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Thread: Worthy Linhof Contenders

  1. #1

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    Worthy Linhof Contenders

    I apologise, this is likely to be an over-done question, but, here I go....

    Here is is just about 2021 (freeeww) and in this day and age, what are the worthy 4x5 Linhof contenders that can still compeat with the likes of a Chominix F2?

    So, now you're thinking, one is metal the other is wood! Right...work with me here....

    If I go with a folding wood camera, the Chominix F2 wins. But if I were to change my mind and go with a metal camera (I have a couple reasons), Linhof seems to be a good option in that they are well made, ridged machines. But, as many of you know, the Linhof line goes way, way back and there seems to be a cutoff point where the older ones just won't compeat with the more modern day cameras (movements, extension, rigidity, weight).

    So...within the Linhof line, which ones should I look at? If you feel compelled to offer up a different manufacturer, I won't stop you 😉.

    I'm just trying to re-verify my thinking and current selection.

    I shoot primarily landscape and portraits and would like one camera setup that can go from 75mm to 300+mm.

    Thx!!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    I'd say look into an Arca Swiss F-Metric or F-Field. Compact, light, sturdy, reliable, precise. Will do 75-300+mm with the same setup and bellows. It's technically a monorail, but is light and portable like a field camera.

    Just a suggestion from left field.


    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    I apologise, this is likely to be an over-done question, but, here I go....

    ...

    So...within the Linhof line, which ones should I look at? If you feel compelled to offer up a different manufacturer, I won't stop you ��.

    I'm just trying to re-verify my thinking and current selection.

    I shoot primarily landscape and portraits and would like one camera setup that can go from 75mm to 300+mm.

    Thx!!!

  3. #3

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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    You didnít mention what your budget is. An important consideration.

    It can be tricky making the ďrightĒ LF camera decision for a variety of reasons, and it is fairly common for people to make changes as they gain experience.

    Iím not very familiar with older Linhof cameras, but I do currently have both a Linhof and a Chamonix.

    While Linhof cameras are obviously excellent, Iím quite impressed with the Chamonix. It is well designed and well made, especially for the price. Accessories are also inexpensive.

    This type of camera generally wonít be as rigid/solid when maxed out for long lenses (also depends on the weight of the lens), but virtually any LF camera choice involves trade offs.

  4. #4

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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    Ok that's interesting. I didn't mention the budge directly, but only indirectly with the Chominix F2 as a comparison. So figure $1300 for the moment. But, if there's something different to consider even at $1800, that might be worth putting it off to save a bit more.

    The Arca-Swiss is a great option (suggestion) but that's a big jump in price!!

  5. #5

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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    A good, used LInhof Technikardan S.

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    Kinda depends on weight

    I have a very light all metal Pre-War Linhof 5X7-1/2 Plate

    VGC with amazing OE leather bellows, perhaps the last camera I would sell

    However i sold my new 11X14 Chamonix as it was TOO nice to take outside and very heavy

    I prefer old used cameras
    image

  7. #7
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    I shifted to digital before ever using my MPP, but for some photographers it seems like a practical competitor to the Linhof.

  8. #8

    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    Another option might be the Horseman "technical" field cameras (FA/HD/HF)--they are well made and some of the most compact 4x5's out there. They do have drawbacks, though: they have relatively short bellows (~240mm) and lack convenient rear movements; in addition, lenses in Copal 3 shutters are out, as are those with wide rear elements. No free lunch, as I'm sure you're finding! That said, given that "tophat" lens boards are readily available (or quality 270mm telephotos) you could probably check most of your boxes in a pretty economical fashion.

  9. #9

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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    Another option might be the Horseman "technical" field cameras (FA/HD/HF)--they are well made and some of the most compact 4x5's out there. They do have drawbacks, though: they have relatively short bellows (~240mm) and lack convenient rear movements; in addition, lenses in Copal 3 shutters are out, as are those with wide rear elements. No free lunch, as I'm sure you're finding! That said, given that "tophat" lens boards are readily available (or quality 270mm telephotos) you could probably check most of your boxes in a pretty economical fashion.
    Please educate me. I'm not sure why this is so. My tiny 2x3 Graphics seem to be unusable with lenses that won't clear their lens throat, but some -- not all -- lenses with large rear elements can be mounted on them. I unscrew the rear elements, mount shutter + front element on the camera in the usual way, remove the Graflok back's focusing panel and screw the rear cell in from behind. This won't work with all lenses, some have rear cells that won't clear the gate (surely this can't be a problem with a 4x5 camera) or won't fit inside the front end of the bellows (ditto). What am I missing?

  10. #10

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    Re: Worthy Linhof Contenders

    Why not just get a Linhof and not worry about it?
    There are good reasons so many use Linhof.
    So many available on the used market. So many in excellent condition.
    Newer or older - they last and do the job.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

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