Lens / shutter options for Sinar P2?

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Dazzer123

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Hi folks,

I'm doing studio photography with continuous light and long exposure times (5 seconds plus).

I have a DB shutter and i always just time the shutter time manually with B.

Which got me a-thinking: i can really use any lens / shutter system that will fit on my camera (Sinar P2), right?

I want to avoid lenses with built in shutters because of reliability issues. And i don't really need a timed shutter because i can just manually time it with bulb.

So what choices of shutter / lenses do i have for use on my Sinar? Obviously any 4x5 lens will fit with the correctly adapter Sinar lensboard, but what about shutters?

Thanks in advance for an suggestions or tips. To be honest i haven't thought this through too deeply and am quite new to large format, so perhaps i'm overlooking some deal breakers?

But it would be great to have more choice than just Sinar lenses as there isn't much available and they're not cheap.
 

abruzzi

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If you have a Sinar shutter then, yes, you can fit any lens to a Sinar lens board and use the Sinar shutter as the shutter, with one important caveat—if the rear of the lens, protrudes out the back of the lens board it can only protrude less than a centimeter or it interferes with the shutter blade (measurement is only a recollection, but it’s only the thickness of the standard.). If the lens has too much rear prominance you will need a top had board, or find a DB board and transplant the cells.
 

koraks

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I want to avoid lenses with built in shutters because of reliability issues.

In practice, that's not really a valid argument. Shutter malfuctions are relatively rare. And with one single shutter for all your lenses, you have a single point of failure - it breaks, all your lenses have no more shutter... Lots of lenses come mounted in a shutter. Proper functioning is virtually always indicated in for sales ads regardless of the platform you buy from.

Having said that, you're looking for a Sinar Auto shutter (I think they were made by Copal), intended for use with DB lenses. They're offered for sale regularly. @B.S.Kumar listed one last week if memory serves. The main advantage of such a system is that you can use lenses that didn't come with a shutter, which includes many 'vintage' lenses (e.g. Petzvals and the like), and also 'barrel' lenses that for some other reason don't have a shutter - because it's lost, because it was a process lens intended to be used with an external shutter or without a shutter. Or even 'hobby' lenses like a magnifying glass etc.

But it would be great to have more choice than just Sinar lenses

It's large format. You can mount whatever lens in whatever shutter on your camera. No need to be hung up on brands.

PS: another option is an old-fashioned Packard shutter; they're limited to a single shutter speed, although I think you have some manual control with the bulb-operated types. Don't quote me on that. Slow shutter speeds only, timing not necessarily very accurate. It's a different league from the Sinar Auto shutter system.
PPS: you could also kludge or procure a guillotine-type shutter. Again, it'll likely not be very precise and you're limited in terms of shutter speed, but it's a simple concept and can be DIY-ed if you're not too clumsy. Might work if your recording medium allows for a decent fudge-factor.
 
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Dazzer123

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If you have a Sinar shutter then, yes, you can fit any lens to a Sinar lens board and use the Sinar shutter as the shutter, with one important caveat—if the rear of the lens, protrudes out the back of the lens board it can only protrude less than a centimeter or it interferes with the shutter blade (measurement is only a recollection, but it’s only the thickness of the standard.). If the lens has too much rear prominance you will need a top had board, or find a DB board and transplant the cells.

Right, that's why i was thinking that if i wanted to use other lenses, the DB shutter that i already own (as stated in the OP) won't work with some of them, so i might also need a shutter from another manufacturer.

I guess all lenses with built in shutters let you do bulb, right? ..... so in fact if the shutter times are way off, it doesn't really matter, as long as it opens and closes reliably with B? In fact maybe it even offers opportunities to buy malfunctional lens for cheap?!
 

_T_

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Your setup offers practically no limitations on what lenses you can use, so long as you can find a way to mount the lens so that it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the system.

You don’t need a working bulb on the shutter mounted lens if you can mount the lens so that you can still use your sinar shutter.
 
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Dazzer123

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I have only one lens, 140mm, i want some longer ones, 300mm+

How accurate should B be? Isn't that up to my hand-eye coordination?!
 

koraks

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Isn't that up to my hand-eye coordination?!

Sure.
What kind of exposure times are you working with? Is the 5s + example representative? If so, why bother with a shutter and why not just use some variation on the wet platers hat-over-the-lens technique? Sounds amply accurate to me, and no additional equipment needed. A loosely fitting lens cap suffices. Perhaps something fashioned from a peanut butter jar cap.
 

abruzzi

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Right, that's why i was thinking that if i wanted to use other lenses, the DB shutter that i already own (as stated in the OP) won't work with some of them, so i might also need a shutter from another manufacturer.

I think its probably easier and cheaper to find Sinar top hat lens boards to space the rear element away from the Sinar shutter than it is to find another reasonably accurateout of lens shutter that wouldnt have the same problem. As other have said--most LF shutter do have bulb, so if you are only doing long exposures that can be an option too. Though somtimes barrel lenses can be much cheaper than the shuttered version (my G-Claron 355mm in a barrel was $200 while a shuttered one is $1k-$1.5k.)
 
