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Author Topic: Any Alpa 12 SWA users  (Read 11246 times)
rethmeier
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« on: November 27, 2006, 12:33:55 AM »
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I'm thinking of getting an Alpa 12 SWA with a couple of wides to go with my eMotion-75.
Lenses of interest to start with, are the Rodenstock 28 HR  and  the Schneider 35XL + 47XL Apo-Digitars.
Initially I was thinking of the Cambo WDS,however I prefer the craftsmanship of the Alpa.
The Alpa XY is also a contender,however is rather large.

I mainly shift up,rarely shift down.

I realize with the Alpa 12 SWA one has to mount the camera upside down to get a downward shift.

I would like to hear from current users,any positive and negative feedback would be appreciated.

Regards,

Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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Kumar
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 02:01:41 AM »
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Hi Willem,

I have the Cambo WideDS, and it's a joy to use. I have not used the Alpa SWA, but one factor that prevented me from even considering it is that it has only rise, and no shifts at all. I don't know about their workmanship in comparison to the Alpa, but there are some other cameras that  you might want to look at - Ebony Finesse, Horseman SWD2Pro and Gottschalt. Fotoman has one due January 2007. And I believe Arca-Swiss also has one in the works.

Cheers,
Kumar
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ericstaud
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 02:34:59 AM »
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The 12SWA is a wonderfull camera.  I shoot with it handheld frequently.  With MFDB's it is easy to have 25mm of downshift... just put the lens on the back and the eMotion on the front.  You only need Alpa's upside down device if you are trying to shift down with the larger film back (which will not fit on the front of the camera.  The viewfinder is also reverseable.  It is all very simple and very quick to do the change-over.

-Eric
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ddolde
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 11:04:59 AM »
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Can the digital back screen be used instead of a viewfinder?  The Alpa viewfinders look like a clunky way to go.
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hankg
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2006, 05:16:23 PM »
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I wouldn't want to be holding an Alpa in the awkward position used to frame a shot on the lcd on digital point & shoots. Not very stable -a viewfinder will be a lot faster and more comfortable. I used the Linhof 23 Multi-focal Finder. I preferred it to the Alpa finder. No distortion, parallax correction and it seemed to suck in light, it was incredibly bright. There are masks for 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9 film backs. You could probably mask off a 6x6 mask for digital. Best finder I ever used.

The camera is beautifully made and a joy to use.

Hank Graber
www.hankgraber.com
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rethmeier
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 01:13:19 AM »
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Thanks for the advise so far!
I'll have a play with one(Alpa) at my local dealer.
I'll check the Cambo as well.
Also,anymore news about the ArcaSwiss one?
Cheers,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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Sydney Australia
markowich
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2006, 11:43:54 AM »
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the alpa 12swa is fantastic. excellent workmanship&precision. a joy to use, handheld and on a tripod. i use the digitars 24xl, 47xl and 90xl with P45 and Aptus 75.  my H1 gets pretty dusty lately.
also, the alpa producers are wonderful people, committed and superhelpful.
alpa is expensive, but go for it if you can afford it.
peter
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oscar falero
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2006, 02:08:08 PM »
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I recently had a chance to use an Alpa SWA with the 37xl and 47xl with an Aptus back and was highly impressed with the craftmanship and functionality of the camera. For wide angle work where tilt is not needed this camera is on a class by itself.  Many users of this system also use the TC for travel and reportage handheld work, but the SWA could accomplish both tasks as it is very light and compact. Unlike traditional Medium format cameras the wides perform flawlessly with this set up.

While at Photo Eats, I also held a prototype of the upcoming Arca XY and while is very promissing, the tilt mechanism this prototype level left a great deal to be desired in terms of accuracy. With todays Digital backs every mm count when trying to get precise focusing.

Willen- How do like asa 400 on the e75? I am considering the e75 and will likely test one soon. A pretty good deal is being offered with trading in old back. I am sure there are plenty of them being used as paper weights.


Oscar Falero
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2006, 03:32:20 PM »
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Quote
Many users of this system also use the TC for travel and reportage handheld work, [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87740\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am interested in the experiences of the reliability of guessing the focus which seems slitghtly contrarty to the resolving power of the lenses and backs

Guessing focus at a 15th 5.6 with a TriX at 800 (nothing very sharp anyway) is surely very different to guessing with a DB

S
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 03:33:01 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
www.sammorganmoore.com -photography
mkravit
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2006, 04:52:26 PM »
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the alpa 12swa is fantastic. excellent workmanship&precision. a joy to use, handheld and on a tripod. i use the digitars 24xl, 47xl and 90xl with P45 and Aptus 75. my H1 gets pretty dusty lately.
also, the alpa producers are wonderful people, committed and superhelpful.
alpa is expensive, but go for it if you can afford it.
peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87713\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Oscar actually used my Alpa 12 SWA while we were in NYC. I have the 12SWA with viewfinder, Schneider 24, 35 and 47 XL Digitars. It is an amazing camera and the lenses are just as amazing.

I am now using it with my new Hasselblad H3D. I remove the back and mount it to the Alpa. I gave up on the Leaf Aptus after having so many issues. It was the best decision I could have made. The H3D files are sharp, clean, and the color is excellent.

