Experiments in Nikon DSLR Sinar 5×4 Mamiya RZ hybrid camera

Steve Seal & myself have been trying to experiment using a new camera which is a combination of a Sinar F1 5×4 camera with a DSLR Nikon body with Mamiya RZ lenses.

It was after seeing the new DSLR sinar system the p-dslr that got me thinking.


I’ve  cut a rear mount plate for the Nikon from  foamex…the printers next door throw masses of off cuts away.I then used a set of coupling rings from an old set of MPP Macro bellows that had a Nikon adapter mount. There was just enough space between the rings to sandwich the foamex. Painted it black to stop any internal flare.

A quick test with the only 5×4  lens I’ve got left a 150mm & it looks ………… interesting? Amazing depth of field & sharpness.

It all looks quite Heath Robinson but considering I  cobbled it together from old camera bits lurking in boxes in the store room it’s not too bad.
So I have a “new”… well different… camera system & it’s cost me nothing but an hour messing about.

To add a bit of glam  we’ll try using an ipad & the on one software as a trigger mechanism & with live view as it’s all a bit wobbly at the moment.

1980’s mechanism with 2010 technology…. love it

Next stage was mounting a mamiya RZ lens to see if these added a bit more value to the idea.

I bought an old sinar lens board with copel shutter “0” on ebay. Cut a circular hole in a Mamiya RZ lens cap & then bolted/hot glued the cap to the lens board. The lens can then be mounted & changed as required. If it works then perhaps I might invest in an old RZ body & chop the front off.

An important development was a special device which is  now called the “lens gut cord” to keep the lens stopped down. (Actually a piece of fishing wire wrapped around the lens… it works.)

If it works how I’m hoping then  I’ll post some images.

Any advice welcome!!

Here’s the camera… just got to think of a funky name.



Filed under Camera, gear, products

5 responses to “Experiments in Nikon DSLR Sinar 5×4 Mamiya RZ hybrid camera

  1. This is very interesting indeed.
    Not having a 4×5 system lying around in boxes but plenty of RZ lenses and a Canon 5d Mk2, I have been looking for a method to get the two systems together for a while.
    Cambo came out with a product a few years back (http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/CB4600K11/) but the Sinar range looks a little more robust (and expensive).
    The cost of most bespoke setups has limited my ‘experimentation’ so far, but your post has given me a few ideas that could be promising.
    I hadn’t thought of the old rz body cap and will be trying this with own Heath Robinson setup.
    I look forward to seeing how your experiment progresses. Please let me know. Thanks

  2. Pingback: ‘Mounting’ Mamiya RZ lenses to Canon 5D Mk2 « James Santer

    • My experiment regarding the RZ DSLR 5×4 is still in progress. The main issue that we are trying to work around is getting the rear of the lens close enough to the body which is often restricted by the bellows & the bulk of the Sinar framework. We are trying to figure out a way of possibly getting the lens to be recessed further into the lens panel which will allow the distance of lens to sensor to be shorter. We are 90% of the way there, just a couple of things to tweak. Good luck with your experiment… let me know if you have any joy.

  3. Pingback: How to mount a Mamiya RZ lens onto a Canon 5D mk2 « James Santer

  4. I have now got my cheap component parts from ebay, etc. and made it work.
    I can focus from infinity (most problematic as you know) to extreme close so I would say it’s a £25 success. Thanks for the inspiration. Now off to have a play with my slightly more portable solution.
    I have uploaded a summary here: http://bit.ly/8YWZDO
    Thanks again.

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