View Full Version : Weight linhof kardan e vs. Sinar f1

harry w.
26-Jan-2005, 12:28
hello friends of the lense!

does anyone know the weights in kg and/or lbs. of the linhof kardan e and the sinar f1 or f?

its important for me to know, because my decision which one to buy primarily depends on the weight. Carrying it around in a backbag and reducing weight makes it more "comfortable". i think the difference is quite big but wanna go shure before buying.

thanks a lot

good light


Ralph Barker
26-Jan-2005, 13:17
You might scan through the following thread to see if it has what you need:

http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/500228.html (http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/500228.html)

Bob Salomon
26-Jan-2005, 14:24
A Sinar has a 12" rail standard. A Kardan has an 18" rail standard. Do you want the weights equally equipped or as they come out of the box? 12" vs 18"?

The Kardan weighs 8.2 lbs with 18" rail, 20" bellows and International back.

Dave Schneider
26-Jan-2005, 15:24
Harry W,

I think you're making a big mistake choosing between these 2 based only on weight. If you are interested in low weight for a field camera then neither of these is the winner. The difference for similarly configured cameras is probably 1/2 pound or less and I don't know which would be the winner. You really need to look more closely at the expandability of the camera, whether it fits your shooting requirements or can be configured to do so. Also consider the availability of components in the used market.


tor kviljo
27-Jan-2005, 02:28
I agree with Dave here: have a look on availability of used parts for Sinar (about all parts fit all models...) and Linhof Kardan (heaps of different models with veeery variying compatibility). I have had one Linhof monorail, many Technicas, and admire the workmanship, but the Sinars are in my eyes much better tools (which is why it basicly became the standard LF-studio-camera). However, a very important feature of the Sinar F series over a lot of other monorails (and I cant afford the technicardan...), is the ability to fold the camera into a relatively compact package. Goes like this and takes less than 30 seconds: On the standard rail, the standards are slid to max extensin, bellows is detached from rear standard (a 1 second job on sinar), and rear standard rised all way up. Now; tilt front standard backwards, rear standard forwards to make a sandwich!. The rear standard now rests on top of the front standard (I have the dark-cloth in between for cushioning), the bellows protecting the lens & cuhioning to the rail. I carry my Sinar F this way, & it works perfectly. My smallest backpack is the (solely 35mm really) Lowe Pro Orion AW which have only a small camera compartment in lower half, but the sinar fit in!. By the way: the Sinar F, F1 have a rather flimsy rail-fastener on front standard, so I use my F with a Sinar Norma front standard for incredible stability. It still folds down as I have described.

Frank Petronio
27-Jan-2005, 06:16
You can fold a Sinar Norma the same way, and it makes a lot of sense. Can't do it with my Arca...

Bob Salomon
27-Jan-2005, 08:15
Yes there waere quite a few Kardan 45 cameras from the original Linhof Color to the current E (or M in the USA, GT, GTL cameras of today.

All Kardan cameras, from the original to the current - and all Technika IV to Master as well as TK cameras use the same accessories for the back. That means ground glasses, fresnels, right angle viewers, focus meter bellows and folding focusing hoods all are interchangeable between cameras made from 1952 to today. All Kardan cameras using the current large boards take the same lens boards. That means from the Kardan B and 45S from the 60's to today's cameras the same boards are used. And they all take the same compendium. In addition all Technikas from the IV up as well as TKs and all Kardan Color 45 ann the Linhof Color 45 take the same lens boards and all of those boards fit the larger Kardan front standards with an adapter.

All Kardan cameras from the B and 45s, including all current ones, fold flat for transport by disconnecting the bellows from one standard and rotating the standards 180 so they are parallel to the rail. The bellows can be held in place with a rubber band.

All Kardan cameras today use the same bellows as the B, 45S, SC, SC JBL, TE, TL, L, GT-I,

Unlike a f1 or 2 or alpina each Linhof 45 is a complete camera, not made from accessories from a P or P2. That means that every movements on each standard has it's own lock so when you loosen a knob the standard doesn't do multible movements at the same time. This makes using it much simpler and more precise as making one movement can not change the position of another.

So anyone that tells you that there are not many items for a Kardan available used basically is ill informed.

The one thing that did change over the years from model to model is the rail and those things that attach to the rail like rail clamps (not used on Linhofs for 30 years) and intermediate standards.

The E has a fixed length rail that is geared over it's entire 18" length. It can be replaced by the telescoping rail of the GT-E.

Rails and parts for rails or accessories that attach to rails that are round are no longer available new from Linhof. They are available used.

