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Thread: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

  1. #41

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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Unkefer View Post

    Anyway not bad for $250 delivered IMO. This is the third one I have found recently for around this price.

    Good Luck and if it's what you really want go for it!
    Daniel, you'd be the ideal person to sell someone their first large format camera. You probably have decades of experience with Sinars, and know where to look for them, how to inspect them, and how to do functional repairs. If someone with next to no experience was to buy from you, they could certainly be pretty confident in getting a good working camera in excellent condition with a new bellows.

    The original poster is indeed looking for their first large format camera, and a Sinar Norma is one of the preferred choices. You could help him make his dreams come true by fixing up your latest find, installing a new bellows, and getting it all set up for him to get started on his new venture into large format photography.

    How much would you be willing to sell him this camera for?

  2. #42

    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Sorry not selling, only buying

    In a former life while going through college I worked at the "White Church" Columbus Camera Group, working with Bernie and Stu, five afternoons and Saturday all day. It was sort of a blur to me now I sold large format and Leica, we had amazing goldmine inventory. One time we had twenty Deardorffs at once come through and we'll restore 'em too. Hundreds of obscure barrel lenses I was in heaven.

    I bought my first Sinar Norma (looked new) back then at CCG

    I would say fully restored Sinar Norma full service stripdown $600-$800? There are Sinar repair people around, I know a few good leads.

    Bernice had one for sale a while back worth every penny at $600. Complete stripdown and rebuild
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  3. #43

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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Unkefer View Post
    Sorry not selling, only buying

    In a former life while going through college I worked at the "White Church" Columbus Camera Group, working with Bernie and Stu, five afternoons and Saturday all day. It was sort of a blur to me now I sold large format and Leica, we had amazing goldmine inventory. One time we had twenty Deardorffs at once come through and we'll restore 'em too. Hundreds of obscure barrel lenses I was in heaven.

    I bought my first Sinar Norma (looked new) back then at CCG

    I would say fully restored Sinar Norma full service stripdown $600-$800? There are Sinar repair people around, I know a few good leads.

    Bernice had one for sale a while back worth every penny at $600. Complete stripdown and rebuild
    That is the kind of information we should be providing to someone looking to buy their "FIRST" large format camera. If they're looking to buy something used, then the person they're buying from is more important than the actual camera. Finding someone who's honest, knowledgeable, and can do competent repairs, is not very easy these days. It's hard enough these days to find people who can do repairs on 35mm film cameras, much less large format. The world has changed, and film cameras are now the realm of cost-conscious hobbyists. Most skilled technical repair people want to earn a living, and not waste their time with hobbyists wanting to nickel and dime them to death. Unless you're willing and able to get your hands dirty and do the work yourself, you're probably best to buy something new. There are still lots of new large format options available. Some examples are Intrepid and Standard Camera at the low end, a few like Chamonix at the upper mid scale, and still some high end stuff from Linhof and Arca at the high end.

  4. #44

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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    IMO, Sinar Norma or F is one of the very best view cameras to learn "how to view camera" due to their visual presentation of what a view camera is and how it operates and functions. The idea-belief Sinar is a "classic" problem camera is absurd. Due to their design, quality of construction, quality of materials used in their production, they are extremely durable and remarkably abuse tolerant. Having Cleaned_Lubed_Adjusted the three Sinar Normas here (two are 5x7, one 4x5, zero interest in 8x10) all are now as good as new or better than new. Last one worked on was a restoration project that has a home with another LFF member after a compete going over, now used on various Photography projects.

    Wrote about the CLA process here:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...Tech-lube-quot

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ighlight=norma


    Facts is, Sinar in general with the exception of the Sinar Alpine are Extremely Durable, Re-buildable, Precision-Accurate, Reliable and easy to use view cameras with absolute interchangeability of it's modules as needed.

    Having been inside of more than one Norma and other Sinar cameras, they are simply a wonderful example of mechanical design and construction excellence.

