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Thread: Sinar Norma Adjustments

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sinar Norma Adjustments

    I have used a Sinar P2 for years. Recently, I had a job where I could not get a car to the site (or hire a team of sherpas) and had to hike. I bought a Sinar Norma as a light-weight, man-portable, alternative.

    What a beautiful thing the Norma is! The P2 is a wonderful tool once it's in position, and a doddle to set up, but I can see myself using the Norma more frequently.

    I have a question for experienced Norma photographers. In their zero-detent positions, the standards are not parallel, nor are they perpendicular to the rail. It's not a major issue in use, because all the movements are smooth and tight, and I used a small level to get everything true before shooting, but it would be nice to get it right.

    Are Sinar Norma tilt detents adjustable?

    Yours,
    Guy Montagu-Pollock.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    9,472

    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    Yes but I don't know how and my repair person told me that most amateurs will strip the threads if they are not careful. So be careful and use the right tools!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    234

    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    given that I'm a recent convert... what's the most common way that threads get stripped?...

    Cheers

  4. #4

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    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    The screws are aluminium going into aluminium, so it's incredibly easy to over-tighten them. They can only handle a fraction of the torque of a steel bolt into steel, so don't give a huge twist where a small nip will do.

    It's common with aluminium to use thread adhesive (eg Loctite) to prevent screws working loose. Sinar use clear lacquer. With time, it becomes so hard that you risk damaging the thread while removing the screw, not just tightening it up. If that happens, you need to clean the thread thoroughly, and be doubly careful not to over-tighten them during re-assembly.

    I am fortunate that before I became a photographer I was in engineering, so, to a certain extent, I know what to expect, and I had the right sized-tools. The Norma I bought needed cleaning. The grease had grit in it like grinding paste, and I could feel it, so the job was pretty urgent. Now it's clean, tight and works smoothly, so it was worth doing. If it had worked smoothly at the outset, I would have left it alone.

    In the same way, I don't want to attack the screws near the tilt-detent ball-and-spring if there's no benefit. If someone's successfully adjusted them before, I'd be grateful to know.

    Guy.

  5. #5

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    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    Solved!

    I should have had a bit more courage at the outset.

    At the foot of each riser are three screws. One black, parallel to the tilt axis, and two polished ones. The black one is in fact the ball assembly - a rubber rod with a ball bearing on the end, and a slot for a screwdriver at the other. The ball assembly is not threaded, it's pinched tight by the two polished screws (shown below). These screws were incredibly tight on my Norma.



    The ball is mounted off-axis, making the ball assembly a cam. Slackening and twisting the assembly moves the ball very slightly, which adjusts the detent position.



    There is also a good deal of tolerance on the riser flanges, which are held by two button-headed allen-key screws, so I found the best procedure was to make a coarse adjustment on the flange, followed by fine adjustment with the ball/cam.

    I'm delighted to say both standards are now true, and all bubbles are accurate.

    Guy.

  6. #6

    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    Invaluable Norma Information.
    Many Thanks!
    -Dan

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    14

    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    Hello everybody
    I am new on this Forum and found this old thread.
    I also own since a few days a Sinar norma and found the same adjusting problems described,
    I think I dont have the courage to service it myself...
    The described pictures ar not visibke anymor. Does anybody had similar expiriences with the Norma?
    Thank your for any help!
    Sorry for my bad english
    NormaN
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4E04B1F2-1E98-4EF0-8FDE-1ADAA69465D8.jpeg  

  8. #8
    Between here and there
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    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by NormaN View Post
    Hello everybody
    I am new on this Forum and found this old thread.
    I also own since a few days a Sinar norma and found the same adjusting problems described,
    I think I dont have the courage to service it myself...
    Welcome NormaN,

    Here is a guide to taking care of a Sinar Norma -> https://tlrgraphy.com/2012/09/24/the...rma-cla-guide/

    Have a look, and see if it is anything you feel confident doing. If not, you can always send it off to someone who can make the adjustments. In that case, it will be easier if we know in what part of the world you are living in.

