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Ivan J. Eberle
20-Dec-2009, 13:49
I'm drawn to the design and precision, but also want a monorail that's practical and fully functional too.

With the bag bellows, what's the W/A lens limit in millimeters on flat and recessed boards?

Does the standard 4x5 bellows have any problem with fast lenses with large rear elements and interference?

From what I can determine the 4x5 rear standard is an International back... but the others including the reduction backs from 8x10 and 5x7 are Spring backs, is this correct? Is the early pre-Norma version back design also International?

Re: roll film-- any hitches to using Graflok roll film holders to 6x12cm on the 4x5 back? Short of fabbing a whole 'nuther rear standard from scratch, any path to 6x17?

Frank Petronio
20-Dec-2009, 13:59
You can make the rear element of your lens touch your ground glass, so there is no practical limit, but I guess it depends on the depth of your lens's rear element.

The square bellows is square so if the lens will fit onto a lensboard it will fit into the camera, just allow a 1/4-inch or so for the light trap.

You'll just have to look at the backs in question, but the better and OEM reduction backs have the same clip as the Sinar 4x5 format frames so that you can use the back from your 4x5 on the 8x10 or whatever. There is no such thing as a 5x7 Graflock as far as I know.

A Chinese, Horseman, Linhof, or Sinar 6x12 back should work fine.

I think there was a Chinese 6x17 back that extended out from a 4x5 Graflock but I never paid attention to the details.

Peter K
20-Dec-2009, 14:35
Is the early pre-Norma version back design also International?
As you can see here (http://www.sinar.ch/en/about-us/sinar-history/48-1947-1951) the Norma was the first Sinar camera. There was also a spring-back 5x7"/13x18cm aviable for single film holders. But I've never seen a Graflock back for any camera bigger as 4x5".

There is a Gaoersi 6x17 back (http://www.gaoersi-camera.com/cp_detail.php?id=10504&nowmenuid=3300&cpath=&catid=0) for 4x5" Graflock backs aviable.

Ivan J. Eberle
20-Dec-2009, 15:04
So the grayish-black and not olive-painted ones with Norma-style uprights are Normas as well?
Admit some confusion on this point as there was mention of a pre-Norma design in another thread awhile back and I see a few come up at auction without being called Normas.

Frank Petronio
20-Dec-2009, 15:25
I think the first Sinar was called the Standard and it looks like the Norma from a distance, the Norma was more refined. I haven't seen a Standard -- they are rare -- to know what the color scheme was but the Normas are bare metal/chrome and pale green textured finish. For a user I would definitely want a Norma.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
20-Dec-2009, 15:50
delete

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
20-Dec-2009, 15:51
I think the first Sinar was called the Standard and it looks like the Norma from a distance, the Norma was more refined. I haven't seen a Standard -- they are rare -- to know what the color scheme was but the Normas are bare metal/chrome and pale green textured finish. For a user I would definitely want a Norma.

The first Sinar was a wooden studio portrait camera.
There was the Norma, then the P then the P2. Then there were parts that were assembled in different combinations to make other models, C, F, F+, etc.

Some special models including the Alpina and the X were also made.

Peter K
20-Dec-2009, 16:20
So the grayish-black and not olive-painted ones with Norma-style uprights are Normas as well?
Admit some confusion on this point as there was mention of a pre-Norma design in another thread awhile back and I see a few come up at auction without being called Normas.
Do you think about this (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=55100) thread? It's no Sinar camera.

Ivan J. Eberle
20-Dec-2009, 16:37
Thanks, everybody.

Saw a recent auction with what was supposed to be a 5x7>4x5 Norma reduction back which looked to be a spring and not Int'l/Graflock back. But if I got the gist of what Frank said, there also must be another reducer that makes it a simple matter to clip the front half of a 4x5 International back onto a 5x7 standard, no?

With regards to 6x17, my presumption is that there could be a bottleneck to actually seeing the edges, and this would be the image circle described by the Norma 4x5 square bellows vignetting... or, stated another way, being that the 5x7 bellows are larger and tapered, that these were in fact requisite for hitting 5x7, at least to the corners, and not just for fitting the 5x7 rear standard. Maybe somebody can tell me if this is a valid concern, or reason enough to hold out for a 5x7 since I shoot only color in 4x5 and roll film.

