View Full Version : Sinar Shutter

neil poulsen
9-May-2016, 06:54
I've recently put together a Sinar Norma/F hybrid camera, and I'm wondering about the Sinar shutter. I'd like to know more about these shutters and their use. I checked the archives, but didn't find anything directly related. (Too many hits.)

> How accurate are the speeds?

> Can they be used with super wides?

> Are they heavy?

> Of course, they can't be inserted between front and rear groups. Does this cause a problem?

> Aren't there a couple of versions? If so, what are differences?

Will the Sinar shutter fit on a Norma front standard?

Peter De Smidt
9-May-2016, 09:15
There are various versions from the Norma on. There is an f/4 max and an f/5.6 max shutter. The times are as accurate as a copal shutter, ime. I can weigh mine sometime soon. The shutter sits behind the front standard. This adds about 1 cm to the minimum distance between the standards, and the lens has to be moved a bit forward so that the rear element doesn't hit the shutter blades. How much you must move the lens forward will depend on the lens. You needed the dedicated shutter release. There are some work-a-rounds, but none, ime, is as good as the real shutter release. The shutter vibration is fairly soft on the 'B' setting, but there's more wiz-bang on other settings. Some people think this doesn't have an effect on sharpness. Others disagree. People seem to get very upset discussing this, and so I won't say any more about it. Yes, the shutters will fit on the Norma standard. You might as well get a Norma-era one.

Alan Gales
9-May-2016, 10:28
If you buy one then make sure you at least get the Sinar shutter release cable with it. They are hard to find and very expensive by themselves.

There is also another cable that recocks the shutter when you insert a film holder. You don't have to have this cable but it's pretty slick recocking the shutter from behind the camera. I saw a video of a photographer taking portraits of quite a few people using this set-up with studio lights. He didn't need to change lens aperture or shutter speed so he just stood behind the camera loading film holders and snapping the shots.

neil poulsen
9-May-2016, 12:27
Thanks for the heads up on the shutter release cables.

What's the largest lens rear diameter that this shutter can handle?

9-May-2016, 13:18
Neil, 74mm per my measure, to the 5.6 Copal shutter version. 630g without the cables.



Fr. Mark
9-May-2016, 20:08
I used a stop watch and shutter tester on mine. Then I used a marker to indicate the real speeds. Mine runs slow of markings at all settings. Fastest indicated setting is 1/60 longest setting is 8 sec. Mine goes to ten (eleven would be funnier see movie This Spinal Tap). One of the cooler features is you can have a depth of field preview w/o leaving the ground glass. It does not vignette at 150 f5.6 on 5x7 when mounted on DB board. I'm probably buying a 90, if so will post here.

Steven Tribe
10-May-2016, 00:47
The original shutter made for the Norma weighed around 500g. It is without the DB iris module on the side.

A comparison is shown. Note this particular (green) Norma version has different speeds from the usual (later?) type.

10-May-2016, 16:26
History of Sinar shutters at: http://www.galerie-photo.com/manuels/sinar-shutter-system.pdf

Have used Sinar shutters since the early 1980s. Some of my observations....

I have never found vibration to be a problem. Most of the time use a custom made for W..Eugene Smith by Life magazine totally all metal rail clamp (long story) or a Norma rail clamp on Sinar's (tilt) tripod head. Most of the time all on a Linhof Heavy Duty tripod.

The shutter is quite loud.

Sinar's proprietary shutter release cord (very, very long throw) is very hard to find. I once bought a broken Sinar shutter cause it came with an OEM Sinar shutter cord. The threads are like on a common bolt and not conical like on common shutter release cords.

KEH will repair a broken Sinar Copal shutter for a fixed price of $150.00. Recently bought 2 broken Sinar shutters for very little money and sent them to KEH for repair. One they repaired, the other was fire damaged and beyond repair... in the end I was still ahead of the game.

Using a bunch of home made adapters, have adapted a Sinar shutter for use on my Chamonix cameras, you just have to fabricate a spacer to get the shutter about 3/4" in front of the standard's side rails.

Kevin J. Kolosky
10-May-2016, 17:10
I have one with a maximum aperture of f4. really nice. But remember, you will need to use DB lens boards for the lenses you use on them. And sometimes it can be a pain tracking down the proper DB lensboard.

The real beauty of them is using one on a Sinar P2 camera!!

Armin Seeholzer
12-May-2016, 13:10
I have one with a maximum aperture of f4. really nice. But remember, you will need to use DB lens boards for the lenses you use on them.

This is not true you can use them also with just a normal Sinar board but you do then not have the auto f stop closing! I for an example have a 480mm f 4.5 Xenar which was mounted on a normal Sinar board from Sinar company some years ago because the lens has just about 135mm diameter it was front mounted on the board I just have to close after fokusing the lens to the f stop which I like and then shoot!

Cheers Armin from Sinar land!

12-May-2016, 15:57
Armin, I don't know much about these boards, but aren't they called DBM boards, with the M standing for manual, and have the aperture ring at the base of the cone?


Fr. Mark
12-May-2016, 18:59
I have DB and DBM boards. DBM allows manual control of lens iris and DBM goes to f64 v. F45 for the DB auto control. The DB board mounted lenses spring open when dismounted or when not making an exposure.
One of the benefits of a Sinar shutter is that lenses w/o shutters can be mounted on a regular board and used with the Sinar shutter. You either accept the lens at whatever aperture it has or use its iris/Waterhouse stops whatever. I've even used a +4 close-up lens (250mm positive meniscus lens) with the Sinar shutter. I taped it to the lens board and eventually made some stops to go I a cardboard holder taped to the front side of the board.

Kevin J. Kolosky
13-May-2016, 15:30
Yes, you can mount them on a normal board, but not in the normal way. There is very little clearance between the board and the shutter blades. So you can't just unscrew a lens from a shutter, slap it on a regular sinar flat board, and mount it. You either have to attach some sort of a flange to the lens you are going to use (unless it already has one) or you need to add some sort of cone so that the lens can be screwed in ahead of the shutter.

It would be interesting to see photos of those lenses that are not mounted in DB boards but are used with Sinar shutters. Most would, I assume, be older lenses that did not have a shutter.

Peter De Smidt
13-May-2016, 16:59
It's pretty easy to do.

13-May-2016, 19:20
My Cambo 8x10's both have a sinar shutter on them, which I have mated to my Cambo boards.

Peter De Smidt
13-May-2016, 20:23
17" Collinear.

Merg Ross
14-May-2016, 08:16
My Calumet 8x10 with Sinar shutter.

Struan Gray
14-May-2016, 11:59
Many graphic arts lenses and older brass lenses have the flange at the back. They can often be mounted on a flat board.

Norma-era coned lens boards are reasonably cheap, if you don't need the automation of the later models. Boards with a broken 'Mickey Mouse' aperture adjustment are the best bargains.

The shutter can also be mounted on an intermediate standard. If mounted reversed, so that the aperture blades are in front, it can be snugged up very close to a lens that projects behind the front standard. If you're not using the full coverage and widest apertures, lenses with larger rear elements than the opening in the shutter work well too. The pic shows a Verito with a larger rear element than the shutter opening (the shutter is hiding behind the bag bellows). On 4x5 there's no vignetting at all.


14-May-2016, 16:56
28mm PC Nikkor with Sinar shutter... great ultra wide angle circular image on 4x5 film. With a square crop, totally looks like a Hasselblad (SWC) Super Wide at a fraction of the cost.