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Thread: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

  1. #1

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    New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Well,

    I have finally gotten my dream camera. My new (to me) Sinar P.

    It is in wonderful condition. What a beauty. Just a marvel of technical/industrial design.

    I've been sorting out the controls and operating principles. The asymmetric swings and tilts are a revelation. I didn't quite grasp the principle reading up before it arrived, but now that I have it in my hands, it's so intuitive and well-thought out. The ability to adjust the standards with the large tilt adjustments to vertical (or any angle) with the whole camera tilted and then do asymmetric tilts as a separate operation is brilliant.

    Everything operates smooth as silk.

    Eventually, I'll have to stop admiring the beauty of this thing and actually use it! My wife wants to know if it will take better pictures than my old trusty Cambo. I was honest. I told her no, but I'll think they are!

    It weighs 12 lbs vs my old monorail at 8 lbs and the difference is certainly noticeable. I plan to use it as a field camera as well as studio. I've carried much heavier gear, so I really don't find the weight a problem.

    Got it from Japan with standard bellows, 12" rail plus 2 bag bellows, 16" extension rail, Linhoff type lens board which takes 96x99mm small lens adapter plates, filter holders. The front standard is painted black. The rear standard is brushed aluminum, so I guess they were made in different eras.

    Rich

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Congratulations, Rich.

    The Sinar P was silver but the P2 was black so I'm assuming you have a P2 front standard.

    It's a great camera. Very easy to use and understand. I used to own a P when I had a Tachihara field camera. I liked the longer bellows of the Sinar for portraits. I sold both cameras after I bought my 8x10.

    I don't know what tripod head you have but the Sinar head is said to be the best. I used a Ries head and really had to crank it down to keep the whole thing from spinning on the head. The Sinar head has a pin which prevents this. Also look into a Sinar shutter if you want to use barrel lenses. I bought an F kit to part out and it had a Sinar shutter. The Sinar shutters are pretty nifty. Just make sure you get the Sinar cable release if you buy one.

  3. #3

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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    I used a Ries head and really had to crank it down to keep the whole thing from spinning on the head. The Sinar head has a pin which prevents this.
    Actually, there is a simple solution to the problem that I discovered when my cameras were doing the same thing: add friction.

    1) Free: source an inner tube from a bicycle repair, automobile or truck tire shop. Cut sections out then place one between your tripod and camera.
    2) $1: in the kitchen department of your local dollar store purchase a shelf liner. Cut out a section, etc. etc.

    I carry a couple spare sections of inner tube in every camera kit in case I lose one.

  4. #4

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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Thanks guys,

    I have a (really old) Bogen 3047 head that I bought used in the mid 90s. It looked like it had been through the wars then. Worked perfectly then. Still does. It can hold a ton.

    I had been using the old beat-up hexagonal plate (which really had seen better days - more so than the head itself) which had a combination 1/4 - 3/8 bolt. The 3/8 portion was very short and the bolt did not engage the Sinar tripod block. The rubber pad was all chewed up.

    I ordered a new hexagonal plate which has a good rubber pad and a longer 3/8 bolt. The camera does not spin at all with just the 3/8 screw tightened down. But the plate also has 3 set screws to further prevent rotation, and the Sinar block has its own tightening lever. All those are tightened down. Very secure.

    Rich

  5. #5

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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaTerry View Post
    Actually, there is a simple solution to the problem that I discovered when my cameras were doing the same thing: add friction.

    1) Free: source an inner tube from a bicycle repair, automobile or truck tire shop. Cut sections out then place one between your tripod and camera.
    2) $1: in the kitchen department of your local dollar store purchase a shelf liner. Cut out a section, etc. etc.

    I carry a couple spare sections of inner tube in every camera kit in case I lose one.
    Sounds like a great, inexpensive idea, Terry!

  6. #6
    Kevin Kolosky
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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    don't put away your wallet yet. Get yourself a sinar shutter and start using DB lenses.

  7. #7

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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Hey Rich, I bet you don't miss the shared switch on the Cambo for removing a lens board or bellows. I started with a Cambo SC. I accidentally moved the slider the wrong way when changing bellows and my lens and board fell off. Fortunately I caught it with my knee and hand before it hit the floor.

    As you know, the old Cambo is just as capable of making great images as your Sinar. The Sinar in my opinion is more enjoyable to use. When I enjoy using a camera I tend to make better images with it. You can tell your wife that.

  8. #8

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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin J. Kolosky View Post
    don't put away your wallet yet. Get yourself a sinar shutter and start using DB lenses.
    Kevin,

    I'm just going to stay with my 75mm and 210 Nikkors and 400 Fuji in Copals for now. I don't really need any other lenses. If I were starting out, I would definitely consider that route.

  9. #9

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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    Hey Rich, I bet you don't miss the shared switch on the Cambo for removing a lens board or bellows. I started with a Cambo SC. I accidentally moved the slider the wrong way when changing bellows and my lens and board fell off. Fortunately I caught it with my knee and hand before it hit the floor.


    As you know, the old Cambo is just as capable of making great images as your Sinar. The Sinar in my opinion is more enjoyable to use. When I enjoy using a camera I tend to make better images with it. You can tell your wife that.
    Oh, Yeah! Did that with the back. Watched the thing hit the hardwood floor with the shattered shards of the ground glass scattering everywhere. That's a poor design on the Cambo.

    The Sinar is better with separate levers for the front and back of the standards. But the Sinar could be much better in that design. The little levers are right next to each other at the top left hand corner of the front and rear standards. They could just as easily have been located at either side of the top, eliminating any possibility of releasing both the bellows and lens board or bellows and ground glass holder.


    Oh, I have emphasized that point about better images with a more inspiring camera. (To which she just rolls her eyes)

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: New (to me) Sinar P 4x5 View Camera!

    Congrats, Rich!

    I just replaced an 11x14 camera because the difficulties of operating the 110 year-old one were no fun. Do what you love, love what you do...and have fun!

    PS -- my new 11x14 weighs not quite 3 pounds more than your Sinar!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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