SINAR Zoom II Roll film holder and/or Linhof Rapid Rollex : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone have first hand experience with the newer version of the Sinar roll film holder, the Sinar Zoom II? I am considering a new set of holders and want to know if they are indeed worth their weight in gold (or at least...silver). Also, has anyone had field experience with the Linhof Rapid Rollex? If have used Calumet C2 holders for many years (I appreciate the convenience, but I just don't trust them completely) and have several Wista 6x9's and a Horseman 6x9 back. I'm looking for convenience, film flatness, counter reliability and frame spacing consistency.

Thanks much, Skot Weidemann, Madison WI

-- Skot Weidemann (, October 29, 1999


I think you better stick to Wistas and Horsemans. What you are looking for is reliability and both Sinar and Linhof film holders have been known to have some problems (I've used the Linhof and a friend of mine owns the Sinar) they are very good but very expensive and not at all better than Wista, Hoseman and Last but not least Toyo which I currently own and which I find perfect. Calumet is joke! It just doesn't work well (lots of small itches and sometimes major problems with spacing and film flatness) and their last 6x12 had to be dicontinued because of reliability problems (It is a difficult task anyway!). All 'n all a word of advice, no doubt many will tell you that Sinar and Linhof being what they are are the best but, ain't necessarely so! Do you know the WFPA? Check it out at greetings

-- andrea milano (, October 30, 1999.

We are very sorry that you had a problem with a Linhof Rapid Rollex. But in all the years that I have been representing Linhof (over 20) in the US I have never had any owner of a Rapid or Super or Cine Rollex have a problem. We had some problems very early on with the Techno Tollex but that isn't what he asked about.

Exactly what problems did you experience with a new Rapid Rollex?

-- Bob Salomon (, October 30, 1999.

As I said privately to Bob, my problems with the Rollex were depending on irregular spacing, flatness was very good. However, other collegue experienced the same irregularities. A very good piece of equipment but for similar performance, I prefer a cheaper Wista or Horseman or even better a Toyo. I own one with a graflock fitting, I think that there is a push-in model too but I'd rather not use them because of strain on my camera film holder (springs suffer under the insertion of a bulky film holder) other than that ,I meant that the Sinar and Linhof are fine but the cost-performance isn't better than cheaper products.

-- andrea milano (, October 30, 1999.

After email regarding the experiences Milano had with a Linhof back it turns out that his comments were based upon experiences with a used back rather than a new back.

Being a used back there is no way of knowing if it was in factory spec. If it had been abused or improperly adjusted, etc.

It was and is not at all common for these backs to have any type of spacing problems and in all of the years Super, Cine and Rapid Rollex backs have been available and in all of the years I have been Product Manager for Linhof in the U.S. (over 20) I have never had a report of a new or recent back having a spacing problem.

As I mentioned earlier we did have an issue with either the second or third production of th Techno Rollex that took it off the market for almost a year but that was more than a decade ago.

It should also be noted that he also was under the incorrct impression that Linhof did not show the shift M679 vesion at Photokina (there were at least 2 of them on Studiomatic Studio Stands at the front of the booth).

We can live with factual answers but rumors shoyld be stopped as soon as possible as should incorrect postings.

I have asked him to correct his incorrect statement about the M679 and to indicate that his Rapid Rollex experience was with used equipment which may not be indicitive of new or other used backs

-- (, October 31, 1999.

to mr. Bob Solomon and all readers and contributors of this forum.

It is never a pleasure to be rebbuffed by anyone but it is particularly bad coming from a person like Bob Solomon whose eloquence doesn't match his gentle tones (the last ones are in my view lacking the diplomacy which a P.R. person should have). His answers are acrimonious and do not do anything to bring pacific tones to an otherwise civilized discussion. It is not the first time that I've seen it happening on this forum and I wonder what the moderator thinks of such a belligerent attitude. Second Hand they might have been (my comments and the film holder ) but coming from experienced sources, mine and the one of the shop who sold me a faulty holder. Someone asked about experiences of customers, then I offered my sincere and I thought objective view, other people might have done the same stating the opposite, this is after all a free world BOB! IThere was no reason to get personal about it! I did see a camera at the Kina which had no shift at all, didn't I? Well the camera which you are talking about was next to it and I didn't see it, and it appears to have been a prototype since It has not yet been introduced on the market , So I missed one camera! Big deal, mine was a honest mistake! If Bob had his way this site would not exist and all we had to do to get informations would be to write e-mails to companies and ask their opinion on matters which are a little too close to the pockets to be deserving a honest answer from their side. The point is bob, if any product of Linhof would be faulty would you ever admit it on this forum? I might have made a mistake allright but this doesn't mean that I am not entitled to a honest comment even a faulty one. You could have been correcting me and point out my mistakes with no need to use the angry and offical tone which you use. I resent it, you might have been resenting my comments but if you read again what I wrote there is nowhere to be found in my words the hatred which a malicious entry to this forum would have had. It looks like that perfection lives in Bayern and Linhof is its home, well, frankly speaking although I have lots of respect for Linhof products I can hardly believe it. I have owned in my time several view cameras and love some great special characteristics of the Linhofs but nobody is perfect. However I do not intend to carry on this discussion any longer. I've already been abusing the patience of those who want to talk of photographic matters and don't want to hear petty tiffs among contibutors. I wish everyone good old fashioned "Love and Peace", To Bob too. Nasty words only call for nasty words Bob this is a good message for both you and me. I've asked you some other information about a Linhof technikardan have you read it or did it aescape your otherwise incredible attention?

