What about a Sinar Norma

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jfdupuis, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. jfdupuis

    jfdupuis Member

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    Hi all,

    There is this nice Sinar Norma 4x5 for sale and it kind a bugging me. I've never touch a LF camera, but I think it might be fun to use. For now, I'm enjoying my MF camera a lot. I think that what I like the most is looking at the ground glass. I don't know why, but it seems addictive. As I like to do nature and landscape photography, looking at a bigger ground glass could be ever better. However, I think that some gain in the picture quality must over come the trouble involve with carrying and setting up LF camera.

    Is doing LF photography really rewarding over MF ? If so, is it possible to do hiking with this type of camera and what should be a decent price for a camera like that with 4 lens (90,135,180,240) ?

    Thanks, Jeff
     
  2. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    If you can get a good price - BUY IT - LF is addictive, you'll discover tilts especially with nature/landscape they add another dimension to your process - you'll be heading towards an 8x10 in no time (and have some of the camera already)...

    If you are like me you'll find two lenses you like and stick with them, you can always sell the other two to make up the costs ...

    Sinars are lovely cameras, the Norma being older and not as 'techy' as the P models - but a damn sexy (and lightish weight) piece of gear ...
     
  3. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    What you will get WITH it are more deliberate photo's, made at a slown down pace and great negatives and slides.
    4x5 and 8x10 is adictive, I know, am into it for the past 25 odd years.

    If the price is right to you: go for it and start a new learning curve.

    Peter

    Sinar P2 4x5 and 8x10, Shen Hoa 4x5
     
  4. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    Agree, the Norma is a great camera. Its controls fall to hand easily, it's versatile, and there's one in the Museum of Modern Art for industrial design. If they're loose they can be easily adjusted or rebuilt (caution, don't adjust unless you know how).

    They can be packed or carried pretty easily, and people usually buy a 6" rail and slide both standards on to it for packing. A solid 4x5 Norma will be around $400-500 by itself. We can't tell from the description of lenses because their prices will depend on manufacturer and model, age, condition, maximum aperture, condition, single or multicoating, condition...

    If it is a good price, I'd go for it. It's fully depreciated so you won't lose anything if you decide to sell it.

    Cheers, Steve
     
  5. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I can assemble two separate Sinar P's now - a 4x5 and a 8x10/11x14 combo and have a Norma front standard somewhere laying about with missing knobs, thinking about getting a full norma in 8x10 for travel...

    Dang! I was in MOMA last year in the industrial section and didn't see it, but I think there may have been renovations going on at the time - nice to know I have a piece of it at home :wink:

    Not that it means that much (tools don't make the photographer) but if you are a subscriber you can search the galleries for 'norma' - you'll find some great imagery in there
     
  6. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I have 3 large format cameras and my Norma is far and away my favorite. It is sturdy, intuitive, precise, and a joy to work with. Also, because it is modular it can be configured to do just about anything you want it to. It's also pretty. What more could anyone want in a camera? It's not quite as easy to transport as a folding field camera, but it can certainly be carried in a backpack and is not terribly heavy. Did I mention that I like mine a lot?

    Richard Wasserman
     
  7. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Just adding a different note:
    Are you missing camera movements now?
    You specifically asked about carrying it into the landscape. No large format set (apart from flexible kludges, which the Norma isn't) can be as light as a medium format set of the same applicability.
    Add films like Rollei ATP into the consideration that for my enlargement ratios is grainless, use good glass and I bet you can't see a difference in the prints but for the photographs you need movements for.
    OTOH, if you need a big negative for alternative media contact prints, using a medium format camera means a more convoluted process in the darkroom afterwards.
     
  8. jfdupuis

    jfdupuis Member

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    Wow, so many nice comments on this camera. It think I'll have a closer look at its condition and if everything is good condition, then I'll make an offer. Has one said, the camera is already fully depreciated, so I can just buy it and try to see if I like LF photography.

    The lens are all Schneider f5.9 except the 240 which is a Rodenstock f9. As I'm totally newbie in LF, I have no idea where they are situated on the quality scale. I know that Schneider have quite good reputation in MF format (as I can't afford one for my Rollei SLR), what about LF ?

    When I read LF forum, I tend to think that people here suffer from a size complexity problem and are looking for bigger and bigger. As this seems to be a spreading disease, what are the possible expansion to bigger format from a Norma 4x5 ? Is it possible to just change the back to upscale the negative size ?
     
  9. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    8x10 easy ! (probably 5x7 ?) - you'll need a new bellows in addition ...

    Maybe the front standard will need a little extra rise to centre then lens again, which could restrict shifts (ways around this, but not the most elegant of solutions)...

    No way a show stopper tho :wink:
     
  10. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Yes Its a modular system. Once you have a 4X5" setup you can change to a 5X7 back and bellows keeping the front. Next step is a 8X10" back (and bellows for that.)
    I have a 5X7 Norma and a 4X5 reducing back. I wouldn't call it leight though since mine in 5X7 setup incl a 150mm ( just covers 13X18cm) weigh more than 5kg. Great camera though and I look forward to use it more.
    Kind regards
     
  11. marcuspajp

    marcuspajp Member

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    My first and only LF camera is a Norma, now I have backs for it to do almost everything from 645 to 8x10 and enough extension rails to get very large enlargement.