Frank Petronio
20-Dec-2009, 18:24
The early Sinars weren't green or called Normas. And the ironic thing is that they were designed by the guy who went on to make Arca-Swiss cameras.

Here are some old photos I found, with the Koch boy demoing an early model. Notice the Arca levers!

Ivan J. Eberle
21-Dec-2009, 21:52
Was this a Norma or something else, perhaps something earlier or a Frankenkamera?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260524891889&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Frank Petronio
21-Dec-2009, 22:25
Yep that's a lousy dark photo of a good Sinar Norma. And argh that was a smoking deal, although it could well be in rough shape considering Alkit is not the best eBay dealer for used stuff, and the shutter is already broken. But even if the shutter was trashed and you tossed the barrel lenses and the bellows had holes, it's still not a bad price!

rdenney
21-Dec-2009, 22:27
Was this a Norma or something else, perhaps something earlier or a Frankenkamera?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260524891889&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Looks like it to me. The rail is a Norma rail; fully compatible with all modern Sinars. The standards are Norma, including the multipurpose standard with the normal Sinar square bellows on it being used as a compendium shade. The lens standard has a Copal shutter and the lens is in an early auto-aperture mount, and it looks like everything is included. Current Sinar boards and bellows accessories will fit fine. The rail is mounted to the multi-clamp holder using two clamps, which was designed for long extended rails for extra stability on the tripod. The bellows is the usual Norma 5x7 tapered bellows. Looks like it has a 4x5 reducing back on it.

The only thing that doesn't look right are the end caps on the monorail--I'm not used to seeing the alignment key run all the way to the very end.

The price was good for this kit, seems to me.

Rick "who has a few Norma bits for his F/F2 conglomeration" Denney

wfwhitaker
22-Dec-2009, 06:34
Was this a Norma or something else, perhaps something earlier or a Frankenkamera?

[link]

I had written Alkit about that camera when they first listed it because it was advertised as a 5x7, but looked like a 5x7 rear standard with a 4x5 reducing back. They responded that they "weren't sure". When it didn't sell, they relisted it as a 5x7 camera with no further information or reference to the 4x5 back. Don't understand how someone with "Pro-Camera" in their name can't tell the difference between a 5x7 and a 4x5, much less know how to operate a ruler. I figured it was a good case of "buyer beware", regardless of the deal.

Ivan J. Eberle
22-Dec-2009, 06:59
Thanks guys, it was that reducing back that kept me out of the hunt there. (And the fungus. And that they didn't answer and email about whether the clamps/locks all worked.)
--later: they just answered... it works smooth. Pity. It might have been worth maybe 2X what it bid up to.

Ivan J. Eberle
22-Dec-2009, 07:04
Multiclamp holder-- so is that bottom plate some stock accessory? (I just figured it to be a piece of Al bar-stock that someone had cobbled together perhaps because the clamps were looser than they ought to be.)

Frank Petronio
22-Dec-2009, 07:31
No it wasn't a question of the rail clamps getting loose with the Norma, it's a great clamp that some F and P users swap for because it is lower -- lower center of gravity -- and a stronger, nicer clamp. The P benefited from the modern clamp's extra height but I never understood why a field camera needed such a tall/long clamp.

I love that clamp, I introduced it to my Mom.

The bar could be home-made but Sinar sold a special Sinar bar for $$$. It makes cameras with longer bellows extensions more stable. You wouldn't need it in most cases but it's a sweet accessory to have.

I bid on that other 5x7 Norma that seemed to be from a reliable seller, but obviously I didn't win as it went for $750 or so. Maybe as a result of this thread? Normas suck!

wfwhitaker
22-Dec-2009, 07:41
I bid on that other 5x7 Norma that seemed to be from a reliable seller, but obviously I didn't win as it went for $750 or so.

