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Thread: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save money?

  1. #1

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    Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save money?

    Hello friends!

    I recently bought a really nice and apparently very rare all-black Linhof Master Technika Classic. The outside of the camera looks flawless. The previous owner said he only used the camera approximately 10 times and then kept it in his camera collections display case. Anyway, this gentleman sold this Linhof MT Classic to me for $1500 cash and it included the original box, all the paperwork, and the certification of ownership. Not only that, he also included 4 brand new Lisco Regal film holders.

    Once I received the camera, the outside of the MT Classic looked flawless. However, I noticed a few problems upon opening, which signaled that the inside of the camera definitely needs work. It's biggest problem is the front standard baseplate - the part that holds it to the rail had been cracked/sheered off completely. That said, the camera is basically unusable as the front standard doesn't ride or lock onto the tracks. The camera, while built in 2005, also needs new bellows as well as a new silver focusing knob and a new ground glass frame to replace the ones that are damaged/dented in.

    That all said, I brought my "new" Linhof MT Classic to my local Linhof repair specialist. He inspected it and a day later he gave me a quote of $1635 to fix everything, including $400 just for the CLA. (See the attached first quote.) Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	219365 Also, since it's a rangefinder Master Technika Classic, I wanted and asked to have 3 of the lenses cammed (don't know if that's the right spelling) so that I can use the camera handheld with the rangefinder and viewfinder. The technicial suggested that the other 4 lenses have infinity stops installed. This Linhof repair specialist sent me a separate quote which totals $1350. (See attached second quote.) Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	219366 All together that's over $3000!

    I want to say upfront that I really like the Linhof repair specialist who has my camera and sent me these quotes. He seems like an expert in this field who definitely knows what he's doing, however, I certainly can't afford $3000 for all these repairs, cams, and rangefinder coupling.

    Not to toot my own horn, but I like to think that I'm a pretty competent camera repair specialist myself. I've fixed plenty of medium format cameras and lenses before. I've even fixed all the electronics in my Pentax 67II myself! I know that the Linhof Master Technika Classic is a different beast altogether, but I wonder if it'd be possible to source these parts myself from Paula at linhofstudio.com for a cheaper price and just fix it myself. I don't know how to get lenses "cammed", but I like to think that I can at least repair and CLA the camera myself.

    I'm still a student. To save a bit of money, is self-repairing this Linhof MT Classic something you guys could/would recommend? I suppose I'd need a Linhof Master Technika Classic repair manual.

    Also, which lubricants and tools would you guys recommend to CLA this Linhof MT Classic?

    Any help you guys can give me would be very, VERY much appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    On a similar note, last year I got some quotes from a machinist on creating/modifying some parts. Quoted prices were jaw dropping. In the end I acquired a Little Machine Shop Model 3990 HiTorque Mini Mill. After a huge dose of self learning and making more than a few mistakes, I was able to machine/modify my wanted parts. For one broken part, I was able to machine a portion of that part and thanks to JBWeld made the repair.

    Fabricating bellows is where I draw the line after two feeble attempts to fabricate a replacement bellows.

    On your fixing your Pentax 67II's electronics, did you come by some guide, directions, IB, or instructions to refer to? My 67II's meter is consistently off by one stop. I'd love to fix it but don't know where to start.

    thanks

  3. #3
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    Probably not very helpful but I would try to return that seriously damaged camera and get my money back. You did not had the opportunity to investigate the camera before buying ? I mean the 1500 usd looks like a sharp price, but obviously is not.

    good luck,

    Cor

  4. #4

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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    Just a comment on the quote of US$295 for a new bellows...

    Maybe get a quote from Custom Bellows in the U.K., although it may not be less. They're well-regarded and quoted me £98 ex-VAT (currently about US$136) for an Arca-Swiss 20cm leather bag bellows. However, you'd have to ship them bellows frames if needed (they don't make them), and pay for shipping of the completed bellows to California.

    Note that the quote of $295 is less than half of what B&H wants for a Master Technika replacement/spare bellows: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ika_3000.html?

  5. #5

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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    So you know, an all black MT is not a rare camera. We ordered them 50 at a time for several years for the US market as it was cheaper then the regular finished version.

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    I'd get the baseplate for $200, bend the frame back and repair the bellows. What is wrong with the knob? Maybe it can be repaired also.

  7. #7

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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    No, you did not buy a "nice Linhof Master Technika Classic" - you got one with serious problems which should have been disclosed prior to the sale. I would return it and shop wisely next time.

  8. #8

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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    I replaced the bellows on my MT using the inexpensive $100 eBay bellows from ecbuyonline. They fit well and arenít too hard to install.

  9. #9

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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    I replaced the bellows on my MT using the inexpensive $100 eBay bellows from ecbuyonline. They fit well and aren’t too hard to install.

    There's a thread about ecbuyonline2008 and its sister account mytongguy: Bellows from ecbuyonline2008???

  10. #10

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    Re: Bought a nice Linhof Master Technika Classic. Can I do the CLA myself to save mon

    Broken MT is not a nice MT in any way. Cost to repair estimate is reasonable for replacement parts labor and expertise involved to make this MT good and proper again.

    DIY repair would be marginal at best due to the fact one of the main structural parts of this MT is broken. Proper weld up, clean up and re-assembly of that part will demand more resources, skills and more to make it nearly as good as it once was.

    IMO, sent it back for a refund.

    If you're a budget limited student, why a Linhof MT?
    Honestly there are very real and serious limitations to a MT and they are not a low cost view camera. Depending on your image goals, camera should never be
    the primary choice with view camera based images. Image goals as first and primary, then lenses and process needed to achieve these image goals, then choosing a camera that can fully support any lens and post camera needs to produce images to meet your image goals.



    Bernice

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