The Sinar P2 Large Format Camera 8×10 is a modular camera that can be adapted to sizes 4×5, 5×7, or 8×10, or the European equivalents 9×12, 13×18, or 18×24, respectively. The modularity is not restricted to picture sizes but holds also for other cameras of the Sinar system.

rent a Sinar P2 Large Format Camera 8x10 in Berlin or New York
Sinar P2 Large Format Camera 8×10

Sinar P2 Large Format Camera 8×10 Backs

Each ground glass has clipped corners which are used to check for vignetting and the positioning of the compendium mask. This is achieved by looking through the corner to the rear of the stopped-down lens. The entire circle of the diaphragm must be visible to exclude vignetting. The same holds for the positioning of the compendium masks which should just be invisible from the opposite corner. For the 4×5 back, the clipped corners are inside the picture area, whereas they are outside on the 5×7 and 8×10 backs.

The 4×5 back has a Graflok adapter so that it can be used with corresponding polaroid and roll film cassettes.

For roll film, Sinar provides cassettes that can be inserted like a double dark slide. They are bulkier than Graflok cassettes but quicker to use. The picture shows a Zoom 2 cassette, which is adjustable for the formats 4,5×6, 6×6, 6×7, 6×9, and 6×12 even between shots. Changing to smaller formats causes loss of film, however, so it is not a significant disadvantage to using the simpler Vario cassette instead. It offers the same sizes but they can be set only for the entire roll.

Besides these adjustable cassettes, there are also cassettes for fixed formats. The picture frame is shown with an adjustable mask in front of the ground glass.

if you want to change, To change the format of the 4×5 camera to 5×7 or 8×10, three parts are needed:

a format frame, which is attached to the rear bearer
a bellows of the corresponding size
a corresponding back. These can be attached for vertical or horizontal orientation. For 8×10 there are two versions, one for use with the booster and the other without this capability
Furthermore, the P2 8×10 has a more stable bank holder which is equipped with a metal bracket on top. Of course, this holder is also useable with smaller formats.

The front standard is identical for all formats. more

About Sinar

Sinar Photography AG is a Swiss company based in Zurich manufacturing specialized high-resolution view cameras for studio, reproduction, landscape, and architecture photography.

Sinar’s view-cameras allow both the lens and the film back or sensor back to move in rotation or linearly in any direction (up/down, left/right, front back linearly, and pitch yaw tilt rotations), thus allowing precise image alignment corrections. The cameras are thus often used in advertising, document reproduction, product, and architectural photography, where correctly vertical image lines, fine focus accuracy, and extra details are wanted.

The name SINAR is explained by the company itself as “Still, Industrial, Nature, Architectural and Reproduction photography” in the English version of the April 2011 press release. Other versions of the names were also used, with the S for studio, Sache, or science. In the Indonesian language, “Sinar” translates into English as “Light Ray”.

Sinar P-series

The Sinar P, introduced in 1970, had asymmetric tilts and swings, as opposed to the traditional center or base tilts. This permitted rapid and precise settings without losing sharpness on the axis.

The P series also introduced features such as self-arresting rack and pinion gearing and a precision-engineered quick format change system that allows the photographer to switch between 4×5, 5×7, 8×10, formats quickly without having to fully disassemble the rear standard. This was accomplished by using a common rear standard-bearer and unlocking a single knob to switch among the various format frames. Another new feature implemented in the P series was the Sinar system of calculating swings and tilts as well as the Sinar depth of field calculator. A key feature of the Sinar P system, particularly in the domain of scientific and industrial photography, is the precise machine tolerances that are part of the fittings and movements more.

Some reviews from Photographers about P2 8×10

Andrew asking:

Hi all,
This is my first post here, I’ve loved how much of an incredible resource this website is and have been reading endlessly on all the available information.
I am a professional photographer and have used digital and medium format cameras for a very long time but am looking to get into large format. Thanks to all the information on here I’ve been able to learn a lot ready as it seems like a completely different beast from the medium format.

I am a landscape photographer with a special interest in long focal lengths [400 mm +] I mainly drive to the general area of the location and with medium format have walked any distance required to get the shot. However, I’m thinking this is impossible with an 8×10 so have decided to have a 4×4 quad motorbike fitted out to take the 8×10 so I can drive even to the hardest spots without having to carry too far.

