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Thread: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

  1. #1

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    May 2018
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    How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    Pretty much what the title says. I have a 4x5 P2, and I'd like to move up to 8x10 at some point. At first I was assuming I could just find a conversion kit, but now I'm realizing that everything to do with 8x10 for the P2 is hard to come across...the entire camera rarely pops up on eBay, let alone a conversion kit. Meanwhile, KEH has an F2 in stock right now, and I could just use the rear standard from that thing.

    Should I consider the mashup? I've never used another studio camera before and I'm not sure how much I'll miss the geared movements. I'm assuming it should be fine stability wise, even if it's not quite as robust as the P2

  2. #2

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    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    The F2 is a fine camera; I used one on the job for over 15 years. It should serve you well, and be significantly lighter than a model P or P2. Since the Sinar is a modular system, 'mashups' are quite common. I'll leave it to the true experts to advise you on 8x10 conversions.

  3. #3

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    Jul 2008
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    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    Having used both the F2 and P 8x10 including "mash-ups", the real question is what will this 8x10 camera be used for? This is a critical and absolute question as even a Sinar 8x10 F2 is NOT really portable, IMO hauling around a P2 outdoors is not wise in many, many ways. The precision geared movements of a P makes a lot of sense when used in a controlled studio or similar indoor environment, Outdoors are such precise and compound movements really needed? The more ideal trade off for outdoor stuff within the Sinar system could be a 8x10 Norma. These are better built and more precise with lower weight than a F2. While it does not have the geared precision of a P, the Norma is more often beyond good enough.

    It is possible to install a 8x10 conversion on to a non 8x10 P rear standard, but know this is not ideal as the 8x10 P rear standard is heftier than the standard P rear standard, weighs more and not common. Even the bellows for the 8x10 Sinars have variations and compatibility issues.

    IMO, seriously consider what ya doing with the 8x10, then decide carefully. IMO, the better choice for an outdoor 8x10 camera is a Toyo 810M modified with a Sinar front frame.

    The "upgrade" can end up being more up weight than upgrade as everything related to 8x10 is larger, heavier, more costly, more difficult to deal with and more problematic with significantly pinched choices in lenses. Best to consider the entire system of 8x10 with the camera being a much lesser aspect of producing images using a 8x10 view camera. Know the novelty of the big image on the ground glass can wear off and the reality of difficulties with 8x10 begins to sink in.


    Bernice

  4. #4

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    May 2018
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    98

    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    Oh yeah, I have no intention of taking this thing outside. I already got hit with the reality of just how heavy the thing is when I bought my 4x5 P2 and decided I'd need a separate field camera if I ever wanted to shoot outdoors, I can't imagine trying to drag the 8x10 version around outside. But I only use my LF cameras for stitched digital still life and wet plate phtoos, and I've already decided it's not worth the bother of trying to shoot 8x10 wet plate out in the field. I'd need a bigger dark box, have to haul around bigger travel tanks, it'd just be a whole mess and my wet plate kit barely fits into the wagon I carry it in as-is. So while I do want to shoot some bigger plates, I think I'm gonna have to content myself with shooting them portrait and still life only.

  5. #5

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    Jul 2008
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    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    Suggest getting a Sinar Norma instead of a field camera if this can work. Sinar Norma is not that heavy and compatible with the current Sinar system simplifying lens on board and numerous other Sinar items are compatible-interchangable.

    Field cameras have a place if this is the primary need.


    Bernice

  6. #6

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    Jul 2016
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    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    "The F series was the light-weight version ("F" for "Field"), offering less refined features than the P series. The weight difference is about 3.3 kg for the Sinar F 4x5 vs. 5.9 kg for the Sinar P 4x5."

    See P and F chapters here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinar , it's very well explained.

    I support what Bernice says, I'd prefer a Norma over a F or a P. It's strong, lightweight and beautiful, it's easy to service it without replacing parts. It's also the original design from Mr. Carl Koch, and IMHO this adds a lot of glamour on it.

    "The Norma, built between 1947 and 1970 is the best built view camera ever made and quite collectable. The Norma is strong and light weight; the 4X5 Norma weighs just 7.5#. That is little more than the Sinar F, which is not 1/10 the camera the Norma is. The Norma is compact; it will fold down against the monorail. " http://glennview.com/sinar.htm

    P and F series are excellent, absolutely no doubt, but a Norma has a magnetic atraction (to me, at least). This is AA with a 5x7 one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ZCEXWdIMg&t=6s

  7. #7

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    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    The only significant advantage of a P, P2 or X has over the Norma is when used in the studio or similar environment where combined tilt-swing-rise-fall can be often used. This is where a camera like the P has few equals for ease of use, stability and ability to support BIG lenses. This combined with a Sinar shutter and modularity has few if any camera limitations. Once the need for ease of combined camera movements is reduced, the Sinar Norma is superior in most every way.

    Of all the view cameras used to date, Linhof, Arca Swiss, Cambo, Kodak Master, Dorf, Toyo, Horseman, Wisner, Burke & James, Canham DLC, Speed & Crown Graphic and.... The Sinar Norma stands out as the all time fave.


    As with any camera system it is a mere image making tool, nothing more, nothing less.



    Bernice

  8. #8

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    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    The only significant advantage of a P, P2 or X has over the Norma is when used in the studio or similar environment where combined tilt-swing-rise-fall can be often used. This is where a camera like the P has few equals for ease of use, stability and ability to support BIG lenses. This combined with a Sinar shutter and modularity has few if any camera limitations. Once the need for ease of combined camera movements is reduced, the Sinar Norma is superior in most every way.

    Of all the view cameras used to date, Linhof, Arca Swiss, Cambo, Kodak Master, Dorf, Toyo, Horseman, Wisner, Burke & James, Canham DLC, Speed & Crown Graphic and.... The Sinar Norma stands out as the all time fave.


    As with any camera system it is a mere image making tool, nothing more, nothing less.



    Bernice
    Try buying a Kardan B.

    There is a major difference between a Norma and a P version. As symmetrical axis movements vs base movements,

  9. #9

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    Jul 2016
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    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    There is a major difference between a Norma and a P version. As symmetrical axis movements vs base movements,
    Let me add that base movements are more convenient for landscape, as we can focus the mountain and tilt back until we also have the flower in focus...

    But the F series is better than the Norma in that because with the Norma when we combine a tilt with a rise then the axis of the tilt is way under ther base, The F design corrected that in expense of a less compact device.

    Anyway the Norma is intuitive, controls fall easy at hand, has no limitations, it's precise and it's a joy to use it...

    Of course a photographer may prefer specialized gear, a P3, a Technika, or a Wide... But IMHO a Norma still it's a do-it-all LF workhorse like few cameras.

    In 1947 the Norma was a new concept, openning an era in Pro LF gear manufacturing, and still today it's a serious choice for a LF shooter. A flawless and refined design...

  10. #10

    Re: How does the Sinar F2 compare to the P2?

    I'll chime in and suggest an 8x10 Norma back. That is what I have used out in the field for thirty five years, shooting Architecture and Landscape.

    Normas are easier to find than Kardan B's, particularly the accessories. Even a completely trashed Norma can be restored with care and skill, as long as the castings are not broken.
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