Sinar F and F1 portability

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Alexz, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    How portable can be Sinar F or F1 setup comparative, say, to Linhof Color Kardan 45s ? I notice quite a few F and F1 around online, so just wondering, if I was considering (and still do) Color Kardan 45s instead of field folder (for landscapes/ architecture, i.e. short distance hikes out of the car), perhaps Sinar F or F1 will be as good as this Linhof in portability (and usability) ?

    What do you say ?
     
  2. mark

    mark Member

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    I have no experience with the linhoff but the F1 is way portable. It folds down quite nicely and sets up about as fast as my feild camera. It is lighter than my field camera as well. I have a Prinzdorff field camera.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you're comparing it to something like a Linhof monorail other than the Technikardan, then sure the F is portable. The Alpina and F were designed for the field and the Norma and P for the studio.

    You can unclip the bellows at one end, turn both standards parallel to the rail, and make it flat for transport, and with the detents it's pretty quick to set back up, and while it's not the lightest camera out there, you could decide that the conveniences of the Sinar are worth a couple extra pounds.
     
  4. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thank you David, Mark.
    I was almost set for Linhof Color Kardan 45s but lost two Ebay "battles" for this one, however there are few F and F1 available at KEH.
    Would be great to figure F and F1 specifications as for their weight, pictures and dimensions in folded condition for hiking, any additional practical info/advises on portability of F and F1.
    My goals are lanscape and non-professional external architecture (and some occasional environmental portraiture), however no long distance hikes are anticipated.
     
  5. Donsta

    Donsta Member

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    I'd definitely consider an F2 instead of an F1 if your budget goes that far - separate locks make the F2 a lot easier to use.
     
  6. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thanks for the advise.
    I'm not familiar with F2 at all (not that I'm really familiar with F and F1, but at least read few times about these :smile: ). What are these additional locks on F2 and why they make phtographer's life a lot easier then F and F1 ? Does it relate to its portability or usage convenience ?

    In fact, my budget can hardly be stratched over 1400-1500 US$, perhaps by only 150-200$ at most. This is exactly the amount I hope to fetch out of my MF gear that is up for sale right now. And this should cover the camera + 1 or 2 lenses few film holders and necessary small accessories and preferrably including 6x9 roll-fim back.
    Somehow I suspect F2 would leave no room for anythnig but the camera itself for that kind of amount... :-(
     
  7. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I am not sure that this will be useful, but I am wondering if you might also want to look at a Cambo. They are certainly not of the quality of a Sinar or Linhof, but they tend to sell for a lot less and you will be able to save more of your budget for lenses, which is where the money will be best spent, in my mind. I have one of the SC type models, it weighs about 7 lbs, so I guess a little over 2 Kg. It has a full range of motions but it is not geared. Mine does have scales to show amounts of movement in cm and degrees, and movements are very smooth and there are zero detents with all of the movements. The camera cost me $200 here on APUG. There is a pretty good chance that you will end up getting another camera once you become familiar with what your needs are, if you do, you will be able to sell the Cambo for at least a big chunk of what you paid and get a model that fits your style better.

    One thing is that it doesn't pack extremely well. I put my supplies in the trunk of my car and the camera in the back seat, and I can lug everything that I need to where I am setting up. I would never recommend this camera as a backpacking camera, but for working out of the car trunk, it is just fine for me.
     
  8. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thank you Paul, this indeed may also be consideration although I suspect (jsut by looking at several pictures of the camera) is packs more bulky then Lonhof Color Kardan 45s, Sinar F1 or even Horseman LE. Though I may be wrong...
    Frankly Cambo line doesn't look as neat and rigid as the Linhof or Sinar mentioned above, although this feeling may be delusive by just looking pictures of these cameras, however at 200$ ?? Sounds more then attractive...
    However I would still be willing to be able to pack the camera for at least short walks out of the car (say, up to 1 km away), not sure whether this Cambo line allows to eb packed into backpack bearing 1-2 lenses and necessary accessories...
     
  9. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Mine won't, so it probably won't fit the bill for you. Mine does not have standards that will turn 90 degrees to pack flat, like what you are looking at apparently will do. (At least I don't think so, I should check that, really)

    It is probably not as rigid either, I mostly bought it because I was on an extremely limited budget and it was the best camera I could find for that kind of money.

    Good luck,

    Paul.
     
  10. Bosaiya

    Bosaiya Member

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    I've packed an F2 round a bit. It's not light. But it is possible and as mentioned, it has its uses that may outweigh (!) the extra weight. You can find them relatively cheap on the auction sites ($650 or so w/o lens).
     
  11. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    I have a F1 with an upgraded front standard to F2 with a rail extension, lens boards, fresnel screen etc. If you are interested email me.

    Oh and they weigh about 10# so you can figure out the rest from there.
     
  12. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    About 10 years ago, I had a Sinar P 4x5. This is about the same size as the F models, but it's much heavier. Anyway, I built a box that would hold the camera hanging from the rail. I would than strap this wooden box onto a back pack frame, and off I'd go. You can buy cases that hold the camera in a similar way, but they are a little pricey. I built my box with 1/4 inch plywood, fiberglass cloth and epoxy. It's waterproof, rigid, fairly light, and it doesn't scream "Please steal the very expensive photo equipment."
     
