View Full Version : Sinar:from 4x5 to 5x7

Andrea Gazzoni
23-Dec-2007, 14:00
Hello Guru's, I'd like to take advantage of my Sinar F1 4x5 system to take a test dive into 5x7 format.
Let's say it will be just occasional landscape b&w shooting and contact printing, so I'm looking for a "cheap" solution.
First I saw the Sinar 4x5-to-5x7 conversion kit does not fit the F-type standard, so I should buy a P-type rear standard, is it right?
In case i find a P front standard only, would it be usable as a rear with just the knobs on the wrong side?

The other opportunity I'm considering in a more shy manner is to buy a 5x7 field camera: the issue here is I would like to use the same lensboards of my Sinar, maybe some other accessories too if possible.
Is there a field 5x7 view camera with a 4x5 reducing back you can suggest?

thank you in advance

Mark Woods
23-Dec-2007, 18:24
You need to get a P1 or 2 back standard. The there is no way to connect (or remove) the lens board system from the front standard. The front standard has indicators on the scale to indicate where "zero" is for the different formats. I have an extra 5x7 for a P1 that is only a clear ground glass. I think I found one with the grid and Fresnel lens for the same price and bought it with the thought in mind that I'd sell the other. Never got around to it. Contact me off list if you're interested. I don't have an extra rear standard to go with it. Sometimes you'll find the rear standard and 5x7 back on ebay. Don't forget you'll need the bellows to go with it. It's a great format and the 8x10 lenses have great coverage, as you can imagine.

Dennis Felty
23-Dec-2007, 22:50
Mark is correct, I have just spent much time and energy researching your question for myself. The P and P2 front and rear standards have a slightly different configuration. The mounting pins on the standard have a small hole through them. The hole in the front standard pin is alligned with the axis of the rail and the hole in the rear pin is perpendicular to the axis of the rail. There are also two chrome roller bearing mounts on the standard that fit into a machined grove in the conversiion frames. The positons are reversed on the front and rear standard. You can change the position of the hole in the mounting pins by removing the two small screws and rotating the pin 90 degrees so the hole will recieve the set screw from the frame locking knob. The problem is that the mounting hole in the frame is off center so when using a front standard as the rear standard the rear standard will not allign with the front standard. So a rear standard must be used with the 5x7 and 8x10 conversion frames.

On the issue of using your Sinar lens boards, I think there are several options. You can mount a Sinar 4x5 frame (removed from the standard) on a lens board for your 5x7 camera. The cover plates on the Sinar frame are easy to remove and the frame can be drilled for attachment screws. A second option is to remove the bellows from an old sinar bellows and epoxy the two plastic frames together. Mount this assembly on a lens board for the 5x7. Attach a Sinar 4x5 frame (removed from the standard) to the assembly and you can mount Sinar lens boards in the attached frame. A third option is to use a Toyo adapter frame that accepts Sinar lens boards for use in Toyo 8x10 view cameras. This is part number 180-607 (8054) In a similar process attach this frame to a lens board that fits the 5x7.

In response to your question about 5x7 optons - Horseman makes a 5x7 frame and ground glass back for use with its view camera system. These are available on Ebay from time to time. These mount on a Horseman rail with a 4x5 front standard and 5x7 bellows. Horseman also has an 8x10 version that has an 8x10 to 5x7 reduction back. In the later models the Horseman back is the same as the Toyo 8x10. Horseman and Sinar use the same lens boards so the lens boards are fully interchangable. The Horseman system weighs about the same as the Sinar system however the Horseman frames can be rotated 90 degrees so the whole assembly lays flat. This is often more convienient for transporting.

I also use a Toyo 810M field camera. This is an all metal 8x10 folding field camera. This is great camera but it does weigh 15 pounds. Toyo offers an 8x10 to 5x7 reduction back, this is the same one that will fit a late model Horseman.


Sorry for the long response, I hope it was helpful

Joerg Krusche
24-Dec-2007, 02:28

just buy a Sinar F2 rear standard with bellows, plus try to find a 5x7 to 4x5 reducing adapter if you want to shoot 4x5. All this can be found occasionally on 'bay.


Andrea Gazzoni
24-Dec-2007, 07:54
Thank you all,

Mark, Dennis all is clear now! :)
Joerg do you mean I should buy a 5x7 Sinar F2 rear standard, right?

have a great Christmas

Daniel Unkefer
24-Dec-2007, 08:17

Another possibility for you, would be to get a Sinar Norma 5x7 rear standard and bellows. This I did last year, and I'm thoroughly enjoying 5x7.

