Flashback Friday: The Linhof 220


From 2009, with a Linhof 220 and Tri-X 400 film. This one definitely flew over the cuckoo’s nest! 🙂

Originally written in 2009…

Note: I done told anyone who would listen that my film cameras are far more interesting than my digital gear, and this camera might well be the ‘oddest’ in my collection. It is a Linhof 220, a medium format camera that shoots 6×7, and comes with a fixed 90mm f/3.5 Linhof-Technikar lens.

It’s ‘weird’ not only in its looks, but for a few reasons. For one thing, it’s set up for use mainly for vertical photos, hence it’s more of a portrait camera than it is a landscape camera. I believe it was meant to be a press camera. Of course, you can shoot horizontal if you’d like, but it’s quite cumbersome. It’s also ‘weird’ in the fact that the shutter is a trigger on the pistol grip.

It’s quite a rare bird, but I got her very cheaply (as in less than $100) because she’s got “issues” so to speak. The rangefinder is a bit touch and go, and the camera has a real problem with film spacing, both of which I am trying to repair in my spare time. The times when I can get a good shot out of it, I’m impressed with the sharpness and contrast from the lens, it’s tack sharp.

Update 2015:

Prices for these in good working condition are usually around $400-500 USD. I was able to fix the spacing problem, but the rangefinder is still touch and go. It’s not the most fun camera to use which is why you haven’t seen me post a lot with it, but in my film camera collection it is a standout.

Your best bet to find one of these is on eBay. However, you may also find them through private sellers on Amazon while searching for Medium Format cameras.


5 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: The Linhof 220

  1. Hi Sam,
    I recently found a Linhof 220 locally which was sold to me as “in need of a good service”. Having got the camera home and found a manual on-line I was pleased to find that the camera seemed to be in reasonable working order. The light meter was not working, which is not a problem for me, the shutter was firing and the camera seemed to be winding on correctly. However, on putting a film through the camera I found that there was a big problem with frame overlap. I see that you had the same trouble with overlapping frames, can you tell me if this is a straightforward repair, are replacement parts needed (or available).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi George, nice find! Unfortunately, this seems to be a fairly common problem for a somewhat rare camera. It’s generally believed to be a fault with the film advance mechanism and it seems to be a repair for the experts. I couldn’t do it myself. I initially thought I had fixed it, but the issue came back after a couple of rolls. The problem is, there’s not many people that will repair them, at least none that I know. It would seem to be a simple fix, being a mechanical issue, but apprently it’s not easy. Parts are unavailable and you’d have to pay someone a lot to machine a part. That’s if there’s anyone willing or capable of doing that. You may try to load the film as tightly as you can and also keep an eye on the frame counter, but more than likely it needs some kind of specilized work. It’s a shame really because the lens is great!!


    1. Hi Johan, I think you just answered your own question! It is a hard camera to service, mostly due to unavailable or hard to find parts. I doubt they can help, but it wouldn’t hurt to inquire with Nippon Photo Clinic in NYC or SK Grimes if a Part needs to be fabricated. Again don’t raise your hopes up but you never know. If you actually get one fixed I’d love to hear about it!


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