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Linhof Color 4x5

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The Linhof Color 4x5 was a monorail bellows camera made by Linhof since 1959. It was a very versatile camera with turnable plate holder on the back. Special metal alloys were used so that its weight was kept as low as 4 1/2 lbs. Of course it was prepared for all kinds of lens board movements. It was advertised as precision camera for professional applications.

Addendum: 15 August 2009 by Derrel:This camera can use lenses from 90mm to 360mm on flat lensboards with the standard bellows. It is compact enough to be used as a field camera. Movements of the rear standard are done in a somewhat unusual manner; four knurled,chrome-plated locking knobs are unscrewed and four long metal "posts" are pressed with your fingers to move each of the four corners of the camera, each of which can be independently moved and adjusted. Normally, if you loosen the top two locking screws, it's easy enough to pull the rear standard "back" and toward the groundglass side of the camera, and then lock the screws once you've adjusted the back to your satisfaction. An alternate method is to unscrew all four locks and pull the entire back and all four corners fully out, and then press forward to adjust the back as needed to get the rear standard adjusted as you want it to be. Since all four corners can be adjusted independently, it is possible to set the camera back up "out of whack" or "off-kilter", so to speak. The security and ease of locking with the thumb screws is surprising; the quality of materials, design,and assembly is quite high.

This camera uses what I believe are the Technica IV lens boards; all of my lensboards say "Technica" on them. The front standard has rise, shift, swing,and tilt; the degree of movement of the front standard is not as wide nor as complete as on many more-sophisticated monorail cameras and the rear standard does not offer rise and fall or lateral shifting. The monorail can accept an extension rail that locks in using a hex-key or Allen wrench. I've used mine most with an old, convertible Kodak 110mm Wide Field Ektar, and a Fujinon-W 150mm lens. The camera uses the standard "international" back, which revolves. The beige-colored metal is finished in a crinkle-finished paint commonly called baked enamel,and is surprisingly durable. It's my understanding from internet sources that this camera was made from 1958 to 1964. I have used mine off and on since 1986 to shoot small-product illustrations and occasional location landscapes. I have a Linhof Super Rolex 6x7 rollfilm adapter for it as well, but mostly use it with Riteway cut film holders.

A vintage camera advertisement showing the camera is can be found on the web or on eBay by searching for Linhof Color. Interestingly, the ad copy sells it as a studio camera, a field camera, AND the ad copy notes that, "it converts to an enlarger."

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