So, is that high for a 5x7 Norma? Or maybe you don't want to answer that on an open forum... :)

Struan Gray
22-Dec-2009, 08:05
Just the metal-only accessories in that Alkit camera add up to far more than the selling price, if you bought them seperately. Even with fungus it was a good deal.

I have an original Sinar double-clamp bar which also looks like a home-milled bit of Al bar stock. I have seen others on ebay. That seems to be how Sinar made them then.

The Norma rail clamp is nice and low profile, but it is more of a pain to lift the camera out if you want to leave the rail clamp on the tripod. I do an accordian player's dance with one standard slipped off a short rail so I can slide it into the well-loosened clamp, but some prefer to remove the clamp-plus-rail from the tripod head as a unit.

The clamp starts to get wobbly with more than about 18" of rail. It's not a defect, but rather an inevitable consequence of using a plastic insert for clamping - the new clamps are not any more secure. By doubling them up on a double plate you reduce the amount by which the rail can twist dramatically, albeit at the expense of increased height. Put the plate/bar on a Sinar head with metal-to-metal contact and the whole thing is rock solid, if unwieldy. Gitzo make a similar plate which sells for quite a bit less than the Sinar made ones, even these homemade-looking ones.

I don't do 5x7 (I like square pictures, and 5x7 doesn't offer enough extra area over 4x5 for me to bother), but I sometimes use my 5x7 with reducing back if I know I'm going to be using long lenses all day. The extra bellows comes in handy. I also like the idea of having the 5x7 standard around if and when I get round to using some of the big lenses I have somehow acquired - you can make a lensboard to fit the 5x7 format frames if the lens is too large for the 4x5 ones.

The reduction back reduces to a standard Sinar bellows/lensboard clamp, so you need a 4x5 back to make it usable. That provides the international/Graflock connection rather than the reducer itself. I have used mine with polaroid and Fuji Quickchange holders using the Graflock slides to hold them in place, without issues.

Frank Petronio
22-Dec-2009, 09:48
Prices are all over the place. Last year I bought an excellent 8x10 Norma for $565 but you'll see that same camera for for $1200 a week later. The market is just too small to establish reliable price points, unlike say, a popular digital camera or a Nikon/Leica.

It sucks for the sellers. As a buyer, it may take a few months to get what you want, but you can usually do pretty well. There really isn't much logic to it, some less capable cameras sell for 4-5x more because they are "cool". But you really need to get an Ebony/Arca-Swiss with a ball head and a carbon fiber tripod and the Schneider 110XL to make a successful photograph you know ;-)

Ivan J. Eberle
22-Dec-2009, 11:58
The reduction back reduces to a standard Sinar bellows/lensboard clamp, so you need a 4x5 back to make it usable. That provides the international/Graflock connection rather than the reducer itself. I have used mine with polaroid and Fuji Quickchange holders using the Graflock slides to hold them in place, without issues.

Thanks, Struan. It's all becoming a bit clearer now, but I suppose the question still remains:

In considering 6x17cm format on a Norma, is it necessary to use the 5x7 bellows and frame to avoid vignetting, or would I be able to get away with the smaller square 4x5 bellows and rear standard with an extension back? The latter could be easier with easily-sourced parts (though it doesn't seem ideal with rear standard tilts and swings no longer being on-axis).

If having enough clearance for 617 requires the 5x7 bellows and frame, I'm rethinking my earlier idea of using one of the International/Graflock 6x17 extension backs via the reduction back to a 4x5 Graflok back because it seems ponderous and heavy and also doesn't get at resolving the off-axis issue. I'd rather be looking to affix a flatter, simpler 6x17 back directly to the 5x7 rear standard frame (greatly prefer not having to engineer one myself-- does such an adapter for a Sinar already exist?).

Frank Petronio
22-Dec-2009, 12:29
It depends on the lens you use whether you can squeak the image through the 4x5 parts of the camera... probably wider ones will be fine. All the 6x17 stuff will be non-Sinar so you'll just have to buy and test.

rdenney
22-Dec-2009, 12:55
Multiclamp holder-- so is that bottom plate some stock accessory? (I just figured it to be a piece of Al bar-stock that someone had cobbled together perhaps because the clamps were looser than they ought to be.)

