Sinar P2 vs Linhof Master Karden GTL? 4X5 vs 8X10? Sinar e2? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


Oh, oh, here we go again; another A vs B comparison. Please bear with my inane questions. I'm considering sinking serious dollars into a LF studio system and I will appreciate comments on the Sinar P2 vs the Linhof Master Karden GTL. I understand that both are very fine cameras but when it comes down to brass tacks, which is the 'better' of the two, in the sense of build quality, versatility of the system, control and setting of movements, accessories, etc. How do the Linhof L-shaped standards and movements compare with the Sinar 'geared' standards and movements?

If I can afford it, would it be advisable to buy the 8X10 version of either camera, and supplement it with a 4X5 reducing back and bellows? It would appear that the 8X10 versions have 'beefier' constructions and movements, and in the interest of versatility I would like to buy the beefier frames. Are there any real differences between the quality of the 4X5 and 8X10, from the standpoint of a professional.

Last, can anyone comment on the Sinar e2 vs P2?

Sorry for the long post. I know that it is the photographer who is the real determinant of quality but I'll just like to stir up a real hornet's nest. Thanx. And a Roaring Happy New Year of the Tiger to all (the Chinese Lunar New Year begins on the 28th Jan 1998).

-- Rene (, January 24, 1998


I have a Sinar P2 and I have never regretted it.

It is a "system" camera and once I acquired the items I use the most, I feel it is impossible to come across any situation I cannot do with it. I have the so-called "expert" system, which consists of a case, extension rails, extra frames and binocular viewer. I also use the spot meter in the studio and some location work.

The biggest drawback is that it is not a very good field camera. I had a job this summer which involved climbing a construction site tower crane 24 times and I used my Crown Graphic for this. (This has got me started dreaming about a Linhoff field camera for this type of job.)

-- Skot Weidemann (, January 28, 1998.

I left before I got to mention the best parts of the Sinar system.

First, the two point focus system takes most of the trial and error out of dealing with focus when using swings and or tilts (which is an integral part of a view camera). The P2 and the new model Sinar X have this system and are very similar except the cheaper model (which is significantly less) does not have the metering back (for the spot probe), cannot be converted to an 8x10 (how important is this?) and has some other minor differences. I have a spot meter, but if I was considering using the camera without this feature, the Sinar X would be a good choice.

Sinar has a website, you might check it out. They are real expensive, but if you are serious, I think it's worth it.

-- Skot Weidemann (, January 28, 1998.

In the past, I too drooled over the Sinar 8x10 P2 and the Linhof GTL.

I was never able to locate a Linhof GTL in Chicagoland to get some "hands on" and inspect the build quality, etc.

However, at Helix, Matt and a co-worker set up a Sinar 8x10 P2 for me and a couple of 'features' about it bothered me: First, the front standard MUST be securely attached to the rail. I saw the front standard swing down rather hard and bang into the rail with the bellows. I saw there was definite cause for concern on damaging the bellows and possibly more especially if you had a heavy lens mounted on it and it swung down all of a sudden. Secondly, my other concern was on how slow it seemed to move the standards to focus, in comparison to other cameras. Not that it wasn't accurate, just that it felt like I was focusing a microscope.

The only literature I was ever able to obtain on the Linhof was a small brochure sent to my by HP Marketing. You won't find many advertisements for used Linhof GTL's in Shutterbug, but I did see one once. It's just not too common, which means if you wanted accessories for it you should probably contact HP Marketing in advance to make sure there is sufficient lead time for it to arrive before you need it.

I needed a LF camera that could also be taken into the field and settled on a Wisner 8x10 Technical.

-- Roger Urban (, May 27, 1998.

Dear Kurt

I believe your statement about the "BEST THING" (two point focusing system) needs some corrections.

The two point focusing system CANNOT work because the tilt/swing angle on the back, respectively front standard are NOT identical !! If you transfer the tilt/swing angle from the back to the front, you assume that the distance between the object and the back-, front standard is identical. Obviously this is impossible. Think about ? By repeating the procedure of the two point focusing system (about six steps !! ) explained by some camera manufacturer and even in some books, you get every time you go through it, closer and closer to the desired angle. This is what I call "trial and error" Note: The larger the ratio, the more you try, but might work on landscape photography which is not your favourite

-- Kurt (, May 27, 1998.

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