alternative ways of mounting Sinar shutter on non-Sinar cameras?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by medform-norm, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    We found a Sinar Copal shutter for a steal some time ago. We thought it might come in handy for barrel lenses. However, it won't mount of any of the 4x5 view cameras we have, a Peco Junior and a GVII. Does anyone know on which non-Sinar cameras these things can be grafted? I know it fits Horsemans, but these are even more expensive than, say, an old Norma.
    Somehow it seems a little silly to first buy a shutter and then end up having to buy a complete camera system in order to use the darn thang. But if that's how it is, we might do it. Reluctantly. And feeling a wee bit silly.... :rolleyes:
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've seen them adapted to wooden cameras behind the front standard, but it would probably be easiest just to get an old Sinar F, F1 or Alpina. They're all pretty cheap these days.
     
  3. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    je sais, je sais. If we're patient we'd get an outfit for under $300 on eBay. Somehow the Norma seems easier on the eyes for us, but how are they in terms of use?

    The Alpina doesn't appeal to us at all, and the F's, well, they have these funny sticks sticking out that don't seem stable, even though they might be sturdy as rocks...a bit too much like technical Lego in the eyes of those who grew up around the more old fashioned type colorfull bricks and plates and windows and whatchamacallits.

    say, what about grafting a Sinar front standard on another type monorail, Plaubel preferably, would that be an option?
     
  4. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    If you can make an adaptor to use Sinar lensboards on your camera you can mount the shutter back-to-front: you attach the black plastic/resin bit that looks like a bellows frame to the lensboard adapter, and you mount the lens using the clamps on the shutter that would normally grip the bellows.

    With this reversed setup the shutter blades are a centimeter or so closer to the lens (you lose the thickness of the front carrier frame, and the rebate in the shutter itself) so some lenses that are already mounted for the Sinar shutter may project too far to the rear, or their mounting screws may foul the front of the shutter body. You may also have a problem with very heavy lenses flexing the shutter outwards. However, all the shutter controls are usable and readable and the system has worked pretty well for me.

    The Norma-era kit is beautifully made and can be repaired and adjusted if need be. Sinar still carry parts for the plastic inserts on the rail guides and focussing tracks that are sometimes worn or compressed, as well as small parts like the levels that are sometimes dried or missing. Complete Norma 4x5 kits in good condition are pretty cheap in Europe these days.

    You could in theory mix-and-match Plaubel and Sinar standards, but you will need a hybrid bellows and give the prices of the old monorails I personally wouldn't bother. If you can't make a simple lensboard adapter (how big are Plaubel lensboards?) hacking a spare Plaubel front standard to take Sinar lensboard on the front would be your fastest and simplest route.
     
  5. Trent Westin

    Trent Westin Member

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    Stupid question #1:
    Where I can find informations about how to use the Sinar shutter with my Horseman?
    How does it work?
    It takes the place of a normal lensboard?
    Thank you
    TW
     
  6. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Uhmmm, perhaps try the Horseman company itself? If they're a nice bunch, they'll send you all the documentation you need.

    We've had a similar experience with the people from Plaubel lately. I always was a little afraid to contact them, but I have found out they actually live on the same planet as I do and yes, they're helpful and try to help their customers, even if you don't spend megabucks on a new camera but looking for obsolete parts for some old wreck bearing their name....
     
  7. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Struan, thanks for the extensive answer and your time.

    All the evidence points towards getting a new camera, possible a Norma. (We lost out on a Horseman 450 yesterday at eBay, but I wasn't too sorry, it looked too new). Neither the Plaubel Peco Junior 9x12 nor the GVII can be adapted to take the Sinar shutter as it is simply too big to be fitted, or it would be very much in the way and obstruct movements. We'd need to get an extra Plaubel Peco Universal standard to perform hacks, but that's as silly as getting a Norma, isn't it?

    Reversing the shutter would not be a good option, as we tend to have more heavy than light lenses, the heaviest being a large glass of the Schulze and Billerbeck name which must weight near or more than 1 kg. It would ruin the shutter when mounted to the wrong side of it. Now that would really be the epitome of silliness, wouldn't it?

    I guess it's hunting time then...!

    Norm
     
  8. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Umm, you could get a P2 ???
     
  9. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Ahw man, a P2? Way too new, way too spiffy, way too much like technical Lego, way too expensive for us cheapskates. Remember, I am in this position only and only because that Copal shutter was so darn cheap I couldn't pass on buying it in the vague hope that it would fit the GVII....

