Pentax 67 was one of the most popular camera systems in the classic medium format. The cameras, lenses and accessories of the series have been on the market since 1969. The focal lengths of the lenses with the additional names SMC (Super Multi Coating) and/or Takumar range from 35mm to 1000mm.
Introduced under the name Pentax 6X7, Pentax promised photographers an answer to almost every photographic challenge. In 1976, the manufacturer launched an improved Pentax 6x7 model with mirror lock up (MLU). From 1989 onwards, the manufacturer renamed the product to 67. In 1999, the company introduced the latest series under the name Pentax 67 II. Production was finally discontinued in September 2009.
Selection of Pentax 67 lenses.
Shift up to 15 mm
All models of the series continue to impress with their image quality and workmanship. The body of the camera is constructed like a "highly scaled" 35 mm camera, almost indestructible and therefore not lightweight. Other features include the relatively loud shutter and the 6x7 aspect ratio, and despite these limitations, the system is still in high demand. A popularity that is unaffected by the vibrations associated with mirror impact and shutter release. If you want to avoid the phenomenon by the way, you should opt for a Pentax 67 series body with mirror release (referred to as MLU or Mirror Lock Up).
Its features make the Pentax 67 series of cameras and lenses an excellent tool for landscape pictures and portraits, especially in conjunction with ALPA. For portraits in particular, there is no need for a mirror release. In the core segment of landscape and architecture, ALPA / Rodenstock Rodagon HR lenses fully demonstrate their advantages over the competition. A combination of these lenses and a Pentax-67 body is therefore a good choice.
One of the strengths of Pentax 67/6x7 lenses is the possibility to shift. The image circle of all lenses with this designation is at least 90 mm. This circumstance allows a displacement of 15mm for the large sensors.
Shift range of ALPA 12 MAX with ALPA Pentax 67 Lens Module.
Long focal lengths for medium format
Especially those who want to work in medium format with long focal lengths of 400mm or more will hardly be able to do without the Pentax 67 system, even eight years after the end of production. For ALPA photographers, these long lenses were not previously used in conjunction with the ALPA 12 system. With the Pentax 67 lens module, ALPA is now building a bridge to the entire medium format camera system ALPA 12 and modern digital backs. This means that the valuable lenses will retain their value beyond the next few years, as they remain compatible with the latest camera technology. In addition, new creative applications for ALPA photographers are emerging.
ALPA Pentax 67 lens module.
Performance with modern backs
Photographer Jakob Bosch has carried out a field test on behalf of ALPA near his home in southern Germany. He combined his ALPA 12 MAX and ALPA 12 STC with the modern Phase One IQ3 100 MP digital back and Pentax 67 lenses in different focal lengths.
"Despite the very short test, I am very satisfied with the results,"says Bosch. "The gain through the use of telephoto focal lengths higher than the ALPA Schneider lens is considerable. Especially the Pentax 6x7 400 mm lens with ED glass, already an excellent lens on the 67 mm camera, harmonizes perfectly with the IQ3, and not only because telephoto is finally possible. The Pentax 6x7 macro lens also makes the Alpa/Pentax 67 combination even more universal."
ALPA 12 STC with Pentax SMC Makro Takumar 6X7 4.0/135mm and the resulting image. © Jakob Bosch
ALPA 12 STC with Pentax 67 400mm and the result. © Jakob Bosch
Atmosphere, mood and pixel-accurate focusing
"The possibilities of a high-quality digital back can now also be exploited to a large extent by the Pentax 67 lenses with the aid of the lens module. Of course, this does not achieve the resolution of a high-end back like the Phase One IQ3 100 MP or the H6D,"says Jakob Bosch. "But if we move away from pure mathematics and assume that an image lives from the atmosphere or mood and not from the number of pixels alone, then these lenses provide excellent results."
The life-view function of modern digital backs in combination with the ALPA Pentax 67 lens module makes it possible today to focus Pentax 67 lenses with long focal lengths pixel-accurate.
Bosch has meanwhile integrated the lens module and the Pentax 67 lenses into his everyday life as an ALPA photographer - apart from the somewhat bulky 800 mm lens. Preservation of value for these older lenses is perhaps the most important aspect of the lens module," he says. "ALPA is also reviving the tele segment range with this product. Those who previously worked with a manual ALPA could not use their telephoto lenses before. I know a handful of photographers who work with Pentax 67 and about twice as many who have lenses of this type but don't use them anymore."
