Sinar or rail hybrid ULF

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike A, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    I've been doing a little research regarding the ULF rail based cameras people are putting together out there. Most of the cameras seem to start with a Sinar P2 as a donor and then the appropriate format back is added. http://www.glennview.com/ has a kit for the format size I'm interested in with some posted pictures and I am aware there is a guy who made an 8x20 using a rail base design posted over on http://www.mamutphoto.com/

    Are there any members that have used or made something like this? Does the donor rail camera need to be a Sinar or are they the best candidate do to there beefy design?

    Any comments would be helpful.

    Mike
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think Jorge is working on such an adaptation. Maybe he'll chime in here.

    The attractions of the P or P2 are that it's sturdy and has precise movements including yaw-free asymmetric tilts and swings, and the mode of attachment is simple--just a post on the rear standard bearer and a set screw on the back, and you can cannibalize a defunct Sinar bellows for the front bellows frame, and it won't in any way prevent you from using the camera in the normal way. You can also add as much rail as you want easily, and another tripod mount if necessary. You can also attach two tripod mounts to a baseplate attached to one tripod head for more support than a single mount, but more flexibility than a two-tripod arrangement.

    Cameras that have a U-shaped support for the rear standard require that you make a wider U-shaped bracket for the ULF back. Cameras with an L-shaped bracket might make it difficult to center the ULF back properly with the front standard, requiring a new L-shaped bracket. The Sinar P and P2 avoid these complications, because you can drill the hole on the back for the mounting post on the standard bearer anywhere you want to.
     
  3. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Exactly what David said...

    Richard Wasserman
     
  4. David

    David Member

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    I use the Sinar P as a platform for both 8x20 and 11x14. I've sent some photos to Jorge and I understand he is working it out for a 12x20. Using the P or P2 is a really beautiful system. I'd be happy to provide more details if requested. Also here is a web site that has some images of the 8x20:
    http://www.mamutphoto.com/content/view/59/43/lang,fr/
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Member

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    That platform looks very stable, but how portable is it?

    Is the camera itself a Korona or something you built?

    Sandy
     
  6. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys, I think this fellow http://www.glennview.com/sinar.htm in my home town no less, has the Sinar ULF based system worked out nicely though a bit on the pricey side. Now if I could just get a look at one.

    Mike
     
  7. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Mike,
    I should have the 7x17 Sinar camera Richard Ritter made for me in a few days. I'l let you know when I receive it and you can come take a look. I think it will be at least as nice as the Glennview product, actually probably nicer. The bellows should be better and it has a bail back. It was also MUCH less expensive.

    For everyone else- I'll post photos of it as soon as I can.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  8. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Richard,

    Please post photos as soon as you can. Richard is also going to make the back for my 7x17 ARCA-SWISS conversion. I chose to use the ARCA-SWISS as the basis for my 7x17 camera because I previously built a smaller 4x10 version and am extremely pleased with the way it turned out. It is an absolute joy to use. I think a 7x17 based on an ARCA is probably more compact and possibly lighter than one based on a Sinar (assuming similar features and specs in terms of bellows draw, etc.), but there is a LOT of used Sinar gear turning up on eBay these days.

    Be it ARCA or Sinar, I like the idea of a ULF camera that rides on a modern monorail chassis. Rigidity, bellows extension and movements are all superior to an 80 year old banquet camera, and given what used Sinar gear is selling for on eBay these days, probably cheaper to boot. It's also easy to get accessories (extension rails, lensboards, etc.). Heck, with the Sinar you're already set-up to use barrel lenses with the Sinar behind-the-lens shutter, too. I plan to mostly use lenses in shutters with my camera, but I do have a Sinar shutter that I have adapted to work with my ARCA-SWISS.

    Which Sinar did you use as the base for your camera? Mine is an amalgamation of ARCA-SWISS parts from various cameras.

