View Full Version : Sinar P or F2?

17-Jan-2010, 12:39

I decided to buy a Sinar camera. Im in doubt between a Sinar F2 and a P. I know they are very different beasts. Is the Sinar P really heavy? I love it looks and I am marvaled by the reviews I read. All location work I do is near a car...my fear is that my tripod will not be ideal(Benro A358M8 with Manfrotto 329RC4 head). Is the Sinar F2 really flimsy?



17-Jan-2010, 12:53
The p is very good, and the choice would make more sense if you consider that you will sometimes upgrade to 5x7 or 8x10. I mean for the size of the standards, it makes more sense to use the p on larger than 4x5 format.
Otherwise, if you plan on sticking to 4x5, then the f2 is good too. However, if you decide to go for larger formats, then you will have to spend more cash (p standard or special f2 8x10 standard).
Both are fine to backpack with. If I travel I'd rather take a sinar norma. Even more compact and really nice camera.


17-Jan-2010, 13:24

... Im in doubt between a Sinar F2 and a P. ... Is the Sinar P really heavy? ... All location work I do is near a car......



Ahhh a fellow 'CAR-TOGRAPHER'... I use an 8x10 P in the field. I am 65 and carry it and two lens + berelbach tripod + 6 ->10 film holders into the field, up to 4 miles in Death Valley, eastern Sierras... etc.

The F is not 'flimsy' although some wags say that is what the F stands for... I estimate that the weight difference between F & P is a few pounds, which to me means I'd rather lose a couple pounds elsewhere and carry the P.

17-Jan-2010, 13:26
Older P is very good camera. Only problem is that it is just practically impossible to find one in good shape, most of them been used up. Check all gears for play, some of mechanisms are easy to rebuild some - real pain. P2 had several design changes that improved gearing mechanisms. Do not consider yourself lucky and buy P on ebay without physically touching one - you will be disappointed.

F2 is very robust camera, especially new (last) generation with separate shift and swing locks. There are actually couple of design features in F2(locking shift for example) that make it better for certain work - especially low/floor level. Also planar focusing (tilts/swings) on F2 is faster if you're limited in time. P P2 are more precise.

F2 weights same as Linhof TK is bulkier but still fits in small Lowepro backpack. F2 very is easy to totally strip for cleaning (I love nature but hate sand:)). P/P2 (or TK for that matter) are NOT easy to clean. Also, if you ever get to digital backs Sinar is hard to beat in classic 4x5 lineup.

329 head is ok start but it has disadvantages with Sinar vertical geometry.

PS. Maybe modern F1 with separate locks is even better/lighter than F2, I never used front focus knob on F2, but I never had one of new F1 standards.

Ken Lee
17-Jan-2010, 15:02
You can compare all the attributes, like size, weight, features, etc.

Sinar F1/F2: http://www.sinar.ch/en/products/cameras/166-sinar-f1-f2

Sinar P/P2: http://www.sinar.ch/en/products/cameras/151-sinar-p2

I recommend a P in 4x5 and 5x7 configuration, except for hiking. (For hiking, I use a 5x7 Kodak 2A).

Drew Wiley
17-Jan-2010, 15:35
You're choosing between a jeep and a tank. However, since the Sinar is a component
system, you can easily have both if you wish. Prices on used gear are very reasonable right now. P2 is much more rigid, but you will need a very sturdy tripod
and head. I only used the Sinar rail clamp by itself, and dispensed with any kind of
secondary head. The f2 is no slouch, and is more rigid in general than any wooden
field camera I can think of, provided you properly balance it - much better choice for
field work unless you are using exceptionally heavy lenses at long extensions. I also
recommend the Rail Clamp II - it's a lot less likely to slip when you are carrying the
camera than the basic rail clamp, but will cost quite a bit more.

Drew Wiley
17-Jan-2010, 15:37
Victoria - I can't recommend the f1 because the clamp mechanism on the front standard wears out much faster than that of the f2. It was really intended as an
intermediate bellows support, and was adapted to a front standard only for the sake
of price reduction.

18-Jan-2010, 07:03
I just recently bought an F1 for field use. My 1st extended use was carrying it on the tripod over my shoulder with the standards collapsed down onto the rail and bellows removed. Less than a 10 mile hike. Noticibly heavier than my Chamonix 4x5 but just fine weight-wise since I spend time on the rower. Not the way to carry it (safety sake, slips and falls). Will remove the standards and put them in my pack from now on which will be perfect. This means more time for set-up and break-down in the field but that is acceptable because of the way I work.

As for flimsyness, it is not at all in my opinion. The F1 may be flimsy against the P, but it is solid even with the bellows at full extension. I originally looked for an F2 (because of the front standard claims) but decided against it out of $$ alone. Front standards are easy to come by if I need a replacement as evidenced on fleebay.

Just my 2 cents - note that I have not been using the F1 very long.

18-Jan-2010, 07:19
Thanks everyone for the input.
I made my mind on the F2! I dont own a studio and 85% of my pictures are portraits, I dont need movements with extreme precision.

Peter De Smidt
19-Jan-2010, 14:26
Both are excellent cameras. You'll really want to consider a Sinar pan/tilt head down the road.