    I think it is an ideal first camera, because there is nothing it really cant do if you just get the right bits for the system and you can experiment with all the movements that you can possibly ever need. I for one don't really have one genre of photography I like doing, sometimes I feel like landscapes and sometimes indoor still life and macro and the norma is never limiting.

    However I have found that I don't bother to take it out with me for longer walks any more even though its very good once you get there, both the bulk and weight of the whole system is a bit much for me. I'm thinking of getting an A1/Alpina for that since then I can use a lot of the stuff for the norma.
     
  12. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    The Norma is of modular construction and you can easily upgrade to 5x7 and 8x10 by buying a bigger Norma/F/F2/P/P2 back standard and a larger bellows, or a Norma format changing kit. If you want to go bigger than 8x10 you can do that as well: http://www.glennview.com/sinar.htm

    As others have told you it is a very nice camera, I have one with 4x5 and 5x7 standards and I see no reason to “upgrade” to a more modern construction.
     
  13. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    Up to 8x10 as noted, larger would be a custom back, which isn't that hard. You can see examples here, and learn about the Norma system. Glenn's high though.

    http://www.glennview.com/sinar.htm

    The reason LF folk tend to "get big" is because a lot of people contact print using both normal and alternative processes, so you need a camera the size of the finished print. A lot of people don't stop to think that there was a time before enlargers - actually quite a lot of time - when you used a camera that was the size of the desired print.

    Cheers, Steve
     
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  15. RJS

    RJS Member

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    I had and uses Sinar Norma (purchased new); the Expert model, which I haf included an excellent, very sturdy case (Sinar suggested standing on it!) and included an additional raul extension, a bag bellows, light weight standar to couple the additional bellows it came with, plus a viewing bellows with a magnifier. All in all it was the Rolls Royce of view cameras.
    These days I have an Arca, no longer made, that is, I think, a bit easier and simpler to work with. Equally versatile. But I have often regretted parting with the Sinar; you can,t go wrong with it. The P is way to heavy and bulky to cart around.
     
  16. jfdupuis

    jfdupuis Member

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    When you upscale from 4x5 to 8x10 for example, do you keep the same lens ? Are the covering of these lens are big enough to still allow movement amplitude. In fact, it goes back to a newbie question, is there different lens for each format ?
     
  17. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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  18. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    It is fairly easy to acquire a collection of lenses from 90mm and up that can be used on both 4x5 and 5x7. It is, almost, possible to do the same for 4x5 and 8x10 but shorter lenses than 200mm that cover 8x10 are usually expensive, somewhat rare and oftentimes quite heavy. But this is an extreme example.

    You will find that several lenses of different focal length can be used on both 4x5 and 8x10, primarily when it comes to longer focal lengths.

    I would follow the link Soeren provided above. After some reading you will be able to make a more informed decision on which lenses to get.
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Indeed; about 2 to 4 times too high; much more in some cases. He must never sell anything at those prices. The only things that *might* be worth what he is asking to *some* people are the custom items. Even then, as someone with just a little mechanical sense, they seem outrageously priced to me for a couple of pieces of wood and such that might take him a half day to construct now that he already knows how to do it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2009
  20. jfdupuis

    jfdupuis Member

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    It's done, I bought it. Let say that my wife is not as excited as I am :wink: Feel nice to be at the beginning of whole new world.

    The camera is in good shape, just need some cleaning and lubrication after its 10 years of storage. I had to negotiate the price down as the 135mm has fungus inside and 2 shutters are not working at all speeds. Has I'm used to service my lens myself, I will try to clean and lub the shutter to see if it help. I'm crossing my fingers so that the fungus haven't etch the glass. Is any of you have a good reference on how to do a CLA on synchro-compur and compur 1 ?
     
  21. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Basic's: take the top cover off, take the retardment (banana-shaped) out and put it into lighterfluid for 30 minutes to degrease.
    Change the lighterfluid once.
    Than lubricate the axes with some synthetic oil (micro-tools.com) and put it back into it's place.
    Check if 1/15 runs OK.
    Remount the rest and you are done for a couple of years.
    It is helpfull to have a shutter-speed-tester for this.

    Congrad´s with your new aquisition, you now have a Lego-box for grown-ups as I call my Sinar.

    Peter
     
  22. Don Dudenbostel

    Don Dudenbostel Member

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    I purchased new 4x5 and 5x7 Normas in 1969 and have put many thousands of sheets through them in heavy professional use. They look great and function as new. My favorite monorail cameras even today. You might find this interesting that my 4x5 basic Norma cost $365 in 1969. The Sinar rep told me there were seven people working in the factory at that time and they made 750 cameras total that year. They were totally hand made.
     
  23. RJS

    RJS Member

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    I purchased new also about the same time. Cost me $650 as I remember, but mine was the 'Expert' model, including case, more rail, bellows etc. They are indeed wonderful machines, but I find the now out- of- production- apparently Arca a little easier to work with.
     
  24. felipemorgan

    felipemorgan Member

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  25. marcuspajp

    marcuspajp Member

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    Wow. Great document! I have saved it for future reference. Thanks for taking the time to do all that work and post it here.
     
  26. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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