Adapting 4 x 5 Sinar P to 8 x 10 (and 5 x 7)

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Paul Johns, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Paul Johns

    Paul Johns Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have a Sinar P Large format camera. Currently i am using 135mm and 210 mm lenses.

    How do I go about converting this camera so I can take 8 x 10 (or 5 x 7) photographs?

    Can I still use the 2 lenses I already have?

    What extra items do I require (eg. back, lens board, film holders etc.)

    Any information is appreciated.

    In addition. can anyone recommend a quality polaroid 4 x 5 film with negative?
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,165
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    8x10 and 5x7 conversion backs are available, but they are not cheap. They each consist mainly of a tapered bellows and appropriate size rear assembly. Probably the best bet is to buy an 8x10 adapter kit and a 5x7 back to put on it.
    Your 210 should cover 5x7 easily. Some of this length cover 8x10 when stopped down, many do not. Unless the 135 is an extreme wide angle it will not cover either of the additional formats.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,005
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The best way to convert formats on a Sinar P is with different format kits that include a rear format frame, back, and bellows, and they come standard in 4x5", 5x7" and 8x10". For 8x10" note that the metering back, format frame, and bellows are larger than the non-metering versions of the same. The rear standard bearer has a peg that fits into a hole on the format frame, and the format frame clamps to the peg with a thumbscrew.

    The front standard and lensboards are always the same.

    There is also a larger 8x10" standard bearer, but many 4x5" P and P2 cameras already have it. I think the easiest way to distinguish the smaller one from the larger is that the larger has a knob on the left side when viewed from the rear that locks the swing movement on the rear standard.

    There is also an 8x10"->4x5" reducing back that fits the non-metering back. I'm not sure if there is one for the 8x10" metering back. With a reducing back, you can't take advantage of the asymmetric movements on a P, but it's a handy way of shooting a 4x5" Polaroid in the midst of an 8x10" shoot, or using 4x5" with the longer 8x10" bellows.

    As to whether you can use the lenses you have with other formats, it will depend on whether they have a large enough image circle to cover those formats.

    There is no 4x5" positive/negative instant film anymore, except for what Polaroid Type 55 is still around to be had at a very high price. If you want to shoot instant film, there are a few varieties of Fuji instant pack film, but they do not produce a usable negative.
     
  4. Paul Johns

    Paul Johns Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thank you David and Noel. I am thinking that I will concentrate on getting the 8 x 10 items. We have a trade web site in New Zealand called trademe....however, I am going to have to look at ebay as very few large format items are listed. Regards. Paul
     
  5. Paul Johns

    Paul Johns Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have enjoyed looking at your 4 x 5 photographs and interesting to see the 8 x 10 Polaroid. Do you still do the 8 x 10Polaroid (or is film hard to get)?
    I have to get my film from B & H...I live in New Zealand.
    Do you have many 4 x 5's that I can easily see?
    pauljohns@slingshot.co.nz is my contact...if this makes it any easier.

    Do you prefer lrge. format over digital?
    with thanks.
    Paul.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,005
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    8x10" polaroid film has been discontinued for a while, but shortly after it was discontinued, the price became astronomical, so I sold off my 8x10" Polaroid processor and filmholders. It was a beautiful material.

    Here are more 4x5" shots on my flickr site, though none shot with the Sinar (mostly with a Linhof Tech V, one with a Linhof Tech II, and I've also used a 4x5" Gowland PocketView)--

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/tags/4x5/

    Here are a few more 4x5's on my website--

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And also this page is all handheld 4x5" work with the Linhof Tech V and a strobe on a bracket--

    http://www.echonyc.com/~goldfarb/photo/halloween/index.htm

    This was made with a Linhof 6x7 rollfilm holder on the Sinar 4x5" sliding back on the Sinar 8x10-->4x5 reducing back on the 8x10" Sinar P, which sounds insane, but I kept the 8x10" Sinar P set up all the time on a studio stand at the time, and swapping formats and configurations on a Sinar P is a very quick operation--

    [​IMG]

    Here's a crop from an 8x10" on Ektapan made with the 8x10" Sinar P--

    [​IMG]

    I prefer large format film over smaller formats and digital for most things, but I use what makes sense in any given situation.
     
