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Author Topic: ALPA FPS Video Introduction  (Read 1747 times)
Brian Hirschfeld
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« on: December 05, 2012, 10:42:19 PM »
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I just published my Youtube overview of the ALPA FPS, which was shot at Fotocare in NYC and presented by ALPA co-owner André Oldani. I will be giving the camera a write up on my site in the next few days, however here is the video for now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUqcpcA1ySE

The camera is very interesting for a niche market, and has some limitations but also does some things very interestingly. One question I had, was whether it could be adapted to a 4x5 Graflok back because it would seem to be valuable to have this kind of control in a compact form with a 4x5 camera. André said that this would be possible to do through some custom machining of a Graflok back which would have the Alpa mount on its rear; Although this would not be a product that ALPA was planning on manufacturing since this is not their intended market.
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JohnCox123
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 01:15:56 AM »
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That was great. It was mentioned that a V system adaptor was coming, I don't know if there would be issues with vignetting but there are V system (and mamiya -etc) adaptors in Canon and Nikon mount that this camera can take(http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/adapters/adapter-finder/+/camera_id/1/lense_id/1/)
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 07:55:52 AM »
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Medium format sensors are 6x45 and smaller, the ALPA FPS if it can take V lenses, I believe (discussed somewhere here on the forum) have rather large image circles and that is why things like the flexbody can work, so I don't believe that vignetting would be an issue. And you are correct, there are adapters, but I think that that may introduce vingetting simply because of the diameter of the Nikon or Canon mount, I could be wrong though.
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PdF
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 10:22:49 AM »
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I could see (and enjoy) this new machine at Photokina. The building is remarkable, and is a registered Alpa first class. This is actually something that is very similar to the HCAM of Hartblei, but more "serious".

Only regret (with respect to the deceased Sinar m): the inability to use a multishot back.
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 02:34:11 PM »
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Personally, I wish the Sinar M was still around because it had mirror boxes, optical viewfinders, and autofocus for its system lenses.........I wish a Phase back could still be put on one, that would make me buy it in a second...
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Richard Osbourne
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 02:54:32 PM »
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Very interesting, thanks Brian.
Do you know if they have any plans to be able to use wider technical lenses? I'm thinking of 23-28 Rodenstocks with an IQ180 back.
It's certainly makes it easier not having to cock the shutter manually and accidentally changing aperture with the tiny levers on LF lenses.
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Yoram from Berlin
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 04:20:14 PM »
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Thank you, it was very interesting. A wonderful chance to use all my gear... my IQ back, my Canon and Leica R lenses... but I must admit I'm a little sticker-shocked. $10K+ to get the set-up I want strikes me as a little high. Oh well, I wish them all the success, and hope to be an owner of such a system some day.
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 03:32:06 PM »
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Richard, yes to a certain extent it is easier, but it adds bulk (obviously) so its sort of a cost benefit. I think you should only really buy this if you need the technical side of what it offers.... Also I BELIEVE Andrč said something about them working on a solution for the ultra-wides. Obviously we know that they are not available now, but I suspect there may be something to come in this regard.

Yoram, yes they are quite expensive, but you get what you pay for. If you need the capabilities of an FPS shutter, then look at the Hartblei Hcam, they make the Hcam B1iv which does not have the sliding back and takes technical / large format lenses. It is fairly similar to the Alpa except it is not an accessory for Alpa bakcs... The Hartblei is somewhat cheaper, without sacrificing to much of a change in features......
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 07:39:16 AM »
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Personally, I wish the Sinar M was still around because it had mirror boxes, optical viewfinders, and autofocus for its system lenses.........I wish a Phase back could still be put on one, that would make me buy it in a second...


Couldn't agree more, Brian!
I have actually gone back to the Sinar M for all still-shots.
I use it in stacks with 4 or 16 shots with the 54 H.
It's perfect for stacking. No vibrations, all focus-changes are done from the software.
First point found with af from software in one secund. After that I move the focus 1/3 mm for every shot.

For this it is a lot better than any system to my knowledge.
A lot better results than an Aptus 12 on a DF.
But for other work I would be happy to see the Aptus or a Phase one fit on the Sinar M.

Henrik
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 08:06:17 PM »
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Just goes to show that sexy good looking and functioning cameras cannot last in this market....lol...

It really is a shame they didn't open up the system...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2012, 03:22:07 AM »
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Hi,

In what sense is it more serious than the HCAM, expect the price tag of course? I feel this is a question in need of being asked. Also Brian has shot with both so I guess he may have some good comments.

Best regards
Erik

I could see (and enjoy) this new machine at Photokina. The building is remarkable, and is a registered Alpa first class. This is actually something that is very similar to the HCAM of Hartblei, but more "serious".