    Again, bellows are simply NOT an issue. Sinar had several variants over their decades of production, some were leather, some were synthetic materials of different varieties. The early Sinar bellows are more flexi and nicer to use, the later synthetic material bellows are stiffer but last and last and last with remarkable durability. Again, plenty of GOOD used Sinar bellows on eBay and various used camera gear outlets. Again, Horseman L series bellows are directly interchangeable with Sinar as are the lens boards.. Having owned and used both Sinar and Horseman L series as real world experience. At this point in time there is zero reason why an absolutely excellent user Sinar or Horseman L series bellows (bag or standard square) cannot be had for about $50 USD.

    Most telling is the currently increasing market value of all Sinar cameras. There was a time when a GOOD 4x5 Norma could be had for $200 with dealer warranty for any defects including bellows. Complete Sinar master Norma systems with 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, set of 5 lenses, rail extension set, film holders, bag bellows, case and other accessories could be had for well under $1000. This was back in the "no one wants a film view camera days"...

    The other market telling item, Sinar mechanical shutter. These were once easily had with cables for about $200, now about twice to four times that cost today..

    These are the realities of what has happened to Sinar and this view camera stuff today. In many ways, it is a good thing. If more folks continue to use sheet film, this will grow the market demand for sheet film aiding the availability of sheet film into the future. BTW, with the recent interest of 35mm roll film, it appears many of the color transparency 35mm roll films are on .... back order _!_



    Bernice

  5. #45
    Scott Davis
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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by sharktooth View Post
    That is the kind of information we should be providing to someone looking to buy their "FIRST" large format camera. If they're looking to buy something used, then the person they're buying from is more important than the actual camera. Finding someone who's honest, knowledgeable, and can do competent repairs, is not very easy these days. It's hard enough these days to find people who can do repairs on 35mm film cameras, much less large format. The world has changed, and film cameras are now the realm of cost-conscious hobbyists. Most skilled technical repair people want to earn a living, and not waste their time with hobbyists wanting to nickel and dime them to death. Unless you're willing and able to get your hands dirty and do the work yourself, you're probably best to buy something new. There are still lots of new large format options available. Some examples are Intrepid and Standard Camera at the low end, a few like Chamonix at the upper mid scale, and still some high end stuff from Linhof and Arca at the high end.
    I would not recommend an Intrepid to anyone but someone for who price is the only deciding factor. I'd even recommend something like a Calumet Cadet or a vintage Graphic View II in stead (and I strongly dislike the Graphic View II). In all honesty, the Sinar family (with the exception of the A1/Alpina) are about perfect for anyone looking to learn view camera use because of how well designed the controls are. Later, if after using it, they decide a monorail is not for them, then I'd say look at a Chamonix or a Canham for a field camera. I'm not a huge Chamonix fan, but they're good cameras. Canhams are, despite the rather hefty price tag for a new one, some of the best values new or used, because of their customer service. You need warranty service? Pick up the phone, call Canham, talk to Keith himself, and if it's not your fault, it's fixed under warranty. Even with a 15 year old used camera (I know, I had this very thing happen to me... I was probably the third or fourth owner of my Canham 5x7, it developed a problem, and he took care of it, no questions asked). And if you need modifications, he'll work with you on that, too.

    I know I come across like a Canham fanboy, but I kinda have to be... I have four of them now. 5x7, 5x12, 8x10, and 14x17.

  6. #46

    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Back to the OP, You can find Normas in the $250-$300 price range, I have recently done this three times. It's also possible to build a good one from parts. Yes problems can need to be addressed, simplest parts solution is to buy another front or rear standard these are in the $125-$200 range. Then sell the extra parts here. Another $50 for good bellows so that's about $300 or a bit more. Certainly you could get this back if you hate it. Clean it yourself or pay a repairperson if you need to. Sinar repair facilities are around. Google turns up a few......

    So $300 good price for a Norma in good condition. How much is an Intrepid? Why is new better than used? It becomes used when you buy it!
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  7. #47
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    I find Sharktooth's reasoning untenable. My first LF camera was a Sinar and I never regretted it. You were purchasing into a whole system of options which was extraordinarily versatile. Even major repairs are easy due to the interchangeability of components and their great abundance. Many of these cameras were used only in studios, so are still potentially in great shape even after many years of use. That was the case even with my last Sinar purchase, a Norma with utterly pristine bellows after almost half a century of studio use by someone else. Getting it all fine-tuned and the settings re-calibrated as if new took me about half an hour. Plus I can reconfigure it if needed with nearly any of my previous F and P components, including the full selection of bellows and rails.

