Sinar zoom back : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi all, I've just purchased a 2nd-hand Sinar zoom back without instruction book. I've figured out how to load it, but I would appreciate any pointers, shortcuts or comments regarding use and maintainance. Thanks in advance. Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (, November 09, 2000


I hope you got the adjustable mask for the GG as well. And when changing formats in the middle of the roll of film, be sure to do so BEFORE advancing the film. After loading a fresh film, leave the lever on LOAD until the film advances to the begining, where it will automatically come to a stop, THEN move the lever to EXP.

-- William Levitt (, November 09, 2000.

Yes, thanks William, I did get the metal adjustable GG mask and also a bunch of orange masks which I assume I just stick on the GG somehow. I'm curious about how to judge when the film is nearly finished as there doesn't appear to be a film counter as such.


-- Peter L Brown (, November 09, 2000.

Peter, Which version have you got? The Zoom has a rotating knob to open and close the slide. The Zoom2 has a rigid slide. In any case, you have a nice rollfilm holder. Treat it like a woman and it will give you the best. Never use force and think twice before you do anything, until you get to know each other well and things become automatic. There are a couple of things you will have to check: The closing back has a plastic spring that puts the pressure on two little balls to maintain the back closed. Get a remplacement part. In fact get two and a new screw. Replace the plastic by two new steel springs. Failure to do so may lead to film fogging. Second, check that the cover has a soft black plastic strap, meant to keep any light from entering the back. If you have the rotating slide version, you will have to be cautious not to push in the slide while handling or packing the back, especially in bright sunlight. The rigid slide version is one hundred percent lightproof. There is practically no maintenance on these backs. They will last until they are placed into careless hands. Make sure you close the slide before advancing the film. Kodak rollfilms paper strips are known to get caught sometimes in some camera backs. Unless you use a Sinar camera, put away the adjustable mask and use a thin permanent marker to mark the formats corners on your GG (on the sleek side!) On the Zoom2, advance the film to the next frame, press the reset button, then select the desired format. Remember: whatever the circumstances, never use force. If it appears to be blocked, press the reset button fully. To load the film, press the reset button to free the metering roller. If you have the Zoom1, do not try to open the back if the slide is open. The counter meters both 120 and 220 films and shows the length of film unexposed. Unfortunately, you'll have to figure it from metric sizes. For example, if you have 25 left, you know you can shoot two 6x12. Let us know if you have specific questions. I use two of these rollfilms, mostly for 6x12 and am very happy. The slides are sharp, which means flatness is good. Most of all, the slide in design is a real benefit.

-- Paul Schilliger (, November 09, 2000.

Thanks for all that info Paul. I'm not sure my girlfriend wants to be compared to my Sinar zoom back, but I get your point ;-)

I think this must be the Zoom not the Zoom 2 as there is a knob next to the film counter which obviously opens and closes the dark slide. Does this only work when there is a film loaded?

I'm using it on a Sinar so there shouldn't be any compatability problems. Here in Australia, obtaining parts for Sinar is a bit of a problem. Can you, or anyone else on the forum, recommend a supplier who may be able to provide me with the parts you recommend. I'd also like a couple of spare film holders - any idea where I can get them (2nd-hand?) or how much they cost ?

What lenses work best with the 6x12 format to provide a wide-angle panorama effect ? I know that it's a bit different to say, the Linhof 6x12 in coverage, but are there lenses that can duplicate a similar effect to the Linhof? I'm also wondering how much of an effect the swings and tilts will have on this format (6x12) ?


-- Peter L Brown (, November 09, 2000.

Swings and tilts will work just the same as they do if you were shooting 4x5 (9x12cm).

To match the angle of the Linhof 6x12 camera than just use the same focal length lens as is on the Linhof.

-- Ellis Vener (, November 09, 2000.

Peter, I did not mean to compare your girlfriend to a Sinar back! But I can say I'm in love with mine and my whife does not see any problem in it.

I use the back with all my range of lenses, from 47 to 360, I particularly like the 6x12 I can take with long lenses. For panoramas, 65, but mostly 90 to 150.

