View Full Version : Sinar F2 Fresnel?

Robert Meier
14-Dec-2011, 15:59
I am getting a Sinar F2 and I don't think it has a fresnel screen. What's the best thing to do?

Joshua Dunn
14-Dec-2011, 16:19
I don’t use a fresnel screen on any of my Sinar formats, 4x5, 5x7 and recently 8x10. Although I do have a fresnel for the 4x5, it simply clips into the 4x5 frame directly on the viewing side of the ground glass. I have always found the illumination even enough across the ground glass with either the factory ground glass or a Boss Screen, but I have heard rumor that Boss Screens are no longer available. Do you just prefer a fresnel screen? Have you tried a Sinar F2 without one? If you have not I would try it without the fresnel and see what you think. If you still want one after that look for one here in the For Sale section or on evil bay.


Frank Petronio
14-Dec-2011, 17:12
The Sinar Fresnels are intelligently designed to be independent and OUTSIDE the camera, to be used temporarily for composition and easily removed for fine focusing. However... in the field, it is hard to find a nice clean place to set the fresnel down so you have to come up with a solution like a soft Crown Royal bag or something to put it in. Or simply don't use it. It's nice to have the option. It's also nice to know the fresnel isn't doing anything wonky to your focusing and if you use wide lenses you'll appreciate it too.

Look for used beaters for under $50.

Robert Meier
14-Dec-2011, 18:02
Being able to quickly remove it sounds like a good idea.

14-Dec-2011, 19:00
The Sinar Fresnel is quite useful for medium focal lengths, to provide a bright image for viewing from directly behind the ground glass. It's essential if you use a reflex viewer.

For short focal lengths, however, it will not illuminate the corners, and for very short lenses, it will give double images in the corners making even simple viewing difficult. The Sinar Fresnel was fine for me with a 121mm lens, but not so good with a 90. It was unusable with a 65 or shorter.

In the end, I invested in a Maxwell screen, despite that it cost nearly as much as the camera did. It was still a great investment in my own enjoyment. It is not removable, but the Fresnel pattern in the Maxwell screen is so fine that it is no hindrance at all to focusing. With it, I can see the limits of coverage even with a 47mm lens. I could not do that before without some sort of a Fresnel, even with a tilting loupe.

The Sinar Fresnel is plastic and most of them will be quite scratched up. That won't render them unusable for occasional use as Frank describes. But don't pay a lot for one.

Rick "whose compulsion about such things as increased with the transition to bifocals and then trifocals" Denney

Robert Meier
14-Dec-2011, 19:59
I have Maxwell screens in both of my Rolleiflexes and love them. I didn't know he made them for 4x5. I will have to clear my calender for the whole afternoon and call him.

14-Dec-2011, 21:47
I have Maxwell screens in both of my Rolleiflexes and love them. I didn't know he made them for 4x5. I will have to clear my calender for the whole afternoon and call him.

Don't forget to bring your credit card. The 4x5 screen will pass by $300 on its way. But it's worth it. I bought the standard Hi-Lux screen, not the special wide-angle screen, and it works fine even for very short lenses.

Rick "who only spent an enjoyable 45 minutes on the phone with Bill" Denney

15-Dec-2011, 19:21
The last Sinar Fresnel that I bought was on Ebay from Henrys...Canada Ehh!
I could not believe it.
$25 with the Sinar Frame and also packed in a plastic bag and a soft pouch. In excellent condition too! The frame allows for quick removal and it should fit all the models from Standard Norma through to the X and perhaps beyond. If you focus with a loupe you may want to remove the fresnel but I used the Sinar Bino Viewer and a good set of reading glasses. Did not need a loupe...

On the other hand I fitted a Globuscope with a Calumet fresnel. A medium priced plastic. It is now 25 years old and it still allows me to view a 65 f:8.
The trick is to move your head around to view the corners. After all this is used mostly for composition


Frank Petronio
15-Dec-2011, 19:26
I got the Bino viewer with my last Sinar set and tried it, and if I wasn't a heartbroken victim of middle-aged nearsightedness then I would have loved it. If only I had one 20 years ago!