It would work nicely with your F front standard, and not too expensive on ebay.

Daniel Unkefer
24-Dec-2007, 12:54

Here is a link to the 5x7 Norma brochure:


Click on a section to enlarge it.

Merry XMAS -Dan

Joerg Krusche
24-Dec-2007, 13:30
@ Andrea,

yes that is what I mean, the 5x7 F2 rear standard is more sturdy, buy it with corresponding bellows .. and with a reducing adapter you will cover 4x5 and 5x7, and weight is reasonable .. or pick the Norma rear standard if that works.


Bjorn Nilsson
24-Dec-2007, 14:57
Try to find a rear standart, either a dedicated Sinar F(1-2) 5X7, or a P standart with one of those conversion kits that you've seen. I use the latter one, which makes the camera a Sinar C (Combination), i.e. a P back with an F front.
Finding a 5X7" Norma back standart with bellows isn't a bad idea either. Lots of people still swears by their Normas stating the Norma being the best camera ever built.
Just keep your eyes open for the opportunity and don't be in too much hurry. You will find something that can build your 5X7 camera in due time.

Happy Holidays...

Andrea Gazzoni
24-Dec-2007, 15:12
Bjorn I guess Norma would be the cheaper solution, is it right?

One more question (sorry if it's repetitive): is 13x18cm and 5x7inches exactly the same format?

Now I wish to thank everyone here.
It's just amazing each time to see how many help one can find on this forum.

Merry Christmas to everyone


Andrea Gazzoni
24-Dec-2007, 16:29
A fellow from France is selling his F2 5x7 rear standard (tapered bellows included) for 400 US $ shipping included.
In your opinion is this a good price or should i wait another one?

Daniel Unkefer
24-Dec-2007, 21:27
"One more question (sorry if it's repetitive): is 13x18cm and 5x7inches exactly the same format?"


13x18cm is European format, requires 13x18 Sinar Norma Rear Standard, 13x18 film holders, and 13x18cm film. 5x7" format is the International format, requiring the 5x7" Sinar Norma Rear Standard, 5x7" film holders, and 5x7 inch film. It is the same with the modern stuff.

-Dan, $400 is not too bad for a good, pinhole free, modern 5x7 bellows and F Rear Standard, which would -match- your camera front.

Happy Christmas! -Dan

Joerg Krusche
25-Dec-2007, 02:36

to my knowledge 13x18 or 5x7 rear standards each take both type of cassettes i.e. either 13x18 (in cm) or 5x7 (in inch).


25-Dec-2007, 03:01
Yes the external dimensions are the same for both formats. Its only the internal dimensions in the darkslides/filmholders that differs.
Kind regards

Bjorn Nilsson
25-Dec-2007, 05:33
Well, the Norma "should" cost considerably less, but it all comes down to the condition of the parts. If you find e.g. a back standart and later want to upgrade to the P standart, you can sell the old standart for similar money that you paid for it. (If you're in Europe, check this auction on Ebay: 170179275205. If I understand the german text correctly, the camera needs some repair, but the price should be quite cheap too. )

The 13X18 and 5X7 differs with a few millimeters. I.e. you cannot use 13X18 film in 5X7 holders or vice versa. If you live in Europe, go for 13X18 and if live in the US, go for 5X7. A good source for film in Europe is at fotoimpex.de .

If you really like your F1 and plan/feel like shooting a lot with it in the future, you ought to consider finding a P rear standart, with a 4X5 frame as well as the 5X7 frame. The P rear end really makes the Sinar rock. (You can do the same with the F camera, but it's so much faster with the P standart.) Ok, the P standart is a bit heavier and makes the camera a bit less useable outdoors, but you get a lot of stability and precision.


Andrea Gazzoni
25-Dec-2007, 14:13
At least four different possibilities emerge to transform a Sinar F 4x5 into a 5x7 view camera:

1) Sinar F1/F2 5x7 rear standard with proper bellows and ground glass (I was asked approximately 400 US $)

2) Sinar P rear standard + Sinar Adapter 4x5 to5x7 kit (just one rear standard at this time on ebay with auction still running, one kit went today on the same site for 190 US $)

3) Sinar Norma 5x7 rear standard with bellows and gg (one recently sold for 250 US $ no bellows, no gg, frame only..)

4) buy a 5x7 Norma and cannibalize it: a few days ago an entire 5x7 Norma sold here in Italy for less than 230 US $...

Now the cheapest and lightest option for making some attempts in this format seems to be between the number 3 (with hopefully better luck than that guy) and 4, as the Norma is commonly stated as a really light and compact camera.

