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Author Topic: Almost there now it's making choices. any advice - Buying Linhof techno & Lenses  (Read 5520 times)
julienlanoo
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« on: May 13, 2012, 12:31:15 PM »
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Ok so i've decided on a Linhof techno,
with a sliding adapter and M645 for my Phase one..

Now! the lenses, that's a pickle,

I am hesitating, to buy the Digaron S 23 mm ( as i don't like the extreme perspective lines )
So i was looking at the Digaron S 28mm,
But now Rodenstock them self say that they are ideal for sensors up to : 33x44 with a max of 37x49 mm..
Now currently i have a Phase One P45+ but i am also planning already to go to a IQ 160 or 180, .. so i am a bit afraid my lens will render useless this way ( or can is stil use it in a circle of 70 mm? ..)

Further i would go for the
Digaron W 40mm f4 as the image circle is much larger than the Digaron S 35 mm ..

And a 90 mm also, but that's not such a problem Smiley :p:p

what do you guys think ?..

greets
ju

My second option is opting for the Digaron W 32mm and a Digaron W50 mm ..

greets
ju
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 12:50:17 PM by julienlanoo » Logged
gazwas
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 04:11:42 PM »
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Have you tried focusing a 28mm lens on a techno ground glass?

Not my idea of fun.....

IMO, lenses below 40mm (and a 40mm is difficult to focus on a GG) is what pancake cameras like the Arca, Alpa and Cambo are built for.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 04:24:25 PM »
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Have you tried focusing a 28mm lens on a techno ground glass?

Not my idea of fun.....

IMO, lenses below 40mm (and a 40mm is difficult to focus on a GG) is what pancake cameras like the Arca, Alpa and Cambo are built for.

Agreed. Using a 28mm on a non-pancake body is not an ideal solution. Arca/Cambo/Alpa would be a more natural choice if you want your lens range to extend that wide.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 04:26:47 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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torger
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 04:49:50 AM »
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I have recently purchased a Linhof Techno. I got some parts extra so if you need an adapter plate or magnifier just send me a message :-).

The 70mm image circle of Digaron-S will work on 54x41mm sensors but there will not be much shifting at all. The quality of the image circle is good to the edge, unlike on for example Schneider 35mm which may has 90mm image circle but only 75mm that is sharp.

Concerning the ground glass experience is much about expectations, eyes and technique. I have a Rodenstock 35mm, the low cost Apo-Sironar digital variant (not digaron-s), which is not at all as retrofocus as the digaron-S, which means that the ground glass is even darker and focus rail range even smaller. I still would say that it is usable on the Techno.

If you intend to focus precisely at flat surfaces at f/5.6 in tight and dark indoor situations, the Techno will kind of suck. There are tricks though like using a laser pointer to get a bright high contrast spot to focus at. Outdoor at f/11 it will be fine, although at this non-retrofocus wide 35mm you will not really see the whole scene at once, but you can look past the camera for that. I'd recommend a tilting loupe for the wide non-retrofocus lenses.

And if you like me use tilt very often, actually looking at the ground glass to see the effect of tilt is much more pleasing than using tables and estimations like you would do on a pancake camera (if not mounting ground glass on them too).

Unfortunately I have not been able to test the retrofocus rodenstock lenses, but all indications I have got is that every single one down to 23mm are easier to use - brighter and longer range on the focus rail than that non-retrofocus 35mm I have.

With the ground glass and wides, as light conditions get worse at some point one need to shoot partly in the blind. If you get experienced with the system you'll be able to nail those images too, and you can use tricks like strong flashlights, laser pointers or hyperfocal rail stops. If you unlike me use retrofocus lenses for the wides I would not worry much about it, I find it hard to believe that they would be as difficult to focus as some say. However, the ground glass image is small, the movements on the focusing rail must be precise, so if you have poor eyesight or are not so precise in hand movements it can be difficult. It is one of those things that some say is impossible and some say there is no problem whatsoever, so one cannot really know before trying out oneself. I took a chance and got my system without testing in advance, and I haven't regretted it.