Sinar and others have made those, but even the Sinar versions seem to me of similar construction. Their later ones had all sorts of quick-release features, but the pictures I've seen of the Norma versions were pretty simple.

Normally, the camera would mount on one tripod adapter in the center of the monorail. The arrangement shown was intended to provide additional support for extended rails and bellows, and the Sinar can be extended indefinitely.

Rick "who rarely needs to extend the basic 12" rail at all" Denney

rdenney
22-Dec-2009, 13:00
It depends on the lens you use whether you can squeak the image through the 4x5 parts of the camera... probably wider ones will be fine. All the 6x17 stuff will be non-Sinar so you'll just have to buy and test.

How does the Canham 617 holder fit on a 5x7 camera? Is it designed to fit under a 5x7 spring back? That wouldn't be the cheapest solution, but if so it would not require re-engineering.

Ivan, you can also put an F2 (or even a P) 5x7 rear standard on any Norma and vice versa.

Rick "for whom 617 is a devil on the shoulder whispering temptations in my ear" Denney

Oren Grad
22-Dec-2009, 13:24
How does the Canham 617 holder fit on a 5x7 camera? Is it designed to fit under a 5x7 spring back?

The metal Canham has a removable GG panel and what amounts to Graflok clips, while the wooden Canham accepts the holder as a slide-in:

http://www.canhamcameras.com/Roll%20film%20back.html

I think two or three other 5x7 cameras are now offered with the Graflok-style arrangement to accept the Canham rollholder. The easiest approach to mating it with a Sinar might be just to get a back that's designed to accept it and adapt that to fit the Sinar.

Struan Gray
22-Dec-2009, 13:57
My 5x7 Norma back has a bail, so although it opens a fair bit, it cannot do so indefinitely. I don't know if the Canham roll film back will fit under, but Canham might if you call them. If anyone wants to send me a back to test I'm willing.... :-)

The most elegant solution would be to make a plate that fits the Sinar 5x7 format frame and has the appropriate clips to hold the Canham back. I'm sure S.K.Grimes would make a lovely job of it, and it's possible Canham can offer a solution too. If you want to DIY a format reducer could be machined appropriately. There is at least one Swiss company on eBay.de which offers new 'lensboards' to fit 5x7 frames - one of these would also be a useful start to making your own adapter.

If you were thinking in terms of one of those DaYi backs with a stub-like adapter from 4x5 to 6x17 I'm sure it would work, but perhaps not for longer lenses, where the 5" opening in the 4x5 format frame would vignette the film plane.

Don Dudenbostel
23-Dec-2009, 15:20
My 5x7 Norma back has a bail, so although it opens a fair bit, it cannot do so indefinitely. I don't know if the Canham roll film back will fit under, but Canham might if you call them. If anyone wants to send me a back to test I'm willing.... :-)

The most elegant solution would be to make a plate that fits the Sinar 5x7 format frame and has the appropriate clips to hold the Canham back. I'm sure S.K.Grimes would make a lovely job of it, and it's possible Canham can offer a solution too. If you want to DIY a format reducer could be machined appropriately. There is at least one Swiss company on eBay.de which offers new 'lensboards' to fit 5x7 frames - one of these would also be a useful start to making your own adapter.

If you were thinking in terms of one of those DaYi backs with a stub-like adapter from 4x5 to 6x17 I'm sure it would work, but perhaps not for longer lenses, where the 5" opening in the 4x5 format frame would vignette the film plane.

I have a Norma 4x5 / 5x7 kit and a Canham 5x7 with a Canham 6x17 back. The 5x7 Norma back will not open enough to allow insertion.

Daniel Unkefer
24-Dec-2009, 08:41
The camera in the Alkit auction looks like a steal to me. It's definately a stock 5x7 Norma, but looks to me like a black modern 4x5 back on it, could easily be replaced with Norma (I would do this). Lots of goodies with that lot. The aluminum bar is homemade, I have one myself, as well as the original Norma one. Either work just fine, much better balance in the field, with a single tripod.