Revitalising the telesegment: ALPA 12 STC with Pentax-M* 67 800 mm f/6.7, result. © Jakob Bosch
Many combinations possible
The ALPA Pentax 67 lens module is available now. The module is of SB 34 type so there are a variety of options for configuration with ALPA 12 cameras. With a standard ALPA body a combination of 34 mm in rigid and/or tilt/shift adapters is feasible. On an ALPA 12 FPS a 17 mm tilt/shift or rigid adapter will do the trick. For detailed information, please contact ALPA of Switzerland directly. We will be happy to help you.
ALPA Pentax 67 Lens Module
Website Jakob Bosch
With his pictures featuring the new logistics center of Coop, ALPA photographer Jean Jacques Ruchti has captured one of the largest construction projects in recent years in Switzerland. He received the order from Industrial Engineering AG in Zurich, which specializes in industrial buildings.
The photographs are part of a company's publication that documents the work from the beginning of 2012 until the end of the year 2016 and also the extent of the construction. In the construction pit next to the A1 motorway, three football fields would have had space. Since summer 2016, the new distribution center, the largest bakery and confectionery in Switzerland and a deep-frozen warehouse have been in operation. Overall, the project cost 600 million francs.
A world of its own
Jean Jacques Ruchti went about the project with his ALPA 12 SWA and the Rodenstock / ALPA HR Alpagon 4.0 / 32mm lens among others. As a back he used a Leaf Aptus II 12. The images showed in this post have all been created with this setup.
"Construction sites of this size form their own world with their own rules and conditions," says Jean-Jacques Ruchti about the particular challenges of the project. "The strain on people and materials is high, you climb over scaffolding, between construction machines and thanks to the work dust, the air is dusty everywhere. Due to the size of the system, a maze of different stages of construction stretch over hundreds of meters. Only through close contact with the designers of this colossus does the photographer succeed in capturing these decisive moments."
Comparison with the Gotthard tunnel
The new distribution center is a huge milestone for Coop. Joos Sutter, the chairman of management, compared the significance of this for the company with that of the new Gotthard Basistunnel for Switzerland.
Three central functions are linked to the site. Today around 600 employees produce 60,000 tonnes of bread and pastry products each year. The site also includes the Swiss distribution center for frozen goods as well as the regional headquarters for Zurich, Northwest and Central Switzerland with around 350 stores.
The bakery draws the electricity from a heating center, which is located on the site. A photovoltaic system on the roof of the high bay warehouse also supplies the site with solar power. The bakery and the distribution center are connected by a Skywalk - the longest in the country.
Website Jean-Jacques Ruchti
ALPA 12 SWA
© Jean-Jacques Ruchti
Another project on the building site was the shooting for Schweizerische Bauschule. Jean-Jacques Ruchti again captured the pictures with his ALPA 12 SWA. Here's the making-of video. © Jean-Jacques Ruchti
ALPA Capaul & Weber Ltd. also cares about the owners of historic Alpa 35mm lenses and offers now the possibility to use these vintage lenses on a current ALPA camera by introducing the ALPA Lens Module for Alpa 35mm lenses. Many of these lenses have their own unique image character and are waiting to be rediscovered.
Among the most famous lenses from the analogue era of former Alpa 35mm cameras manufacturer Pignons S.A. (defunct) belongs the Switar/Macro Switar by Kern Aarau. This specific lens series was only available for the Swiss Alpa in this specific form. Besides the Switar numerous other lenses were sourced from leading optical manufacturers. ALPA Capaul & Weber Ltd. is now bringing the historic lenses back from collectors' shelves into practical photography with a current ALPA digital camera. In conjunction with the ALPA Lens Module for Alpa 35 mm, these lenses can be focused on all conventional ALPA 12 bodies from macro to infinity (in each case the effectively usable image circles may vary).
After many years the vintage Alpa 35mm lenses, produced between 1944 and 1990, can now be used again on the current ALPA platform. Some of them are very special in character and have their own footprint. The manufacturers include, in addition to Schneider-Kreuznach lenses, the Dutch optical manufacturer Old Delft, P. Angénieux from Saint-Héand near Saint-Etienne or the Enna factory, which was then based in Munich. Lenses from Heinz Kilfitt and their successor Zoomar as well as from A. Schacht in Ulm, which were located in Vaduz and in Munich, can now also be used on the new ALPA 12 cameras. There also exist fine and rare examples the famous Apochromats of French manufacturer Kinoptik or lenses by SOM Berthiot and Spectros in Basel. Today ALPA Capaul & Weber Ltd. in Zurich, in the tradition of the ALPA brand, already offers lenses from leading optics manufacturers as well as extensive adaptation options for Hasselblad, Contax 645 or Rolleiflex 6000 lenses for their ALPA 12 models.
