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Thread: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    Elaborating a little on the hack . . .

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ma-8x10-Camera

    I like this short base rail for use on either the original Sinar F or Norma 4x5 for three reasons:

    > It compacts the camera into a small space in a backpack. In fact, I doubt that the camera could be made any more compact.

    > Assuming one has a quick release plate attached to the bottom of the clamp, mounting the camera onto a tripod head can be accomplished in a single motion.

    > Once the camera is mounted onto the tripod head, adding length to the rail is a simple matter of appending additional 6" rails to the shortened base rail and expanding the camera onto that extended rail. Quick-and-easy.

    The assembly in the opening post shows the shortened base rail with a 1.5" cap on the rear. This added length was needed to use the shortened base rail on a Norma 8x10.

    But, the same can be accomplished without the cap on the rear, which makes the shortened base rail about 1.5" shorter. (A total length of 6.0", excluding the red knob.) This is what was used on the 4x5 shown at the bottom of the first page of the thread. Again very compact.

    Years ago, I considered the possibility of using a Sinar F. But the huge size of the "collapsed" camera, and the clumsiness of breaking it down, made me look further. I ended up going with an Arca Swiss Classic F that I purchased at a swap meet for $400.

    But fast forward to the present, for me, this shortened base rail helps to bring the Sinar F (or the Norma 4x5) into it's own as a viable field camera.

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    The F & P rail clamp was not strong enough for some applications; the camera would slip sideways when carried on a tripod. So they came up with a deluxe version II. Both allow you to keep the clamp on the tripod, then just drop in the rail. The Norma style clamp is lower profile and needs to remain on the rail. They're all fully interchangeable in usage. As far as the original F, or F+, the front standard was nothing more than an intermediate standard, which wore out quickly. F delrin focus gearing and a few other things are smoother than a Norma; but overall the Norma is a much more durable camera than an F for only about a pound more weight similarly equipped. I also greatly prefer the original 4x5 Norma tapered bellows to the box-style bellows on the F and P series.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Collinsville, CT USA
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    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    The F & P rail clamp was not strong enough for some applications; the camera would slip sideways when carried on a tripod. So they came up with a deluxe version II. Both allow you to keep the clamp on the tripod, then just drop in the rail. The Norma style clamp is lower profile and needs to remain on the rail. They're all fully interchangeable in usage.
    And then there was the Rail Clamp that W. Eugene Smith used when he photographed Pittsburgh for an article in LIFE. Was custom made for him by the photo department at LIFE.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SinarRailClamp.jpg  

  4. #24

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    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I also greatly prefer the original 4x5 Norma tapered bellows to the box-style bellows on the F and P series.
    Hi Drew,

    What advantages do you see in the tapered bellows?

  5. #25
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    The tapered bellows can be used shorter without scrunching up, or needing a bag bellows except for very short focal lengths. It takes rise etc better without scrunching. It can also be extended longer without stress on the pleats, and is therefore more durable for routine long lens use. The original Norma bellows is also made a lot better overall. It was probably expensive to make. So I can see the mfg advantage of the box bellows design which replaced it, because it can be made in long lengths and simply sliced off for more than one size. I have a Horseman 28 in box bellows that doesn't sag like the Sinar version would that long - no intermediate support necessary, but rarely use it anymore because the Norma bellows is so versatile, at least with the longest lenses I routinely use for 4x5 (450mm). I was lucky to find two original Norma bellows in mint condition.

  6. #26
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    The tapered bellows has a pleasing aesthetic which complements the stylish Norma polished aluminum

    And yes it works well too

    Form and function
    sin eater

  7. #27

    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    at least with the longest lenses I routinely use for 4x5 (450mm).
    I'm assuming you're getting a little extra by using tilt, but what's the closest you can focus your 450mm? I've been pondering that focal length for my Norma 5x7 but felt a little short-sided for the more "intimate" landscapes I encounter here Back East. (Seriously thinking about getting Custom Bellows to make me a 600mm...they seem like good fellows.)

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: transporting a Sinar Standard/Norma 4x5 in the field

    There's no limit to rail length with any Sinar or similar rail design. Even an 18 inch Sinar rail is longer than that due to the cap extensions at each end. No need to use tilt function simply for more reach. I use it for tilt as needed. I already mentioned there's a Horseman bellows that extends up to 28 inches without need of a central support, which will fit Sinar too. I don't know how common they are anymore. Custom Bellows is a good supplier, if you go that route. The problem with 600's is finding one that won't weigh excessively on the front standard or have excessive vibration due to a huge shutter. I use the 450 C quite a bit for both 4x5 and 8x10. Just because we have steep topography and long views here in the West doesn't mean "intimate" landscapes are forgotten. In fact, I shoot far more of that kind of thing than distant subjects. And I think you'd find a lot more use for a 450C on 5x7 than using any 600. It's extremely lightweight and optically very crisp. With 600's you have to be acutely aware of wind vibration issues and depth of field limitations.

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