  13. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    It's worth mentioning - gently - that most LF photographers are unfit middle-aged men, and that tends to skew the definition of 'portable'. My take is that if you can manage an overnight backpacking rucksack, with shared tent, cooking equipment, food and water, you will have no problems whatsoever with a monorail camera on day hikes. If you can manage a MF outfit in a shoulder bag, an LF kit in a rucksack will not present any difficulties in terms of pure transport.

    I use a Sinar Norma in the field. It's bulky, but the weight is no so very great and I value the versatility and the easy use of long lenses. For me, the best thing about the Sinars is their ability to compress down onto a single six-inch rail. The camera becomes a compact brick that can easily be stowed away and carried. Some of the cheap monorail options have rather long minimum rail lengths, which makes field use much more awkward. Even so, if you are working a few hundred yards from a car, even these are not that hard to carry.
     
  14. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thank you very much Stuan. Your point is very important and by far one of the most valuable to consider.
    In fact, I'm probably one of the yongest getting into LF - I'm 33. Although not a big guy (only 1.65m tall) I cannot lament on my physical condition (thanks to God) and I'm thankful to my former army training that taught me to love to get through even tough physical load if the result promises to be fruitful. I don't mind lugging my LawePro backpack full with professional 35mm setup weighting in total over 12 kg (approx 25 lb) for a day-long hikes including travels abroad if I anticipate bringing back home a worthy selection of slides. Physical load isn't usually contraint me unless it is really unreasonable and unmanageable. What would bother me however is if the LF setup will not fit into backpack dimension-wise (including all necessary accessories and 1-3 lenses) cause I hate to lug multiple bags (easy to forget, lose or get stolen).
    BTW, you mentioned yuo SInar has only 6-inch ling rail. Does that mean that the rail is that short because of being telescopic (or can be easily disassambled into two pieces) or you only shoot wide angle (no long rail is required) ? As far as I realize, regular portable monorails are featured by about 18" long rails at least (such as Linhof Colro Kardan 45s, for instance).

    Alex
     
  15. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    Sinar rails are infinitely extendable. A standard camera comes with a 12" 'base' (30 cm) rail, and that can be added to with extensions that come in 6", 12" and 18" lengths.

    I tend to backpack with the camera compressed down onto a 6" extension rail, and carry the 12" base rail in my pack. The 6" allows me to use my 90 mm and 150 mm lenses, and I add the extension if I want to do close ups or when I want to use my 240 mm and 465 mm lenses. I have an 18" rail too, but leave it at home as I would only need it for close-ups with the 465 mm lens and those are rare indeed.

    Everything I need to use the camera with one lens, including the base rail, dark cloth, meter, toolkit, loupe, film, LEE filter kit and lensshade, and a bag bellows fits into a Samsonite shoulder bag. That gets dropped into the top of my rucksack. Underneath goes a padded bag with the other lenses, and I sometimes have another padded bag with a Sinar shutter and other lensboard-sized accessories in it. Tripod goes on the ski-straps at the side of the pack, with head and rail-clamp attached.

    It would all fit in an 'alpine' day pack of 45-50 liters, but the one I have is deeply waisted and the Samsonite won't quite fit. I like having it so I can dump the main pack and go boulder hopping with a complete camera outfit, so I just use my bigger 80 liter pack. I have never weighed it, but even with water, foul weather clothes and lunch I don't feel like I'm backpacking.

    I have experimented with various forms of packing, and the length of the rail tended to dictate everything else. A extendable or folding rail helps a lot. I tried the standards-parallel-to-the-rail trick, but it doesn't really work on a Norma, and in any case, the resulting package is much more delicate and extended than my compact brick. YMMV of course.
     
  16. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thanks Straun. Well, frankly, few pictures worth throusands of words.. :smile:)
    I would love to see how it packs down that way, to bad hasn't find such kind fo picturs online so far...
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If I wasn't 5000 miles away from my Sinar F and digital camera, I'd snap a picture for you. Just imagine the camera compressed as it would be with a short lens, but with a short rail underneath. You can leave the tripod base on the tripod to save bulk in your pack, and snap the rail in and out of it, quick-release style.
     
  18. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thanks David.
    Does that mean you don't get the bellows off and swing the the standards in parallel with the rail for packing into the bag ? (aka Linhof Color Kardan 45s - style) ?
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You can do it either way, depending on what's convenient for your particular bag.
     
  20. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    Sorry Alexz, I thought I was going to be able to snap a couple of pics of my Sinar, but real life has intruded on my surfing to a disgusting extent recently. I'll try to get round to it, but no promises for a week or so.

    There are three ways of folding an F-model Sinar. One is to compress everything onto a six-inch rail, as I do, giving a brick that is roughly 18x20x30 cm in size. The second is to remove the bellows and turn the standards parallel to the rail, producing a flat-pack that is 40x30x5 cm. The third is to unhoook the bellows from one standard, fold it down onto the rail, apply a little rise to the second standard and fold it down on top of the first. This gives a thicker, slightly shorter flat-pack, but is faster to set up and you don't need to find a place to put the bellows.

    The third option requires that rise be below tilt, so it won't work on all monorails. The second requires 90 degrees of swing on both standards, so ditto. I find the first easy, simple and more compatible with life in a rucksack, but in the end it's a matter of taste.
     
  21. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    Well, with all these replies, I think I can no longer use my usual excuse for why I can't get my Sinar F2 outside the door more often. It'll have to be, "But dawn is so friggin' early these days!"... :rolleyes:
    Thanks to all.