Since the Alpa 35mm cameras were equipped with a focal plane shutter, there is no built-in shutter in these lenses. Today the electronic shutter of the respective digital back can be used instead. This applies specifically for the Phase One IQ3 100 digital back and to some extent also to the Hasselblad H6D-100c / H6D-50c and the Sinar S30|45. At close range, the ALPA 12 FPS and its built in focal plane shutter allow the use of any digital back.
Swiss Optics Switar
The traditional Swiss lens brand Switar, which was newly registered by ALPA Capaul & Weber Ltd. in 2004, has been used by ALPA for medium and large format lenses over the recent years. In the analogue past, the brand was not only used for Alpa 35mm cameras from Pignons but also for various cine lenses of the famous Bolex 8mm and 16mm film camera under the name of Kern-Paillard. With the merging of still photography and cine / video new perspectives open up.
ALPA Lens Module Alpa 35 mm
ALPA 12 TC, Kinoptik Apochromat 2.0/100 mm for Alpa, Phase One IQ3 digital back - ©ALPA
ALPA 12 TC, Kilfitt 2.8/4 cm for Alpa, Sinar S30|45 digital back - ©ALPA
ALPA 12 TC, Kern Aarau Macro-Switar 1.9/50 mm for Alpa, Hasselblad H6D-100c digital back - ©ALPA
ALPA 12 TC, Old Delft 3.2/135 mm for Alpa, Phase One IQ3 digital back - ©ALPA
French newspaper „Le Figaro“ features extraordinary cameras in their „High End“ section. In prominent position: the ALPA / Phase One A-Series new with 100 MP. Read the full article (French only) in the attached PDF.
PDF for download (French only): Le Figaro - High-Tech - 15th February 2016
Product Page: ALPA Phase One A-Series
The ALPA 12 STC is without doubt the most compact camera made by ALPA but at the same time also the most versatile. Both is located in its genes: When ALPA introduced the camera in 2010, our customers placed the desire to unite the ingenious compactness of the ALPA 12 TC with the adjustment of a technical camera. At the time, especially lanscape photographers voiced the need for incresed resolution via stitching due to the still relatively small and low-resolution sensors back then. For this reason, the ALPA 12 STC shifts horizontally in its normal configuration. Its name therefore originates from the abbreviation Stitching Travel Compact.
But the compact allrounder also performs well in the vertical: numerous ALPA photographers use the little sister of ALPA Max as a handy camera for architecture with ample displacement (+/- 18mm). As a compact 'shift module' for the ALPA 12 FPS, the STC plays its strengths in combination with ALPA lenses in SB-34 mount or Hasselblad V lenses:
In its 'standard configuration' when mounted on a tripod, the camera's handgrip is located on the 'bottom':
Lately, however we received many requests from users who prefer the save tripod usage in challenging environmental conditions (wind, etc.) with the handgrip located on top. ALPA responded to these requests with the introduction of the new STC stitching adapter:
The new STC stitching adapter with integrated dovetail allows the connection to UniQ / C compatible accessories like the ALPA Micro 3D tripod head. Together with the already launched tripod plates QPL.IND.SML and QPL.IND.SQR in 2014, it highlights the commitment of ALPA to the platform-spanning and future-proof UniQ / C system. The ALPA 12 STC stitching adapter is now available.
The ALPA 12 FPS was developed by ALPA as a universal tool for photographers. It allows the employment of a great variety of different lenses. In addition to the already available adapters for Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad V and Mamiya 645 MF an adapter for the highly acclaimed Carl Zeiss lenses for Contax 645 is now available. This adaptation allows, just like the Canon adapter, an electronic control of aperture and distance adjustment. Due to the large usable image circle of the Contax lenses it has +/-12mm horizontal as vertical displacement and thus allows both perspective corrections against converging lines as well as stitching of individual images. Available soon!
Product page: ALPA FPS Lens Module Contax 645 Shift
Two decades after its launch, we have adapted the ALPA 12 SWA to the current requirements. The Jubilee version was sold out within a short time last year, and now the camera is available from stock with some improvements.
In 1996, under the new company management, ALPA launched the 12 SWA as the first camera. Over the following years, it gained an outstanding reputation among professional photographers and ambitious amateurs. The latest edition of this classic stays true to the original edition, optically and technically, but offers new possibilities.
