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Pieter K
3-Dec-2013, 08:57
Hi all,

So, I'm an avid outdoorsman, mountain climber, desert traveler, and so forth, here in California, have recently reconnected with my youthful love of photography, finally bought a full frame DSLR--which helped rekindle that love--grew up with a BW darkroom, have a bunch of neat old camera equipment, was buying a new lens, walked in to my local pro shop, and there was this amazing camera sitting on the counter with a price I could not believe.

It was a Sinar P, with a Schneider APO 210 5.6 Symmar (working off memory here), wonderful condition, clean, backed by a seller who was a former working pro LF product shooter...and....


...and....

...after an intense several days of research, study, consultation, etc....

...I bought it.

Am I crazy?

It is not ultimately the type of camera I envision shooting most of my proposed LF work with--a field camera will be immensely more useful--but there is a wealth of subjects I can envision shooting with the Sinar as well, including in my own backyard (I'm a pretty serious amateur horticulturalist and landscaper), and there are plenty of good locations I know of in the backcountry accessible with my Jeep, which wouldn't require excessive hiking. I am also a strong hiker, routinely spend time above 12,000 feet, often carry rock/ice gear, so I'm not THAT concerned about weight.

I look at this as a way to learn, develop, hone my understanding of the camera, movements, put Scheimpflug in to practice, etc. My background theory is strong, I have and know how to use a light meter...

...and I love film.

I did a brief apprenticeship 30 years ago too with a very successful commercial/product photographer here in Los Angeles too, so that helps a little. The gear is not alien to me.

Have I made a terrible mistake?

Renato Tonelli
3-Dec-2013, 09:02
Yes, you are crazy (it takes one to know one).

...and welcome.

gleaf
3-Dec-2013, 09:13
Exploration can never be a mistake. Large format is to DSLR as craftsmanship is to injection molded plastic. Large format is a declaration of respect to the subject and seriousness of your endeavor. It has both its place and its inappropriateness. DSLR can always do snapshot and never so with a View Camera. Welcome to the homeland of the committed to the same seriousness or foolishness.

Andrew O'Neill
3-Dec-2013, 09:50
Yes, you are crazy. Like everyone else here. Admitting it is the first step to recovery. Welcome to the forum.

drew.saunders
3-Dec-2013, 10:11
Am I crazy?


You're in a padded room, along with the rest of us, and we're all in straight jackets, and you're asking us if you're crazy? Of course not! None of us are!

A Sinar P is a wonderful camera that you can keep for many years. Should you get a field camera, and if that field camera takes "Linhof-type" lensboards, just get an adaptor (since the very common Linhof-type lensboard is smaller than the almost as common Sinar-type) and you can move your lenses between your cameras.

Have fun! Welcome to the asylum!

Cletus
3-Dec-2013, 10:40
Very well said Gleaf. I think you really defined, at least in a way I think many of us here can relate to, the way large format film photography differs from many other photographic mediums.


Exploration can never be a mistake. Large format is to DSLR as craftsmanship is to injection molded plastic. Large format is a declaration of respect to the subject and seriousness of your endeavor. It has both its place and its inappropriateness. DSLR can always do snapshot and never so with a View Camera. Welcome to the homeland of the committed to the same seriousness or foolishness.

Pieter K
3-Dec-2013, 12:15
Thank you all for the warm welcome. I'm really excited to be moving in this direction. I'm already at the point where I'm getting fascinated with wet plate photography...but one thing at a time.

I should add that I also have a Speed Graflex camera in a box. I'm going to pull that out and see what kind of shape it's in. Last I looked at it, it was functional. It was my dad's. He earned his first pocket change shooting pictures of people at University of Michigan football games in the 40s. Him and his friend each had a camera, hung around outside the stadium in Ann Arbor, took pictures, handed a business card with details to customers, and if they were interested, they could buy a print.

gleaf, I really appreciate the way you expressed what LF is. A declaration of respect indeed. Well put.

Pieter K
3-Dec-2013, 12:21
Should you get a field camera, and if that field camera takes "Linhof-type" lensboards, just get an adaptor (since the very common Linhof-type lensboard is smaller than the almost as common Sinar-type) and you can move your lenses between your cameras.

Thanks!

As it happens, some of the field cameras I've been researching seem to use the Sinar lens board, so I could be in luck. But yes, adapters would be no problem.

I absolutely love the interoperability of lenses and cameras in LF. Not that I've actually tried it yet, but the fact that one can have a quiver of lenses that can be deployed across any number of different cameras (image circles allowing) is just marvelous.

