View Full Version : RF cams for Linhof Technika's

Richard Boulware
6-Jan-2006, 15:22
Several of my students and a new friend on the internet have commented on using second hand rangefinder cams on Linhof Super Technika's. One of my students has a Technika and has a second hand, serial numbered cam for a new (used) lens he just purchased. He is convinced that since the focal length of the lens and cam are the same, he can use them successfully. Perhaps, but most likely my student will have a one-in-fifty chance of using them together for best performance with rangefinder focusing. Why? Lenses are like people. They may look alike and have the same physical features, but no two are alike.

Take it from an expert who married an identical twin. I married the extravert while her sister was in introvert. After twenty years of marriage, the two switched personalities and I happily left with the two kids in tow, never to look back.

An example. I had Marflex calibrate and cam four lenses for my Super Technika V. They did a superb job and checked the calibration on the camera back and focal plane on their factor jig machine that checks this stuff to incredibly small tollerances.

A year later I decided to jump in and buy a mint 75mm Biogon. I happened to have a Linhof cam for a 75mm lens. Being an amateur machinist as a second hobby, I decided I didn't need to spend any money with Marflex. Boy was I wrong.

After about a month of fiddling and brain damage, I finally called Martin Arndt and Krikor at Marflex, and explained what I was trying to do. They explained why it woundn't work.. I understood that the personalities of lenses of equal focal length to not necessarily have the same curves on the RF cam.

I asked Krikor at Marflex (The Linhof Magician) if he could cut a cam for the 75mm Biogon using an already fixed infinity stop on the bed of my Technika V. Waiting with distrust, I was surprised when he responded..."SURE". (The infinity stops for the 75 and 90 overlap and cannot occupy the same space on the bed...they are that close.

When the package came back, Krikor had cammed on the infinity stop for the 150mm lens, set in normal position, and had cammed the 75mm on the same infinity stop, but adjusted the top most section of the focusing bed to the rear, lock in position. It blew my mind.

Checked it all today in preparation for a shooting session....and all checked out super accurate.

I have four infinity stops for five lenses. Go figure.

I checked the focus on all lenses at infinity, and at 50' and 5', focusing on the filaments on tiny lamps that are incredibly accurate when you focus on the bright filaments of a tiny 1mm clear light bulb. With that kind of focus target you are either in focus or NOT. No focusing that is 'pretty much in focus'. With this sysem you are either dead on.. or screwed.

I've learned through experience that my rangefinder is far more accurate than screwing around with a 8X magnifier on the GG... Only because Krikor did it. Thanks, Pal. I remember you fondly every time I shoot and after checking the GG....I feel a little foolish at the same time, knowing that I am waisting my time doubble checking a problem that you already solved for me. .

Happy New Year Krikor, and Martin too.

Richard Boulware in warm, sunny Denver.

David A. Goldfarb
6-Jan-2006, 16:07
My 150/5.6 Xenar and 90/8 Super-Angulon are also cammed to the same stop in the same way on my Tech V. I'm guessing it was a factory job.

Another neat trick on my new-to-me Tech V 23b is that with a 55mm lens, if you set it to infinity with the bed flat, you can drop the bed, tilt the lens back to vertical, and push the rail back one notch, and it will still be focused at infinity.

6-Jan-2006, 18:14
Thanks so much for the information, Richard.

Do we have to send the camera along with the lens to have a cam cut?

6-Jan-2006, 19:09
My understanding is that Krikor is no longer with Marflex for almost a year now, and in fact he was more the Rolleiflex person, while Martin Arndt was more the Linhof person. Not to say who is better than whom. In any case, Marflex (i.e. Martin) just moved from NJ to North Carolina. This is up-todate information, as Martin has my Technika at the moment and camming a lens for it; I just spoke to him on the phone yesterday. If anyone is interested, I'll post the contact information later when I get home. Krikor sets up his own shop in New York City, specialising in Rolleiflex repair.

My understanding is that technically you don't need the camera to cut the cam(for the Technika V and Master) ; however, part of the service is to install the infinity stop, and to verify that the film position is correct and match the rangefinder, and adjust if necessary. I suppose that the latter is more important if this is the first lens cammed on your camera.

I concur with Richard Boulware that camming is not a trivial issue; I had asked Adam Dau at S.K.Grimes to cam a lens for me, and even he recommends that I have it done by Marflex. I also understand that Richard Ritter cams lenses for some/all Technikas, but don't know the details off hand. In any case, if I was using an inexpensive lens, I might just try my luck with a second hand cam and see if that works, as the cost of camming by Marflex may just be more than the price of a used older lens.

Hope that helps,

Kirk Keyes
6-Jan-2006, 20:13
"Perhaps, but most likely my student will have a one-in-fifty chance of using them together for best performance with rangefinder focusing. Why? Lenses are like people."

Actually, it's because of depth of focus AND lenses are like people.

John Z.
6-Jan-2006, 20:49
Richard Ritter did a cam job for a new tele 300mm Fuji lens I wanted to use on my Linhof 5x7, and did a perfect job. I imagine it was not an easy thing to de either, especially with a telephoto lens.

David A. Goldfarb
7-Jan-2006, 07:18
Phong--I'd be interested if you could post the new contact info. I e-mailed Marflex about a week ago to see what their current address is and to get some info before sending them my Tech V 23b with lenses for camming, and I haven't heard back, though it could be that they are just on vacation.

