View Full Version : Linhof vs Cambo

ronald lamarsh
14-Jan-2004, 14:49
I am trying to decide between a used Cambo 4x5 monorail and a new Linhof Kardan M. I know the Linhof represents THE mechancal standard of excellence but I can save $300 bucks by going used with the Cambo which after close inspection seems every bit as solid. And it also sold for at least 30% more than said linhof new. I am also looking at the cost of parts and accessories should they ever be needed and they are substantially less for the Cambo. The only real difference I can see between the two is the linhof is about 4lbs lighter. The question is, is there something I'm missing or don't know about the would make the linhof so superior i need to spend the extra? Both have interchangeable bellows etc.

Michael Kadillak
14-Jan-2004, 15:38
If you are primarily a studio photographer, an extra 4# is not that big a deal and the Cambo would be just fine. However, if you are going to schlepp this unit around, 4# is a hell of a big differential to deal with for a 4x5 camera.

The second issue you should at least consider is re-sale. Cambo cannot hold a candle to Linhof as per their reputation for engineering and functionality and I feel that you are going to insulate your exposure to this scenario with the Linhof.

If you run each camera through its paces - maybe rip a few Polaroids and weight or re-sale are not as much of an issue to you in the bigger scheme of things as the small incremental costs, get the Cambo.

I can only tell you that I have a Linhof Karden bi in 4x5 and 5x7, and a Technikardan 45S and they are absolutely marvelous and worth every penny I paid for them. Good Luck!

Bob Salomon
14-Jan-2004, 16:09
"And it also sold for at least 30% more than said linhof new"

Perhaps not.

2 years ago the M sold at B&H for $1995.00.

After we purchased a production run of the M we were able to drastically reduce the dealer cost so the retail price dropped to under $1000.00.

That production run is now almost gone and soon the retail price will be at least as high as a couple of years ago.

You also should consider that the new M has a 5 year warranty.

15-Jan-2004, 07:36
I don't shoot 4x5. If I did, I would like a LIGHT camera.

I have a Cambo in 8x10 (810N) and love it. I think it's a great camera for someone who does studio and field work. It has ample movements, calibrated, in every possible direction (though they are on-axis), which you can't get in a field camera - it works well in the studio. However, on the other hand, it's only 18 pounds, which is significantly lighter than either a Toyo 810G or a Sinar 8x10, which are the other cameras I'd choose for studio use.

I like Cambo equipment, it's well-made, and as you said, the accessory prices aren't going to kill you.

Try them both out, see if you like one a lot better. DO you have a preference for construction? I believe the Linhof has L-shaped standards whereas the Cambo has U-shaped. So them ny question would be (and I have linhof's literature, but not handy) whether the Linhof has independent locking of every movement.

Bob Salomon
15-Jan-2004, 09:18
"I believe the Linhof has L-shaped standards"

The Technikardan, and the GTL have L standards. The M and the GT have the old standard Linhof U standards and, yes, all Linhofs, regardless of the standard design, have individual locks for each movement. Sometimes 2 locks for a movement as on the rise on the M and GT (one on each side).

15-Jan-2004, 10:17
Sorry. My mistake. I guess it was just never a camera that really grabbed me as one I'd like. For that matter, there was a long time when I thought a Sinar was an overpriced paperweight, and I still do to some extent. And that's not out of ignorance. Granted, I don't do THAT much studio work, and productivity doesn't matter much to me.

Sam Eubanks
15-Jan-2004, 14:56
I recently made a similar decision. I purchased a Linhof Master Technika that is great! I recommend that you seriously think about what you want to do and what sort of film you can handle. If you don't really care about quickloads, I recommend an 8x10 Cambo - - And buy it used! If you are going to travel with the camera a lot then get a used Technika.

Remember that the lens makes the image......

Christopher Condit
16-Jan-2004, 00:13
1. If you intend on keeping this camera and using it for a while, it may be foolish to put too much weight on the modest difference in price, unless all other factors are equal, which is pretty unlikely.

2. If you ever shoot outside, the extra/less 4 lbs will matter.

3. Since you've inspected the used camera to your satisfaction, I would disregard the new vs. used factor.

4. If you have a Calumet store nearby, you can take the Cambo there for repairs, maybe advice. On the other hand, BobS has already proved in this thread that he is readily available with his vast knowledge of the Linhof line.

Me, I would go with the Linhof.

ronald lamarsh
16-Jan-2004, 17:15
Thanks to all for the input. I got the Cambo I already have a techIII for that backpacking traveling thing. I got the monorail because I found the Tech III wasn't giving me the needed movement for architectural images. The Linhof I looked at was an M45 E for $799.00. a good price but I got 2 free lensbd's with the cambo and after a little reasearch I found the accessories were much more affordable. I plan to keep it until we're both dead so resale isn't a factor. thanks again