The improved ALPA 12 SWA:
As the shape has been left almost unchanged, for example, the latest ALPA 12 SWA, can still be used perfectly with roll film cassettes. New is the improved compatibility with current accessories:
• In contrast to older models, we have narrowed the floor plate. It is now also compatible with 17mm tilt-shift adapters.
• The included ALPA dove tail tripod mount complies with the UniQ/C standard.
ALPA dove tail tripod mount:
• The use of FPS-SB17 lenses is possible.
• An additional 3/8-inch thread at the top of the camera further enhances the combination possibilities, also with a view to the future: ALPA's many new solutions are based on this connector.
• As an example, use the Universal Rail Adapter, which can be mounted via the 3/8-inch connector. This makes it easy to connect monitors to the camera.
ALPA Universal Rail:
ALPA Cameras Are a Save Investment
The revised 12 SWA is thus prepared for current and future developments. At the same time, we have retained its strengths. For example, the camera can still be personalized by hand grips in different materials and finishes.
As with all products, we always strive to improve the ALPA 12 SWA in the future. Thanks to the modular design, the owners of an ALPA have the opportunity to upgrade their camera to the latest state, instead of having to replace it at the same time.
If you have any questions about the ALPA 12 SWA or our other products, please contact ALPA of Switzerland or the responsible dealer in your country. We look forward to your inquiry.
ALPA 12 SWA
ALPA Universal Rail
With the use of conventional camera systems and macro objectives, only a limited resolution could be achieved. That’s why ALPA developed a special setup for Focus Stacking. It’s a good example for our philosophy to provide solutions for special projects. Ask our specialists if you have a dedicated project.
Photographer Bernhard Schurian extensively tested the ALPA solution (ALPA Focus Stacking solution with ALPA 12 FPS and ALPA Macro Switar 5.6/105 mm) at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. In addition to the mass digitisation of the collection, he has portrayed particularly interesting and spectacular animals. To document their complexity, Bernhard Schurian needed equipment for macro photography and an optimal workflow.
Here some results of his work over the last year and in different stages. Two samples are available as zoomable version (Zoom 1) (Zoom 2) for exploring. The images have been combined from in general some 500 to 700+ single exposures on 100 MP digital backs.
For further details see also the detailed news article on When Even Insects Become Huge: Macro Photography With ALPA.
It is our philosophy to provide new solutions for special applications. If you are working on an according photographic project, please contact us.
Photograph: ©Bernhard Schurian
Eumorpha Achemon (Zoom Version)
Photograph: ©Bernhard Schurian
Dipt Asilidae Microstylum (Zoom Version)
Photograph: ©Bernhard Schurian
Photograph: ©Bernhard Schurian
In macro photography, ALPA offers ways to surpass the results so far. The exclusive Rodenstock / ALPA lens Macro Switar 105 mm (with floating elements) allows you to display even the smallest parts of insect hair. The lens has just been produced in series and is now available from ALPA.
Photographer Bernhard Schurian extensively tested the Rodenstock / ALPA Macro Switar at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin in combination with the ALPA 12 FPS. In addition to the mass digitisation of the collection, he has portrayed particularly interesting and spectacular animals. To document their complexity, Bernhard Schurian needed equipment for macro photography and an optimal workflow.
Accurate to 0.1 micrometers
However, with the use of conventional camera systems and macro objectives, only a limited resolution could be achieved. Important details were not recognisable in the desired quality. In the knowledge, Ralph Rosenbauer, ALPA's scientific consultant, developed a special setup that goes beyond these possibilities and delivered unusually good results.
The requirements for this set-up quickly exceeded the previously known standards:
• On the one hand, the camera had to be movable, which required the highest precision. Every little bump would have affected the result. ALPA solved this problem with a motorised carriage which is normally used for optical experiments and lasers and allows steps of 0.1 micrometer each. This corresponds to 0.0001 millimeters. For comparison: A human hair measures between 0.02 and 0.08 millimeters. ALPA developed software specifically to control the carriage.
• In addition, the lens had to be able to resolve the fine structures of insects. A requirement that even the most powerful macro lenses meet only conditionally. The Rodenstock / ALPA Macro Switar 105 mm , on the other hand, offers an optimal resolution even at the aperture, and can be perfectly adapted to the respective imaging scales thanks to its "floating element". Its comparatively long focal length allows for a comfortable working distance and thus facilitates the light setup.
• The triggering of the shutter was another major challenge since vibrations had led to misalignment between individual images.
• The shells of many species of insects have extreme contrasts in the macro image, especially when black surfaces alternate with bright hair, bristles or iridescent spots.