Ted Harris
7-Jan-2006, 07:42
Regarding Phong's earlier post. I would assume (although I have never asked him) tht Richard does indeed cam lenses since one of the cameras he shoots with is a Technika. Give him a try.

Richard Boulware
7-Jan-2006, 08:22
For jj and others. I'm pretty sure that back alignment comes with the package for caming. My assumption is that the back allignment is the foundation block, so to speak, for caming. I also recall talking to Martin about the Linhof factory jig they use to do this task. Perhaps it wouldn't make much sense to try to cut a precision cam that was calibrated with reference being an out of specs camera back. Best advice,....call Martin at Marflex. ( hope that gentlemen will post the new contact information for Marflex.)

Be well.

David A. Goldfarb
7-Jan-2006, 10:02
Richard Ritter advertises camming for the Tech III, which Marflex no longer does, last I checked.

7-Jan-2006, 14:42
I live in Stockholm Sweden and have a Technika IV.

I talked to Peter at Linhof in München. From what I understand one of the last Tech IVs made according to the serial number.
I have recently purchased mine from a German fellow on Ebay. She is LITERALLY in mint condition.

Peter informed me that the absolut best thing to do is to have the particular serial numbered lens you to plan to use camed to the exact camera it is to be used on. As the rangefinder on every camera also has it's own personality...

This is of course your are like me and want ABSOLUT precision.

I just sent my Tech IV along with my Schneider Super Angulon 5,6/72 XL, Rodenstock Grandagon-N 4,5/90, Rodenstock Sinaron-S 5,6/210
and Linhof Symmar 5,6/180. Linhof will first do a total CLA of the camera since it is after all over 40 years old. They will then make sure the rangefinder is as it should be to then cam the lenses. They will also make and install focusing scales for each lens and install and adjust the focusing stops.

They estimate I will have all back within 3 weeks.

They are about 20 dollars more expensive per lens than Marflex. I figure with insured shipping and customs to and from the US it would be in the long run a little cheaper and quicker to do all within the EU.

Has anyone else gone directly through Linhof? If so what are your impressions?

Bob Salomon
10-Jan-2006, 08:54
Yes Marflex has moved and does Linhof and Wista service at his new address. All other products that we distribute should be sent directly to us.

Krikor is in NJ not NY.

HP MARKETING CORP. 16 CHAPIN RD PO BOX 715 PINE BROOK, NJ 07058 (800) 735-4373 FAX (800) 282-9010

10-Jan-2006, 09:04
Thanks for the good information again, Bob.

Tip: Click the Text radio button below the message to format it right.




(252 652-4401)






(800) 735-4373 FAX (800) 282-9010

10-Jan-2006, 10:02
I had asked Bob Salomon to post the contact info for Marflex and clarify the Marflex/Linhof relationship. There is so much hearsay these days, and it helps to hear from the official importer (HP Marketing). Thank you, Bob. And sorry if I had added any confusion/hearsay re. Krikor in NYC. :-)

Now a trivia question: Did the name Marflex come from Martin's name or Krikor's (Maralian ?)



Bob Salomon
10-Jan-2006, 14:01
"Did the name Marflex come from Martin's name or Krikor's (Maralian ?"

Martin Arndt was the National Service Manager for Rollei of America first in NJ and later in Denver (after Rollei bought Honeywell Photographic). When Rollei closed their service stations Martin bought the parts inventory and opened up his own repair service.

Mar is from Martin and flex is from Rolleiflex. Hence Marflex.

David A. Goldfarb
18-Oct-2006, 20:21
I just got my Tech V back from Martin, and had the same experience as Richard Boulware--the results exceed all expectations.

The thing that finally made me send it in was the front tilt lock breaking off, but he found things that needed repair that I hadn't noticed, and even though they functioned okay before, they're perfect now. For instance, part of the dovetail that connects the front standard to the rail was chipped off. The standard still worked and was properly aligned, but occasionally it would slip off the rail when I moved it from the body to the camera bed, and now that can't happen.

I've got scales for all my lenses in the same units (before about half were in feet and half were in meters). He cammed my 75/4.5 Grandagon-N and it looks like he recalibrated my other other cams, including one for an old 360/5.5 Tele-Xenar that I told him wasn't worth dealing with, because it's not such a great lens, but he did it anyway and I don't think he charged extra for it. He also rearranged my infinity stops and shimmed the lenses so that now the 75 and 135 use the same pair of stops, the 90 and 150 do as well as they did before (both the 75 and 90 are used with the rail in the recessed position), the 210 stops are at the end of the rail, and he set the 360 stops in the middle of the rail to be used with the rail in the extended position (+1), so they don't interfere with the stops for the 210. Most importantly, they're all really at the infinity position, and the stops, rangefinder, and groundglass are all in agreement.

Frank Petronio
18-Oct-2006, 20:30
i just hope these guys are still around by the time I can afford to get a proper Linhof ;)

14-Sep-2008, 21:59
Please tell me they're still active.

I finally got a Linhof and a few lenses.

Bob Salomon
15-Sep-2008, 01:46
Please tell me they're still active.

I finally got a Linhof and a few lenses.

Of course Marflex is still active. At least they were on Thursday when they last called me.

Frank Petronio
15-Sep-2008, 04:28
Fwiw, when I had a Tech, Krikor did a fantastic job with refitting it and the camming was perfect. You get what you pay for. A real class act.