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Dazzer123

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Thanks guys!

But isn't there another issue: the Sinar lens that i have doesn't have any aperture markings on it, it needs to be connected to the DB shutter, and that tells me the aperture. Or is this just a problem unique to this particular lens / shutter system? Do all other lenses have aperture markings?

So i'm talking about if i want to do the manual lens cap shutter method.

This Sinar lens is literally the only LF lens i ever had in my hands, hence my lack of experience with them.
 

BrianShaw

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You chose the most unique type of LF shutter system to start with. It’s no doubt that you are struggling. Have you found the Sinar manuals, etc on the internet - Pacific Rim Camera archives and others?

Normal LF shutters have both shutter speed and aperture adjustment/settings on the shutter.
 
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Dazzer123

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You chose the most unique type of LF shutter system to start with. It’s no doubt that you are struggling. Have you found the Sinar manuals, etc on the internet - Pacific Rim Camera archives and others?

Normal LF shutters have both shutter speed and aperture adjustment/settings on the shutter.

Thanks! So i guess there aren't many other systems that have only the the aperture built into the lens but no shutter? Anyway, i guess this is all good news, as long as the optics are good and the aperture closes accurately, i can basically use any 4x5+ lens.

Actually having so many options can also be daunting, any suggestions on further reading?

By the way, i'm not struggling with the Sinar system, i fully understand it, my questions are to do with using lenses that aren't specifically designed for the Sinar system!
 

BrianShaw

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Thanks for the clarification. Good to know that you understand Sinar system. I’m projecting, apparently, because Sinar complexity baffles me. :smile:

I would think it much simpler that you mount a normal lens with shutter on a flat Sinar board and use that in lieu of the Db shutter.

And if you choose to mount a non-Db “barrel” lens to your Db shutter… barrel mount lenses generally always have aperture adjustment and scale. But for 5-second exposure a shutter really isn’t needed.
 
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DREW WILEY

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Name any lens. It can either be mounted on a Sinar, or perhaps already has been by someone. I don't care if it's a microscope lens, or a 35mm camera lens, or a slide projector lens. That's the elegance of their monorail system. If you went out and found a lens with a twenty foot long focal length, you could simply add enough rail sections and bellows and supports to accommodate it. I once saw something just like that in one of their handbooks, with that kind of extreme rail length mounted to a structural steel beam for some scientific application. And unless you have some reason to commit to only their DB lenses, which all have in-shutter direct equivalents anyway, there are no lenses specifically designed for Sinar alone.

Their own shutter system would be nice if you want to work with graphics barrel lenses, which come aperture only, yet tend to be optically excellent. But I don't know why you think built-in lens shutters are unreliable. Eventually they can be; but most of the modern ones will probably outlast us. I haven't personally ever had a Copal shutter issue in the nearly five decades I've been shooting Sinar with various shuttered lenses; and quite a bit of that was in rough conditions and bad weather. Old antique shutters might be more problematic.

Also think of it this way : if you put all your eggs in one basket - that is, a Sinar shutter alone - what happens if something goes wrong with that, even a special cable adapter?
 
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Dazzer123

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Name any lens. It can either be mounted on a Sinar, .......etc

My wariness for in-lens shutters is based on the fact that i have experience of 5 Mamiya RB lenses, and two of them had defective shutters. That's a pretty poor ratio of good to bad! These two lenses were in cosmetically perfect appearance, with no signs of extreme use or dropping damage.

One of the bad ones i bought offa ebay (Japan, white gloves, +++Mint, you know the drill) but luckily could return it, the other one i drove for an hour to buy it but when i got there quickly realized the shutter times were completely off.

Perhaps i was just unlucky!
 
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juan

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With regard to apertures - most any other lens than the db lenses will have aperture blades and scale. To use them with the Sinar shutter, open the Sinar aperture all the way, then set the aperture with the system on the lens itself.
 

DREW WILEY

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Dazzler, sorry to hear that. But if someone were to tally a survey of how many unreliable modern large format lens leaf shutters we've personally had, it would probably be a very tiny percent, statistically. Besides, even though replacement shutters are not being made anymore, there are great quantities of used lenses out there they can be potentially cannibalized from. And adaptations are fairly easy. I can't comment much on old Acme and Ilex shutters, or even still older types; but there are tune-up and repair services for those. I think you're excessively worrying about an almost non-issue.

Sure, if a lens is old an exhibits a lot of wear, the shutter should be tested too before buying it. That is just common sense. But any reputable dealer should give return privileges anyway, if something proves inadequate. The is a different question from exact shutter setting times. Those need to be tested for each and every lens, and then any deviation from the stated speed recorded. With LF lens shutters, the highest speeds like 1/500th are almost always way off. But it's the lower speeds we tend to use most. I happen to have my own electronic shutter tester. And so far, none of the lenses I currently own are even 1/3 stop off except for the highest speed - well within specification.
 
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