Help with Linhof monorail ID... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I was just loaned a Linhof by a friend. I need to figure out what model linhof it is so I can buy a lensboard for it. It is a monorail design (one piece tubular rail, ~16in in length, geared focusing). The front has rise, shift and swing. The front tilt is controled by 2 knobs, the one on the right is the lock, the left a release. The rear only has tilt and swing which is controled by 4 silver knobs in the corners which clamp down on four short rods. The top of the rear standard has a label which says "color" (does this mean kardan color?) The only serial number I can find is 4 digits (6103). What is throwing me for a loop is that removable back says Technika.

Can someone tell me what it is? Any guess on the age by the serial number? Where is the best place to get a cheap lensboard?



-- Joel Sauder (, May 27, 2002


Hi Joel,

guess you have an old Kardan-Color, that is front and back of the Technika mounted on a monorail from the 60's. So you have to look for Technika-type lensboards. I think both 6x9cm and 9x12cm/4x5'' take the lensboards from 4x5'' Technika.

-- Thomas Vaehrmann (, May 28, 2002.

You seem to have a Linhof Color. I checked mine, and that's S/N 7277, so yours should be similar. The removable back IS Technika. The front is mostly technika as well, just the mounting is different. It takes standard Technika x45 lensboards.

Good luck - it's a great little "field monorail"!


-- Ole Tjugen (, May 28, 2002.

Joel I have one with SN 6318 and I'm happy with it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Lensboards are 99mm x 96mm Linhof / Wista type. Instead of paying the ridiculous US$ 135,00 for the original Linhof, buy Wista or no-brand lensboard at B&H for US$ 40,00. Better than that, make yourself your lensboards; I make mine using "fenolite" material, some (synthetic ?) fiber used for chip boards.

Good luck

-- Sergio Caetano (, May 29, 2002.

"Better than that, make yourself your lensboards; I make mine using "fenolite" material, some (synthetic ?) fiber used for chip boards. "

And what doyou do about that light trap ring on the rear of a Linhof/Wista board?

-- Bob Salomon (, May 30, 2002.

Bob, I make lensboards for my cameras using aluminum and more recently using fenolite. I have never concerned about that "light trap ring" you mention also in other past post. I haven't had any problem that way, so I think that "light trap ring" is useless.

-- Sergio Caetano (, May 30, 2002.

Hi, Just to add to the 'Home Made' debate: My neighbour makes my lens boards out of scrap metal (he is a metalurgist) and they are light tight without the ring.

Also, I agree with the the postings - It sounds like a Linhof Color and it will take standard Linhof Mk. 4 5" x 4" boards. Incidentally, the smaller 'Baby' Color that takes 6 x 9cm sheet film backs and Super Rollex roll film backs also uses the 5" x 4" boards.


-- Clive Kenyon (, May 31, 2002.

I have an early 1960s Linhof catalog which shows both the 2X3 and 4X5 Linhof Color. In the front of the catalog is a section "Linhof Novelties Photokina 1963" and the Color is not included there, so I'm assuming it was introduced prior to 1963. I believe the Color has the same front rise as the Technika IV. I have a later catalog showing the Kardan-Color which is similar to the Color, but seems to be Technika V standards on a monorail. It has the lifting lever for front rise like the Tech V. Also, it has knobs at the bottom of the rear frame which give 70mm rear rise (there was no rear rise on the Color). The knobs on the rail appear to be white instead of the red color of the Color. This catalog shows the 2X3 as Color, not Kardan-Color and it looks the same as in the earlier catalog, although the knobs are white. I had a Color many years ago, but sold it when I found a deal on a Tech IV. I still remember how smooth the focusing was on the Color, with its big red knob. Actually a nicer camera to use than the Technika, except for being larger to carry.

-- Leonard Robertson (, June 01, 2002.

Hi Joel, In fact your question was very usefull to me . I just bought a similar one(sl no: 5196)recently and was hunting around the net for more information on the camera. Can someone please tell me how do I lock the front lens plate at a desired position using the rise/fall knob? The rise/fall knob operates very smoothly, and I do not think that something had broken off. I cannot figure out how to lock the same at a desired position. With many thanks Gops

-- Gop Sricandane (, July 11, 2002.

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