one day lambasting Poaroid for manufacturing variations in their films.

Funny story: When the Sinar P was introduced Hans Karl traveled around the US demonstrating his new wonder camera to notable photographers. He visited Ansel and showed him all the bells and whistles of his new P camera. Ansel was unimpressed (with the design and his arrogance) and said that any photographer that understood large format did not need all those fancy calculators and features of the P. A challenge was made. Ansel set up a table top shot and they were both to produce a sharp Polaroid. Ready-set-go! While Hans Karl was busy transferring the swing/tilt angles to the front standard and using his depth-of-field calculator knob Ansel was holding a properly exposed and perfectly sharp Polaroid. Hans Karl left Carmel with his tail between his legs.

A few years later I was hired and giving seminars for Sinar and teaching large format at Ansel's workshops (using my Sinar F) and other programs including my own. Every time I saw Hans Karl he would shake his head and say "I can't understand why that old photographer cannot see the advantages of Sinar." I would just shrug my shoulders and smile inside. Ansel allowed me in his workshops because he liked me and my teaching approach in spite of my employment in Sinar. Also, I never took Sinar literature to any workshops I taught at. No students ever knew I worked for Sinar. In Ansel's book "The Camera" there is a nice write up and pictures of a Sinar P expert kit. That was my equipment and Ansel did that out of respect for my participation in his workshops and my frustrations with Sinar's arrogance. Incidentally, when I left Sinar the camera I took was an original, new condition, Sinar "Norma" expert kit. Still, in my opinion, the best camera they ever made.

At one time Hans Karl asked my opinion on why so many landscape photographers seemed to love wooden flat bed field cameras and why Sinar did not sell many of their F model in that market. The F is an excellent field camera design so he was bewildered and asked me to help Sinar design a new camera that would have a broader appeal to the rocks and trees photographers. I accepted the challenge and covered a Sinar P with wood grain shelf contact paper and sent him a picture. Even serious Hans Karl got a big laugh out of my effort!

Those were fun days!

Rick

Ari
2-Jan-2015, 09:32
That's a great story, Rick; they were indeed fun days.

Rick Rosen
2-Jan-2015, 18:07
That's a great story, Rick; they were indeed fun days.

Yes they were. Now if I could only get the new breed of photographers to understand the value of learning large format film photography ...............

chassis
3-Jan-2015, 11:41
Regarding the OP's question. As has been suggested in an earlier post, if Linhof has 30 full time employees, they need in the ball park of USD 5 million in annual revenue to be modestly profitable. There is a range on this number from the several millions to as much as 10 million USD in revenue per year. A lot depends on how the company is financially structured, what facilities and assets they have, and how much debt, if any, exists.

Is USD 5m in revenue a realistic number for new camera equipment? For an average transaction price of around USD 10K, it means around 500 cameras sold per year, about 2 every working day. Is the Linhof factory pumping out two new cameras per day?

As another previous post showed, Linhof offers contract manufacturing and consulting services. Let's say these services generated a few million USD per year. This means the new camera revenue would need to be only a few million per year, to arrive at the target USD 5 million total revenue. This means the factory would need to produce 1 new camera per day. It starts to become believable.

Additionally, there may be seasonal employees, consultants, or non-employee family members "working" in the business. If this were the case, it would reduce the required annual revenue for breakeven. And there could be an angel investor(s) putting money into the company to keep the lights on, because he/she/they wants to do so.

So it seems like the company could soldier on. It seems clear from the company website that not 100% of their revenue is coming from new camera or new parts sales.

John Layton
3-Feb-2015, 09:03
I spent a week at Linhof in 2003. They were interested in my L-1 camera and invited me over so they could get a closer look. At that time Linhof seemed to be a reasonably active place - the factory floor humming along, the ad/pr dept. upstairs fully engaged...and the upstairs final assembly room lined with rows of Technica and Technikardan components. Long story short about my L-1 - Linhof loved the camera, and we signed an agreement...but ultimately Linhof decided that my camera shared so little DNA with Linhof's offerings, that they could not move forward. The prospect of either adding to and/or changing such DNA for such a company can be both prohibitively expensive and confusing to the market.

The above scenario was repeated in 2011, this time with Sinar, who wanted to look at my L-45A. They loved it, we signed an agreement, but my camera's DNA was too different. By this time, Sinar had begun to consolidate everything under one roof in Zurich - a wise move in response to the changing currents of this industry. And not to criticize Sinar's current leadership but more to generalize, there is often something lost in the absence of an original owner's vision...a loss compounded when this person's product is based on personal experience and passion. Of course there is a counterargument...that this passion can over time become "monochromatic," indicating an administrative "upgrade" to seek a broader response to a changing business climate.

Just my 2 cents...and I continue to wish the good folks at Linhof and Sinar all the best, in the face of very challenging times!

Drew Wiley
3-Feb-2015, 11:35
There was a time when studios would borrow money as high as the moon to have "everything" and to garner the look of success. Sinar/Broncolor could pretty much charge anything they wished and people would pay. They weren't stupid. The cameras themselves probably had a lower percent profit margin than the accessories, just to get you into the system. But they could sure make you bleed with the accessories! It's a business, after all, with a superior product that required a lot of expensive dies, finishing, etc. Same w Linhof. But now so much of the core product can be had for a song. Gosh, I'm running around with a 50 year old Norma that still looks gorgeous, and that I'd rather have than any anodized monorail camera. The bellows are superior to anything Sinar later made; but they must have been very expensive to make in the first place. So go figure. Now Sinar and the accessory lighting and stand market is pretty much sustained by high-end digital studio shooters. They'll never be as big or popular as before. End of an era. One does see an awful lot of battered old Technikas out
there. But they were built for punishment and years and years of hard field use, and inevitably show battle scars. It's easier to find clean Sinar gear because they dominated the studio market, and were better protected, though I personally use Sinar out in the elements.