I am looking to buy an 8×10 as well as some large focal length lenses [600-1200] although I have just realized that my brother has a Sinar P2 8×10 that he left before going overseas that I can use. I want some advice on if the P2 would be able to be used for what I’ve described in terms of physical possibility [weight etc] as well as good for the task [600-1200 mm lenses]
Initially, I was looking at using the P2 and buying these lenses,  Although they are set up on a Linhof board so will have to use an adaptor?

From what I’ve read using these 600-1200 lenses you can only shoot ‘straight through’ with the P2 – I don’t think this would be an issue as I’ve only ever shot like this with fixed focal planes [digital, medium format, etc]
This is another point for choice in-camera as I will be just shooting landscape with no twist needed in focus. I just want the large negative asset.

My options are to use what I’ve mentioned above, OR if you think there is a better way I’m happy to buy a more ideal camera and lenses. Money isn’t generally an issue.
Would love to hear some advice from your experience. Thank you all for your time!

Hi Andrew, and Welcome Aboard.

The Sinar P2 (which I have in 8×10) is an excellent camera.

It has many bells and whistles that you absolutely do NOT need for your intended use.

A regular Sinar F2 will do everything you want, and then some, at much less weight and bulk.
I happen to have a nice 8×10 F2 available.

The “normal” focal length for 8×10 is 300mm.
That equates roughly to 50mm on a 35mm camera, or 80mm on a Hasselblad.

So 600mm is a modest telephoto, while a 1200mm is a serious telephoto.
Is that really what you want?

Have you considered the 4×5 format?
You can get excellent results with fine-grain film, comparable to 8×10 work at normal enlargement.
The 4×5 gives you a much greater selection of lenses.

Leigh is right. I also have a Sinar P2 8×10. The heavy standards are made for people needing movements. If you’re not going to use them, then it is a heavy camera. On the other hand, you have one. Why not play around with it to get a sense of what you’ll be dealing with? In the first place, at those extensions, the movement of the camera/subject will be a challenge.

The Sinar is a sturdy camera, but if you have 1 meter of bellows extension, the camera will get a bit springy. You could add the two rail clamp support, but then you’re still on one tripod head, and that’s a lot to ask of any head, especially if there’s a breeze. I’d consider putting a monopod under the front standard in those conditions.


Large format is indeed a completely different beast. If you have access to a Sinar P2 8×10, I see little point in buying another camera. If you are able to carry the camera close to where you will make the image, there is again no point in buying a more compact field camera.

You say that you simply want the advantage of the large format. But a great deal of the enjoyment of LF photography comes from using the movements. You will also find out that many creative opportunities open up when you use movements. Do you have a 4×5 back as well and another lens? I suggest you learn a bit with 4×5 or even roll film on the 4×5 back. 8×10 color film and processing is expensive!

If you buy those lenses, you could either use a Linhof adapter or re-mount the lens in a Sinar board.


I have a 10×8 Sinar P2 and I would suggest that taking it on location is something to be avoided, its heavy and cumbersome, and when you add the additional weight of the large tripod needed to use it, it starts to be impractical. I know Geoffery Crewdson use to use one for his work but he had a crew to help him carry the stuff. You might be best served with something like a Deardorff, it is a lot lighter and definitely a lot easier to use on location, and an added bonus you can use it in the studio for most things a Sinar will do.,

Assuming a 6×7 negative with 400mm lens at minimum, on 8×10 that equates to roughly a 1200mm lens. And if you want longer, well, it’s longer. In comparison, you only need a 600mm lens to get to roughly the equivalent on 4×5. So if you really want that compressed telephoto type image with a larger format, I would highly suggest you start with a 4×5 reduction back and look at the Nikkor 360/500/720 telephoto set, as well as the 600/800/1200 set. This will get you into your extreme telephoto range – otherwise, you’ll spend a fortune on lenses, not to mention issues with shutters, not mention tripods, and supports for the massive 8×10 setup.

The Nikkor 360/500/720 set has tanked in price from what I’ve seen in the last couple of years. I spent a lot on my set. There seems to be a 360/500/720 set without the 360mm element which you might not really want anyway for just shy of $1k on eBay right now. I’m a wide-angle kinda guy but I like having this set sometimes. I’ve only used the 720mm a few times – here’s one of the images I shot in the Blue Ridge mountains: