View Full Version : OLD Linhof Kardan Color 5"x7"

tor kviljo
26-Aug-2005, 05:06
Does any of You have experience on the OLD Linhof Kardan Color 5"x7" cameras?. Supposedly made in 50 & 60, they have cast U-standards & (i belive) rotating back. I have bought a lot including one of these (have not got it yet) to get to the other goodies of the set, and wonder about the virtues of the camera itself. Glennview ( http://www.glennview.com/vcam.htm ) have one of them as set (Linhof Kardan color triplex he calls it - 4x5, 5x7 & 8x10 set). In Linhof monorails, I have only a brief experience with the much newer Bi-kardan (fabulous camera! - even better made than the Sinar I use now) in 4"x5", never seen any of these older 5"x7" beast, just wonders if any one have experience with them & anything good or bad to say about them. Are they (except rail) compatible with Kardan GT 5x7 (bellows & lens-boards etc?).

Bob Salomon
26-Aug-2005, 05:26
Your camera has no compatibility with any other Linhof camera save the 810 version of your camera.

The factory has no parts or accessories, and has not had any for several decades. All lensboards have been discontinued but if yours has the adapter to use technika 57 boards the 001040 flat lensboard is still available on special order. the hole size must be specified when ordering the board.

Ted Harris
26-Aug-2005, 06:42
Bob, correct me if I am wrong .....

If I assume correctly that the 5x7 Kardan Color is the same as the 4x5 Kardan Color then I can probably answer specific questions as to its operation as I used both a kardan Color 45 and 45S during the 1970's. It was a solid, competent machine that workerd well for me in the studio and the field when I had to lug it. Heavy best for sure but it was what I had in those days.

Contact me offline for specific questions if you have any.



Bob Salomon
26-Aug-2005, 07:16

The 45 Kardan Color was a totally different camera that was essentially a Technika IV front and rear standard on a rail with a fixed bellows and Technika 45 lens boards.

The Kardan Color 57 was totally differnt with standards and rail and accessories that were only shared with the 810 version. The only exception was the ability to use Technika 57 boards and, with a Technika 57 to 45 or 23 adapter, smaller Technika boards.

Richard Boulware
26-Aug-2005, 07:57
I had a Kardon-Color 8X10 of this design, in my studio in the 1970's. I occasionally used it in the field, but mainly in the studio. It is heavy, beautifully made and rock steady. Made many a great 8X10 image in the studio with that monster. You could shoot in a hurricane with that beast and when the wind would knock you down, the camera and monster Linhof tripod, would still be standing.

tor kviljo
29-Aug-2005, 02:52
Thanks alot for info!

Bob, if You read this: is the rotating back on this 5x7 kardan color compatible with the rotating back of same vintage 5x7 technika III? Seems the camera comes with a recessed adaptor board, probably the one You mentioned - allowing use of 5x7 tech. boards, so I thought the backs might fit also.

Bob Salomon
29-Aug-2005, 04:57
"is the rotating back on this 5x7 kardan color compatible with the rotating back of same vintage 5x7 technika III?


K. Nicolaisen
29-Aug-2005, 05:48
I do have the Linhof Kardan Color 13x18. I have had it for decades. It is very stable and very heavy. Linhof called it the most stable viewcamera on the world market. I think they were right, and that the claim still holds. I defenitely do not use it on location (some 15 - 20 kilograms).

Thi monorail is 50 mm round steel tube, some 4 mm gauge, the standards and support are cast aluminum. It has every movement including central tilt. The Technika IV (not III) back rotates.

The lens board adapter came in two shapes: flat and sunk. Both takes 13x18 Technika boards or 13x18 to 9x12 lens board reducers. I have both, the flat one with a rear mounted Packard shutter.

On a Linhof column stand and long and heavy lenses it works excellent, although it can take wide angle lenses as short as 65mm.

The first version had the standards moved by friction, then came rack and pinion, finaly rack and pinion rise.

I very very rarely find parts for it for sale.

Those who own one are fortunate, provided they do not have to carry it around.

tor kviljo
31-Aug-2005, 01:13
Thanks alot for additional inf, Keld. Camera is no in my house, & i see that I have the latter version with geared rise. Guess weight of complete camera is in the neighbourhood of 20+ pounds w/o additional rail (3 pounds) added.... The build-quality & stability is faboulous - even for me used to stability & precision of Sinar P, so I might keep this machine for some use that not involves carrying.... I have never seen a monorail camera before with 5cm chromed steel monorail & full length brass focussing track + 10 mm gauge steel bolt for securing add-on rails...

At a distance, it looks like other old & rather cheapish made B & J's, Kodak Master View & similar early generation light-alloy castings monorails, but it certainly feel different once put in use & precision in every movement experienced. Specially liked the positive/detachable zero-locking mechanisms in swing & tilt instead of just detents, & the adjustable friction in front/rear rise. After about 40 years - it's nicely working throughout...

Thanks for info - were difficult to find anything on the net except here!

14-Feb-2008, 08:47
I have several of the 8X10, 5X7, and 4X5 versions of the "old" Linhof Golor Kardan. The were built in 1958 and I purchased them for studio use. I am long since retired form that and now use the for platforms for my long APO Artars and Ronars(24", 30" and 42"). This came with four standards for bellows extension, and a six foot rail, I am a long lens fanatic, and use my old cowboy hat for a shutter.
The camera is massive by todays standards, The studio tripods and monopods:eek: :eek: were steady enough for most any camera. Teutonic in design, rock steady and tough. If you can find a 5X7 with a reduction 4X5 back it makes for a great camera for long lenses. Many still use it as a bench test camera. They do not make em' like that anymore.
A tiny camera that Linhof made in the sixties is the Linhof Color. I have the microscope attachments, the focal plane shutter, mirror housing, and all the attachments that sold at that time. This is as light as most fancy high dollar folders made todat, and I think more rigid. I see these on eBay for almost nothing. I carry mine in the truck around as a standard with the exceptional late Kodak Ektar 203mm f7.7. A perfect combo for horseback or packing on a fly fishing trip to the boonies.
"Try em -- you'll like em'" Mike the cereal kid

Ron Cole Ancient cowpoke, mud Marine, and Aviator http://www.banwart.net rc1776@cablelynx.com