While being a bit tricky (but possible) with the wides, for longer lenses (say 75mm and up) and decent light conditions working on the ground glass is a joy, better than a DSLR live view in many cases I would say especially when tilt/swing is involved.

I'd say that the Techno is great for one-shot scenes using movements, including tilt. If you instead of tilting etc want to use focus-stacking instead, then pancake camera is what you need since you want to set focus at different distances one after another without looking at a ground glass or live preview.

You seem to have a pretty large budget, and then I would go for the Rodenstock Digaron-W lenses, and digaron-S for the ultrawides. You cannot do much shifting with the digaron-S though when you have a 54x41mm sensor, and I think it is a little tight on the 48x36mm sensor too, but that is the way it is. The disadvantage except the price of retrofocus wides is that they are larger and heavier (can be an issue if backpacking) and quite sensitive - the copal shutters are not really designed for such heavy lens elements so the Digaron-W 32mm can quite easily get bent so you need to replace the shutter. If backpacking I would probably use a hard-case for those lenses.

If I were you I would consider the Kapture Group sliding back too. I have the Linhof original one, but their ground glass is not as good (=bright) as maxwell optics on Kapture Group back. Kapture Group also have better stitching options if you are interested in that. Bill maxwell can do a groundglass with adapter to the linhof original back but it is a bit pricey. There's also a rumor that Linhof is working on a new ground glass that will be brighter than the current. I am myself sitting tight for a while to see if Linhof comes up with something, if not I may eventually get a glass from Bill.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 05:45:58 AM by torger » Logged
julienlanoo
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 08:18:28 AM »
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Well the thing of pancake camera's, although they are great quality, i still like to see exactly what i compose, some times a bit afraid of the " charts " game, ...

I saw Rodenstock brings out a 32 mm W , i might go for that one plus a 50 mm instead of the 28 S and a 40 w..
( I already have a 90mm wich i would like to use a lot to)

I am not that into the 23mm s, ( although i thought to buy it,) but again i find my self not always liking those enormous wide angles ...

At this moment i have the 28mm Phase one optics, and i find it to be to much most of the time..

Kapture sliding back... I'll check it out... thanks

Actually for magnifiers, i saw on the internet a Hasselblad shade goes on the linhof sliding back (matt glass) is that correct ?.. as it might be handy in real life..
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torger
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 08:37:53 AM »
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Actually for magnifiers, i saw on the internet a Hasselblad shade goes on the linhof sliding back (matt glass) is that correct ?.. as it might be handy in real life..

I think you need an adapter for that, "Linhof adapter for hasselblad finder" part 1104.

I have myself chosen the traditional path of focusing cloth over my head :-), I'm suitably nearsighted so I compose without magnification, and then use a loupe for critical focusing. The linhof sliding back is a bit poorly designed though, the slots are open from the top and bottom which causes stray light fall in on the ground glass which disturbs during composing. I'm thinking about sealing it off with black tape, now I seal it off with my focusing cloth.

Over at GetDPI there's a great review of the Digaron-S 28 by the way:
 http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/lens-accessory-reviews/34991-rodenstock-28mm-hr-vs-schneider-super-digitar-28xl.html

Kapture group also makes a sliding back for the RM3Di, so you can if you want to work smoothly with ground glass also on a pancake camera. I hope you get the Techno though so the user community grows :-).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 08:53:27 AM by torger » Logged
gazwas
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 09:06:57 AM »
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With the ground glass and wides, as light conditions get worse at some point one need to shoot partly in the blind. If you get experienced with the system you'll be able to nail those images too, and you can use tricks like strong flashlights, laser pointers or hyperfocal rail stops. If you unlike me use retrofocus lenses for the wides I would not worry much about it, I find it hard to believe that they would be as difficult to focus as some say. However, the ground glass image is small, the movements on the focusing rail must be precise, so if you have poor eyesight or are not so precise in hand movements it can be difficult. It is one of those things that some say is impossible and some say there is no problem whatsoever, so one cannot really know before trying out oneself. I took a chance and got my system without testing in advance, and I haven't regretted it.