The number 1 is rare to find and seems a bit expensive.
As for the P, I understand this is intended more for studio work: having to backpack and doing mostly landscape with no need for critical focusing skills this seems to be not the best option.

This is a great system, isn't it?


Daniel Unkefer
25-Dec-2007, 18:26

If you buy a 5x7 Norma. and if you are like me, you will not want to use the modern stuff much anymore. The Norma is -really- that much better. So more likely, you will cannibalize your 4x5 F to use those parts on your Norma :)

-Dan, with 2-4x5, 1-5x7, and 1-8x10 Normas. :cool:

Andrea Gazzoni
26-Dec-2007, 05:51
Dan, your right, I'm just falling in love with that camera :cool:

Daniel Unkefer
26-Dec-2007, 14:55

Looks very good. Looks like you need the "plunger" button that screws on the end of the cable release, you can get that from Sinar. And an original Norma instruction book.

Looks like a 300mm Convertable Symmar? -Fantastic- 5x7 lens. In that barrel mount, it will work quickly and efficiently with your Sinar Norma Automatic Shutter. :)

Bjorn Nilsson
26-Dec-2007, 16:46
Well, he hasn't bought it yet, there's 3 days left at the auction for the camera on the picture. He negotiating to buy a back standart via this forum though.
(if you look in the earlier posts you'll find the auction number if you are interested in a DIY item. There's a few things to be fixed with the camera, which I could be more specific about if I only had paid attention in my german language classes some 35 years ago... :-) I.e. the camera on the picture isn't mine either...

Cheers and a Happy New Year


Andrea Gazzoni
26-Dec-2007, 16:57
You are right Bjorn, the seller of that item kindly translated to me: the camera must be repaired, because the bellows has some little holes, the back frame cannot be tightened.

Andrea Gazzoni
27-Jan-2008, 11:17
just a line to say that Daniel was right: the Norma back arrived and it is a wonderfully looking piece, making me like the idea to regress the whole system at the 70's standard ;)


28-Jan-2008, 04:07
If you end up getting a P2 rear standard, I have a 5x7 back with bellows and 2 holders I have never used. The bellows are leather and not sure of the light tightness. Can check for you though. PM me for more info.

Andrea Gazzoni
11-Apr-2008, 09:21
...and now back from 5x7 to 4x5 ;)

has anyone ever tried one of these adapters? I'd like to go hiking with my 5x7 rear standard and have the possibility to mount the 4x5 frame on it in order to shoot both formats... not sure if this piece will give the result...


Mark Woods
11-Apr-2008, 09:56
I've never used one. I only have the bellows/back combinations -- except for the 8x10 to 4x5 adapter for shooting 8x10 but checking the exposure with 4x5 Polaroids.

Jim Noel
11-Apr-2008, 10:04
If it is only for occasional use to try the format, why not get an older field camera and make an adapter board to go from the field camera to the Sinar. There are several different adapter bords made, and they are not difficult to do yourself. I have one to take Technika style boardds to Sinar which works beautifully.

Andrea Gazzoni
11-Apr-2008, 10:22
the point is.. I have a complete 4x5 sinar F1 camera and a 5x7 norma rear standard: at present i bring the F1 and the 5x7 back both to shoot the two formats.
my goal is to keep the 5x7 standard always attached to the rail, leave the 4x5 standard at home and alternate the 5x7 and the 4x5 backs by fitting the smaller one on the 5x7 frame.

much easier to see than to write down...

12-Apr-2008, 04:19
I have the reduction back for my Norma 5X7/13X18. It takes the normal 4X5 inch back on some kind of adapter plate. It is kind of bulky and the thickness prevents me from shooting WA lenses <90mm comfortably. I haven't used it yet since Im really not into
4X5 right now. It would be less of a hazle than carrying two rears, two bellows and taking it all apart in the midlle of nowhere to change formats.
BTW I mailed Camera bellows about my 5X7 bellows. They want 110&#163; to make a new one.
Kind regards

Daniel Unkefer
14-Apr-2008, 17:57
Hi Andrea,

Glad you have finally discovered the Norma. Looks like you got a good one; BTW it looks like like it is missing the screw-in bolt at the top of the rear standard. Fairly easy to find, especially on the junk camera market. The 5x7 to 4x5 reducing back is a good idea, sure. But since you have a 5x7 Norma, and a 4x5 F1 plateholder, I'm unsure what to suggest! Maybe you should ask Glenn Evans at www.glennview.com Glenn knows the answer to your question.

-Daniel, have fun with the camera. I find mine to be a delight to use, even after twenty-five years.