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Thread: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

  1. #1

    Question Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    So I just bought a Linhof Technika III V5, and come to find out the rangefinder is missing... I am new to Large Format and I was hoping someone could lend me some advice. Could there be a problem with just using the ground glass to focus? Would not having the rangefinder be a major problem in resale? How much would a new rangefinder cost me? I understand that the Technika III's must have the lens, body, and cam match in order for the rangefinder to work correctly. Is it difficult to find someone to cut a cam to match a lense? Any advice would be really helpful...I'm not sure what to do.

  2. #2
    Vanannan
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    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraxyrose View Post
    So I just bought a Linhof Technika III V5, and come to find out the rangefinder is missing... I am new to Large Format and I was hoping someone could lend me some advice. Could there be a problem with just using the ground glass to focus? Would not having the rangefinder be a major problem in resale? How much would a new rangefinder cost me? I understand that the Technika III's must have the lens, body, and cam match in order for the rangefinder to work correctly. Is it difficult to find someone to cut a cam to match a lense? Any advice would be really helpful...I'm not sure what to do.
    Hi
    I have the same model Technica which I have owned since 1971, when I first acquired it I used the rangefinder a few times but most of the time used the ground glass for focusing and composing the image, I subsequently upgraded the lenses and didn't bother to have the work done to continue rangefinder use, I have not had the rangefinder removed as many users did in order to save weight, I think it would be very expensive to have the rangefinder replaced however I do believe that it it is possible to have cams cut, Mr. Solomon of HP marketing may respond with a more definitive answer.
    My Tech III is rather tatty having had a hard life but still works perfectly, if I were to sell I would expect USD300-400 and think that one without the rangefinder would achieve around the same.

    Hope this helps

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    I had the same camera, with viewfinder, grip, and cam. I ended up using only the ground glass. It's a great camera out in the field, and unless you're hell-bent on using the RF, it will serve you very well just as a solid, well-engineered field camera.

  4. #4

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    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    I've owned two Technikas, a Tech V and a Master. I think it's safe to say that today probably 95% or more of the people who have a Technika use the ground glass rather than the rangefinder. In fact some people have been known to remove the rangefinder to save a little weight, which presumably is why yours has no rangefinder. Both of mine had a rangefinder and I never used them though I did buy a cam for the MT just to see if the rangefinder worked (and it did).

    I'd be very surprised if you could find a rangefinder for a Tech III today but then I've been surprised before so maybe it's possible. I'm assuming some previous owner removed the rangefinder from yours (i.e. it didn't come from the factory that way as some did). If it was done well, and if a nice plate was put over the area where the rangefinder used to be, its absence shouldn't have any effect on its resale value. If it was a sloppy job then the resale value might be affected.

    The official line is that a cam has to be cut to match a particular lens and body. But people do buy used cams so you might get lucky if you continue to pursue the rangefinder route. But if a rangefinder is important to you I think you'd be better off selling this camera and buying one with a rangefinder already on it.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    Thank you all so much for the info! Really helpful.

  6. #6

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    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    I'm sure that a lot of the folks that removed the rangefinder from their Tech III's still have them in a drawer and would be glad to sell you one for a few bucks.
    Jerome

  7. #7

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    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    Quote Originally Posted by photographs42 View Post
    I'm sure that a lot of the folks that removed the rangefinder from their Tech III's still have them in a drawer and would be glad to sell you one for a few bucks.
    Jerome
    He'd need to find (1) a Tech III owner, (2) who removed his or her rangefinder, (3) who wanted to keep the rangefinder but who (4) has changed his or her mind and is now willing to sell it, and who (5) for some reason hasn't yet done so.

    While that isn't a description that would seem to fit a lot of people, there no doubt are people somewhere who it would fit. But once such a person is found the OP then has to have the tools and knowledge to correctly install the rangefinder or pay Marflex or someone else to install it for him. And of course he also needs a cam that will work with his camera and lens or pay Marflex or someone else to grind a cam for him. When I checked with Marflex about 10 years ago about grinding a cam for a Tech V the cost back then was $250.

    I don't mean to be disrespectful but it seems to me that unless a lot of things all just happen to fall into place easily and cheaply, if having a rangefinder on his camera is important to him it makes more sense to just sell this camera and buy one with the rangefinder, cam, and appropriate lens already intact.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8

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    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    I can't see any reason to put up with the weight, limitations, and pecularities of a Technika if you're not going to use the rangefinder -- not to mention the cost.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  9. #9

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    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_1856 View Post
    I can't see any reason to put up with the weight, limitations, and pecularities of a Technika if you're not going to use the rangefinder -- not to mention the cost.
    Bill,

    Obviously a non-believer...

    Once used to its limitations and pecularities, the Technika is no worse than most, and better than many. It is rigid, precise, and compact, although you will no doubt notice I have said nothing about the weight. But then that is in part the price to pay for its precision and rigidity. All designs are compromises, and with the flexibility the Technika provides, the weight and cost compromises are acceptable to me.

    I have had a IV and currently have a V. I have used them hand-held using the rangefinder to focus, and for its most recent use, on a tripod with the reflex viewer. Not having the rangefinder on a Technika does reduce some of its the flexibility and value to me, but apparently not everyone shares my obviously well considered and rational opinion on this matter.

    I am with the earlier opinions expressed. If you want one with a rangefinder, you are probably better to get one with a rangefinder (ideally a IV or V, or newer) and sell the existing one (the III) to help make up the difference.

    But if you find the additional cost is not worth it, then you could do much worse than a Technika III, weight and all, and not necessarily much better, depending upon your intended use ...

    That's my opinion, and I do recognize that is all it is. Take it for what it is worth.

    Good luck to the OP in resolving this situation.

    Best regards,

    Len

  10. #10

    Re: Linhof Technika Rangefinder Missing...

    Len,

    Thanks for the additional info on the Technika. I intend on using the camera mostly for architectural and landscape photography. I don't really see myself trying to use that heavy thing hand-held! So maybe the missing rangefinder really wont matter so much after all. I feel confident now that I still made a good decision in buying the camera. I appreciate everyone's opinion!

    Ashley

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