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Thread: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

  1. #61
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Well, I haven't personally encountered anything resembling a clean Norma as low as $250. Anything that "too good to be true" would probably have issues like leaky bellows. If one already has another Sinar bellows on hand, no problem, just switch it out. But as I already mentioned, I really prefer the original tapered 4X5 Norma bellows to the later box-style ones. And I was perfectly happy to pay triple that alleged price for an especially clean unit. It was still a comparative bargain, considerably less in fact than almost any new wooden folder.

    I have seen some used F+ and F1 4x5's down in that $250 range. The problem with those is that the front standard is really just the same thing as an intermediate bellows standard, and wears out a lot faster than the improved F2 front standard. But if in good condition, these models are still desirable if one is on a tight budget and wants to get into the Sinar system.

    Normas do seem to need a bit of tightening up screws and so forth more often than F's. And the early ground glasses are based on a supplementary screen diffusion layer rather than actual grinding, so are dimmer, and should ideally be replaced. But unless something is significantly worn out, a set of jeweler's screwdrivers and small metric allen keys is about all you need.

    Carry-wise, review my numerous backpack posts. I leave em all set up in the top compartment of my external frame pack. I've had Sinar along on many an ice climb in younger days. Recently found a few of those negatives never printed yet, so am doing some of that lately. Some of the glacier scenes simply are no more.

  2. #62

    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Hmm It's not an alleged price. It's right here. Simply told Kumar don't need board nor bellows. $250 delivered.

    https://www.photrio.com/forum/thread...camera.185441/

    KEH had one that went on Ebay not that long ago for $250 plus shipping so bought that one. And another Ebay auction went low at around $250 last year. That camera was a total shelf queen but focus operating smoothly so no reason to do anything at this point.

    Norma Tapered Bellows are what I have been ordering from Custom Bellows and they know exactly what I want, Keith is very familiar. Very very quick except during the worst of covid last year.

    Kumar Norma 2 by Nokton48, on Flickr

    Normas have exterior plugs that are removed to reach the interior allen screws which release the mechanism tension. It's easy to completely bugger a Norma by just turning a screw or two. The plugs that align the rail are often very worn down. Sanding down the plug surface flat and reinstalling it can cut out wobbling of the standards.
    Last edited by Daniel Unkefer; 1-Aug-2021 at 08:37.
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  3. #63
    Scott Davis
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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    I got lucky on my Norma- it was a 5x7 that I picked up for $300. The reason it went so cheap was the photos weren't good and made the bellows look like they might be moldy. In fact it was just dusty and the photos had lots of glare on them. I've since added front and rear 4x5 standards and an intermediate standard, and the most expensive piece, a Sinar Shutter (wish I had grabbed one a few years back when they were going for $300 a pop all day every day). But mine had just come back from a CLA, and had both of the cable releases and the flash sync plug. Now if I could only find a Norma 8x10 back and bellows for a "reasonable" sum

  4. #64
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Daniel, the fact you had to order a bellows for it tells us that you did not really get a complete camera for $250. Glad you did find a bargain, but you'd have to give the full sum involved in any apples to apples discussion. I have various bellows on hand, including bag bellows for wide-angle work, but I'm primarily a long lens shooter. Back in my predominantly F2 days, I routinely kept the extra long (28 inch) Horseman bellows on it. That doesn't sag or need an intermediate support like the regular Sinar box bellows. But with the tapered Norma bellows I can handle my full typical range of 4x5 lenses, 120mm to 450mm, just fine without stressing it. I imagine these were somewhat expensive to make, and maybe that's why they transitioned over to the square box style, which they could just section off lengths of. The tapered bellows is also less subject to internal flare issues, though I always have a compendium shade in place anyway.

    Scott, I passed up a very nice 5X7 Norma. I love that longer rectangle format. But I really had to draw the line in terms of accumulating too many options. My 8X10 is a folder, and I can always crop a little from that to get a more stretched rectangle if needed. And getting older, I find myself resorting to 6X9 format more often, and get the same pleasing composition proportion in that manner. But it's really the fact that my punch and register film gear is set up to do either 8X10 or 4x5 or smaller masks and so forth that is the sticking point. Yes, I have the ability to do 5X7 too, but only on the short side of the film. This is a big deal to me, especially in color printing.