    [However, if I'd find a P2 for as cheap as the Copal, I'd think twice before letting it pass. Like on the french forum where someone could buy a Sinar P 8x10 plus lens for under $500....if I was the buyer, I'd feel a little uncomfortable towards the seller.]
     
  10. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I assume that you are talking about the sinar auto aperture shutter. In order to use that shutter you need more than just the shutter, you need the DB or DB-M lensboards matched to your lens and not just matched as per shutter type like copal 0,1 or 3, but f stop matched. Also the distances involved between the lens. DB board and shutter are very precise and any adaptation of a different camera system to make it work is just a waste of time and money. If you are determined to use this type of shutter then I suggest that you buy a Sinar camera.

    One thing that you should know about the auto aperture shutter is that if you intend to use it with slow shutter exposures, i.e. non flash, then you can expect a loss of sharpness due to shutter shake.

    As for the stability of the F model Sinars, they are very stable, not quite as stable as a P or P2. I would suggest a Sinar F2 as it has more rigidity in the front standard than the F1 model, it also has fine focus on the front and back standards.
     
  11. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Hi Early Riser,

    thanks for the info. Our shutter is a very early model, where Sinar did not yet include the f-stop matched feature, so I think we're safe on that. You do make me shake and shudder about the shutter shakes - is it really that bad? In the manual for this shutter on the cameraeccentric website I read that you need to press the shutter release slowly and carefully for all shutter speeds. I thought it would be a little strange if Sinar designed a shutter of which half the indicated exposure times cannot be used seriously - that's so not like the Swiss mentality. Is there anyone here who has witnessed this as a real and serious problem, even to the extent of abandoning the shutter?
     
  12. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I own 2 auto aperture shutters, an expolux shutter system and at the time about 12 lenses on DB boards. After testing the middle to long lenses on the auto Aperture shutter at the 1 sec to 1/15th second speeds, I went out and bought copal shutters for my lenses.
    Yes the shutter shake is that bad. It's a huge shutter. With short lenses the problem may not be noticeable, but with longish lenses it's a real problem.

    In the studio environment, using strobes, the speed of operation and conveniences of this shutter are huge, in the field it's a problem. Also it's a pretty delicate device and most people do not carry a spare auto aperture shutter in the field, so if the shutter decides to jam or break, your shoot is over. You also need to carry spares for the connecting cable and the special cable release (not similar to the standard type release) last time I bought a set of these cables it cost me $300. In my opinion this shutter is designed for the studio only.
     
  13. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    I am not trying to be argumentative, but my experience has been different from earlyriser's. My most-used lenses are 18" and 240 mm process lenses in barrel, which I shoot in the field: mostly hiking around my local town, or the mountains and bogs of northwest Scotland. In the evenings I use a lenscap shutter, but in daylight I use an older green Sinar copal shutter. I haven't had any shake from the use of the shutter (wind and midges are another matter). I use a Gitzo 13xx tripod with no centre column and an old battered Sinar pan-tilt head.

    I would prefer to have modern multicoated lenses in their own shutters, but the Sinar is a great way for me to use quality barrel lenses and save money for film and travel. I have also recently developed the first stages of Galli syndrome (sometimes known as Tjugenitis in Europe) and the Sinar Copal shutter is a godsend for mucking about with oddball brassies.

    It is also perhaps worth pointing out that even with the more modern shutters, you don't have to use the full aperture coupling. Provided your lens mounting doesn't foul any of the shutter's mechanisms, it won't care what you put in front of it. The only real problem is with buying DB-mounted lenses with no manual aperture over-ride: these must be used with the shutter. The older Norma-era mountings and modern DBM boards with the white aperture ring both allow you to use their lenses either with or without the shutter.

    The shutters are surprisingly robust. A 1 kg lens probably won't damage it unless it has a very long tube, and if you extend the rail you can always prop up the front of the lens with a bit of stiff foam. Here's a picture of a truly giant lens mounted in front of a reversed Sinar Copal:

    http://homepage2.nifty.com/akiyanroom/redbook-e/collection/moriya.html

    One further technique: you can mount the shutter on an intermediate standard and thus use it behind lenses even when they are not in suitable lensboards. This can be useful if you have large lenses that would be badly out of balance when cantilevered out in front of the standard, or if you want to test a lens in a dud shutter without re-mounting it. You will need a second bellows to seal the space between the lens and the shutter: I just use my bag bellows.

