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Thread: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

  1. #1

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    How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    Even with the outrageous prices they charge, I don't see how they keep going. Even Leica had to update their products to stay viable.
    These days, how much market is there for Large Format stuff?
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  2. #2

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    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    Small company owned by a much larger conglomerate?
    There are those people who insist on only buying top of the line brand new equipment. I've met a few of them and their collection of gear and state of the art darkrooms have blown my mind.

  3. #3

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    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_1856 View Post
    How does Linhof manage to stay in business?
    Selling at high prices to physicians who, unlike you, went into lucrative specialties?

  4. #4
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    They're probably smaller than most people realize. My guess is under 30 full-time employees, although I'm sure there was more than that "back in the day" when there was more of a ready market than there is today... And remember, they've not forgotten digital, they have the Techno and other digital-oriented products.

    The Techno is a really cool little camera btw

    -Dan

  5. #5

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    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stone View Post
    They're probably smaller than most people realize. My guess I'd under 30 full-time employees, although I'm sure there was more than that "back in the day" when there was more of a ready market than there is today... And remember, they've not forgotten digital, they have the Techno and other digital-oriented products.

    The Techno is a really cool little camera btw

    -Dan
    And theM679cs system too.

    Plus Linhof is not anymore expensive then other European high end view camera companies. And if Bill would peruse the Linhof web site he would discover that they do precision machining (obviously) for other companies. Not just camera machining. Interested in a precision, gear driven leveling head that can be buried under sand for prolonged periods and still properly position satellite and radar dishes? And is made to military spec?
    Not everything is made for a camera that you might own.

  6. #6

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    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    And theM679cs system too.

    Plus Linhof is not anymore expensive then other European high end view camera companies. And if Bill would peruse the Linhof web site he would discover that they do precision machining (obviously) for other companies. Not just camera machining. Interested in a precision, gear driven leveling head that can be buried under sand for prolonged periods and still properly position satellite and radar dishes? And is made to military spec?
    Not everything is made for a camera that you might own.
    I'm certainly glad that they are managing to thrive. (If -- make that WHEN -- I hit the lottery, I'll trade my Tech IV on a Master Tech, and have all my beloved Schneider lenses re-cammed.)
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  7. #7

    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    How do Arca Swiss, Ebony, Cambo, Silvestri, Alpa, Gottschalt, Plaubel, Horseman et al manage to stay in business?

    They manufacture precision tools and know how to calculate. They know the value they deliver with these instruments into your hands.

    How do Rolls Royce, Lotus, Maserati, Lürssen Yachts, Abeking & Rasmussen, etc. manage to stay in business? For the same reason.

    Small companies, bright, clever, proud and dedicated minds who meet the most demanding precision that is required to specific tasks, to make life of the craftsman and user easier.

  8. #8

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    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    Regarding Linhof - and they do make some tremendous photographic equipment - nearly every Technikardan 45S that I've seen for sale has said the bellows has pinholes, or that the bellows needs to be replaced or has been replaced. The odd thing is that the cameras themselves do not seem to be that old, so it makes me wonder if selling $800 replacement bellows is a cost recovery strategy for Linhof, especially since I've seen much older cameras with perfectly fine bellows.

  9. #9

    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    You don't know how well or bad the owners treated and cared for the bellows. Bellows are delicate fabrics, and not every bellows is made of thick and durable cow hide as for the Arca Swiss monorails.

  10. #10
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: How does Linhof manage to stay in business?

    The Technikardan 45/45S bellows are EXTREMELY thin and flexible, compare to most other cameras, especially "studio" monorails such as Arca, Sinar, Horseman, etc...
    This "flexibility" allows for a WIDE array of focal lengths to be used with a single set of bellows, but it has its drawbacks simultaneously. The design of the bellows does not allow for them to be protected by the camera's frames, so unless utmost care is taken with them in regards to handling/storage/transport, pinholes WILL develop.

    And you don't "have" to get factory-made replacement bellows made. There are alternative sources for bellows, however, those alternative sources might not be able to deliver the same flexibility as the original factory bellows, due to differences in materials available for construction(while perhaps not "proprietary" to Linhof, the purchase of such specialty materials solely to make this model's bellows might preclude bellows makers from carrying it as an available material in their workshops).

    -Dan

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