Stan. Laurenson-Batten
27-Jan-2005, 09:24
Thanks Tor & Frank.

I have been using Sinars for many years and because I use my RV for transport, which has plenty of spcace for photographic gear, I never considered packing up the gear for carrying on a hike.

My favourite camera the P1, is out of the trekking league, but I am very interested in travelling on foot over rough terrain with my Sinar F2.
I have always preferred the Sinar Monorail over other systems that I have used, no camera is perfect for every type of operation so for me camera choice has occasionally to be a compromise.

The description given for stowage for the F is most useful and spurred me on to get out and about on foot more often with my favourite camera. Many thanks.

tor kviljo
28-Jan-2005, 02:10
Mr. Salomon

Not to offend You, but the Kardan is much less common than Sinars, and so is the availability of used euipment. Currently (today - at this hour) US e bay have 254 sinar items for sale, and 21 linhof kardan items. I guess that e bay is a quite reliable indicator on availability of used equipment, and 21 items oposed to 254 is quite a big difference.

Bob Salomon
28-Jan-2005, 03:18

Contaxt a good used dealer like Ken Hansen, Ken Mar, Lens & Repro, Foto Care, Photo Habitat, Photo Gizzmmo, Gassers, Glazers, Samy's, Keeble & Schuchat, Bear Images, Helix, Central, Kenmore, Fort Worth Camera, EP Levine, Midwest, Arlington Camera, etc. and you should find lots of used items. Of course these are just some of the dealers in the USA who can have used Linhof.

Bob Salomon
28-Jan-2005, 03:23

Your finger may have slipped. At this hour Ebay USA has 211 Linhof items listed when you search for Linhof in the subject or the body and 276 for Sinar.

Frank Petronio
28-Jan-2005, 06:32
There might not be as many Linhof monorail items on eBay as Sinar, but the prices for used Linhof monorails is way DOWN there. I've been seeing near top of the line Linhof monorails going for a fraction of what they're worth, and you can get a very capable entry-level Linhof monorail for $2-300 - compared to a $200 Calumet or a $500 Sinar F. There is no contest at build quality - The Linhof is the BMW/Mercedes compared to Sinar's Volkswagan and the Cambo/Calumet/Toyo Chevy ;-) They are all good cameras that will get the job done, but the Sinars are stamped and bent metal - The Linhofs are machined works of art.

tor kviljo
30-Jan-2005, 02:57
Mr. salomon: My finger certainly not slipped: Search were made for Linhof Kardan items and Sinar items respectively as about all sinar items fit all Sinars, but only few items from a general Linhof e bay search fit the Linhof Kardan, so a relevant search to compare had to be on Linhof Kardan (searching for Linhof Kardan in both title & description).

Frank: It's probably possible to get the ugly & cumbersome Linhof Color Kardan (based on a tech 4"x5" body on a monorail) for $$ 200, but ceratinly not a recent kardan. Build quaity of the old Linhof (older tech III for example) were NOTHING to brag of - I have had several, and they sported dubious castings, finishing & workmanship, but the tech IV, Tech 70 (6x9cm) & Bi-Kardan were absolutely excelent, about but not surpassing the just as well made Sinar Norma which contrary to the older Linhof Monorails is completely compatible (save for Sinar P2 metering back & DB shutter) in todays Sinar system - also all rail mounted parts fits. If You have ever handled a sinar P, You will se that it have about no stamped parts (except mechanical covers, made from stamped parts also on Linhof....) but rather having monoblocks & main frames & other main parts made of solid blocks of aluminium, graflok arms of stainless steel, and internal gears and main gears of steel, racks of brass or easily replacable nylon. Being THE most used LF studio camera in Europe, the P/P2 is certainly nowhere behind any monorail when it comes to solidity & presision, but it does not have the incredibly 1960's mechanical finish of a Sinar Norma or Linhof Bi-Kardan. However, I agree that the cheaper Sinar F/F1 and the Wolf/Alpina/Sinar A (these three is one & the same camera) is of rather cheap construction, the cameras is still very populart ( & more expensive than similarely featured & made monorails) as they are a part of the biggest LF system around, and that even all parts of a Sinar F finds new use as one graduates to a P, P2 or X. As in 35mm and MF, having a LF camera belonging to a very large system & very wide availability of used cameras/parts is a BIG asset. No other LF system comes close.

It's interesting to se that Linhof's approach to a digital view camera (the Linhof 676 - system) is based not on the Technika, Kardan "U", Technikardan "L" or Master Kardan "L" -standard cameras, but rather on a copy of the Sinar P system: where tilt mechanism is mounted underneat the format frame - the standard tilting around virtual axle (functional tilt point is close to lens centre).

