Linhof 220 focus

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by LMNOP, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. LMNOP

    LMNOP Member

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    Hey APUG!

    While camera collecting was on pause for the second half of 2017, I started the new year off with a Linhof 220 that I couldn't walk away from. The condition is amazing, and handling this camera is truly a unique experience. I developed my test roll this evening and found everything is out of focus, and it seems like the same type of missed focus on every shot. The foreground is sharp, and the subject is blurry. I was shooting around f4-5.6, at super close range, things can be sharper, which makes sense.

    I'm looking for servicing recommendations in the New England area or by mail in the US. I imagine the rangefinder just needs to be calibrated, otherwise it is possible the film wasn't tightly spooled well enough. If you've seen this design, you'd know it IS possible to screw that up. Anyone shoot with a Linhof 220? I read there were only 2000 made, so it feels like a neat thing to hold on to. The only sharp shot I was able to get really shows the potential of this lens. Any advice would be great appreciated, as always!
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    Most old rangefinder cameras probably need calibration, but that said, they also aren't likely to focus accurately with a normal lens closer than about 3 feet.
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  4. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber
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    Bob Watkins at Dead Link Removed is an authorized Linhof repair station in the US.
    I always wanted to try one of those 220's. Such an unusual design. Unfortunately any Linhof product was entirely out of my meager camera budget back in the days when they were being made. Today the collector value makes it hard to justify just trying one out! Let us know how you like using it after you get it serviced.
     
  5. OP
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    LMNOP

    LMNOP Member

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    Thank you for this! I see that quotes are free, so I will go for this.

    Anyone think it is POSSIBLE that the film was loaded with less slack than needed, and therefor the focus is off?
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    That doesn't seem likely, presuming the 220 back works like other Linhof Super Rollex backs (I have them for the 2x3" and 4x5" Technikas). If you somehow managed to load the film with too much tension (never done that myself, not sure it's possible), I'd be more worried about tearing the film or stripping the gears in the film advance mechanism.

    It's much more likely that the rangefinder is out of calibration, given the age of the camera, and/or you were trying to focus closer than the rangefinder allows.

    Once you get the rangefinder calibrated, if you want to try to do close handheld portraits with short DOF, the technique that works for me is to prefocus at the rangefinder's closest distance, then move the camera back and forth while looking through the rangefinder, until the rangefinder shows the eyes in focus, then snap when you've got the right expression.
     
  7. OP
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    LMNOP

    LMNOP Member

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    Sorry I should have been more clear,

    the portrait was shot exactly how you described, focusing at about 3.5 feet, he was actually in focus but I think that is because the minimum wouldn't shift much over time. The rest of the shots were focusing at a distance of 10M or more, and the foreground in front of the subject would be sharper than the subject.
     
  8. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    Calibration starts at infinity with both the lens at the film plane and the rangefinder in sharp focus. Infinity is 5000 feet/1524 meters or further away, the farther the better. Some set infinity at 100 feet/30.48 meters to 500 feet/152.4 meters assuming that you are going to be shooting at f8 or smaller apertures.
    If the focus error is about the same at 3.5 feet/1.07 meters as it is at 30 feet/10 meters or further the the mechanism is working correctly and just needs calibrating, if the error varies or is inconsistent then the mechanism is dirty and not moving smoothly.
     
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