  5. #65
    Scott Davis
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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Daniel, the fact you had to order a bellows for it tells us that you did not really get a complete camera for $250. Glad you did find a bargain, but you'd have to give the full sum involved in any apples to apples discussion. I have various bellows on hand, including bag bellows for wide-angle work, but I'm primarily a long lens shooter. Back in my predominantly F2 days, I routinely kept the extra long (28 inch) Horseman bellows on it. That doesn't sag or need an intermediate support like the regular Sinar box bellows. But with the tapered Norma bellows I can handle my full typical range of 4x5 lenses, 120mm to 450mm, just fine without stressing it. I imagine these were somewhat expensive to make, and maybe that's why they transitioned over to the square box style, which they could just section off lengths of. The tapered bellows is also less subject to internal flare issues, though I always have a compendium shade in place anyway.

    Scott, I passed up a very nice 5X7 Norma. I love that longer rectangle format. But I really had to draw the line in terms of accumulating too many options. My 8X10 is a folder, and I can always crop a little from that to get a more stretched rectangle if needed. And getting older, I find myself resorting to 6X9 format more often, and get the same pleasing composition proportion in that manner. But it's really the fact that my punch and register film gear is set up to do either 8X10 or 4x5 or smaller masks and so forth that is the sticking point. Yes, I have the ability to do 5X7 too, but only on the short side of the film. This is a big deal to me, especially in color printing.
    I have a number of lenses that I've acquired, either by design or by accident, that are meant for 5x7. So the Norma 5x7 was a natural acquisition, since when combined with the Sinar shutter, I can use any number of really cool old brass barrel portrait lenses. If I want to take the 5x7 format in the field (which I have done) I have a separate full complement of lenses that cover, and fit on my Canham wood field 5x7, which is a much better camera for travel (I've hauled that particular beast to California - I'm on the East Coast- and as far away as Argentina). I've also brought it in 5x12 configuration out to San Francisco... thinking of which I need to bring it back with me to SF to re-shoot Seal Rock at low tide when you can see the hole in it. But the Norma has been genius for doing studio still lifes.

  6. #66

    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    All three Normas were purchased recently in the under $300 price range as originally stated. The one from Kumar that arrived two days ago came at my request without bellows, and Kumar reduced the asking price appropriately in that case. I certainly don't want or need any more square 4x5 Sinar bellows, I have at least a dozen I've accumulated of all types over 30+ years.

    Shipping via EMS isn't free, it was included in Kumar's price to me. Subtract $50 or so for EMS shipping from Japan, I'd estimate I paid just a bit over $200 for this latest Norma seen just above ^^. Not bad at all and that is my point. It is doable if you are patient
    Last edited by Daniel Unkefer; 29-Jul-2021 at 06:52.
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  7. #67
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Scott - Among folders, I've always coveted the Canham 5X7 wooden folder; I regard it as the "sweet point" in his whole camera design lineup. But when I finally got around to acquiring a folder to supplement my primary Sinar usage, I did it for sake of long-term planning with advancing age in mind, so went with a distinctly lightweight little Ebony 4X5 folder instead, which still accommodates up to a 360mm regular lens. But for long-haul backpacking trips, I tend to use 6X9 backs with the Ebony, since Quickload and Readyload 4X5 sleeves are now gone. It's just really difficult to plan long hikes at the moment, due to so much smoke and ongoing forest fire risk all over the West.

    I don't know what camera I'll carry tomorrow or Friday. Either the Sinar Norma or some Pentax 6X7 gear; I need to finish shooting the rolls in them. Three or our natural arches off the coast just north of SF have collapsed over the past two winters. Glad I got nice 8x10 shots of them first. A woman died two days ago hiking to one of them, not realizing that all the trail and formerly secure footing was now gone, and the arch itself washed away. I can imagine her peering down at the edge of the cliff wondering where it is. At low tide, one could once walk right through it.

  8. #68

    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    I see that Kumar also advertised my latest Norma acquisition here at LFF as well as over at Phototrio. $325 including square bellows and shipping from Japan is still a great deal IMO. For me getting it without the bellows for $250 (including shipping) was a bonus!

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ht=sinar+norma

    Next from Keith at Custom Bellows: Two 5x7 Norma Bellows (extra long tapered), and an extra long 8x10 Norma Tapered Bellows. I try to send things in in groups to cut down on shipping costs. I've been buying original Norma Bellows cheaply when I can find them in completely trashed condition. I buy them mainly to get the Norma format frames, then I send them to Keith. Voila-- brand new Norma Bellows for what I think is a very fair price!

    http://www.custombellows.co.uk/

    BTW Custom Bellows has been making bellows since 1895!
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