  7. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,204
    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Paul,

    I'm a kiwi with a Sinar P kit that I've accumulated over the last few years via Trademe, Pro Gear in Parnell (AK) and my own home built bits

    I started with an 8x10, then got a 4x5, found some Norma and F bits in a friends car boot (!) then realizing I had enough rail, bellows and bits and bobs built a 11x14" portrait only film holder for it (using the 8x10 rear standard).

    I think having been around the NZ shops and trademe quite a bit you're not going to find an 8x10" and especially not a 5x7" conversion kit... Likelihood is that you'll find an 8x10" complete kit and buy that and then pilfer your 4x5 for parts. Eventually ending up with crazy cam like these guys:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    16x20" !!!

    Best of Luck
     
  8. cdholden

    cdholden Member

    Messages:
    751
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David,
    I know this is an old thread, but still relevant.
    I'm new to the Sinar system (as of today!) with an 8x10 P. Why is there the limitation with reducer backs? I'll be shooting more 5x7 than 8x10, and was thinking a reducer back would be cheaper than a conversion kit.
    If the reducer back is on the same plane as the 8x10 frame, and the 8x10 frame is mounted to the bearers, what changes to remove the advantage of asymmetric movements between 8x10 and the smaller format reducers?
    The film plane is still perpendicular to the bearer. What am I missing?

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,005
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    With a reducing back, the tilt and swing axes don't line up with the dotted lines on the groundglass, and in fact may not even be anywhere on the groundglass.

    One of the main attractions of a Sinar P is that you can focus on the area that coincides with the dotted line (presuming your subject falls somewhere on the dotted line), then tilt or swing, and the plane of focus rotates around the dotted line. If the axis is somewhere outside the groundglass area, you can't do that.

    If your subject doesn't happen to fall anywhere on the dotted line, you can use rise/fall/shift to move the axis, and then move the standard back to recompose without changing the tilt and swing angles, though you may need to refocus.

    Note that this only works on the rear standard, so if you want your tilts and swings on the front standard for the focus plane, you can use the protractor scales to apply the corresponding movement to the front standard and set the rear standard back to zero.
     
  10. cdholden

    cdholden Member

    Messages:
    751
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the quick response.
    I don't want to appear ignorant, but I'm feeling that way now. What is this "dotted line"? I've got a third party ground glass with grid markings, but no dotted lines. In my possibly broken logic, if the reducer back is centered and parallel to the larger back, it should be in in line with the tilt/swing of the larger back.
    Can you recommend any documentation that may help with learning the black art of my new camera? While I've used tilt and swing in the past, they have been from the axis and not the base... and nothing asymmetric.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,005
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    With a Sinar, you really want a Sinar glass. There are dotted lines indicating the location of the swing and tilt axis, and even on a Sinar F, the dotted lines are necessary for using the swing/tilt calculator.

    So imagine you've got an 8x10" back on a Sinar P. The swing and tilt axes are around 1.5 inches (from memory, without taking the camera out of the case) from the bottom and right edges of the groundglass, as indicated by the dotted lines. Try tilting and swinging the rear standard, and you'll see about where the axes are. Now imagine you've got a 4x5" reducing back. The swing and tilt axes will be outside the 4x5" frame, so you can't focus with a loupe on the axis. You can make do, of course, but the main attraction of asymmetric tilts and swings on a Sinar P is this feature, which makes it very easy to find the best tilt and swing angles.
     
  12. cdholden

    cdholden Member

    Messages:
    751
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David,
    I understand now. I'll find a Sinar GG to see what these dotted lines are all about.
    Thank you for clarifying this.
    Chris