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Thread: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

  1. #1

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    Question Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    Hi all,

    This is my first post here, I've loved how much of an incredible resource this website is and have been reading endlessly on all the available information.

    I am a professional photographer and used digital and medium format cameras for a very long time but are looking to get into large format. Thanks to all the information on here I've been able to learn a lot all ready as it seems like a completely different beast from medium format. I am a landscape photographer with a special interest in long focal lengths [400mm +] I mainly drive to the general area of the location and with medium format have walked any distance required to get the shot. However I'm thinking this is impossible with a 8x10 so have decided to have a 4x4 quad motorbike fitted out to take the 8x10 so I can drive even to the hardest spots without having to carry too far.

    I am looking to buy an 8x10 as well as some large focal length lenses [600-1200] although I have just realized that my brother has a Sinar P2 8x10 that he left before going overseas that I can use. I want some advice on if the P2 would be able to be used for what I've described in terms of physically possibility [weight etc] as well as good for the task [600-1200mm lenses]

    Initially I was looking at using the P2 and buying these lenses here: Although they are set up on a Linhof board so will have to use an adaptor?
    From what I've read using these 600-1200 lenses you can only shoot 'straight through' with the P2 - I don't think this would be an issue as I've only ever shot like this with fixed focal planes [digital, medium format etc]
    This is another point for choice in camera as I will be just shooting landscape with no twist needed in focus. I just want the large negative asset.

    My options are use what I've mentioned above, OR if you think there are better way I'm happy to buy a more ideal camera and lenses. Money isn't generally an issue.

    Would love to hear some advice from your experience. Thank you all for your time!

    -Andrew

  2. #2
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    Hi Andrew, and Welcome Aboard.

    The Sinar P2 (which I have in 8x10) is an excellent camera.

    However...
    It has many bells and whistles that you absolutely do NOT need for your intended use.

    A regular Sinar F2 will do everything you want, and then some, at much less weight and bulk.
    I happen to have a nice 8x10 F2 available.

    The "normal" focal length for 8x10 is 300mm.
    That equates roughly to 50mm on a 35mm camera, or 80mm on a Hasselblad.

    So 600mm is a modest telephoto, while a 1200mm is a serious telephoto.
    Is that really what you want?

    Have you considered 4x5 format?
    You can get excellent results with fine-grain film, comparable to 8x10 work at normal enlargement.
    The 4x5 gives you a much greater selection of lenses.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    Leigh is right. I also have a Sinar P2 8x10. The heavy standards are made for people needing movements. If you're not going to use them, then it is a heavy camera. On the other hand, you have one. Why not play around with it to get a sense of what you'll be dealing with? In the first place, at those extensions, movement of the camera/subject will be a challenge. The Sinar is a sturdy camera, but if you have 1 meter of bellows extension, the camera will get a bit springy. You could add the two rail clamp support, but then you're still on one tripod head, and that's a lot to ask of any head, especially if there's a breeze. I'd consider putting a monopod under the front standard in those conditions.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  4. #4

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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    Welcome!

    Large format is indeed a completely different beast. If you have access to a Sinar P2 8x10, I see little point in buying another camera. If you are able to carry the camera close to where you will make the image, there is again no point in buying a more compact field camera.

    You say that you simply want the advantage of the large format. But a great deal of the enjoyment of LF photography comes from using the movements. You will also find out that many creative opportunities open up when you use movements. Do you have a 4x5 back as well and another lens? I suggest you learn a bit with 4x5 or even roll film on the 4x5 back. 8x10 color film and processing is expensive!

    If you buy those lenses, you could either use a Linhof adapter or re-mount the lens in a Sinar board.

    Kumar

  5. #5

    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    I have a 10x8 Sinar P2 and I would suggest that taking it on location is something to be avoided, its heavy and cumbersome, and when you add the additional weight of the large tripod needed to use it, it starts to be impractical.I know Geoffery Crewdson use to use one for his work but he had a crew to help him carry the stuff. You might be best served with something like a deardorff, its a lot lighter and definitely a lot easier to use on location, and an added bonus you can use it in the studio for most things a Sinar will do.,

  6. #6
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew11 View Post
    I am a landscape photographer with a special interest in long focal lengths [400mm +]
    Assuming a 6x7 negative with 400mm lens at minimum, on 8x10 that equates to roughly a 1200mm lens. And if you want longer, well, it's longer. In comparison, you only need a 600mm lens to get to roughly the equivalent on 4x5. So if you really want that compressed telephoto type image with a larger format, I would highly suggest you start with a 4x5 reduction back and look at the Nikkor 360/500/720 telephoto set, as well as the 600/800/1200 set. This will get you into your extreme telephoto range - otherwise you'll spend a fortune on lenses, not to mention issues with shutters, not mention tripods and supports for the massive 8x10 setup.

    The Nikkor 360/500/720 set has tanked in price from what I've seen in the last couple of years. I spent a lot on my set. There seems to be a 360/500/720 set without the 360mm element which you might not really want anyway for just shy of $1k on eBay right now. I'm a wide-angle kinda guy but I like having this set sometimes. I've only used the 720mm a few times - here's one of the images I shot in the Blue Ridge mountains:



    The 600/800/1200 set would get you even more length but is a bit more expensive. On 4x5 it'd give you a good spread of focal lengths and would also work on 8x10 but it's 2-3x the cost of the smaller set.

    Good luck.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  7. #7

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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew11 View Post
    Would love to hear some advice from your experience. Thank you all for your time!
    How large a print do you intend to make ?

  8. #8

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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    If you're hell-bent on using P2 with 1200mm lens you absolutely need 2 tripods to hold the beast steady and avoid vibrations. A monopod under the lens won't do as it has no way to withstand lateral vibration from wind and the shutter.
    I use 800mm Nikon and I would not even dream about it without a second tripod. The 2nd tripod doesn't need to be mighty, it can even be a lightweight version.

  9. #9
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pfsor View Post
    If you're hell-bent on using P2 with 1200mm lens you absolutely need 2 tripods to hold the beast steady and avoid vibrations. A monopod under the lens won't do as it has no way to withstand lateral vibration from wind and the shutter.
    I use 800mm Nikon and I would not even dream about it without a second tripod. The 2nd tripod doesn't need to be mighty, it can even be a lightweight version.
    Good point!
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  10. #10

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    Re: Sinar P2 8x10 600-1200mm realistic for outdoor photography?

    See the work of the late Reinhart Wolf. He used an 8x10 Sinar and long lenses to photograph the tops of skyscrapers in New York City, back in the '70s. Beautiful work- the logistics must have been daunting at times though.

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