    Kerry
     
  9. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Kerry,
    I hope to have the camera next week and I'll post photos as soon as I receive it. I used an 8x10 Sinar C, (C2?) as a base. It has a P rear standard and an F2 front and I got it VERY cheaply. Richard used a 7x17 back from one of his new cameras and a 36 inch bellows from Camera Bellows in England. I currently use a 4x5 Sinar Norma (I don't backpack) and really enjoy the precision and ease of a modular monorail. I don't think the 7x17 is going to be a problem for me to move around, but I use a Sherpa Cart to transport my LF camera gear so a little extra weight and bulk don't matter to me.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  10. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Thanks Richard, I'm eager to check it out. The reply I got fom Glennview was than encouraging.

    Mike
     
  11. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Richard,

    Sounds like the perfect combination of Sinar standards. You get the rigidity and load handling ability of the P rear standard, combined with a lighter weight, but still still rigid F2 front standard.

    It sounds like we headed down very similar paths. I'm having Richard make the back for my camera (but I am making the rear "box") and I plan to order my bellows from Camera Bellows. The ARCA-SWISS front bellows frame is on it's way to me from Percision Camera Works and should be here early next week. At which point, I'll ship it off to Camera Bellows to get the bellows made. I think I'll limit my bellows extension to about 28". The longest lens I current have is a 600mm Fujinon C that only needs 22.6" of extension to focus at infinity. If I ever do need to go longer, I can add an intermediate standard (which I already have) and an extension bellows (which I also already have) as well as a longer rail section (also, have). So, in my base configuration, the camera will be lightweight, compact and able to handle lenses up to 600mm. If I ever need more extension, I've already got everything I need.

    I do plan to hike, and maybe even backpack, with my camera. So, a compact, lightweight configuration is a requirement for me (another reason I chose the ARCA-SWISS).
     
  12. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Kerry,
    Just curious, will you be shooting color in 7x17? If so, what film and printing method please? I currently only use b&w, but color has been whispering to me lately, although a smaller format might be more sensible. Did I really just write "sensible"??? Who am I trying to kid, I must be talking about someone else...

    Richard Wasserman
     
  13. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Richard,

    I plan to shoot black and white with the 7x17. I'll stick to 4x10 for color.

    Kerry
     
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  15. David

    David Member

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    Hi Sandy,
    The camera was (is) a Korona. I appreciated the weight but it was rickety when set up - especially in windy conditions. The conversion was a matter of necessity. It isn;t the most portable although I have backpacked with it. It is more easily transportable using a nice three wheel pram or stroller designed for jogging. With it I can go good distances over fairly rough terrain. It is a joy to be able to use the movements, stability and rigidity of the Sinar system, kind of like having a real camera instead of fighting a wobbly one. The weight trade off is one I have gladly made.
    Cheers,
    David
     
  16. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    David,

    Just out of curiosity, how much does your camera weigh in the 8x20 configuration?

    Kerry
     
  17. roodpe

    roodpe Member

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    Kerry,

    Are you planning on using F-line function carriers with your 7x17? I would think they are strong enough for 7x17. They would probably qualify as strength-to-weight champions in that configuration.

    I am assembling a 14x20 camera (deardorff back) on a sinar rail based system. I shelved the project for long period but my new year's resolution is to finish it by the end of the summer. I recently picked up a sinar 8x10 c2 (p2 rear/f2 front) to use as the base. I will use a sinar camera support that mates a p/p2 bearer to a camera socket. The camera support has 3 holes that can be used to mount it to a mahogany frame that I made to hold the back.

    I think using a sinar has some advantages over the arca for larger cameras and that is why I went this way. I had seen Dave's corona/sinar conversion at Michael & Paula's workshop and it is a practical camera.



    Peter
     
  18. David

    David Member

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    I had no idea after using it for four years so I just weighed it. 11 Kg (24.2 pounds). Part of that weight is the extra Sinar base plate that allows two uprights to hold the rail, imperative from my point of view to prevent what would be an inevitable twisting action without it. The weight is camera only and not things like film holders, etc.
     
  19. David

    David Member

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    Just curious about this as I haven't had the opportunity to attend Michael and Paula's workshop and didn't have my camera there when I did visit them. Thanks.
     
  20. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Peter,

    I think the F-Line function carriers will be able to handle the 7x17 I am making. I'm not sure how much bigger they can reasonably handle. They were only designed to support 8x10 (which is really a 10x10 back), but like everything ARCA they are very well made and can probably handle a bit more than their original design target.

