Linhof TK45 vs Sinar Norma : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


after selling my Arca Swiss B, I am looking for a LF camera again. I have found two interesting ones: 1. Linhof Technikardan 45 with normal bellows and a Rodenstock Sironar f5.6 150 mm 2. Sinar Norma with wide angle/normal bellows and a Schneider SA f8 90 mm

I am thinking of using it outdoors, for the occasional landscape but mostly for close-up and architectural details.

Each of them go for app. $850. Does that seem to be a reasonable price?

Thanks for any comments,

-- Jimi Axelsson (, March 15, 2001


That price is very very low for the Linhof TK w/ lens. The lens alone is worth $250 and the camera was was $3000 new. Now there is a new TK model 45s. Check that there are no hairline cracks in the standards.

-- David Goldes (, March 15, 2001.

1. this is very low as they usually go for $1500 to $2200 without a lens. either you have a great deal or there is something very wong with the camera. check the standards and check the bellows as new ones are almost $600.

2. this is also low as the lens is worth $150 to $500 depending on which version. it is also a very old camera. i believe production on the norma stopped in 1972 (correct me if i'm wrong), and the camera was first produced around 1950. if my dates are right you're looking at a 30 to 50 year old camera.

if they are both ok you would be better off with the tk for your intended uses.

-- adam friedberg (, March 15, 2001.

Thanks for the input,

I figured that the prices were low, but to that extent... I am going over to look at the TK45 tomorrow, as I haven't seen either of the cameras yet. Maybe the bellows are smoked on the TK45, which means $500 for a Linhof bellows. Which in turn would make it less of a bargain. But it may be a good camera, as it is sold at a respectable dealer, whose main interest is Leicas and not LF cameras.

If something's gone on the Sinar, it's easier to fix (probably not cheaper, though) as it is an expandable system. I have looked on another Norma with a Nikkor 135 mm, I found it pretty sturdy and well-built (but at that time I didn't buy for the $1000 it was offered for...)

-- Jimi Axelsson (, March 16, 2001.

So, I went off to the store today, and found that the Cinderella story wasn't really true. It is a Linhof allright, but no Technikardan, but something else which I haven't figured what it is. It was a tan coloured 4x5, with a round monorail, geared movements to move the back stand with, geared rise, geared swing on the front, but to move the front stand you had to unlock and push it along the rail. It had a swing-out leather focus hood, with some exposure table on the inside.

The camera was sturdy and all the movements felt positive and secure. The bellows were fine, if a bit dusty. The bellows were the normal type (pleated) but in the front it had a short part which looked like a bag bellows. On top of the back stand, it said "Technika".

The Sironar-N was mounted on a recessed board (can't really figure that, except maybe for the reason that it would give more room to focus with) in a Copal 0 shutter whose speeds were fine. The glass looked ok.

The only thing that was missing was the back "knob" in tan plastic on the monorail.

It would be really helpful, if anybody recognized what model of camera it is.

-- Jimi Axelsson (, March 17, 2001.

Sounds like the original kardan Color. The first version had a one piece rail with no back rise. The second one had a two piece rail with back rise.

150mm lenses are mounted on the recessed board so they can be left on a 45 Technika when the camera is closed.

-- Bob Salomon (, March 17, 2001.

Thanks Bob,

The camera does have a one-piece rail, and as far as I could ascertain no back rise. But it does look a bit odd compared to other Linhof Colors I have seen on the net, as it have a small lever for the rise/fall of the front standard. Do you know whether it is possible to get any kind spare parts for these cameras?

-- Jimi Axelsson (, March 17, 2001.

The Sinar Norma is one of the best built rail cameras ever. For field use it is almost as good as the new Arca Swiss models IMHO. As monorails go, they make great field cameras.

With the shift and swing leavers close by the focusing knobs, they are very intuitive to use. With a 12" rail, they are rather compact to store and travel with. Extensions rails of course would be added for closeups.

I have a Norma and really like it.

-- Bob Eskridge (, March 17, 2001.

We need the serial number to be sure but in general no repair parts or accessories specific to the camera are available. Accessories like boards, fresnels, viewing devices, etc. are the same as the Technika/TK

-- Bob Salomon (, March 17, 2001.

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