    I think earlyriser's caution is warranted, but with the older Norma shutters now going for so little, they are worth thinking about for non-traditional purposes.
     
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  15. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    Trent: in normal use the Sinar Copal shutters attach to the back of the front standard. On the front face is a plastic or resin flange that is the same shape as a bellows frame: this clips into the back side of the front standard after you have detached the bellows. On the back of the shutter are two clips exactly like the ones on a standard, and you re-attach the bellows to them. For me, in the field, putting the shutter on the camera takes less time than getting it out of the protective wrapping in my rucksack.

    In principle, the shutters are compatible with any camera that has a Sinar-style lensboard attachment. This includes the Horseman cameras. In practice there can be problems. The shutter is larger than a lensboard, so depending on the design of your camera's standards it may not fit, or it may restrict some movements. Also, not all cameras with Sinar-compatible lensboards have Sinar-compatiable bellows frames, in which case you would have to use the shutter reversed. I don't think this second point is an issue with Horseman monorails, but I would check before spending money.

    To use the shutter, just fix it open for focussing and composing, shut it before pulling the darkslide, and push slowly and firmly on the custom cabel release. On Sinar cameras you can add a cable from the camera back so that the shutter automatically closes when you insert a darkslide, but I never bother with this. You do need the Sinar custom cable release, but they are not as expensive as they once were, and they are hefty over-engineered things so I don't carry a spare.

    Finally, it is worth mentioning that if something does go wrong with the shutter, or you lose the cable release, it is very easy to just remove it from the camera and take pictures with small apertures, a lenscap and counting elephants. You are not quite so far up the creek without a paddle as you would be with, say, a bunch of lenses front-mounted onto a large conventional shutter.
     
  16. Trent Westin

    Trent Westin Member

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    Thank you,
    I am going to get my Sinar Copal autoshutter. I never used it, but I just asked it back. I will try it on a Horseman LE and drop some lines after my tests...
     
  17. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    Struan, you have an interesting camera set up. I don't want to seem negative about the use of the Auto Ap shutter but after extensive testing of my Auto Ap shutters, a shutter system I have used daily for more than a decade,and as compared to using a standard Copal shutter I found the Sinar Auto Aperture unacceptable for slow shutter speeds with long lenses.

    I mounted the SAA ( the f4 model, I also own the f 5.6 model) to a Sinar P2 4x5 and shot film using the 300mm APO Ronar, 360mm Sironar-S and 480mm APO Ronar. The tests included mounting the camera to a Gitzo 509 tripod, center column removed and base plate used, and a 9' tall 300 pound Foba Astia camera stand, Sinar pan tilit head on both.

    With a 8x loupe there was a noticeable difference in sharpness at slower shutter speeds. Now maybe the greater mass of your rig, 8x10 size( which will require less magnification and therefore shake becomes less visible) and with a very large and heavy lens such as the one that you use, it may have a dampening effect on the shutter's vibration, but on my rig, with no customizing done, that is stock Sinar components assembled in the exact format required by sinar, on a Sinar camera, I had shutter shake. Then again what I consider unacceptable may be acceptable to others.

    The shutter is designed to automatically close the aperture, open and close the shutter when you add or remove the film holder, and cock itself. If you do not use a camera that is compatible with Sinar lensboards,GG backs and bellows, you lose these functions.

    As for the need to carry spare Sinar cable releases it's true that they are hefty, but i've seen many of them break in studio conditions. Counting Elephants will work fine if you tend to do long exposures, as in a few seconds or longer, however it doesn't work so well when you need a 1/8th or 1/30 sec shutter speed. For these reasons and others I decided to go to the added expense of buying copal shutters for my lenses and only use the SAA shutter in the studio.
     
  18. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    All this fancy talk reminds me of why I use a packard shutter on my Deardorff.

    Or a lens cap.

    .
     
  19. claytume

    claytume Member

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    Early Riser

    I appreciate the extensive testing you have done and the point of view you have, having seen the outcome with your own eyes. I too would be expecting to see sharp negs with 15x loupe.

    My question is why would Sinar with the reputation they have sell a shutter system that can't use all the shutter speeds?

    Doesn't make sense to me.

    Clayton
     
  20. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    Early Riser: I think you probably have higher standards than I do. You are using modern glass in a controlled environment, I am mucking about in the field with old, very old and ancient lenses.