Regards to all Andrea MIlano Sorry if there are typing mistakes.......

-- Andrea Milano (, November 01, 1999.

Skot...sorry to take up time and room on your query but I just wanted to make a comment regarding Andrea and Bob's discussion. I am by no means taking sides with Andrea or Bob. In fact I agree with many of the comments Andrea made. On the other hand, even though I have never met Bob Salomon, you can tell from his comments in this forum, he is very dedicated to the products he represents. Bob, you are to be commended for monitoring this forum and attempting to answer qestions regarding Linhof. In my year of monitoring the discussions on this forum, I have never seen another manufacturers rep participate at the level Bob Salomon does. Bob... you do come across very strong most of the time. We should all remember, the comments made in this forum are subjective opinions from people who appreciate large format photography, and nothing more. Sometimes us humans have a hard time separating subjective opinions from actual facts. Thanks to all for keeping this forum interesting.

-- Ron Lawrence (, November 01, 1999.

Perhaps you don't fully appreciate the impact of statements made on the web. But when something about our products is posted we get calls, mail, e-mail, visitors at trade shows, visitors at the office, etc. asking about the accuracy of these statements.

Of course, since they appear here, more weight is placed on the accuracy of the statemnts which takes more time to correct.

When statements are made regarding a current product that is based on experiences with a used product and when that critical point is not mentioned in the comment it implies that that is what can be expected with a new item.

When an item is prominatly displayed in a booth at Photokina and is shown on page 4 in a full page illustration and description in the manufacturer's Photokina brochure and one comments that the camera and feature was not shown then we have more phone calls, visits, e-mails, mail, etc asking what happened to it.

Why is it not possible for someone to preface remarks by stating that the folling experience was not with a new product?

Or that they did not see the new camera?

What you have to realize is that comments made here impact people who monitor the sight and don't participate openly. But that incorrect or inaccurate comments or implications based on used products generates a considerable extra volume of needless work for us. As well as misleading ot

-- Bob Salomon (, November 02, 1999.

Perhaps if you, as part of your job, every day has to answer questions based on erroneous information posted because someone did not check. Or from experiences with used equipment when the fact that the experience is not with new products, you would have a better feeling for what happens when these things are posted.

I get calls, email, mail, visiters who all ask questions based on the above.

What kind of impression do you think it makes on these people when we give them the Linhof Photokina brochure from the 1998 show which devotes a full page to the M679 with shift and includes a photograph of the camera?

When we tell them truthfully that we have never had a complaint on a Rapid Rollex back or on a Super Rollex from the day the Rapid Rollex was introduced to today. Or on a new Super Rollex for over 20 years but that the complaint that they heard was from the same person who missed the camera and the brochure at Photokina. It does not impact our truthfullness. But it leaves the poster's comments subject to question in the future.

The net is an invaluable resource only when factual and truthful comments are posted. If the poor experience somone had with a product is based on experience with a used product it should be pointed out that the prduct was bought used.

If someone wants to be sure of the status of a product simply check with the company responsible for that product prior to posting that comment.

Sorry if my answer upset you but I am the one on the receiving end of the calls, e mail, mail and visiters and I still have my regular jo

-- Bob Salomon (, November 02, 1999.

Sorry about this but a very last comment to this otherwise petty and a touch childish discussion.

Rumors are things like, "You know, Linhof is about to close down, they are almost bankrupt...." These were, a few months ago, the malicious rumors on the web and elsewhere.

I've never been a part of it and never will be.

Mistaken opinion or information can happen everywhere ,so, again, I haven't seen a particular camera which as I point out again is not really ,yet, on the market and that particular one camera, alas, escaped my attention in my visit to the Linhof stand. So my coommnts were not wrong but based to the model that until yesterday was the Linhof 679

If anyone would care to read again my comments which have been arising such outrage from Mr, Solomon part, they will see that the tone has a lot more nuances than the one which Mr. Solomon is using with me.

Again I am happy that someone else saw as well as I did that Mr. Solomons " comes across very strong", just the same as it happened a few months ago about a petty question concerning lens boards.

Inspite of my public aknowledgement of Mr Solomon being right about the question of the Linhof 679, he chose to attack me in public on the forum.