There is no doubt that it is totally possible to focus very wide lenses on a GG but its always a worry and soon become a burden. When things become too difficult, the enjoyment can diminish some what. You mention as the light goes down focusing gets increasingly more difficult, IMO as the light goes up it does also due to reflections on the glass and the drop in contrast from light hitting the viewing side of the focusing screen. I know you can used viewing aids like a dark cloth or reflex binocular etc but its just another thing to carry and another chink in the GG focusing argument. I thought the same about the ease of focusing when I purchased my Arca ML2 and while I still consider it to be one of the finest bellows camera available but the love affair for shooting outdoor quickly changed to one of tolerance after owning and shooting the camera for twelve months. For tethered shooting to a notebook for interiors it's excellent but remove the notebook from the equation and its all a bit long winded and a PITA. Additionally to my ML2, I now also own an Rm3di because of these very issues.

Well the thing of pancake camera's, although they are great quality, i still like to see exactly what i compose, some times a bit afraid of the " charts " game, ...

You can still mount a GG to a pancake camera (Arca supply one with the Rm3di) as they work exactly as a bellows camera would so you can see what your getting and even focus on it if you must and prefer not using the charts or lens markings. And to address the "charts game", as tech camera uses tend not to own masses of lenses for their cameras (the average is 3 it seems) you soon become familiar with your most used settings so the charts are no longer needed as regularly.
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 09:45:22 AM »
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mhm
respectable remarks, as they are the same i made...

I am constantly doubting, between the pancake camera's and the Linhof techno types..

The thing is, for now, i would like to have a versatile camera... One i also can use for example 3 times a year to to some packshots..
I know it's a stupid thought, but they are easy money jobs.. you know.. ( and i don't want to buy a macro lens extra for my Phase one body, as it's a shit body) ..

Also, i am an architecture photographer ( 95% of my work) But i do not like extreme wide lenses..  I use a lot of 80 mm of 150 mm's to..
Now the only thing i miss a lot is tilt and shifting on a high quality.

That's why i now chose the Techno by Linhof, As it has a extreamly high build quality, and it is versatile.
NO doubt a bout it i will buy an Alpa or so within 2 years or 3.. to add to my kit, ( to eventually have also wide angles).
But now i don't know, i am continuously doubting, is a Alpa versatile enough for THIS moment in my career ...

Do you understand ... Smiley

greets
ju
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torger
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 09:59:52 AM »
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There is no doubt that it is totally possible to focus very wide lenses on a GG but its always a worry and soon become a burden.

Yes it is very much a thing of taste and personality, it is not for everyone. The uncertainty feeling "did I really nail that?" can be a burden, some has it, some don't. The previous owner to my camera used only a 3x loupe to do critical focusing, and with some training you really can do it through rocking and finding the midpoint, but one needs to be really confident to not get the "did I really nail that?" feeling. I use stronger loupes, and I review the result back on my Leaf digital back screen to get confidence. I'm still a beginner though, I think I will gain more confidence.

Then there's the issue of the arrogance from the viewcamera makers, especially Linhof which don't even have a pancake camera to offer. The Techno camera is very well designed, except the sliding back. There's nothing wrong about precision in it, but there's light leaks on the ground glass and poor fresnel options, limited viewing aid options. Light leaks can be fixed by tape, ground glass can be ordered from bill maxwell, silvestri has a good tilting loupe. But it is beyond me why not Linhof really do their best to make the best possible ground glass solution before even releasing this camera. Maybe it is a bit unfair to call them arrogant, but it so obvious it can be made better.

It is the number one criticism view cameras get, I bet they've lost lots of sales to Arca/Alpa/Cambo for not providing the best possible from start.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 11:37:15 AM by torger » Logged
gazwas
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 02:11:35 PM »
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I am constantly doubting, between the pancake camera's and the Linhof techno types..

That's why i now chose the Techno by Linhof, As it has a extreamly high build quality, and it is versatile.
NO doubt a bout it i will buy an Alpa or so within 2 years or 3.. to add to my kit, ( to eventually have also wide angles).
But now i don't know, i am continuously doubting, is a Alpa versatile enough for THIS moment in my career ...

You sound like exactly the position I was in 12 months ago.

