View Full Version : Roll film back for Sinar F

2-May-2015, 12:20
I picked up a Sinar F kit on the auction site and added a Fuji 180/5.6 as a compromise between the 150 and the 210 I think I may end up with eventually anyway. Now I'm looking at roll film backs.

The Horseman and Graphic 23 seem to be equally priced but I'm guessing there will be an age difference between the two so more chance for a Graphic holder to wear out on me before the Horseman (that's pure conjecture of course...these things were made to last and it's true "they don't make things like they used to").

The Horseman seems to have the winding lever like my RB67 but the Graphic seems to have a knob. When working out in the "field" does it make any difference?

I was also curious about these rotating or sliding back adapters that I see floating around. Are those that useful? It seems like a lot of extra weight for not a lot of benefit.

Andrew Plume
2-May-2015, 12:25
why not pick up any of the calumet backs, they'll easily fit

good luck

2-May-2015, 12:54
why not pick up any of the calumet backs, they'll easily fit

good luck

Being able to slide the holder under the GG does seem like a good idea when working in the field.

Any downside to that hairpin turn the film has to take and whether that puts a kink in the film if it's left in the holder?

Oren Grad
2-May-2015, 13:23
There are many 4x5-fit rollholder brands to choose from - leaving out those that are rebadges, Graphic, Horseman, Toyo, Sinar, Linhof, Wista, Cambo/Calumet come to mind.

Among the Graphic roll holders in particular, many lack a roller that is said to be essential for decent flatness with modern films. More generally, some users have found that roll film that sits for a while looped around tight turns can take on a kink that can affect flatness, and perceptible sharpness, in some situations. Note that this is a design feature of many rollholders, both clip-on and slide-in. Graphic, Horseman, Wista and Linhof (Super) Rollex holders all have tight reverse-curl pre-exposure film paths as part of their designs. This can't be avoided in compact holder designs in which the film spools sit behind the exposure gate rather than stretching out to the sides. I think the flattest pre-exposure film path I've seen has been in Sinar holders, with Toyo running second. Both of those are quite bulky.

There is no consensus here about how important a problem a curled film path is or which holder is "best". Different patterns of usage in the field, different uses for the resulting negatives or transparencies, and different viewing requirements and perceptions for the final prints mean that some of us perceive problems with popular roll holders and some of us don't. So don't be surprised if you get conflicting recommendations.

Before making a decision it would be worthwhile to spend some time searching for and reading other threads we have had on this topic.

Peter Lewin
2-May-2015, 14:46
FWIW, I used the Calumet back with my Sinar F, and never had any kinking problems. In fact I still have the holder, although I haven't used it for a while. I'm pretty sure that Sinar's own roll film back is higher quality (and there was at least one variable format model) but the downside was added weight, bulk, and of course, cost.

Leonard Robertson
3-May-2015, 12:01
I have an older version of the Sinar roll holder slider back for my Norma. I really haven't used it enough to have a strong opinion on it. It is handy to use, but a bit bulky. The weight isn't too bad - 2 1/2 pounds including an 8 exposure Graphic roll holder and the Sinar chimney view finder. The overall dimensions are approximately 6 3/4" X 10 1/8" X 6 3/4" tall to the top of the rubber eye cup on the chimney viewer. The chimney can be folded to one side or removed to give less thickness overall.

Many years ago I had a Calumet roll holder and at the time thought it was rather heavy and bulky, but I'm really curious what the actual dimensions and weight of the Calumet are. Please don't think I'm arguing "against" the Calumet. I've considered buying another one in fact, hence my interest in knowing the size and weight.

For all the talk about the lack of film flatness issue with the Calumet holder, has anyone ever seen actual test shots online anywhere? It seems it would be an easy test to do, but I've never seen samples of the alleged lack of flatness. I'm not saying there may not be a problem with film flatness due to the film path, but I'd like to see shots showing how much of an effect there is.


Jeff Keller
3-May-2015, 17:40
I believe all of the sliding back/rotating backs for roll film holders put the film plane back further from the lens. If you like super wide angle lenses you can have problems with movements. A mono rail such as the Sinar will have the fewest problems.

If you don't have a sliding/rotating back, removing the ground glass and/or viewer, setting it somewhere safe while you attach the roll film holder, is at best an inconvenience. At worst it becomes an expensive accident.

If you find a perfect solution, please post it.