    Quite a few of the Normas are at least fifty years old, and some of them haven't been cleaned up in years. It is worth taking care of, it may be a camera for life.
    "Be still and allow the mud to settle."

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    14

    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi View Post
    Welcome NormaN,

    Here is a guide to taking care of a Sinar Norma -> https://tlrgraphy.com/2012/09/24/the...rma-cla-guide/

    Have a look, and see if it is anything you feel confident doing. If not, you can always send it off to someone who can make the adjustments. In that case, it will be easier if we know in what part of the world you are living in.

    Quite a few of the Normas are at least fifty years old, and some of them haven't been cleaned up in years. It is worth taking care of, it may be a camera for life.



    Many thanks for the answer Jimi!

    I found the given link "The Sinar Norma CLA Guide" and was able to download the PDF and the film. A very good guide! I'll try to make the CLA myself. Still have to buy the various utensils. I have the most respect for stuck screws.

    If it goes wrong, an address from a professional would be helpful. I live in Zurich, Switzerland.
    I grew up in Schaffhausen, the birthplace of the Sinar Norma ....

    When I bought the Norma, there was another back in addition to the matching front and back (stamps on both underside of the Shift Bar M64). It is an earlier variant (see picture on the left). I have a question about this: I assume that the "International back" is mounted on the right side. Which back is on the left?

    RegardsClick image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Between here and there
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    Re: Sinar Norma Adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by NormaN View Post
    Many thanks for the answer Jimi!

    I found the given link "The Sinar Norma CLA Guide" and was able to download the PDF and the film. A very good guide! I'll try to make the CLA myself. Still have to buy the various utensils. I have the most respect for stuck screws.

    If it goes wrong, an address from a professional would be helpful. I live in Zurich, Switzerland.
    I grew up in Schaffhausen, the birthplace of the Sinar Norma ....

    When I bought the Norma, there was another back in addition to the matching front and back (stamps on both underside of the Shift Bar M64). It is an earlier variant (see picture on the left). I have a question about this: I assume that the "International back" is mounted on the right side. Which back is on the left?

    Regards
    I can't stress enough the need for some decent tools, as described in the CLA material. The gib screws were the hardest to get out - on my camera they needed acetone (nail polish remover) several times, and then I could back them out, slowly. In your specific case, I think you may need to be careful to not get any acetone on the plastic (Delrin possibly) pinion (Zahnrad) of the rail.

    It seems to me there was ongoing improvements and changes to the Norma - mine has the same focus locks as yours, but uses metai pinions. Later on Sinar did away with the focus locks. Mine is earlier (M61/62) and is comparatively in good condition (everything is still there and working). I have never seen the rear standard on the left (right one is the international back), perhaps a special order?

    I am in the middle of my own process, but a few thoughts along the way:

    In addition to good tools and lubricants, you need patience and the ability to think first and then act. Be careful with applying too much force to anything. It can be time-consuming to clean the parts, and then adjusting them back, so that they work smoothly. This part "how it should feel like" is partly a personal preference, but it is also hard to really know, never having touched a Norma that is correctly adjusted. Be prepared to spend a good bit of time fiddling until it is done.

    My experience is that it is easy to overdo the grease - thin emulsion of grease is the key. Otherwise you may have to clean up things (which is less effective once things are put together). Put the clean parts in containers, in one place, so that you don't have to spend time looking for things. Unless you have a lot of available spare time, it may be more relaxed to do a bit of work at a time over several days. It's easy to get stuck for an extra hour, trying to fit and adjust the pieces, at least when one is doing it for the first time.

    The final adjustments (square, level and parallel) will be the ultimate patience test, I think ... not there yet.

    As for the professionals, there should be someone in Paris that was recommended to me (I have to look that up) and I have someone who may be willing to do work in Munich. PM me if you want go that route instead.

    Apart from that - good luck with the adventure, if you feel like trying. And ask all the questions you may need to - there is a bunch of very knowledgable people around here. I don't claim to be an expert - I am just a medium-sized frog with a screwdriver.
    "Be still and allow the mud to settle."

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