I had been using apologies and conciliatories terms, (not to mention compliments to be such a earnest reader and contributor to the forum). Yet, I was told off in terms which you would use perhaps with a enemy. About the question of the rollfilm holders, I seem to recall my words of appreciation for Linhof and Sinar alike, my criticism about the roll film were to the fact that the price of these Items would require different end results (I am sure that all the other rollfilms ever produced by Linhof are flawless but unfortunately, a few just a few escaped this extreme was the one which I bought second hand, mind you there was no trace of any visible deficiency, as I said the planeity was fine, the spacing wasn't) in any case superior to the ones of othe cheaper brands, namely Horseman, Wista and Toyo. However, I've been working in several shops in my young days and learned then that you gain nothing by being nasty to customers (even Dumb,Iknowitall, or rude customers). Nice sales people do not antagonize their customers, they politely make their point and try to change the views(if possible) of the customer, without offending them with their (arrogant ) behaviour even if the sales person feels that the customer was wrong. Using that sort of language only makes the customer being defensive and erect a wall around his (maybe wrong Ideas) .However Good luck to you mr. Solomon! I think that all this was a matter of style, those who have it don't need to shout to make teir point and I am afraid you lost a good chance to make yours under amicable terms and atmosphere. Greetings to all and sorry for this .......... Andrea Milano

-- andrea milano (, November 02, 1999.

I just picked some information on this page and will read it trough later. But what you should have in mind is whether or not you need the slide in back. I have recently added a binocular viewer on my camera and as a result, I am not using any more backs that require the glas to be dismounted. I still use a modified Calumet 6x12 (I would not recommend it for many reasons) and added a Sinar Vario bought second hand (a delight in terms of precision and flatness). But I have no experience with the Zoom II. The Linhof 6x9 is "slide in" but not the 6X12 Techno Rollex, I think.

-- Paul Schilliger (, November 02, 1999.

I personally have been participating on this bulletin board for about a year now. I very much value Bob Salomon's contributions. It would be a loss for me, and I suspect others who participate on this bulletin board, if Bob stopped contributing as much. In rereading this thread, my impression is that, Bob was very aggressive in asking Andreas to correct his misunderstanding, but that Andreas overreacted. At any rate, I'd like to thank both Bob and Andreas for their numerous contributions during the past year. I began using a large format (actually 6 cm x 9 cm) camera in large part due to this forum and am l

-- Howard Slavitt (, November 04, 1999.

Thanks Howard for saying loud what certainly many others think. I have been personally greatly helped by Bob Solomon's technical advices, and in his "academic" approach, there should not necessairly be seen a rebuff but rather the fruit of many years of experience in this matter. In the other hand, I am not saying that Andrea is wrong. He may have had a bad experience. The best can fail, but it's no rule. I also wish to thank each contributor for this forum which I greatly appreciate.

-- Paul Schilliger (, November 05, 1999.

I have used the large format camera for 2 years and am a relatively new user. I like this forum very much and should mentioned that I learned a lot from people both asking and answering questions. I have read a lot of Bob's information about the Linhof cameras. I do appreciate his effort for introducing the Linhof cameras based on his great knowledge and experience. I don't think that he did this because he is rep of Linhof for I did not see other reps have done same thing as Bob did. I like people do job seriously. Then you can trust them. I don't think I am qualified to comment anything about this issue. However, I hope that everybody will pay more attention to the positive side of any issues and be happy that we have a good forum to culture our common interests. We are all friends on the line.

-- Yong-ran Zhu (, November 05, 1999.

In an oblique way...I'm answering my own question about Sinar Zoom 2 holders, since I traded my 4 Calumet C2 6x7 holders and now have two new and one used Sinar Zoom 2 holders.

As with any piece of equipment that does a lot, they do have their peculiar qualities. First, there is no frame counter (by frame number) because you can change the format in mid-roll. There is a film length counter that counts down until an "L" appears that tells you you are on the "L"ast part of the film. Secondly, there is a felt light trap that the film has to go through and upon loading old test rolls (in the daylight) I found the felt scratched the film. I remember hearing about this in my previous research, so I called Sinar. The tech recommended taking a (low tech) length of Scotch tape and running it back and forth through the light trap. This I did with the used one and both new ones. So far, I haven't seen any visible scratches on the processed film. Sinar did send me a set of new felt traps gratis.

So far, I've only done a few jobs with the holders, but I do feel "empowered" with the possibility of changing the shape of the view to fit the subject, without having to swap so many lenses. I'm curious about whether clients will go along with the shape (ratio) of the frames they will be getting. I find that a lot of clients have trouble with ratios and want to order an "8x10" of everything and don't realize that a 6x12 or 6x9 or 6x6 format won't get a full frame 8x10 without cropping. By changing the format while shooting, essentially you are cropping the photos "on the job". I do see why they call the holders the ZOOM. I'm still excited about them and hope there will be the reliability I am expecting from Sinar.

Skot Weidemann

-- Skot Weidemann (, January 16, 2000.

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