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Thread: sinar norma basics

  1. #1

    sinar norma basics

    I have purchased a basic sinar norma kit at a very good price: standards, back screen, basic rail, bellows, 120 film holder. As a novice to this sort of photography I have been doing some research, but it is all a little confusing.

    I believe I need a lens ( I am interested in portraiture, and architecture); a lensboard; a shutter / aperture mechanism. This should get me up and running, I hope. Is there anything else I need?

    Could anyone with experience of Sinar machines add some detail and advice. All help appreciated, welcomed and thanked for in advance.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: sinar norma basics

    Is the size a 4x5? You will certainly need a stabile tripod!
    Check out the Copal Sinar shutter both here and elsewhere. This allows to get started without the need to buy lenses with shutters that work. But this is a costly item and you might want to experiment with some of the older lenses with shutters that work so that you then decide which focal lengths suit your kind of photography. Passing on these to others later won't give much of a loss - if any.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Westport Island, Maine

    Re: sinar norma basics

    At some point, sit in a comfortable chair with your camera and just get to know it. Work the focusing, find the levers that loosen the movements, try the movements. We call it "camera cuddle," and you should do it until you can do all of them with your eyes closed. Remember, you'll want to be focusing and moving with your eyes on the groundglass, not on the camera. Spend a half hour, and I think you'll find it worthwhile.

    Once you have a lens and tripod, go out into the field and practice movements on subject that require movements - near/far, rise/fall for framing, and so forth. Get familiar with how to use movements by practicing. An hour is plenty.

    Good luck!
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"

  4. #4

    Re: sinar norma basics

    Buy an original Norma instruction book (it's Green) from Ebay. Everything you will ever need to know is in there.
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    Re: sinar norma basics

    To answer your questions more directly:
    1. You need a Sinar lensboard
    2. You need a lens in shutter which is easily mounted on the lensboard. If bought separately be sure there is a mounting ring which is used to anchor the shutter on the board. Somewhere between 150mm and 210 mm makes a good beginning lens.

    Sometimes lenses are advertised already mounted in a Sinar board. Even though it may be black rather than grayish green, it will fit your camera.

    3. Good sources:; or
    If you look at the MPEX site there will be phone numbers. Call and ask to speak with Jim in the large format department. He is very helpful and likes too help students and other beginners.
    KEH allows returns for up to 20 days for any reason.

    Warning: Stay away from on-line auction sites until you are better prepared to evaluate such things.

    Good luck,

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    Re: sinar norma basics

    If you want to do architecture, be sure to get a lens that has adequate coverage, IE a large image circle.

    Be sure to tell whoever you speak with, that you are using the camera with a 120 back, and in particular, which size film: 6x6 ? 6x7 ? 6x9 ?

    Normal lens for 6x6: 80mm
    Normal lens for 6x7: 90mm
    Normal lens for 6x9: 100mm
    Normal lens for 4x5: 150mm

    Wide angle lenses for medium format, will be shorter than those for 4x5, as will be portrait lenses.

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