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  1. #1
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Sinar camera syst

    I've been using my Sinar F2 for close to 30 years. Back then I, Sinar P was unaffordable. I noticed on Ebay that some folks are dumping their Sinar P cameras for a fraction of what they originally sold for. I'm wondering if I buy Sinar P parts and integrate it with my f2 system? Can I use Sinar P front and rear bearers with my system? Is there a difference between Sinar 8x10 P standards and P 4x5 systems? Are Sinar F and P systems truly modular?

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    You can use an F front standard with a P rear standard. Sinar sold this combination as a "C." The main advantage of a P being asymmetric movements, there is no particular reason to use a P front standard with an F rear standard, but if you happened to have them, they would work. An F front standard also serves as an intermediate standard, if you want to connect two bellows.

    Rails and rail clamps are all interchangeable in the Sinar system, except of course the flat rail for the Alpina or Sinar A.

    Bellows are interchangeable, but there are two sizes of 8x10" bellows--metering and non-metering, and the 8x10" metering back is larger. The 4x5" metering and non-metering back are the same size. If you have a spare bellows for whatever back you are using, you can attach it to the binocular viewer.

    The 8x10" P rear standard bearer is good for 4x5", but the 4x5" P standard bearer doesn't really give enough rise for convenient use with an 8x10" format frame, if I recall correctly.

    The 4x5" sliding back will work on a 4x5" P, but not so well on an F (as I recall there's a knob lever on the back that bumps into the rear F standard bearer).

    Can you remove the F rear format frame from the standard bearer? I haven't had an F for a while, so I don't recall. On the P, the rear format frame clamps to a post on the standard bearer, and there's a thumbscrew that holds it in place. If you've got that on the F rear format frame, it would be compatible, but I don't remember it working that way.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Hey David.
    Thanks for your valuable insight. I got my f2 close to 30 years ago while in college. It served me well as a pro and never touched a Sinar P until I assisted. Now I might be able to afford a P. I have bitter sweet feelings because photographers don't value them as much now

    Think I'll try to find in 8x10 P or C because of the rear bearer.

    Best,
    Don

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I know, when I was younger, a camera like a Sinar P was a dream camera, and an 8x10" no less was beyond the beyond. The busy Manhattan food studio I bought mine from had just replaced them with newer Sinar studio cameras and were selling off older spares that had been well maintained and had paid for themselves many times over, based on their client list. An 8x10" Sinar P for $850, and I could pick it up by subway and carry it home in a doubled-up paper shopping bag!

    (I've since picked up a fiberglass "Rainbow" Expert case for it).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    ...but the 4x5" P standard bearer doesn't really give enough rise for convenient use with an 8x10" format frame, if I recall correctly.
    True.

    I recently looked at an "8x10" Sinar on the local Craigslist, and found it to be a Frankenstein cobbled together from 4x5 parts with an 8x10 rear standard and bellows.

    The front standard definitely did not give enough rise to even center the lens on the 8x10 back, much less provide proper rise for normal shooting requirements.

    If the OP is considering a dual-format (4x5/8x10) system, I STRONGLY suggest starting with a proper factory-configured 8x10, then adding a 4x5 back, rear standard and bellows.
    The factory 8x10 configuration is much more robust than the 4x5, and will provide a proper range of movements with both formats.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  6. #6
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Boy APUGers rock. They know so much! Thanks Leigh for the Frankencamera warning. I guess a modular system makes this possible. Caveat emptor.

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    If you did happen to end up with a Frankencamera with 4x5" P standard bearers and 8x10" back, the workaround would be to tilt the camera up and set the standards to plumb using the base tilts and the levels. It would be a pain to work with, because you would have to adjust the rise/fall every time after you focus, but at least you could use the camera while you looked for the right standard bearers.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I'd rather use an F 8x10 if I had to do that. I think the prices will drop further on Sinar P gear which is sad. I'm wondering if photographers are dumping their Sinar cameras to keep up the digicam arms race?

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    A Sinar P is still certainly a reasonable platform for someone using a high-end digital back in multishot mode, but I suspect that people doing that work just don't need that much resolution (and the clients probably can't deal with the huge files) and have as much as they need with a DSLR or MF DSLR and T/S lenses or MF digital back on something like a Linhof 679.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    The digital backs are quite small relative to LF film, so the newer generation of micro-geared Sinars
    are very expensive indeed, as are the short-focal length lenses designed for them. The condition and
    vintage of P's varies considerably, and there are frequently "chop shop" version on the auction site
    which have been made up from odds n' ends. Used X camera also turn up. What I personally did with
    me heavily used F2 system was to replace most of it with Norma components, which are also interchangeable. It takes some persistence to find Normas in good shape, but I lucked out. The P
    series is just too much a studio setup and not particularly portable.

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