View Full Version : Sinar models - what's the difference?

Clemens M.
31-Oct-2005, 13:59
I was just offered some used cameras from a retiring studio pro:

a Sinar F1

a Sinar P

a Sinar P2

a Sinar X

I tried to find out what the differences are - who can tell me?

Eric Leppanen
31-Oct-2005, 14:17


Eric Leppanen
31-Oct-2005, 14:19
Oops, try again....

www.sinarbron.com/sinar/conventional/cameras.php (http://www.sinarbron.com/sinar/conventional/cameras.php)

www.sinar.ch/sinar/default.htm (http://www.sinar.ch/sinar/default.htm)

David A. Goldfarb
31-Oct-2005, 15:54
The F-series models are lighter in weight and are designed to be more portable, while the P-series and the X are designed more to be studio cameras with self-braking geared movements.

The F-series have a tilt/swing calculator, while the P-series and X have asymmetric tilts and swings. All have the DOF calculator.

The main difference between the P and P2 is that the P has a switch that you have to turn to change between tilt and swing on each standard, while the P2 has separate knobs for tilt and swing. I know the X is supposed to be a less expensive version of the P2, but I'm not sure what P2 features it lacks.

Craig Wactor
31-Oct-2005, 16:15
the main difference between the X and P2 is that the X does not have detents for zero position. Also, the P is chrome, while the P2 is black. The P2 has a metering back (you can stick a probe into the back), but not the X or P. The grips are a little different. The P2 uses rubber on the knobs and the P has plastic. The P and P2 are more easily upgraded to 5x7 or 8x10 than the F1 or X, but any of them can be.

The F1 is the only one you would seriously consider using as a field camera. I take mine out, but not too far from the car. I doubt I would try to take it hiking.

A good F1 with no lens or extras, just the camera, is worth around $450. For a P in good shape, $800. For a P2 in good shape, maybe $2000. An X should go for around $1300 or so, I think. These prices are somewhere between ebay and a used photo store like MPEX or KEH. The accessories that come with them may also be worth as much as the camera. Things like reflex hoods, lenses, tripod heads, extension rails, etc. are worth a lot and make shooting with that system really nice.

Let me know if you are looking to resell any of these, or if you don't want to buy them from the studio, I might be interested.

David A. Goldfarb
31-Oct-2005, 17:06
While the P2 comes with the metering back, it's pretty common to find 8x10" P's that have been upgraded to the metering back and larger carrier frame, so you might ask what upgrades it has.

Frank Petronio
31-Oct-2005, 17:41
The Sinar F evolved into the F1, while they also introduced an F2 with a sturdier front standard. Since prices for large format are at an all time low, I'd hold out for an F2 - they are worth $100-200 more than an F or F2.

The Sinar Norma, which was made before the F or P series, is a very nice camera with higher quality machining and more solid and servicable design - but it lacks the Depth of Field calculator, Yaw free tilts, and many of the "features" of the later designs. I'd get the Norma myself.

31-Oct-2005, 19:16

I believe the X cannot be changed from 4x5 to 8x10 whereas the P2 can... otherwise, they're virtually identical in terms of build and weight.


tor kviljo
1-Nov-2005, 01:49
The F1 have a relatively flimsy front standard (plastic + slim metal buckle for fastening around rail), and is the weakest of all sinars when it comes to stability (save for the odd Sinar A/Wolf/Alpina). The P/P2/X is super stable studio cameras with self locking & geared movement all around (save for base tilt) . On the f, only focussing is geared, and the lock for swing/shift is combined, making precise adjustment of shift or swing difficult if both adjustment is allready out of zero (no help from the detents)). New, the P/P2 were about 4x as expensive as the f/f1 equivalent, which is easily to se from the use of material & fitting/stability of the P (P is for "Perfect", by the way, F is for "field"). However, the P is twice as heavy as the f, and can not be folded for transport as the f can, so if You do need a light/field camera for hiking (i.e.: You can no longer see the car....) , the othervice very much superb P/P2 X is no option - leaving You with the mediocre but working f if You want to buy any of those. I have Sinar P/P2 combo in 4"x5" and an old sinar Norma in 5"x7". I much prefere the all-metal stability of the (nearly as light) Norma over the rather flimsy f1

Robert H
16-Jan-2014, 20:52
Very fond of the Norma, particularly the early ones with the focus lock and steel central gearing rather than the later nylon version. They're very elegant and you can see they were truly constructed by Swiss watchmakers. 108452

JW Dewdney
16-Jan-2014, 21:32
to add: there is pretty much ZERO practical difference between the P2 and the X. The detents make zero difference if you have eyes and can use them to zero movements - and the format change capability is sort of moot too since A. most people are unlikely to use it in 99.9% of cases and B. you can change formats with the X anyway (via a little trick).

Robert H
11-Feb-2014, 19:13
No "0"detents on the X model.

11-Feb-2014, 20:47
No "0"detents on the X model.

"0" detents are nothing but small metal balls. See P diagram below (P2 is about same). If you ever rebuilt P/P2 standards you probably
lost one of two of them:) they tend to fall out when you do not expect.


As far as understand Sinar marketing department decided not to put small metal balls in X.

18-Feb-2014, 20:22
I have an F2, and done some research into the differences between the F1 and F2 in the series...... So I'll add to the thread.

The F2 Graflok back has a lift lever to lift back the ground glass to insert your film holder. It also has a probe probe holder.

The F1 does not.

As well, the F2 has focus control on the front standard, whereas the F1 only allows for crude focus on the front via moving the rail itself.

I understand that fine focus knob on the front standard was added to the F2 after a couple of years of production.

According to this manual: http://di.hexagram.ca/files/manuals/cameras/sinar_introductionmanual.pdf

On page 5, the F2 came with metering back with probe holder (462.16), and the F1 without probe holder or lift lever (461.36).

The F2 was changed a bit when the locks for the swing and shifts were seperated. Earlier models shared a single lock.

Looking at the Catalog 2000 brochure catalog ( http://www.sinar.ch/wp-content/uploads/Sinar-System-Catalogue-2000.pdf ), it does say that it comes with 461.36, however, the photograph shows that it has the lift lever. And they go on to say that it does not have a meter probe holder. So it would seem that somewhere along the way the the lift lever was added to the 461.36, and it replaced the 462.16.