If you plan to buy a Techno (bellows type camera) followed soon after and an Alpa (pancake) I can 100% guarantee you're waisting your money..... just don't do it!

The ONLY manufacturer that offer what you require is Arca-Swiss........ end of discussion!

Why buy two cameras with totally different lens mounts?

You could;

1. Start with an Arca M-Line 2 MF and mount the lenses on to cheap lens panels. In the future when ready, purchase an Rm pancake camera, have the lenses you own for the ML2 remounted in to R mounts by Arca and then purchase the special adapter (only cheap to buy) that allows you to fit the bayonet R mount lenses onto the ML2.

......... or the better option IMO, but more expensive

2. Buy a cheap old Mamiya 120 macro (all the Mamiya 120 macros are great lenses) for the occasional pack shot. Then buy and Arca Rm pancake camera and to begin with have your most used focal length wide lens mounted by Arca into an R mount and as funds allow mount other lenses as needed. When needs or funds allow buy an ML2 so you get back tilts and swings and better "long lens" use, along with the bayonet adapter plate that allows you to mount the R mount lenses straight onto the ML2.

If your main income comes from architecture, why buy a camera system built around an accasional studio pack shot?

All I will say is that of all the kit I own, the Rm3di is by far the most wonderfully perceived, amazingly engineered and easy to use but deadly accurate camera I have ever encountered and is a real work of art.

I would just like to note I'm not knocking the Techno as is a unique camera but IMO its designed as a combination between a bellows and pancake camera. The problem with this its nowhere near as good as either in their own right.....
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 03:21:04 PM by gazwas » Logged

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BillOConnor
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 06:26:15 PM »
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I still wonder why it would not be a good idea to order the wide lens, 23, 28, or 32mm in a focusing mount, a la Arca or Calumet, then through experimentation, find infinity on the rail and mark it. From there, use the helical focus on the lens and a laser rangefinder just like the pancake boys do.

Bill O'Connor
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torger
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 01:02:03 AM »
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I still wonder why it would not be a good idea to order the wide lens, 23, 28, or 32mm in a focusing mount, a la Arca or Calumet, then through experimentation, find infinity on the rail and mark it. From there, use the helical focus on the lens and a laser rangefinder just like the pancake boys do.

You would need high precision of the placement of the infinity stop. For f/11 shooting maybe it can be done though, I don't know.

It's a pity I haven't tried those lenses, I'm quite sure they are not too bad due to the retrofocus. It's not as dark as the Schneider 35 XL with a center filter. The problem with lenses/light conditions that are dark I think is more that you don't see the whole scene at once rather than focusing. There actually are people using the Techno with wide angles and being happy :-). If you ask a user that changed to a pancake camera there will be a different answer than if you ask a user that still uses it.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 01:44:55 AM by torger » Logged
tom_l
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 04:18:20 AM »
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You may also have a look at the BicamII, which is very versatile and can be both pancake camera and bellow camera.

-As a wide-angle pancake camera, it has up/down shit on the back, and your lenses are in focussing mount. No tilt. You can use a sliding back or not. Technically very similar to the Alpa SWA, qualitywise probably in the Cambo league (even if i have to say that the Linhof i saw at the Kina was very very well built, probably in  the Arca, Alpa league).
-you can also add a bellow unit (it becomes then a bigger sized Flexicam), lenses are on a simple board, in addition  the Flexibellow also adds side-shift, tilt and swing.You can use a sliding back or not.

I use the 35mm in focussing mount (no need for tilt in 99,9 % of these photos), the 72 and upward are on the bellow. I'm looking for a 55mm used, but don't know if i need tilt or not.


Tom
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gazwas
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 06:57:07 AM »
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I still wonder why it would not be a good idea to order the wide lens, 23, 28, or 32mm in a focusing mount, a la Arca or Calumet, then through experimentation, find infinity on the rail and mark it. From there, use the helical focus on the lens and a laser rangefinder just like the pancake boys do.

