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  1. #1
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Recommendation and Pricing

    I have had someone offer to sell me his 5x4 camera but I am hesitant. It is a Sinar monorail, with a Sinaron S 180mm f/5.6 and a Rodenstock 75mm f/6.8, a number of holders and some odds and ends (loupe, etc.) He wants me to make him an offer.

    My question is twofold.

    1) First, I shoot mainly architecture, by which I mean exteriors of buildings and some interiors, very little landscape and no portraiture. Is is the camera for me because I get the impression it is more of a studio camera rather than a field camera? I am wondering if I would be better suited with a 75mm shift lens for my Mamiya RZ67 (my current primary camera).

    2) The gear is in pristine shape and everything works excellently. What should I offer?

    Thanks for your advice.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  2. #2

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    The Sinar: I have used a P2 for 15 odd years on location photographing architecture, so: YES it is verry well suited for it.
    However, you don't say what model Sinar you are talking about.

    The 75mm will be used mostly although you should check out the Image Circle of this lens, I have the Schneider Super Angulon
    The 180mm will be used a lot, lot less in architectural photography, but is a fine lens nevertheless.

    The 75mm Mamiya is longish for this type of work, you should have a 50mm aswell for interiors.

    Value of the Sinar kit depends on the model: a F model is a lot less expensive than a P2 or P3.
    For the value of the lenses you can check KEH.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    I believe it is an F but how do you tell since most pictures look so similar.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  4. #4

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    About the model, the earlier F had a chrome base rail, the later models, which also include the F as well as the F1 and F2, uses black base rails.
    Take a look at *bay and search for "Sinar F". There you will find enough large detailed pictures so that you can identify this particular camera.
    The value of the camera does of course depend on the model, age and wear, so an F is (US) $200-300, while a nice F2 is >$500. The lenses should also be $2-300 a piece.
    To sum up, given that the camera is a chrome base-rail F I would start with an offer around $500 or so. (If the camera is newer, or even an F1 or F2 I would offer a bit more.) Do point out that you intend to use the camera and learn LF photography, rather than just trying to make a few bucks from reselling the separate items at e.g. *bay.

    Last, about the choice of camera. I personally use an F2 for my outdoors LF photography. While it's not the lightest or smallest camera around, it's very easy to use, compared to most other types and models of cameras around. It is also very easy to learn LF with, as it got built in gadgets for setting both DoF and tilt/swing with precision.

    //Björn

  5. #5
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Looks like an F2. A little intimidating camera (never used a large-format before) but I will make an offer this week and figure out rent next week. Thanks for your help.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  6. #6

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    SINAR is an acronym: Science, Industry, Nature, Architecture, Research, or something along those lines. The F series is the basic, introductory model, and is the lightest in the line. It will do you well for architecture work. Yes, it is intimidating if you've never used large format before, but it is a good camera.

    Peter Gomena

  7. #7

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    Well, if you've never used a LF camera before, one of the (IMHO) best cameras to start with is a Sinar. The fact that there are precise scales for almost everything will help you a lot in the learning process.
    One of the things which is special with almost all LF cameras is the ability to tilt and swing the lens plane and/or the film plane. With a Sinar it's quite easy to use these scales and gadgets to get the tilts and swings right on the first try. I.e. this will speed up the learning process with better end results from the very start.
    But as you havn't bought a LF camera yet, all the technicalities can wait. There will be a lot of questions down the line. Anyhow, whenever you decide to take the leap: Welcome to the world of LF photography!

    //Björn

  8. #8

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    The lens kit is not ideal for the intended use. 180 is a long normal on 4x5. 75 could be useful in principle, but the image circle of the 75/6.8 Grandagon is fairly tight for 4x5, not so useful for architecture work.



 

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