As far as the ALPA is concerned, it is a great tool for architectural and street work.
To change from rise to fall just put the lens on the rear and the digital back on the front.

I also have the ground glass which I use for composition when not tethered to the laptop. Tethered I use live video to focus and compose.  The viewfinder which mounts on top of the camera is great for normal composing but is problematic for closeups due to parallex. And Douggie Dolde is wrong, the viewfinder is NOT clunky, it is actually fairly compact and allows you to see the levels, add masks for different lenses and rotate the mask from a vertical to horizontal orientation.

If you have additional questions just let me know.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 04:53:51 PM by mkravit » Logged
mtomalty
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2006, 05:12:29 PM »
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Michael,

If you have encountered any,could you comment on any color shift issues that may
or may not occur when you use your H3D in conjunction with a shift enabled camera
such as the Alpa being discussed.

I was able to test briefly an H39 with a Hasselblad ArcBody using a 45mm lens and
experienced quite severe color shift and,while I am very familiar with Flexcolor as I own
an Imacon 848 scanner,I could not find the method for dealing with this cast as I would
with the LCC feature in C1 with Phase backs.

Thanks,
Mark
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mkravit
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2006, 08:57:21 PM »
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Michael,

If you have encountered any,could you comment on any color shift issues that may
or may not occur when you use your H3D in conjunction with a shift enabled camera
such as the Alpa being discussed.

I was able to test briefly an H39 with a Hasselblad ArcBody using a 45mm lens and
experienced quite severe color shift and,while I am very familiar with Flexcolor as I own
an Imacon 848 scanner,I could not find the method for dealing with this cast as I would
with the LCC feature in C1 with Phase backs.

Thanks,
Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87758\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I encounter colorshift with the Hasselblad back on the ALPA similar to that of the Phase P45. With the HC lenses I see no color shift even with the 35mm lens.

Hasselblad calls their correction process Custom White".  
Works perfectly.  

The Custom White is a button located just to the left of the exposure meter indicator in Flexcolor 4.6.4.

There is also a chromatic aberration adjustment button that eliminates color fringing.

All in all I really like the newest Flexcolor.

Here is the Procedure for Custom White:

Using Custom White
 
Using very wide angle lenses or extreme angles of shift on technical cameras can sometimes lead to colour casts in areas of the image
which are difficult to correct through conventional neutralization.
 
This is caused by the extreme angle of light rays hitting the surface of the CCD.
 
It can easily be corrected by performing a Custom White Calibration.
 
To create a Custom White follow the steps below...
 
1\  Without making any changes to lighting or exposure capture a uniform white board which must fill the frame of the image.  If this
is not possible then use a heavily opaque filter in front of the lens.
 
2\  Click on Custom White found in the Exposure dialogue window...
 
3\  Next click on Use Current Capture.  A new White Calibration will be built.  The text Active will also appear in the Exposure
dialogue window.
 
4\  Make another exposure and the colour cast should be removed.  It may be necessary to make a further grey balance.
 
5\  To reset to factory conditions either quit and restart FlexColor or enter the Custom White menu and click Reset.
 
 
NB The Custom White is ONLY applicable for the image that it was built for.  Therefore if you change lighting, set or
exposure you must perform a new Custom White.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 09:04:23 PM by mkravit » Logged
mtomalty
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2006, 10:21:38 PM »
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Thanks for that,Michael.

It would seem,then,that the Custom White facility is only accessible when shooting
tethered.

If that is the case,are you able to create different 'custom white' setting for generic
shift situations and save these settings to call up when these generic shooting conditions
occur if one were shooting untethered.

Mark
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 12:25:32 AM »
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If you have additional questions just let me know.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87754\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How do you focus for 'street work'

What is the hit rate

Can I see some examples

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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godtfred
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2006, 02:53:00 AM »
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I am now using it with my new Hasselblad H3D. I remove the back and mount it to the Alpa. I gave up on the Leaf Aptus after having so many issues. It was the best decision I could have made. The H3D files are sharp, clean, and the color is excellent.

If you have additional questions just let me know.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87754\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hi Michael,

Im interested in how you shoot with the H3D back on the Alpha. Currently I use a H2+CFH, but im already waiting for my H3D as well as a Linhof 679cs.

To power the back, do you use an imagebank? (Im guessing tethered to a computer is not the route to go with the Alpha 12 SWA in the field.)

How does the setup of H3D back, ImageBank and Alpha function. Do you have to set anything special on the back? Do you have to "power up" the MFDB by taking a preview shot? Or does it just work (im hoping for the latter...)

Thanks... -axel
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Axel Bauer
godtfred.com
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markowich
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2006, 03:34:18 AM »
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How do you focus for 'street work'

What is the hit rate

Can I see some examples

SMM
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


either you guess or use a leica disto (laser distance meter). the hit rate with guessing is pretty good if you use wide angles (up to say 47mm) anf f11, i would not recommend it with larger focal lenghts. measuring with the disto is very good
except in bright sun light (laser beam too weak).
for examples please check out:

[a href=\"http://www.pbase.com/baczynski/sie_werden_wie_gold_seinnur_besser_]http://www.pbase.com/baczynski/sie_werden_...seinnur_besser_[/url]

(all made with the disto by my wife)

and

http://www.pbase.com/markowich/gansu_province_alpa_aptus75

(guess focusing).
they are all sharp at 100%, too.
peter
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mkravit
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2006, 08:14:07 AM »
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Quote
Thanks for that,Michael.