Bob Salomon
30-Jan-2005, 03:16
"only few items from a general Linhof e bay search fit the Linhof Kardan"

The items that will not fit a Kardan are view finders and grips. Anything that fits the front of a Technika or the back of a Technika will fit directly, or with an adapter, to a Kardan.

"Build quaity of the old Linhof (older tech III for example) were NOTHING to brag of"

You mean that all those people currently using a 1946 to 1952 Technika III cameras are not satisfied? You can't even find the wooden Sinar camera that pre dates the Norma, much less find 1000s of current users of it like you can the III.

" Linhof's approach to a digital view camera (the Linhof 676 - system) is based not on the Technika, Kardan "U", Technikardan "L" or Master Kardan "L" -standard cameras, but rather on a copy of the Sinar P system:"

Actually Linhf made the Kardan L with this design + continuously variable assmetric axis movements in the 70s and still make it with the Kardan GTL-AMS system. The M679 is closer to a GTL.

Tom Diekwisch
30-Jan-2005, 23:13
I guess Bob is his usual self, but as a matter of fact he is right. Build quality of the older Linhofs is truly extraordinary and the Linhof system is extremely interchangeable and adaptable.

tor kviljo
31-Jan-2005, 03:30
Mr Salomon

The e bay listing of Linhof includes heaps of Linhof tripods, as well as viewfinders (for the tech), grips, backs for the smaller tech 6x9's obsolete filters & whatever have a Linhof 'tag on it. Large amount not related to kardan cameras . But of course You can use the tech IV & later lens boards on kardan, and You can use them on nearly any other monorail in the world using generic adapter boards from Cambo, Sinar, Horseman & Toyo, and You can use the cumbersome super rollex from 6x9's on kardan using big & hideously expensive adapter boards stealing bellow-draw. What have been my point is that there is very much more RELEVANT sinar LF parts around than RELEVANT Kardan parts, and I do not concider a 1950-vintage linhof 40.5 mm red filter being a "relevant Linhof part" in this context. Relevant parts is used bellows, format-change sets, auxilary standards, extension-rails, lens boards, rail-holders etc. Any realistic search of RELEVANT items for Kardan cameras show how little there is to chose from, but if you need to fill your drawer with weired items with the Linhof brand-name on it, there is luckily enough to chose from.

For quality of the earlier tech III: Oh yes - they have a lot of happy user , as have the even more flimsy Chrown Graphic, Speed graphic, Burke & James Press (a study in low-quality castings). But this is no indication to the cameras being well made, rather that they are inexpensive & do an adequate job. Quality improved later on, and the last Tech III's were much better, also being much closer to tech IV in apparance.

Why should I look for a sinar from before the Norma line, Mr. Salomon? - I didn't even mention this camera in my posting.

The Linhof 676 is a new (and sinar P-like) camera in the Linhof line - having the monobloch system (base tilt but virtual pivot-point close to lens axis) is totally different from anything Linhof have made earlier, as these have been "L" standard and "U" standard monorails.

By the way, I belive the Kardan L with this feature (but still L-standard) were taken out of production shortly after introduction due to it interfering with Sinar patents....

Bob Salomon
31-Jan-2005, 07:25
Tor, the shape of the standards are not relevant. The designers use the shape that fits their purpose best.

Using continuously variable assymetrical axis movements would be very difficult without the L standard. And that system allows the near far points to lie anywhere on the gg rather then on 2 predetermined lines chosen by the factory,

To each his own, if you prefer the Sinar system then use it. If you prefer a front standard that was originally designed to be an intermediate standard for a P then buy and use an F. Just be sure to learn how to use a standard that has one lock for multiple movements.

If you prefer a P2 in the field then by all means use one. Just look under the standards where the gears for rise are and see the grease used to ensure smooth operation. If you are willing and able to re-lubricate to keep the gears free of the dust and dirt that is commonly attracted to lubricants like this then you will be fine.

If you check the movements on the Kardan you will find that there is no lubricant as Linhof uses dis-similar metals which are self lubricating. That is why an allen wrench is supplied with the cameras so the user can adjust the tension and feel to their own liking.

But, again, to each his own.

Personally I would rather go into the field with an all metal L shaped camera with no image of focus shift that folds to about the size of a hard back book and opens to a 20" monorail and uses lenses from 35mm up - 65mm up on flat boards.

But then you don't seem to like this camera - the TK so agian, to each his own.