View Full Version : Sinar P2 on the field

21-Feb-2005, 04:29
Dear all,

I have a Toyo A2 and I recently purchased a P2. This latter is very sturdy and the asymetrical tilt is very to use.

I would like to use the P2 in the field but would like to know how to transport it.

Do you use a big bag like the Super trekker ? Do you transport the P2 mounted or do you just transport the parts and build the camera on the set ? I think that it's very large (knobs on one side and standards on the other because of its asymetrical swing) and I wonder whether it can fit even in a large bag.

Thanks to share your experience.

Jay Lnch
21-Feb-2005, 06:29
I would recommend a Humv H2O. If you don't have one go back to using the Toyo AII in the filed.

Good luck!!!

Frank Petronio
21-Feb-2005, 06:43
Most photographers use a large trunk case - either nylon and foam (Lightware) or plywood (Anvil) or Fiberglass (Sinar) or Aluminum (Halliburton). Generally they assemble the camera at the car and carry it over their shoulder, mounted on a sturdy tripod.

Many architectural photographers use P2s. I have a friend who swears by his P2 out-of-doors but he is very protective of it, and won't use it when wind could blow sand into the gearing. He also never travels very far from his SUV.

Donald Hutton
21-Feb-2005, 08:40

The only people I have seen using P2's outdoors had them in monorail cases - these come in a lot of different shapes, sizes and materials, but for the P2, you'll need a big rigid one! To be honest, while I have seen architectural shooters using them, I've never seen one in at a "typical" landscape location. Incidentally, if the assymetrical movements are a dealbreaker for you, there are a couple of Ebony models which feature them (both folding and non-folding models). I have an Ebony with assymetric tilts and swings, and while they are nice to use, they only offer a slight time saving in going through the iterations of focussing. I am 100% certain that any time savings would be more than offset in the additional time taken to lug that beast of a camera of yours to a field location and set it up. Before you set your heart on using it in the field, think carefully about what potential advantages it may offer over your current camera. My guess is that any advantages the P2 may offer over a camera designed for field use will be more than offset by the problems involved with transporting it to location, assembling (if needed) and setting up on a bigger and more robust tripod etc.

Forrest Atkins
21-Feb-2005, 09:07
I carried a Sinar P in a Lowpro Pro bag. Compressed the standards on the 12 inch rail with room for lenses, film, meter, etc. A bit on the heavy side so useful for short distances from the vehicle.

21-Feb-2005, 13:09
As a recent convert to LF I got an Arca Swiss(old model) with a couple of lenses for a song, I knew it was a little(!) heavy but eh I was new to this. I am an ex marine(royal) and so figured that I would be OK carrying the puppy into the hills, I mainly do landscape.It fits nicely into a lowepro phototrekker fine.Well having made a few trips I am after a wooden field camera cos its fine for a mile or two, but bye the time it gets to be a burden your committed to a long haul either way! I mainly use it for stuff within a mile or so to the car these days.

Tom Duffy
21-Feb-2005, 17:25
I've been using my P2 as a field camera since about 1997, both in 8x10 and, primarily, 5x7 format. I initially tried the sinar hard case, but it was too big and bulky. I now use a LL Bean large duffle bag with shoulder strap and pad the bottom with my darkcloth. I've carried it up to two miles, round trip, though that's a bit much. I use a Gitzo 1548 with no center column to reduce weight and carry my film in the Calumet 8x10 shoulder bag (the big white ones). This lets me walk a distance from the car.
My hit ratio of technically good negatives has gone way up since using the P2 in the field. The asymetrical swings and tilts, the depth of field calculator and the rigidity of the system make it the only large format camera I would use in the field. I do admit that this is probably a minority opinion...
Take care,

21-Feb-2005, 18:25

I second you. Last October, I took my P 8x10 to Tibet with 10 film holders and 3 lens. I went up to 4500m. Local people helped me a lot.

My next trip will be to Nepal. And then Everst Base Camp (5600m).

John W. Randall
21-Feb-2005, 19:42
Hi, Ben

The Sinar P-2, either 4X5 or 5X7, will fit into a Lowe-Pro Super-TrekkerAW 11. The fit is a bit 'cleaner' - more compact, more tidy, if the standards, standard bearers, etc, are installed into the backpack as separate components. Use small nylon 'parapak' bags with drawstrings to help protect those components. These can be purchased at most camping supply firms.

The carrying weight can vary from a modest 45 lbs. to 70 lbs. I regularly carry the P-2 in either 4X5 and/or 5X7 - and have even managed to lug both formats at the same time, having found myself in situations where that seemed necessary.

Assuming you are in good physical condition, you may find the biggest obstacle is getting all of this stuff up on your back; once you've got it situated, and assuming the harness is properly adjusted, you should be able to huff and puff merrily up and down hill and dale - and, once everything is set up in front of your proposed image, have one hell of a good time using a really fine piece of equipment.

Best regards,

22-Feb-2005, 13:04
Yikes, Kevin, you win the prize!

Ben, I have carried my Sinar P around town for architectural use in a very large shoulder bag -- a soft suitcase, really. Max travel distance no more than one mile. The bulkiness is an even bigger problem than the weight (it won't fit in my f64 backpack).

Since I bought a top quality full-functioned modern field camera, the Sinar has been sitting in its case at the bottom of my closet. As much as I love using it, I hate hauling it around even more. I mention this just as a counterpoint to the superhuman efforts of the likes of Kevin.

Donald Hutton
22-Feb-2005, 20:40
I'm impressed... But surely if one is going to lug 45-70lbs around, you'll want at least an 8X20 neg?? I don't exactly do the lightweight thing, but isn't photgraphy supposed to be fun?

John W. Randall
23-Feb-2005, 20:05
Hi Don,

"Fun" can take many forms. My passions seem to include an admiration for precision machinery, and the P-2 was as close as I could get to finding a large format camera that would also adapt to different formats later in the game, while still being affordable. I compared the 9.5 lbs. of the Arca-Swiss to the weight of the P-2 - then considered the weight of everything else I carry into the field - and concluded it was the 'everything else', not the camera, that would add the largest percentage of weight to the whole system.

I do carry a lot of stuff: 5 lenses, some with Copal 3 shuttters. 2 to 3 quarts of water. 24 inches of monorail. Repair tools. Lee Filter System. Vest. Large Notebook. Sinar auxiliary front standard with wide angle bellows and attendant apparatus for my lens shade. Both a Readyload holder as well as regular film holders. Both black and white as well as color film. And, of course, etc. stuff. I'm happy with my gear, with my subject(s), and, often enough, happy with the results.

I'm usually huffing and puffing at 10,000 to 13,000 feet, and you're right - the weight gets absolutely goofy after the first two miles or so. But I keep myself in shape, and the passion, with its concomitant luggage, is a constant reminder that the process - the WHOLE thing - is what's important.

I hope you agree.

Best regards

J. P. Mose
24-Feb-2005, 11:13

I have a 8x10 Linhof Kardan Bi-System and just sold an 8x10 Linhof Kardan Color. Either would fit well in a Calzone Case (29 1/2" x 23 1/2" X 11 1/2"). Calzone cases are often used by musicians. I also have a collapsible cart with wheels to hold it and my 30 lb tripod. The total usually ends up around 90 lbs. I have taken it out in the field a few times but have yet to climb Mt. Everest.

Nacio Jan Brown
28-Feb-2005, 23:43
Take a look at the back page of the current Backpacker 2005 Gear Guide. Or go to www.themule.com. (http://www.themule.com.)
Depending on the terrain, the thing could be just the ticket for large format photographers. njb