    Yes, the front standard on my very first Sinar got worn out due to the extreme torture that camera took during thousands of miles of mountain backpacking in all kinds of weather. But even that first camera has easily been fully refurbished just by swapping out a few parts. And it's original bellows has been repurposed as the compendium shade on my Norma. Yes, I supplement my Sinar system with folding field cameras for certain portability scenarios like airline travel, for example. But Sinar, especially the Norma, is still my general go-to gear, and will long outlast me.

  8. #48

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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Based on the Intrepid web page their base 5x4 camera is £280.00 or at the current exchange rate $389.02 USD add shipping and etc...
    No longer a "budget" or low cost view camera any more...
    https://intrepidcamera.co.uk/products/

    Honestly, at that cost, there are a long list of other view cameras that can be far better choices. IMO, the Interpid has become a fashionable Foto item. What started out as a low cost entry into view camera has grown to become a current fashion statement.

    Fixer-upper 4x5 Sinar Norma today is about $300 or so, add service needs to achieve a proper Norma.. and these are absolutely worth the $ spent and effort to make a Norma excellent again.. then that Norma will be good for decades more.

    What needs to be appreciated, at the beginning of the view camera journey, most any view camera can appear as an alien mechanical device full of mystery and intrigue and unknowns. The abilities of most any view camera at the beginning is mostly unknown and un-appreciated. Yet, this is no excuse or logical reason to justify a "entry" level view camera.. As view camera skills develops and grows more demands will be placed upon any given camera-lens and all involved. This is what separates a really nicely designed and made view camera system from lesser view cameras and their system. It is also why those venturing into the view camera world can be tolerant of view camera limitations by design. Those with LOTs of view camera image making experience and have pushed a view camera and it's related systems accessories to the very limits of it's abilities can grow to have lesser tolerance for a view camera system that cannot meet these demands.

    As the often repeated words goes... a view camera is not a lot more than a light tight box that is flexi in the center". There are details to this, but the fundamental fact remains a view camera is a flexi light tight box. This is why it is so easy to make a view camera and why view cameras that are over a century old can be restored into as new fully functional condition.

    The learning how to view camera journey is difficult enough as is, having a view camera, lens-shutter, tripod and all related that does not work against the view camera journey's traveler is an absolute plus.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Unkefer View Post
    So $300 good price for a Norma in good condition. How much is an Intrepid? Why is new better than used? It becomes used when you buy it!

  9. #49

    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Great job, Daniel. I'd love to pick one up.
    Thanks Peter! Bet you would like it!
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  10. #50

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    Re: Sinar F2 Vs Sinar Norma (4x5)

    You're missing the point completely. I love Sinars. I have a Sinar P, which is arguably the most well designed monorail camera ever. I also have an f and an f1, which I don't love at all, but are useful for parts, and were cheap. If they were available new today, and you could afford one, they would be a great choice as a "FIRST" large format camera. I'd also love to get a nice Norma as well, but the reality is, Sinar has long exited the large format film camera market, so it's not like you're going to be able to go shopping on Amazon to find stuff you might need. Repairs are also likely to be necessary, and even minor repairs can be a problem if you aren't prepared or skilled enough to do things yourself.

    There are many posts here at this site from people who are excited to get into large format photography for the first time. It's nice to see younger people getting interested in film, since it may help to keep it alive. It's also clear that a lot of us old timers are not appreciating the challenges facing someone new to the medium.

    If you love to tinker, are mechanically inclined, and have no qualms about taking a camera apart yourself, then a used large format camera is the perfect toy for you. I suspect, however, that a significant proportion of new users are more interested in getting going with large format, and need something that "just works" per the Apple philosophy. That's perfectly reasonable, and probably what the majority would want. It's inappropriate to tell everyone that a used camera is the best choice, since it leads to unrealistic expectations.

    Rather than stating that this or that used camera is the best choice as a first large format camera, why don't you point to a trusted person, store, or legitimate website where someone could buy a used large format camera. Are there even any trustworthy retail stores that still sell good used large format cameras these days? I'm scratching my head to think of anyone or anyplace to recommend. If you can't provide a link to a trustworthy and reliable supplier then you're not really helping.

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