View Full Version : Using a Sinar Shutter [?]

neil poulsen
23-Feb-2018, 07:17
I'm working with a friend to get him started in LF photography. Years ago, he purchased a decent Sinar F with a Sinar shutter and some DB lenses.

What's important to keep in mind when using these shutters? Seems straight-forward enough. But sometimes, the idiosyncrasies aren't obvious.

Louis Pacilla
23-Feb-2018, 07:29
Hey Neil This should get you guys going straight.http://www.cameramanuals.org/prof_pdf/sinar-copal_shutter.pdf

Bernice Loui
23-Feb-2018, 20:46
Not a lot really. Do have the shutter checked out for accuracy, then have the shutter serviced, cleaned, lubed, adjusted by a qualified and reputable tech. Once this is done that Sinar shutter should be good for a LOT of shutter cycles.

Hold the shutter release down until the shutter is past it's exposure time or there will be significant kick back when the shutter blades close.

The Sinar shutter cable release have become difficult to get. The later back version is better than the early chrome version.

Other than bulk of the DB mount, they are convent to use as the taking aperture can be set on the shutter, with the lens at it's largest aperture for GG viewing.

Do know an entire world of barrel lenses and much more is possible image making devices.

Wide angle lenses are not so good with the Sinar shutter, Better to use wide angle lenses in shutter than wide angle DB lenses.

There is a recess for the Sinar 103mm round glass filter or 100mm square filter can be fitted behind the shutter. Behind the lens filter does shift focus, but will be less prone to flare-reflectios due to filter(s) added in front of the lens.

The first Sinar shutter used is now about three decades past, it has been serviced once and has been accurate-reliable after thousands upon thousands of shutter cycles.


William Whitaker
24-Feb-2018, 08:42
My own experience with using a Sinar/Copal shutter in the field is that it's more to keep up with. It's bulky and easy to damage if you forget to retract the blades before you put it away. It also needs to be kept away from dirt. So mine has traveled in the past in a Ziploc bag in yet another shoulder bag which must be kept track of. And if you remove the cable release, make absolutely sure that you account for it all the way back home because it's the sort of thing that is easily misplaced or overlooked in the haste of leaving one scene to find the next. Don't drop it in the grass! I haven't lost one yet, but I've lost lenscaps that same way. I would hate life for sure if I lost that precious and oh-so-hard-to-find cable release!

But the shutter itself is a Godsend and makes possible the accurate timing of photographs taken with older lenses which have no shutter or at best a balky Studio shutter.

I have only one lens so far in a DB mount, a 75mm I bought for use with 5x7. The drawback to that as I see it is that lens is dedicated to the Sinar and its shutter. I think we LF types sometimes forget that we're lucky to be able to change lenses easily across platforms. My 9 1/2" Dagor works well for me across 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 formats through the use of reducing adapters. But my 75mm must stay with the Sinar. Good thing that the Sinar changes formats easily because I can't take this lens and put it on a folding field camera.

Not a big deal and too many words to describe it all. But DB lenses are going to be necessarily bound to using with a Sinar system. The good thing (at this writing) about DB mount lenses is that generally they run a bit less expensive on the used market, so may represent a good value. Just keep the big picture in mind.

My $0.02 + a lot more blather...

DG 3313
24-Feb-2018, 21:42
Not an expert but, a little light machine oil in my cable release helped to free it up (when it got sticky). This shutter opens a lot of doors for our barrel lenses. Flash sync cable is rare...be careful with it......... I love this shutter!!!

Peter De Smidt
24-Feb-2018, 22:49
"B" has the least vibration. When you fire the shutter, first take up the slack through the aperture closing down, pause briefly, and then push smoothly through the shutter actuation.

neil poulsen
25-Feb-2018, 02:30
Thanks for all the input.

QUESTION REGARDING SUPER WIDES: As long as the rear optic is small enough, is there a way one can use wide angle lenses without removing the shutter? I'm assuming that the rear optic of a super side has a small enough diameter to fit through the open shutter.

Or, is this fraught with danger?

25-Feb-2018, 02:37
I use the Sinar shutter on my 4x5" with 4 DB lenses. It takes away worries about consistency over the otherwise 4 shutters. Just in case it fails (never happened) I do carry a 180mm with a Copal shutter.

William Whitaker
25-Feb-2018, 07:37
Thanks for all the input.

QUESTION REGARDING SUPER WIDES: As long as the rear optic is small enough, is there a way one can use wide angle lenses without removing the shutter? I'm assuming that the rear optic of a super side has a small enough diameter to fit through the open shutter.

Or, is this fraught with danger?

Shall we assume your super-wide short focal-length lens is mounted in its own shutter? If not, then the answer is self-evident. If so, then I think your question really is something more like, "Can the Sinar shutter remain in place while using a lens that may need to extend back far enough to be within the travel of the shutter blades"?
At least, that's my interpretation of your question.

That should be OK because the shutter blades are spring-loaded in the open position. They're not going to instantly snap shut because of a hair-trigger release mechanism. So if your wide-angle optic extends through the shutter body as a necessary part of reaching focus, then it should be OK. Just be sensible about it.

Everything is fraught with danger. How you mitigate that danger is what's important. Take your time. Think through every action. And put your toys away when you're finished playing. :)

Bernice Loui
25-Feb-2018, 10:31
Sinar shutter kick-back occurs when the shutter blades are closing-closed. The kick-back has zero effect on image sharpness due to vibration. The B setting essentially opens the shutter blades directly using the cable release without the timing mechanism.

As for super wides with the Sinar Shutter in place, not a good idea due to the added distance between front-rear camera standards. Losing about 3/4" or 19mm when using a short focal length lens is serious penalty when camera movements are needed. This is why short focal length lenses in DB mount is not a good idea. Better to remove the Sinar shutter with standard bellows, then install a bag bellows with the short focal length wide angle lens in shutter chosen. Bag bellows for a Sinar is not difficult or expensive to obtain and makes using wide angle lenses on a Sinar that much nicer.

The Shutter blade are not going to close unless the user does something to close them. The potential of damaging the shutter blades with a short focal length lens in place is likely going to happen directly due to operator error, not due to a mechanical failing of the Sinar shutter.