View Full Version : Linhof - Built like a tank! My experience

Don Dudenbostel
11-Apr-2010, 07:14
All of us have nightmares of what can happen when we order equipment and have it shipped. I recently purchased a used Technika 2x3 from a dealer in Europe and want to share my experience.

I've been a Linhof user for almost forty years and had a very nice Technika 70 kit back in the 70's that I sold and bought a new 4x5 Master Technika system. I use the Master for almost thirty years in my business and sold it a couple of years ago when i went digital. After selling it I realised what a mistake I had made and decided to replace the equipment I had sold. Rather than buy a Mastr 4x5 I wanted a nice Technika 70 kit again. the one I had came with a 53 f4 SA, 100 2.8 Planar and a 180 Tele Arton and 2 Super Rolex backs and the GG back. I never found the Tech 70 but found a very nice Technika w/o the RF/VF at a dealer in the Czech Republic. I purchased the system and the 100 Planar and 53 SA went out to have the shutters cleaned before sending it to the US. I found a very clean 180 from another dealer and bought it in the states along with a second Super Rolex. To make the story short the camera finally arrived yesterday via global / USPS priority mail. This is where the nightmare begins. When I received the insured package it was apparent the package had been driven over by a car or truck. It was soaked in water and showed evidence of having been totally flattrened and had a tire mark over the package. It was ripped open and then bound in pallet wrap and was soaked with water. I had my wife shoot some shots and do a video as I opened it. I wanted to have evidence to show te postal office for insurance. I was convinced it was a total loss as did the postal carrier. As I opened the package it appeared the tire had gone directly over the camera and Super Rolex that was attached. As I removed the camera and contents I noticed there was no visable damage to anything. The delicate items like hood and viewer were next to the camera and apparently the camera and back kept the tire from going over the more delicate items. After removing everything I discovered there was no obvioux damage of any kind. I opened the camera, back, rotated the back, pulled the standard out and tried the focus. All was perfect without even a scratch. I was absolutely amazed and still can not believe there was no damage. The Super Rolex wasn't even damaged and everything functions smoothly and latches properly.

I always knew Linhof products were built like a tank but now I konw first hand. Fortunately the 53 Super Angulon and 100 Planar are in another shipment as I do not think they would have survived.

David McNiven
11-Apr-2010, 07:33
At the very least I would insist that the camera be returned to Linhof at the insurer's cost for a thorough examination and calibration on their jigs - a check of lens & film planes may reveal problems not visible to the naked eye.
Can't offhand think of too many other cameras that would have survived so well, if at all.
Built like a "black-box" it seems!

Frank Petronio
11-Apr-2010, 07:46
Nah as long as the bed hinge is straight and smooth you've got no worries.

It looks great, those Baby Tech Vs are rare and bulletproof. Congrats!

Don Dudenbostel
11-Apr-2010, 07:52
Everything is as smooth as silk. When the bed is closed it's aligned perfectly all the way around and latches as it should. Same for the Super Rolex.

David McNiven
11-Apr-2010, 09:38
Frank, I can't find the words to express how impressed I am.
If only I'd had the ability to diagnose a camera from a 16kB shot of it when I was a repairer - your repair skills must be in great demand.
Thinking about all the time I wasted on thorough examination of everything just makes me sick. If only I'd known...
Glad to learn also that insurers have become so much more generous - in the olden days if a claim wasn't made right away it would be rejected out of hand. Hard to believe isn't it?
Hadn't realised I was so far behind the times. Sorry.

Brian Ellis
11-Apr-2010, 10:28
So how much damage did the camera do to the tire? : - )

Frank Petronio
11-Apr-2010, 14:17
Frank, I can't find the words to express how impressed I am.


If you had a Linhof you'd understand, the isn't anything that could have been crushed with a mere automobile, you'd need something that could pulverize 1/4" thick Aluminum to put a kink in it. If the hinge is lined up and smooth it would indicate that it was still square, so why go through the hassle and questionable expense of measuring something that isn't a problem?

But thanks for the entertaining compliment, I get that a lot ;-)

Bob Salomon
11-Apr-2010, 16:00
Actually there can still be a problem which would have pre-dated the shipment. The polished chrome rails that the front standard runs on is subject to wear and that is something that you would not see on a visual inspection but that service can measure and correct. This becomes a problem with very wide lenses, like a 35 to 58mm.

Don Dudenbostel
11-Apr-2010, 16:50
Thanks Bob. I appreciate your input. Actually I don't believe the camera has seen very much use. All indications are that it was use rarely. Even the finish is almost like new.

Bob Salomon
11-Apr-2010, 16:51
Thanks Bob. I appreciate your input. Actually I don't believe the camera has seen very much use. All indications are that it was use rarely. Even the finish is almost like new.

Just shoot with the rangefinder with the 53mm. If they are not as sharp as you expect have Marflex check the rails and the cam.

Don Dudenbostel
11-Apr-2010, 19:00
This model has no RF. I had never seen a factory / non RF version before. I will have to post the SN tomorrow to see when it was made.