confused newbie questions: ektar 203/7.7, lens mounting, rollfilm backs on Sinar F : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello, good folks!

First, let me say that the Sinar F manual is incredibly bad.

Bad bad bad.

Here are my problems. If you have any solutions let me know, thanks :)

Question 1: -----------

How do I use the "shutter opening button" or "preview button" on my Kodak Ektar 203/7.7 lens? When I press it without the shutter cocked, it's impossible to push it down. When I press it with the shutter cocked, it pushes down extremely easily. Neither situation actually opens the shutter!

Question 2: ----------- I have a Graflex rollfilm back. When I take the groundglass assembly off my Sinar, there is a big open space. This big open space is much bigger than the size of the graflex back. How do I mount my graflex rollfilm back on my Sinar?

Here's the Sinar Here's me taking the groundglass assembly off. Look, it doesn't fit! It just don't fit! Does it somehow go on the groundglass assembly?

Question 3: ----------- How am I supposed to mount the lens on the included lens ring? This Way? or That Way?

What is the proper orientation of the lens ring when screwed into the lens board?

What size hole can I use with this lens? Copal 0? Or do I have to custom make my own?

Thanks, from a confused grad student.

-- edward kang (, July 23, 2001



The operation of the shutter i can't help you with. Looking at the bi-pole flash connection I'd say iteligible for a pension but I do know that a great many LF shooters use this sort of thing so a heap od advice will be along shortly.

Now ... the Roll Film Holder are you certain that it is a 4x5 Graflex back and not one designed for 2x3 (or 6x9) cameras. I have used a number of Graflok devices on a Sinar F2 and they do fit, albeit fairly snugly at times ... certainly never loose. Silly thing is I have a Sinar Zoom 2 RFH which I use on a Linhof. How does it differ from the original Zoom back? Well, in several ways, but relevent to our discussion Sinar removed the Graflok channels so it has to slid in like a double dark so they can be rather Swiss about industry standards at times.

Now to the lens mounting ring. Am I correct in detecting that the flat flange of this plate has small holes (say 4) in it? If so then the mount is screwed onto the board in allignment with a hole big enough to accommodate the outer diameter of the short threaded tube and the lens is then screwed into the threaded mount.

If it does not have small screw holes then perhaps it has notches cut in across the diameter in which case a hole in the board must just fit the diameter of the threaded section of the lens and then clamped in by this capstan, obviously with the surface opposite the notches flush with the rear surface of the panel.

Compur, Prontor or Copal shutters are generally marked with a size and a call to the appropriate distributor in your country will probably get you a new capstan.

You're right about the Sinar manual big on selling the features of the camera and system but short on nuts and bolts.

Good luck ... Walter

-- Walter Glover (, July 23, 2001.

Cock the shutter. Hold the button down. trip the shutter with the button down and it should catch in the open position. I think you have to re-cock it and trip without holding the button down to close it.

The rings were meant to work different ways with different boards. There's not a right way except the way that holds the shutter on in a useable fashion without letting light it. If it has holes and you have a metal board you can drill and tap matching holes in the board. or you can just cut an opening and use it in retainer fashion.

Good luck. Get all these little problems out of the way so you can get on to the BIG ones.

-- Jim Galli (, July 23, 2001.

Actually I find the Sinar F manual to be very good about it's intended subject: using the Sinar F camera. Your questions have nothing to do with the operations of that camera per se. 1.) It sounds like you have a bad shutter. Judging from the photos it is a very old shutter and should be serviced.

2.) Your particulargraflex roll film back is not designed to be used with a 4x5 camera. it lacks the full size adapter plate that is part of the full size graflex (horseman, Sinar, Calumet, etc.) rollfilm backs. Specifically it appears that your back is designed to work with a 6x9cm camera like the "Baby Graflex."

3.) As illustrated in your "This way" photo -- with the flat side toward the back of the lens. The raised ridge fits into the hole in the lensboard to center the lens into place.

4.) I have no idea what size lensboard (hole) you need to use. the mechanic who checks out or replaces your shutter will be able to tell you.

Nicely illustrated questions! Good to see you have a sense of humor about things!

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 23, 2001.

If your shutter is like an older Compur shutter I have, the preview "button" only opens the lens if the shutter is cocked. Regarding the lens mounting question, you need to carefully measure the diameter of the back portion of the lens, then drill a hole slightly larger than that measurement in the center of the lens board. The lens is then inserted into the hole from the front. The lens is normally retained on the board with a "jamb nut", similar to what you have but without the screw holes and flange. These jumb nuts will have a pair of slots to allow them to be tightened with a lens spanner wrench. The flanged ring you have is meant more for mounting to an enlarger or to be screwed to a wood lensboard, but it should still work as a jamb nut, just hard to tighten.

-- David Rose (, July 23, 2001.

Thanks for the answers folks.

The Ektar is in Supermatic Shutter. If I trip the shutter while holding the button, the shutter hangs open (with a bit of the iris diaphragm showing). To reset the device, I sort of "recock" the shutter slightly and it falls closed. I'm guessing this is the right mode of operation, then, right? Thanks.

Another quick question. Is there a company out there that sells "generic" lensboards that I can mount my ektar lens in? B&H sells lensboards for my Sinar that cost $80.00 each. Is there a company that sells generic lensboards for considerably less? Thanks.

-- edward kang (, July 23, 2001.

There is ebay for used Sinar boards and the full size Horseman boards will also fit Sinar Cameras.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 23, 2001.

Yes you are opening the shutter right, but should be able to open the iris completly. Are you setting it at maximum aperture?

-- Wayne Crider (, July 23, 2001.


Yep! It's at full aperture:

Shutter open on "T" mode, f/7.7:

Shutter open on 1/30 speed, f/7.7 with preview engaged:

I guess I'll just live with it.

-- edward kang (, July 24, 2001.

The ground glass (with glass and frame) comes off the camera completely...leaving a metal frame with two sliding clips. Your 6th picture shows what you remove(the ground glass that you normally slide your film holder under) -- you should be able to clip the roll film holder onto what is left behind on the camera --- it's just a square hole with two clips.

Your picture "This way" looks correct to me --- at least, that's how I have always done it...thus the little collar on the mounting ring protrudes into the hole that you have in the lens board, tightening it up.

s.k. grimes can probably tell you what size hole you need. I think he makes them too. Stephen Shuart also makes lens boards. I don't have their web addresses but they both have sites. I might try making a lensboard myself out of thin plywood while I wait for my board to arrive. My first view camera had a home made plywood lens board -- I used it for years without a problem.

-- s. polke (, July 30, 2001.

Oh yeah -- I had an older Ektar lens and shutter that did the same thing yours does -- so it either may just be the way it works or it may be a common symptom of a shutter getting older. I just used it as is.

-- s. polke (, July 30, 2001.

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