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View Full Version : Linhof cams -- how does one get one made?



PeterEavis
22-Dec-2016, 20:39
If I owned a Linhof Technika IV or V, would I be able to get a new cam specially made for a lens, who would do it, and how much would it cost (roughly)?

Many thanks!

dentkimterry
22-Dec-2016, 20:45
Richard Ritter can make them. You would have to contact him as to pricing.

PeterEavis
22-Dec-2016, 20:57
Thanks.

Oren Grad
22-Dec-2016, 22:25
Bob Watkins (Precision Camera Works) is the current Linhof-authorized, factory-trained agent for providing this service in the US.

It's been ten years (!) since I had lenses cammed for my Technika, but at this point I think you can count on the price being at least $200 per lens. The latest Linhof price list shows a charge of 284 euro for camming of customer-provided lenses at the factory in Germany - see p. 8:

http://linhof.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Linhof_Price_List_2015.pdf

But best to contact Bob and/or Richard for a firm quote so you'll know exactly what to expect for service done here.

Neal Chaves
23-Dec-2016, 15:00
Many used suppliers and individuals on the auction site offer loose Linhof cams. It's a fairly simple matter to check and touch up a loose cam for the same focal length as your lens, and it may be accurate enough to satisfy you as is. Make sure you get the correct cam for your generation of Technika IV-V and Master are the same. Set your infinity stops, insert the cam and check RF image at infinity. Is it right on or has it failed to converge or possibly gone past convergence? If it is right on, start checking the RF against the ground glass at closer distances. If the RF fails to converge at infinity or at some other distance, then the cam can be touched up carefully.

Watch where the follower wheel rests on the cam. If the RF has not yet converged on the target on the ground glass, the cam is too low at that point. It can be stretched by tapping along the area in question with a flat machinist's hammer against a flat steel surface and smoothing with a fine file. If the cam is too high at any point along the curve, it can be taken down with a fine file. You will see evidence where this work was done at the factory on IV cams before the bodies were standardized on the V and M. Working slowly and carefully, and checking frequently at a number of distances, it is possible to craft an extremely accurate cam for your camera from either a loose, used cam or new blank.

Randy Moe
23-Dec-2016, 16:39
Great description of a doable process.

Thx!

Bob Salomon
23-Dec-2016, 16:41
Great description of a doable process.

Thx!
Except, incomplete!

Randy Moe
23-Dec-2016, 16:59
As the kids say.

and...






Except, incomplete!

PeterEavis
23-Dec-2016, 17:05
Wow, this is all so helpful. Thanks everyone.

PeterEavis
23-Dec-2016, 17:14
what is incomplete, Bob, or was that a joke? thanks

Bob Salomon
23-Dec-2016, 17:38
what is incomplete, Bob, or was that a joke? thanks

No, it wasn't a joke. First you have to check that it is flat, as a new one would be, that is because a lot of users drop the bed with the cam installed and that will bend it.
Then you should know that if a cam has been "adjusted" before you take a file of a hammer to it then it might be impossible to get it in spec to function properly with another lens if you also take a file and hammer to it.
Then there is the problem with moving infinity stops. The screw in the infinity stop has a point that bites into the chrome plated rail. Every time you move and retighten a stop it will leave small pockmarks on the chrome rail that can not be removed.
Lastly, when a lens is cammed, it includes the focusing scale that mounts onto the scale stage on the bed of the camera. Each scale stage can hold three focusing scales and extra stages are availed from a service center. They are easily interchanged.
Lastly, if one screws up the cam it is scrap metal, and if you find that you did not make the cam properly so it tracks true to the lens that it is used with then you may find out after processing the film that you made a very expensive mistake, if the film is less than critically sharp, when it should be.
It is much better to just let a factory trained service center cut the cam to factory specifications, install the proper infinity stops and focus scale and, if you ask, they would probably also send you the factory test chart for checking camming that you just tape to a window and focus on at 15'.
Just so there is no doubt, a cam for a IV has to be cut to match both the lens by serial number and the lens by serial number and, while it will mount into a V or Master it will not focus accurately, unless the gg position on the later cameras is adjusted to match the placement on that specific IV. A cam cut for a V or Master can be used on any V or Master as they have a zeroed gg position. But they would not focus accurately on a IV unless the gg position on a IV is adjusted to match the position on the newer cameras.
A IV cam has two serial numbers stamped into it.the camera's serial number on the bottom of the cam and the lens number on the top of the cam.
Cams cut for a V or Master only have the serial number of the lens stamped on the top and nothing stamped on the bottom.
But then some people like to be adventurous. If so, good luck.