If like the OP, the principal aim of purchasing a bellows camera is for tilts and swings, mounting a lens in a helical mount onto a view camera does not work quite the same as if using a regular lens panel. As the lens is pushed further away from the front standard in its mount the lens axis changes and any tilt or swing effects focus. The longer the focal length of the lens, usually the larger the helical mount and the more exaggerated the effect will be. Not a problem tethered to a computer but shooting free in the wild that just adds more variables and complications to go wrong IMO.
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gazwas
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 07:05:19 AM »
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If you ask a user that changed to a pancake camera there will be a different answer than if you ask a user that still uses it.

Which is why I chipped into this conversation as I happily use both a bellows (M-Line2) and pancake (Rm3di) camera and like the OP shoot architecture and product, allowing my to appreciating their strengths and weaknesses.

Look, its all personal preference at the end of the day and all the cameras discussed here are amazing tools but I thought my perspective on the matter would help the OP as I have recently been through the exact same conundrum.
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torger
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 11:10:32 AM »
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No problem, I guess I'm just taking on the role as a Linhof fanboy... they seem to need it ;-)
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2012, 10:28:41 AM »
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@ Bill,

I 've might understood your post wrong, but any way.
I never said the 23 mm wouldn't work, but my remark had 2 points about that lens.
1- personal one, I don't like the look of the perspectives dan the consequent deformation of the subject..
2- Altough i don't like the look, i can see some use for it some times ( when i am really blocked in space), but reading up about it Rodenstock's data gives a lens circle of 70 mm,  this is Ok for "smaller" sensors ( P40's en so on) but it doesn't give a lot of space do upgrade. Even for my P45 now it's on the limit, and i already am planning to go to a bigger sensor...

So my conclusion of not going for that lens was more out of Personal toughts and wanting to upgrade in the future...

Silvestri well i was looking into it to, but i thought, i took the decision of not doing investments half, as time goes by it will bring a lot of frustration and costs, so just i decided to take a lot of time before i do any investment to know what i buy and buy the models that are a bit better made...

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BillOConnor
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2012, 05:56:18 PM »
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I understood your hesitance with the 23mm, I was just commenting on WA lenses in general on the Techno.

I, too, looked at the Silvestri for some time, but Jack Flescher has said they are not built very well. I have never seen one.

In many ways, the Arca Swiss Rm3DII makes the most sense because you can use the camera as a front standard on an Arca view camera. The only problem with the Arca Swiss product line (other than $$$$) seems to be dealing with Arca Swiss.

Good Luck!

Bill O'Connor
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gazwas
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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2012, 05:53:37 PM »
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The only problem with the Arca Swiss product line (other than $$$$) seems to be dealing with Arca Swiss.

Simply not true and spoken like someone who has never dealt with, never mind purchased an Arca camera.  Angry

Yes, the D4 tripod head has had a few teething problems so late getting to market but the biggest problem with the delays in getting Arca-Swiss equipment is the sheer demand. The D4 has a huge waiting list simply because IMO, Arca make the best tripod heads money can buy and lots of people want them.

When recently purchasing my Rm3di I made some enquiries via email regarding technical specifications of the various R bodies and accessories and within the hour I had a reply. Not passed onto some dealer on the make or a receptionist repeating a message or some brief 300mph reply from a product specialist that doesn't address my question (Phase Support) but from Mr Arca-Swiss himself, Martin Vogt.

When, late one afternoon I asked a further, more detailed question via email the following morning my phone rang and who should be calling preferring to speak in person but Mr Martin Vogt. We spoke at great length in perfect English the answer to my questions and much more.

Without doubt, Martin is an extremely busy man but he personally took time out of his day to email, telephone and video call me when purchasing a camera. I have never, ever met the man who designed, never mind owned the company of any other camera gear I own and I consider that level of customer service to be way above and beyond anyones normal expectations.

So when people make these comments it angers me and makes me think if people are having problems then they should be asking questions closer to home and maybe consider switching dealers.
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 04:52:06 AM »
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Hi,
if possible, i would like the conversation to stay on course, and only talk about "technical aspects"
instead of bashing and futilities,

i mean , if the camera is the best choice for what is wanted, the "dealing" with a sales rep is only futile problem...

thanks
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