• For a photograph to document the insects, more than 1000 individual shots are necessary. This enormous amount of data could hardly have been solved by a computer, so several of them were used simultaneously. For control, a Windows tablet served, to capture the images a laptop with CaptureOne
Setup for documentation at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. © Ralph Rosenbauer
In addition to the above-mentioned design and the Rodenstock / ALPA Macro Switar 105 mm lens, various digital backs were used, with the IQ3 100 MP resulting in the best results due to the dynamics. As a camera, the ALPA 12 FPS was predestined for this task because its electronically controlled slit shutter and the absence of a back-flip mirror allow a vibration-free release.
In the end, the finished motifs had to be optimised. The dust, lint and the preparation needles of the insects were removed and the data were prepared for further processing. The end result makes it possible to look at insects as you have never seen them before with your own eyes: with clear sharpness, clear details and colours.
The results of the project - for the presentation on the Internet in strongly reduced resolution. © Bernhard Schurian
Impressed experts at Smithsonian
The setup of ALPA, the workflow and the photographs by Bernhard Schurian proved so convincing that he has already presented it to a specialist audience. In the USA, at the end of June, Bernhard Schurian gave a lecture at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington. It houses the world's largest insect collection with around 35 million specimens. "The audience at the Smithsonian consisted mainly of photographers and IT professionals," Schurian says. "The number of questions asked during the lecture shows that this solution is of great interest."
Another opportunity to study the project from a somewhat different perspective is from 21 July to On 9 September in Berlin, Bernhard Schurian will be present during these days as an artist at the exhibition "The Beauty of the Formula" at the Alte Schule Gallery in the Cultural Center Adlershof For the Museum of Natural History, some of which are displayed in the large format of 1.5 x 2 meters, to make the viewer even closer to a world that is otherwise hidden from the eye.
Follow the links and visit our website to learn more about this Project and the modular ALPA system. If you have any questions, ALPA of Switzerland ([email protected]) and your ALPA dealer will be pleased to help you.
Rodenstock / ALPA Macro Switar 5.6/105 mm
ALPA 12 FPS
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Galerie Alte Schule, Adlershof Berlin
In 360 Degree Panoramic Photography, cameras need full freedom in movement. To us, it was only consequent to test our new ALPA GON Tripod Case in this environment. Our testing person was Thomas Bredenfeld, one of the most respected experts in Panoramic Photography. Bredenfeld has been working in this field for more than 20 years. His name is known especially in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
For more than ten years, Thomas Bredenfeld has been a member of the Pano-Tools list. He is a lecturer for a wide range of events referring to panoramic photography, image editing and multimedia aspects of photography. In 2011, he helped to organize the annual PanoTools meeting in Vienna. Bredenfelds book „Panoramafotografie – Digitale Fotopraxis“ is a standard reference for German speaking panoramic photographers.
We hope, our ALPA GON Tripod System will also be a standard reference for all photographers, whether they focus on panorama or other subjects. ALPA GON is based on a modular design and can be used for any purpose in photography.
One solution for all
This summer, Thomas Bredenfeld took our new ALPA GON Tripod Kit on the road. The set is now available. It contains the ALPA GON Tripod Head, Triobal Mini Leveling Head, Pano Plate, Nodal Point Rail, Carbon Tripod Legs and Drumstick Legs as well as other accessories.
Product Page: ALPA GON Tripod Kit 1
Amongst other places, the ALPA GON Tripod Kit has been tested at IVRPA in Vienna and at Thomas Bredenfeld's workshop at Photo-Adventure in Duisburg. It was mainly used as an exemplary construction for an „Astro-Panorama“-setup – completed with VR-products from Novoflex.
Astro-Panorama-Setup with ALPA GON. © Thomas Bredenfeld
According to Thomas Bredenfeld, the ALPA GON proved its versatility once again. „The setup with ALPA GON has high load carrying capacity“, he says. „The modules are very stable and precise, even if you add a lot of parts to your setup. The participants at the workshop were pretty impressed.“
Panoramic photography with ALPA GON, showing the Landscape Park Duisburg-Süd. © Thomas Bredenfeld
Also check out the interactive panorama view
ALPA GON Tripod Kit is another example of our modular philosophy. All our prodcuts correspond to the UniQ/C-Standard. Photographers, therefore, are able to combine different products from different brands as needed. We look forward to inform you about the full potential of our gear. For any further questions, please contact ALPA of Switzerland or your local dealer.
Product page ALPA GON Head
Website Thomas Bredenfeld