Sinar Alpina/A1/F1 differences? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am looking at a Sinar Alpina view camera. Is anyone familiar with it and how it differes from the A1 low budget model or the base model F1? Bellows draw and the ability to use wide angle lens ability with the Alpina?

thanks in advance.

-- Dan Smith (, March 22, 1998



Where can i find out about the alpina, i am about to purchase an f1 for basic field and studio use, i wanted somethign that would do both at a reasonable price. If you have any info can you email me.


-- Altaf Shaikh (, August 24, 1998.

Hallo!I don't know if you are still interested but I have just seen an Alpina for the first time so I can actually tell you something about it. First of all, unless very cheap don't buy it! The camera is a monorail camera which compared to a sinar f1 would perform at a lower level of practicality, the reasaon is that it isn't yaw free like any other sinar and that the rail is a kind of square(ish) too long to be confortably used in a backpack(f1 has one in two pieces) the rail doesn't match the real sinar therefore you cannot conbine it with other sinar extentions for longer lenses use. Really, not worth it, you can use in principle many sinar accessories but not everything, no problem in wideangle use(I think

-- andrea milano (, January 08, 1999.

I don't know about the Alpina, but I have an A-1, and know what an F-1 is like.

The biggest difference is the rail and the rail mounting. The F-1 has a round rail that fits much Sinar equipment made in the last 40 years or more. The A-1 rail is extruded into a funny shape. The A-1 rail can't be extended infinitely like the F and P rails. To mount the rail to the tripod, the A has a block of Aluminum that gets wedged into place by the tripod screw. The F mounting feels much more secure - and takes much more space.

Above the rail, the two cameras are almost identical. Base tilts, shift and swing on the same locking lever, rise and fall have been rather sticky to operate on a few models I've tried - including the front standard on the camera I own, the read standard shifts up and down very easily.

Both the A-1 and F-1 have tilt/swing and depth of field calculator wheels on the rear standard. They work reasonably well.

The standard rail on the F-1 is 12 inches, it's 18 inches on the A-1, but that doesn't mean you get 6 more inches of draw on the A-1. The standards are mounted differently. The A-1 has a lock that sticks well to the rear of the standard and chews up rail space.

-- mike rosenlof (, January 08, 1999.

You also asked about wide angle ability. On my A-1, with the standard 18-20 inch (approx) standard Sinar bellows, I can use my 125mm Fuji CM-W lens pretty easily, but I think you would need a bag bellows for anything much shorter. Movement with the 125 is a little constricted, but the coverage of the lens is not huge, so it works fine.

If the Aplina is like the A-1, Andrea is correct, you don't get to use all of the standard Sinar rail accessories, so this camera is more limited than getting an F model. You can use all of the lensboard and back accessories.

-- mike rosenlof (, January 13, 1999.

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