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Thread: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

  1. #1

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    Dec 2014
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    Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    I just received delivery of a Sinar P2 4x5 that I was very excited to get a decent deal on from Ebay complete with an inbox WA bellows and the 5x7 conversion. I got it on the tripod and realized that the fine focus on the front standard wasn't working properly, it worked fine until moving up to around "2" on the scale and then disengaged. It took me a while to be able to see the problem but I figured out that at that point the track is missing a few teeth.

    When I was searching around regarding this problem I did see a few people say that those tracks are nylon and can be an issue. My question is, is it something I can order and put in and maybe just ask the seller for a discount or is it something that would have to go to a technician? It looks pretty difficult to get to.

    I know Bob at Precision Camera Works would probably be the best pick for that work but I imagine between sending it to him and waiting for it, it would probably cost me a few hundred dollars. If it's not easy to fix I guess, I'll have to return it, too bad though as it's a nice kit otherwise!

    I'm in Los Angeles if that helps any.

    Best,
    John

  2. #2

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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexipike View Post
    I just received delivery of a Sinar P2 4x5 that I was very excited to get a decent deal on from Ebay complete with an inbox WA bellows and the 5x7 conversion. I got it on the tripod and realized that the fine focus on the front standard wasn't working properly, it worked fine until moving up to around "2" on the scale and then disengaged. It took me a while to be able to see the problem but I figured out that at that point the track is missing a few teeth.

    When I was searching around regarding this problem I did see a few people say that those tracks are nylon and can be an issue. My question is, is it something I can order and put in and maybe just ask the seller for a discount or is it something that would have to go to a technician? It looks pretty difficult to get to.

    I know Bob at Precision Camera Works would probably be the best pick for that work but I imagine between sending it to him and waiting for it, it would probably cost me a few hundred dollars. If it's not easy to fix I guess, I'll have to return it, too bad though as it's a nice kit otherwise!

    I'm in Los Angeles if that helps any.

    Best,
    John
    Go to Samys main store and show it to them.

  3. #3
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    That sounds like the camera was at some point dropped or tipped over when the FS was extended. That's what happened to my Toyo 810G a few years back when an unexpected gust of wind (almost hurricane strength) came roaring up Main Street in Bodie, CA when I had the camera set-up to photograph a salon. Foolishly I left the camera unprotected to gather up the case foam from being blown away when I should have remained with the camera. Anyway a few teeth on the plastic track for the rise on the right side of the FS were knocked off. I sent the camera back to Toyo repair who put the camera back in spec. Cost an arm and a leg!

    Thomas

  4. #4
    Thalmees's Avatar
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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    Hopefully not the rear bearer, which will affect ability on macro work also.
    The complete track as far as I remember is about 2 inches. I assume 2cm is NOT at the center of the track. So you may leave the front bearer at "0"(for better stability), and use the rear bearer as usual(supposed to be).
    This type of camera is engineered to be used from the back. You have all scales there. Best engineering ever I know.
    But that will not make a defective bearer, as normal.
    BTW, not all Sinar bearers tracking teeth are made of plastic, there are some made of metal with no differentiation in model name, as far as I know. Please confirm your Sinar is not a Sinar X.
    I assume you can push the bearer to the next continuous track teeth, at the point of disengagement.
    Also, if your optimal focus will arrive at a point on the broken teeth, you can loosen the bearer clamp and push/pull the whole front standard forward or backward(accordingly, on the optical rail) until the optimal focus point arrive at a zone of unbroken teeth(gross focusing). Then fix the bearer clamp to the optical rail, and finely refocus again.
    As I said, the problem will be more of a problem, if the broken track was on the rear bearer.
    But again, all that does not make a defective bearer, as normal.
    It's only tricks to play around the defect.
    Depends on the price(which includes a 5X7 conversion kit, which in its own includes an appropriate 5X7 format frame plus 5X7 to 4X5 bellows, at least), you may make your decision alone or with the seller, which may involve replacing the bearer with the same color/design bearer, or partial enough compensation or a return.
    Whether the seller mentioned the defect before payment or not, please check other gears(rear and front), which actually makes a Sinar Camera different from any other camera. Though, it's the most important for getting a sharp images(in any camera including Sinar), Focusing Gear per se, is the simplest mechanism in Sinar cameras. Other gears are truly more complicated(to use or maintain) and need a careful check, if you wish to enjoy, a Yaw free asymmetric tilt, bracket-less camera.
    Best Luck.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.
    ------------------------------

  5. #5
    Thalmees's Avatar
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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    Another option, ask your seller to replace the front P2 standard, with F or better F2 front standard(if possible), plus money.
    You will end with a Sinar C2, a lighter camera with the same efficiency.
    Manipulate image on the rear P2 standard, then copy it to the front F/F2 standard.
    Be careful, the F/F2 front standard, should come with long vertical displacement rodes, in case you may need up adjustments with 5X7 or 8X10 backs in the future.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.
    ------------------------------

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    Getting sand in the gear track was a known problem. But they engineered certain things on purpose. It's a high-quality delrin-like material and quite tough and durable. But they wanted something very smooth and easy to replace. Sure beats brass or aluminum gearing. And back in the day when Sinar/Bron had a very strong presence in this country, they could send you replacement pieces very quickly; and unlike their full components, minor parts tended to be quite affordable. I don't know what the gig is anymore; cannibalize old cameras, I guess. Or maybe there is still a big official stockpile of parts somewhere. I've always done my own repairs and maint. Just depends on how comfortable you are about doing such things, and having the right kind of screwdrivers etc.

  7. #7

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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Getting sand in the gear track was a known problem. But they engineered certain things on purpose. It's a high-quality delrin-like material and quite tough and durable. But they wanted something very smooth and easy to replace. Sure beats brass or aluminum gearing. And back in the day when Sinar/Bron had a very strong presence in this country, they could send you replacement pieces very quickly; and unlike their full components, minor parts tended to be quite affordable. I don't know what the gig is anymore; cannibalize old cameras, I guess. Or maybe there is still a big official stockpile of parts somewhere. I've always done my own repairs and maint. Just depends on how comfortable you are about doing such things, and having the right kind of screwdrivers etc.
    The gig today is that Sinar is owned by Leica. His best bet is to check with the service department on the pro floor at Samys.

  8. #8

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    Dec 2014
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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    I did check with Samy's and they suggested I call Bob at Precision Camera Works as he may know what's up with parts, but that it likely would be a quite expensive repair.

    The seller doesn't seem to have that many items up for sale on eBay so probably doesn't just have another front standard to give me.

    I'll give Bob a call in the morning and then follow up with the seller. Odds are this camera is going to be returned.

  9. #9

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    Re: Sinar P2 fine focus track broken

    You might also get in touch with George Brown "apogeebee" on eBay. He repairs Sinar cameras, and may be able to sell you just the focusing track. He repaired my Sinar P2 some years ago. The work was excellent, and the price very reasonable.

    Kumar

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