    Although I have three lenses that cover 12x20, at the present time, I have no plans to go bigger than 7x17. Of course, a year ago, I had no plans to go bigger than 4x10. So, you never know...

    Kerry
     
  21. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Dave,

    Thanks for posting the info on your camera. As I plan to hike, and maybe even do a few overnight backpacking trips with my 7x17, weight and bulk are more of an issue for me. It's not really an apples:apples comparison, but I expect my completed 7x17 camera to weigh about 12 lbs. give or take a half pound.

    Kerry
     
  22. roodpe

    roodpe Member

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    Just curious about this as I haven't had the opportunity to attend Michael and Paula's workshop and didn't have my camera there when I did visit them. Thanks.

    David,

    When I took Michael and Paula's workshop, there was a gentlemen who had a korona rear frame mounted on a sinar P system. I believe it was either 8x20 or 12x20. This was several years back. I just assumed it was you since your description was nearly identical to his camera. Sorry for he confusion.

    Peter
     
  23. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    It seems everyone adding info here are knowledgable Sinar system users, so let me ask this. On my ebay hunt what should I be looking for when building a 11x14 system?

    For carriers is there a special 8x10 carrier? or are the F Line, P and P2 carriers standardized to carry 4x5 and 8x10 standards?

    I think starting with the carriers is a good place to begin building, or should I begin buy having the back made?

    Mike
     
  24. roodpe

    roodpe Member

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  25. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Richard and Kerry,

    Even though Richard Ritter is working on his own 10 pound 7x17 you have had him make Sinar and Arca conversions. Could you discuss why you have made this choice? Could you give your impressions of why RR has taken time away from his project to work on what to an outsider seems like a competing version?

    I am looking for a light weight 7x17 for landscape work that I can carry in my baby jogger when I am not shooting my 8 pound Phillips 8x10 Advantage. Unfortunately we were fighting an insurance claim while Dick Phillips still had 7x17s. Now Dick Phillips' 7x17 cameras are sold and I need to look elsewhere. All ideas welcome.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    John Powers
     
  26. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    John,

    A large part of Richard's business is camera repair and custom fabrication. Richard has always been a great resource for helping large format photographers with their specialized needs. Hopefully, this won't change once Richard's own cameras hit the market. He's a unique resource and without his skills the LF community wouldn't be the same.

    Just to be clear, Richard is not making a conversion kit for me. He is simply supplying the 7x17 back - which will use the same components as the one he is making for his own camera. I am making/assembling the rest of the parts.

    As to why I wanted a conversion rather than one of Richard's new cameras (or any other current 7x17 camera), it was a personal choice. I have previously made a similar 4x10 conversion for my ARCA-SWISS camera and have been extremely pleased with the way it turned out. When I started considering the 7x17 format, my first instinct was to make a super-sized version of my 4x10. Given that I already own a whole slew of ARCA-SWISS components, it seemed like a natural progression to me. I already had 1/2 the camera - and lens boards and other ARCA-SWISS accessories. So, it was also the most cost effective solution for me. Since I am used to using ARCA-SWISS cameras in 4x5 and 4x10, there will be a lot less of a learning curve with my new 7x17. All the controls are in the same old familiar locations. So, I won't have to spend time getting comfortable with a new camera.

    Compared to Richard's camera, mine will be a couple pounds heavier and have a shorter maximum bellows extension. However, mine will have features like self-arresting geared front rise and geared front axis tilt not present on Richard's camera. I was able to fine tune the design of my camera to meet my specific needs. I selected the features I wanted and matched the min/max extension to the lenses I plan to use with the camera. It's a one-of-a-kind solution that best matches my own personal needs - just like my 4x10 Lotus/ARCA-SWISS hybrid.

    If I was buying new, and didn't already have a very complete ARCA-SWISS system, I would definitely consider Richard's new camera. It will be one of the ligthest (perhaps THE lightest) 7x17 on the market. It will also be the least expensive new 7x17 available. For comparison, it will cost hundreds less than the Shen-Hao 7x17, weigh over three pounds less, and have a 50% longer maximum extension.

    Kerry