Only regret (with respect to the deceased Sinar m): the inability to use a multishot back.
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david_duffin
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 10:08:59 AM »
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Hi,

In what sense is it more serious than the HCAM, expect the price tag of course? I feel this is a question in need of being asked. Also Brian has shot with both so I guess he may have some good comments.


From what I've gathered from reviews and video descriptions to date, I'd say the human engineering of the FPS is unique and masterful.  Moreover the camera is to some extent user-programmable.  Not yet having hands-on experience with a unit this feature nevertheless seems groundbreaking to me!

One example.  Since FPS internal logic has read/write access to control signals on many lenses, this could in future lead to user-programmable automatic focus-stacking. (Granted the FPS has no sensor and thus no means of evaluating correct focus, but it would certainly be possible to adjust focus travel in user-defined increments should the circuitry allow).

The programmability, in theory at least, is exciting.  New versatility!
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 11:45:22 AM »
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At face value, both of these cameras do the exact same thing. They let you mount all sorts of lenses in front of your MFDB, however they go about it in vastly different ways.

We can all agree, that the machining and precision in making the Alpa camera is "masterful" but by no means should that discount the Hartblei Hcam's build quality, which is equally as solid, although possibly not as pretty.

The Hcam is its own camera, functioning with a shutter, and lens mount. The Alpa can also be this (with the use of the proper adapters and spacers), but it is also an accessory for the Alpa 12 series of cameras. Within the modular universe of Alpa the FPS can be mounted to the rear of (for example) an SWA and be used that way. It also has a number of different mounts available for medium format and 35mm lenses. Many, if not all of these combinations are possible on the Hcam as well.

The Alpa, offers the user access to the programming of the camera (but I believe the Hcam can as well). The Alpa also features a (removable) hand grip and shutter button. This seems sort of strange because one would think that these cameras are going to be used on tripods all the time anyway.....Personally, I found the Alpa FPS to be far more compelling when I saw it without the handgrip, because this makes it much easier to pack and carry in any kit.

Both cameras are featured as being usable in the field in all sorts of conditions, but lets focus on cold weather. The Hcam features large soft buttons which are meant to be able to be easily used in cold weather. Conveniently, I had it for testing in the middle of winter, so I can attest that it can be used easily with gloves on (even if an IQ180 can't lol, but then I discovered touch screen gloves so its all good). The FPS has large enough harder buttons which seem to work fine. Personally, the menus of the FPS seem to be slightly better thought out and feature rich then the Hcam.

The Alpa also introduces a control wheel into the mix, which can be used for making some selections and changing variables on the screen. Although it may seem small in some pictures, I think it is large enough to be usable without being too finicky.

However, I do enjoy that the Hcam has two different screens with the top screen controlling the aperture of the lens and allowing you to stop it down and open it back up for focusing. This brings us to another point. Alpa users seem fine with their method of focusing...either using a laser rangefinder, or inserting a ground glass for focusing and then placing the digital back on the camera. The Harblei offers a sliding back, and much easier composition. The sliding back allows for the camera to be precisely placed in line with the lens every time (because it is electronic)....more so then the motor of the sliding back, the fact that it can use Hasselblad V viewfinders for composition is very attractive and allows for a more fluid working process, in my opinion. I believe Michael said in his review, and I say in mine, but the standard Hasselblad waist level viewfinder is one of the better options. But of course you can use all of the PM and PME viewfinders as well as focusing loupes which can mount into the slot (it is provided with one).

A number of the Alpa FPS's features have already been done in the Hartblei Hcam B1 and its variants. There is the B1i and the B1v and the B1iv. I am not 100% certain which is which. But one of them has a sliding back and takes technical camera lenses, and the other doesn't have a sliding back. Then there is the B1iv which does not have a sliding back, and takes technical camera lenses....this is the most Similar to the Alpa FPS.

The Alpa FPS is most attractive to current ALPA owners because it is already integrated into their system, for the most key features of the system, the Hcam offers everything you need in terms of an FPS shutter.

They both use the same Mamiya shutter, but they are mounted differently (in terms of vibration reduction).... as I said before, I hope to be able to do a comparison between the Alpa FPS and the Hcam B1iv (and a copal shutter) to compare vibrations when taking a picture.

Also the Hartblei has a hotshoe...and the Alpa only has a coldshoe...
  
http://brianhirschfeldphotography.com/2012/02/24/in-depth-review-of-the-hartblei-hcam-b1/
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 11:47:36 AM by Brian Hirchfeld » Logged

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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 11:46:56 AM »
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In what sense is it more serious than the HCAM, expect the price tag of course?

It may be more feature rich, or at-least have a greater number of possible things that can be done with it because of it's modularity....
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