This camera has some really great features, especially the very fine 95mm f3.5 Technikar lens and the absolutely
wonderful viewfinder, but I haven't really taken to it as I'd hoped. With the bottom-mounted grip, it's too long to
fit in any of my smaller camera bags, and although carrying it around by the handle and using the wrist strap is
comfortable, the camera starts to feel pretty heavy after a while. I'm also not crazy about the film loading. You
have to be very careful not to allow any slack in the film when you load the removable cartridge, but I find that it
is very difficult to load these without some slack. With my camera (I don't want to assume that they are all like
this) slack in the film will cause it to jam. Even now that I've had some practice with it, loading film in the Linhof
220 is not a task I relish. So, I would say the film loading/winding mechanism is a bit troublesome. Also, the
2-stroke film advance (again, only speaking of my camera) makes a really loud click on the second stroke and
always sounds like I just broke something, although it does work fine.
The way the 220 handles when taking photos is quite nice, even though in the configuration with the handgrip
mounted on the bottom it definitely lends itself to vertical rather than horizontal shots. As mentioned, the
combination range/viewfinder is great - probably the best I've used. The viewfinder image seems to be life-size,
which is a real treat. The exposure meter on mine is even pretty accurate, although it tends to be a little off in dim
light. I also find the lens to be very sharp and pleasing. I've read some contradictory information about what type
of design it is and who the manufacturer is. A few Japanese camera collecting books I've read say that it is a
4-element Tessar design made by Rodenstock. This sounds right to me, judging by the look of the reflections in
the glass and the size and shape of the elements. This is probably the same lens as the 95mm f3.5 Ysarex for the
Graflex XL. The lenses look identical, except the coating on the Technikar has a deeper blue color than the Ysarex
I have for my XL. Both the Linhof and Graflex lenses are very sharp in that "wiry" Tessar way.
|Portrait at f4 - almost wide open
|Ah! The wonderful lens and viewfinder!
|Ugh - that darn roll holder!
Unscrewing the wrist strap reveals
a tripod socket on the base of the
hand grip. This is in addition to the
one on the side of the body, visible
above. The hand grip can also be
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