It would seem,then,that the Custom White facility is only accessible when shooting
tethered.

If that is the case,are you able to create different 'custom white' setting for generic
shift situations and save these settings to call up when these generic shooting conditions
occur if one were shooting untethered.

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87787\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No, you can also do a custom white shot when shooting to a CF card and then apply it when processing Flexcolor later.
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mkravit
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2006, 08:25:18 AM »
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Hi Michael,

Im interested in how you shoot with the H3D back on the Alpha. Currently I use a H2+CFH, but im already waiting for my H3D as well as a Linhof 679cs.

To power the back, do you use an imagebank? (Im guessing tethered to a computer is not the route to go with the Alpha 12 SWA in the field.)

How does the setup of H3D back, ImageBank and Alpha function. Do you have to set anything special on the back? Do you have to "power up" the MFDB by taking a preview shot? Or does it just work (im hoping for the latter...)

Thanks... -axel
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87802\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The H3D back can of course be used on any view camera with the proper adapter as you know.

he back needs to be powered in some manner. I have the NEW Imagebank on order so I can't tell to much as I have not seen it, but I am told it is about the size of the new Ipod Video.

Right now for architectural work I am shooting tethered to my MacBook Pro. Something that I began doing even when I was using the Aptus 75. I find that for composition it is helpful and almost necessary.

Once the back is plugged into the Laptop the back powers immediately. No preview shot is necessary, the back is ready to go. Also, you don;t have to use Flexcolor, you can put the back into a mode that will utilize the computer for nothing other than a storage device should you wish.

Right now I only use the ALPA for architectural work so I would agree that using tethered to the computer would be a pain in the ass for anything else.  However, once the NEW Imagebank arrives in December (I am told it will hold 1200+ images) I would think this will change. But for anyone wanting an ALPA with a totally self contained solution the CF-39 or Phase would be the way to go.

For all other work I am using the back on the H3D body, I have the 28mm lens on order and eagerly await the tilt & shift lenses. BTW, the lens distortion correction is also excellent.

Here is the best part, when I had the APTUS 75 I would experience lockups, error messages, and low battery warnings on a regular basis. With the H3D I have now shot over 600 images and not a single issue, problem or error message.
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mkravit
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2006, 08:28:13 AM »
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either you guess or use a leica disto (laser distance meter). the hit rate with guessing is pretty good if you use wide angles (up to say 47mm) anf f11, i would not recommend it with larger focal lenghts. measuring with the disto is very good
except in bright sun light (laser beam too weak).
for examples please check out:

http://www.pbase.com/baczynski/sie_werden_...seinnur_besser_

(all made with the disto by my wife)

and

http://www.pbase.com/markowich/gansu_province_alpa_aptus75

(guess focusing).
they are all sharp at 100%, too.
peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87805\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Peter is 100% correct, shooting the ALPA with wides is a breeze. Set the aperture to f/11 and hyperfocal.  If you want to use shallow DOF and need the eye to ear in focus then you need to use an SLR.
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godtfred
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2006, 08:54:15 AM »
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Right now for architectural work I am shooting tethered to my MacBook Pro. Something that I began doing even when I was using the Aptus 75. I find that for composition it is helpful and almost necessary.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87847\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Im going for a sliding/stitching back solution on the Linhof to do my composition, but I guess I will find it a bit meticulous in the beginning to get everything right... In the studio I will of course shoot tethered.

Quote
Once the back is plugged into the Laptop the back powers immediately. No preview shot is necessary, the back is ready to go. Also, you don;t have to use Flexcolor, you can put the back into a mode that will utilize the computer for nothing other than a storage device should you wish.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87847\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

GREAT, this whas what I was hoping for! I have a "new" ImageBank on order together with my H3D upgrade, and it seems to me that my "field" setup for the Linhof will end up like I planned.

Quote
For all other work I am using the back on the H3D body, I have the 28mm lens on order and eagerly await the tilt & shift lenses. BTW, the lens distortion correction is also excellent.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87847\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My findings with the lens correction on the H2+CFH-39 are the same, it is truly exellent and every HC lens I have suddenly really shines above all else I have used.

Quote
Here is the best part, when I had the APTUS 75 I would experience lockups, error messages, and low battery warnings on a regular basis. With the H3D I have now shot over 600 images and not a single issue, problem or error message.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87847\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Here the H2+CFH-39 is a bit more grumpy, I guess I have some sort of an error about every 2000 shot (very rough estimate.) This usually is relatet to shooting tethered in flexcolor, and I'm thinking it has something to do with my setup, not the body and back, because it rarely happens when Im shooting to cards...

Anyway, thank you so much Michael, this info made my day!  

-axel
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Axel Bauer
godtfred.com
H2|M679CS|P45+
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