Jim C.
3-Dec-2013, 12:25
Welcome to the nuthouse !
Your Speed Graphic, if it's a 4x5, should serve well as a field camera, and save you $ome if the Sinar you bought
is 4x5 also. Save Sinar for home use, you might also be able to use the 210 Symmar from the Sinar on the Speed.

Now you have to wriggle out of that straight jacket and get film. ;)

Alan Gales
3-Dec-2013, 12:30
Drew Saunders has the right idea.

Also the Linhof-type boards are smaller which makes them nicer to carry in the field.

I am a Sinar P owner too. The Linhof style boards that my 4x5 Tachihara wooden field camera takes will also fit my 4x5 Sinar P and Wehman 8x10 with adapter boards. One board, three cameras!

Lenny Eiger
4-Dec-2013, 12:24
Welcome to large format. It's fun and rewarding.
Like many here, I have carried cameras all over the place, up mountains and everywhere else. If being outdoors was my passion, I wouldn't choose a rail camera, I would go more for a folding box camera, preferably in wood. There are many good ones, all that weigh a lot less than something metal with a rail.

I'm carrying around an Ebony 4x5 these days, aged redwood and titanium gears that work like butter, but I have a Wista that's even lighter and I really had to restrain myself from buying a Wisner Flight that weighs even less and has a red bellows and brass fittings. All of these can be carried for many miles by someone like yourself and has all the swings and tilts. etc. One or two lenses and a few holders, a light meter and off you go…

I also think that this place is the best place to buy anything large format. I have had excellent luck. People are nice, they are usually quite helpful and honest. The Wisner flight was never sold, I think… just in case you are interested.

Have fun!

Lenny -- also in CA

Pieter K
4-Dec-2013, 12:50
Hey, Lenny, thanks a lot for that.

Funny, just yesterday I was reading a couple of threads in which you'd participated quite heavily--one was about drum scanners, another about various digital printing methods and the pros and cons versus optical printing, inks, etc.--and I visited your website. Your work is fantastic. I like the no-compromise service you're offering. I've already filed your business away in my mind if the time ever comes when I might need the services you provide. Not terribly likely, but you never know.

I can't see the Wisner for sale yet. New members don't have access to the buy/sell forum for 30 days. I haven't read much about Wisners yet. Mostly the Canhams, Chamonixs, Toyos, Toho, a bit about Wista, and maybe one or two others.

A light field camera is definitely an objective. There are some high Sierra summits with routes I love from which I'd be thrilled to shoot 4x5s. The Sinar is definitely NOT going up there!

gmfotografie
4-Dec-2013, 13:16
as i always say : craziness keeps us alive...its a dynamic respons to everyday life....

welcome on board....

i'm actually in a thermal spring... can you imaging how the people looked at me when i build up today the view camera in my bath rope photographing the people having a relax bath?!105993

i love this craziness 👍😄

BrianShaw
4-Dec-2013, 13:22
...and....

...after an intense several days of research, study, consultation, etc....



That is the only part of the story that might be crazy. Generally if I see a good deal on something I know I'll like and then hem-and-haw it is gone by the time I decide. I'm getting a bit more impulsive in my old age after one too many disappointments.

Enjoy your new gear!

Lenny Eiger
4-Dec-2013, 16:26
Hey, Lenny, thanks a lot for that.

Funny, just yesterday I was reading a couple of threads in which you'd participated quite heavily--one was about drum scanners, another about various digital printing methods and the pros and cons versus optical printing, inks, etc.--and I visited your website. Your work is fantastic. I like the no-compromise service you're offering. I've already filed your business away in my mind if the time ever comes when I might need the services you provide. Not terribly likely, but you never know.

I can't see the Wisner for sale yet. New members don't have access to the buy/sell forum for 30 days. I haven't read much about Wisners yet. Mostly the Canhams, Chamonixs, Toyos, Toho, a bit about Wista, and maybe one or two others.

A light field camera is definitely an objective. There are some high Sierra summits with routes I love from which I'd be thrilled to shoot 4x5s. The Sinar is definitely NOT going up there!

Thanks for your kind words.

If you are nearby, or on your way somewhere, you can come for a visit. … I have a couple of view cameras I can show you if you are interested…

Best of luck!

Lenny

Jim Graves
6-Dec-2013, 20:48
If you do get the chance to pass through Petaluma ... don't miss the opportunity to visit Lenny ... you will learn and be inspired.