    I have a 360 mm convertible Symmar in a Compound 5 shutter that is in a coned lensboard so that it can also be used in front of the Sinar Copal shutter. My 'test' was to see if I could see any difference between shots taken with the two shutters. Louping Provia, I couldn't.

    I would like to switch my barrel lenses to modern lightweight in-shutter equivalents, so I by no means regard lugging a Sinar shutter as optimal, but with current prices and my current budget, it is locally optimal in the sense that it allows me to take photographs here and now. As someone who likes to play with old or oddball lenses it is also a lot more convenient than paying to have them put in shutters, or trying to front mount ahead of something like an Alphax 5.

    PS: To be clear, that APO-Nikkor/Deardorff setup isn't mine. I use a 4x5 Norma.
     
  21. claytume

    claytume Member

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    Just a thought to add what I said above.

    Can you imagine Ford or GM producing a car with 5 gears and saying you can only use the slow speeds?

    Did Sinar ever say not to use the slow speeds?

    Clayton
     
  22. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    Clayton, I don't know why Sinar does what it does, all i can do is see if whatever tools they make do what I need them to do. Here's an example though of Sinar thinking. I bought a Sinar expolux shutter and monitor system. It was listed in their catalog as being capable of giving 1/10th of a stop adjustments. Something you might consider reasonable for a shutter system costing $10,000. After buying the expolux I discovered that the f stops are at best adjustable by 1/3 stop as it's smallest increment, not the 1/10 that was stated in their catalog.

    It was photo expo time and I knew Sinar people would be there. So I went to photo expo and explained the situation to the sinar engineers that were there. They explained to me that moving the aperture with motors only had so much precision and small f stops on lenses were such tiny apertures that they could only guarantee increment accuracy to 1/3rd of a stop. Ok I could see their point, f 45 is a tiny aperture and setting such an aperture with motors could be tricky. However what he said next really floored me, he then told me that it was moot because no one can tell the difference between anything smaller than 1/3 of a stop anyway, and that's why film companies increment their film in thirds. Now by this point in my life i had been a photographer for quite a while, and the standard for brackets for every single studio I knew of was a 1/4 stop. My own push/pull brackets at the lab were done in 1/8th stop increments and to me, and my clients, the differences were always apparent. But anyway, an engineer from Sinar said that no one could tell the difference and that's that.

    So sinar made a $10,000 shutter that did not actually work consistently to the standards of professional photographers, that standard being 1/4 stop bracketing. Most people who buy Sinar Auto aperture shutters are studio photographers. During the 1970's to 1990's probably 95 percent of those photographers primarily used strobe. In the studio using strobes the auto ap shutter is superb, out of doors with a long lens and slow shutter speed, the huge shutter blades vibrate too much.

    When you do a slow shutter speed exposure with a 35mm camera, do you lock up the mirror? All that vibration from a tiny mirror slapping. Compare the size of that mirror to the size of the shutterblades and other moving parts inside an Auto Ap shutter.

    BTW my testing was with an 8x loupe, not a 15x. Nothing looks sharp through a 15x loupe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2006
  23. jhorvat

    jhorvat Member

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    "green" sinar shutter for Cambo SC

    I just purchased a "green", not auto-aperture, Sinar shutter with intention to mount it on a Cambo SC board. It all seemed straightforward when looking at images of the shutter (I am still waiting for its arrival) until I read this thread. Are those two latches on the shuter actually used to hold the bellows, and not the lensboard? But what then holds the Sinar lensboard-there is nothing like that visible on the opposite side of the shutter? I thought it would be these two latches. Checking Cambo web-site, there is a Cambo-Sinar adapter and it also has the latches to hold the lensboard .
    I am quite lost! Joseph

     
  24. jhorvat

    jhorvat Member

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    sorry, I just realized my question has been already answered on the previous page. I just started using this forum and didn't notice the page numbers at the bottom of the page. Joseph
     
  25. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    I still forget. What is that thing that goes first as you age??

    Welcome to APUG Joseph.

    For what it's worth, I have eliminated the Sinar shutter from my 4x5 field kit. Not because I get better photographs, but because I can work more quickly without it, and it cuts down on pack weight - and bulk. I still use and love it for footling about with old and oddball lenses.
     
  26. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    [​IMG] Here I show you how I have a solution for my Burke & James it needs a second tripod and a frontstandart and the short rail of the Sinar F 1!
    /Users/arminseeholzer/Desktop/Burke + James/B&J goes Sinar.jpg