View Full Version : Sinar Norma

Eduardo TOCA
24-Sep-2010, 04:14
Need help to decide, I'm an aspiring architectural photgrapher, and I'm thinking of buying this camera, Sinar Norma with 9x12 back, with this lenses

Schneider-Kreuznach, Symmar 1:5,6/135
Schneider-Kreuznach, Symmar 1:5,6/180 cm.,
Schneider-Kreuznach, 1:5,6/210

polaroid back, 6 film holders.

for around 1,800 dollars.

Is it a good choice for me? that wants mobility, easy transportation, do I need a big tripod for it? can I by a 4 x 5 back for it? is it expensive? what else can I ask to the owner.

this a picture of it, the text is in swedish.


hopefully you can help me,


24-Sep-2010, 04:25
I would say expensive. For architecture, you will need wider than 135mm anyway. So the lens combination may not be the best for a start.
Check this one (maybe not ideal for architecture, but the lens choice is much more appealing), looks like a 5x7 with reducing back, has 5x7 and 4x5 holders, is in Europe...

24-Sep-2010, 05:41
Another norma, looks even more complete:

24-Sep-2010, 06:18
Are you intending to be a commercial architectural photographer? It was my understanding that pretty much everyone is using digital nowadays, sometimes with tilt shift lenses. I could be wrong.

If you are doing it for a hobby, have at it.

I believe those are older model lenses, still quite good but maybe not what you need for architecture.

Struan Gray
24-Sep-2010, 07:32
That is a nice outfit, but the owner is asking too much, even allowing for inflated Swedish LF prices. The kit has been on and off Blocket for a long while with no buyers. I bought a much more extensive field camera outfit (camera, six lenses, plus lots of holders and roll film backs) for the same price earlier this summer, so better deals do crop up even if you want to confine yourself to Stockholm and Blocket.

Blocket doesn't have much LF, but occasionally good deals turn up. Keep an eye on the classifieds at Fotosidan. For an idea of sensible local prices, have a look at the past auctions at lpfoto.se - most times there is a 4x5 Norma kit. Their autumn auction is not that far off if you can wait.

Otherwise, Ffordes in the UK will ship to Sweden and rate and price their kit pretty fairly. You won't find a bargain there though.

The biggest and most liquid market is the German ebay.de. Many sellers who list as only shipping within Germany seem willing to make an exception for Swedish buyers, and there is a regular procession of all kinds of Sinar kit.

The Norma is a fine camera, and well suited to carrying around in a small backpack. It is also compatible with LF hire stock here in case you need to rent a specialist lens. Any Sinar model will work if you can physically carry it (the P models are quite heavy), so if you see a good package deal don't hold out for a Norma.

Steven Tribe
24-Sep-2010, 11:56
Looks like a nice studio kit which has never been out outside. As everyone has said - these are not the usual battery of objectives for architectual work. It has the Sinar Copal shutter - but no 120 back I could see. Price is very speculative - he/she is waiting for a non-savy buyer. The Norma will last for ever. You will need a bag bellows sometime.
When the digital conversion is complete - or rather when the surplus LF equipment cleared out from studios - these sort of camera will start to appreciate again. But this is almost double the typical price.
I personally don't think the actual selling prices in Sweden are that high - but the Swedish Kronar is on the up again!

Daniel Unkefer
24-Sep-2010, 16:59
I have done alot of commercial architectural work with the Norma and the older lenses. It's a fine outfit, used by some of the most famous architectural experts in the world. Like Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, Hedreich Blessing amongst many others. Hard to go wrong with the Sinar Norma. It's even on display in the Museum of Modern Art, as a design object.

You will need a bag bellows, and I like the Sinar Green Shutter and special Norma mount lenses. For 4x5 I use the 65mm F8, the 75mm F8, the 90mm F8, the 121mm F8 and the 165mm F8, all chrome Super Angulon Schneiders. Great lenses that still have alot of utility left in them, for not too much money, nowadays.

You can use a large or small tripod with the Norma. Julius Shulman used it in the field with a modified Leitz Tiltall.

Good Luck to you!

Don Dudenbostel
24-Sep-2010, 18:24
The Norma is a spectacular camera. I purchased mine new in 1969 with the 4x5 and 5x7 kit and bag bellows plus extra rails, standard and compendium. I used it as my primary studio and architectural camera until going digital ten years ago and still use it on occasion. It's seen many thousands of sheets through it and traveled all over the US and Canada on assignment. It's as good as new today and will last twice that under heavy use. I just can't bring myself to sell it even though I rarely use it and have other 4x5's better suited for my work now.