You can't open the slide on your back because there is a safety pin that prevents you to do so when the back is not fully inserted into the camera.

Here is an address where you can have your Sinar serviced and get spares, in New South Wales. I remember gears where particularly expensive in Australia. You can also try Robert White in England for the spare film cartridges. I personally use only one per back and have never had a need for more. I mostly use 220 films in my backs and find they are flatter than 120 (the paper backing can induce curves).

Baltronics Pty. Ltd.

Suite B

3 Northcliff Street

Milsons Point, NSW 2061

Tel.: (+61)2-99 59 52 00

Fax: (+61)2-99 22 78 77



Visit also:

-- Paul Schilliger (, November 10, 2000.

Paul, once again, thanks for your comprehensive comments. I did find the little safety release button for the slides and it seems to work fine. If I use 220 film how many shots at 6x12 will I get from a roll?

One thing, I don't have the soft black plastic strap for the back. Is it very important or should I just try a few rolls and keep an eye out for light leaks? Could I easily fashion one myself?

Thanks for the Baltronic address. I was aware of them but have not had much success contacting them by phone and the web site is fairly limited. I'll try Robert White.

Well it's about time I tried out a few rolls I think, now I feel more confident that I won't muck up too many frames. I'll let you know how I go.

Regards Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (, November 10, 2000.

The plastic strap is self adhesive and should overlap the end of the large cover by 1 cm. Maybe it has been teared off. The earlier models had none but fogging happened sometimes, especially when the spring of the cover latch was too loose and it opened itself on one side. Most important is the cover latch. It should require some strength to open. If it's too loose, it will open itself in your bag or while you are manipulating it. If your back has been used much, it should be good to revert the two latches in order to use the new side, and make sure you are not using the old plastic spring who will break in the middle without warning.

It will perhaps be easier to order if you have the part numbers:

Cover latch steel spring (get and put two): 567.22.365

Screw: 164.11.114

Plastic self adhesive strap: 567.22.251

If you have those parts changed (shouldn't cost much), then you'll have no worries, mate! Just between you and me, If I were you, I would try send an e-mail to the Sinar factory here in Switzerland. Maybe they would be kind enough to send you the spares, if you can explain you are having difficulties obtaining them.

Here are the number of pictures you will have by size on a 120 rollfilm. For 220, just double.

56 x 42: 16 / 56 x 56: 12 / 56 x 70: 10 / 56 x 88: 8 / 56 x 112: 6

-- Paul Schilliger (, November 11, 2000.

Thanks Paul I'll order the springs etc. and replace the ones on this back. I've tried out a couple of rolls and the results are excellent (no light leaks) . I tried a 120 and a 220 and perceived the 220 to be marginally sharper. I found using the back almost as easy as using my medium format camera, but more versatile having the benefit of all the various formats. I'm very pleased with the purchase. Thank you very much for all your information. It has been of tremendous help.

Regards Peter

-- Peter L Brown (, November 15, 2000.

"To match the angle of the Linhof 6x12 camera than just use the same focal length lens as is on the Linhof. "

Not so.

Linhof uses a 56 x 120mm size for their 612 on the Techno Rolex 612 back and the Technorama 612 PC and PC II cameras. while the others, including Sinar, use 56 x 111 to 112mm.

Lens for lens the Linhof will always be wider on 612.

-- Bob Salomon (, November 16, 2000.


I've measured 6X12 slides taken with a Sinar Zoom at 56mm X 115mm.


-- Jim Bancroft (, March 30, 2001.

Stil half a centimeter shorter then Linhof.

-- Bob Salomon (, March 31, 2001.

Something else to watch for, is the flatness of the film right to the end of the frame. The Sinar backs provide this. I had a Cambo 6x12 with an image slightly wider, but when I used wide angles, I had to trim about 4 mm of image on each side, for the curl of the film produced a focus shift. I don't know about Linhof, but guess it's up to the quality expected.

By the way, Peter, how is it going?

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 03, 2001.

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