Jac@stafford.net
23-Dec-2016, 18:17
Jeeze, with the highly detailed reasons Bob Salomon has given, a cam cannot reliably be made right. Should we all simply conclude that Linhof Super Technika's were made to be broken, not to be fixed and just throw them into the trash? Yeah, let's do that to some kind of chant that Solomon should supply.

The Super Technika is Dead! Yeah, right. That's the ticket.

Not!

Randy Moe
23-Dec-2016, 18:26
Bob added reasonable admonitions.

Thx Bob.

Jac@stafford.net
23-Dec-2016, 18:43
A IV cam has two serial numbers stamped into it.the camera's serial number on the bottom of the cam and the lens number on the top of the cam.

There was a transitional V with the same convention.
.

Randy Moe
23-Dec-2016, 19:13
That's really good to know when I am ready to buy a Linhof RF set.

That day will come in about a year.

Thx for adding data!


There was a transitional V with the same convention.
.

PeterEavis
23-Dec-2016, 20:00
Thanks for this, Bob. Invaluable.

Bob Salomon
24-Dec-2016, 05:50
There was a transitional V with the same convention.
.

No there wasn't. A V is a V and they all had the same features. Otherwise they would be a IV or a Master.

Bob Salomon
24-Dec-2016, 05:55
Jeeze, with the highly detailed reasons Bob Salomon has given, a cam cannot reliably be made right. Should we all simply conclude that Linhof Super Technika's were made to be broken, not to be fixed and just throw them into the trash? Yeah, let's do that to some kind of chant that Solomon should supply.

The Super Technika is Dead! Yeah, right. That's the ticket.

Not!
What the hell are you talking about!

A cam is ground specifically for a lens, by serial number, it can be used on any V or Master with that specific lens.
If a cam is separated from the lens then you replace the cam. Not throw out the camera.
If you play with the infinity stops you will leave pock marks on the rail. That doesn't make the camera disfunctional. It only serves as a warning that an untrained person has been doing things to the camera and warns you to look carefully at all parts of the camera for other signs of tampering before buying it. It has no effect on the operation.

Corran
25-Dec-2016, 16:28
A bit of personal experience...

I have two lenses with Tech IV cams that work fine with perfectly accurate focus on my Master. I have another lens that works fine with a cam that wasn't made for that lens.

I tend to think that the difference in GG setup between IV and V (and Master) is solved by the infinity stop placement. Yes those lenses will focus 'past' infinity when racked all the way in, but focused properly on the RF it is dead-on. I suppose the proper cams would be at infinity when racked in.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Dec-2016, 16:33
What the hell are you talking about!

I have a Super Technika V 'kit' with three lenses, each cam is stamped with the lens serial number and camera's serial number. The front standard has the white plastic tipped rise lever, and no red grooves on the front.

If you wish I can unpack it to post the serial number.

I'll bet it is a transitional V or IV.

Bob Salomon
25-Dec-2016, 17:00
I have a Super Technika V 'kit' with three lenses, each cam is stamped with the lens serial number and camera's serial number. The front standard has the white plastic tipped rise lever, and no red grooves on the front.

If you wish I can unpack it to post the serial number.

I'll bet it is a transitional V or IV.

No need to. It is a V. The IV did not have the lever.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Dec-2016, 17:26
No need to. It is a V. The IV did not have the lever.

Is this where I can say, "Nya, nya, told you so." (Mystery, nonetheless.)
:)