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.
Following the introduction of the ALPA GON modular tripod system, ALPA now offers a new and high-quality solution for those who favor ball tilt heads: The Classic Ball 5 II. While the GON impresses with its angular shape, the Classic Ball 5 II from ALPA / Novoflex is well-rounded. It supports superstructures weighing up to 12 kilograms and can be adjusted to the desired orientation in no time at all. Its properties make it universally applicable. It offers an excellent platform for landscape and panoramic photography in particular.
ALPA / Novoflex Classic Ball 5 II.
Depending on your preference, the Classic Ball 5 II can be mounted with the ball pointing upwards and the panorama plate on the base or vice versa. The horizontal scaling of the panorama function is 360 degrees, and the spherical neck can also be safely embedded in three pre-milled openings, allowing it to be used in portrait format.
ALPA / Novoflex Classic Ball 5 II mounted on tripod - standard configuration with pano plate at the base.
ALPA / Novoflex Classic Ball 5 II mounted on tripod - upside down with pano plate on top.
An important feature in the development of the Classic Ball 5 II was the possibility to measure the friction of the ball as precisely as possible and thus save important time during shooting. The answer to this is the rotating adjustment ring, which allows the ball head to be moved gradually with the desired resistance. The lever on the side blocks the head completely. This means that even the smallest adjustments can be made without loosening the entire ball and running the risk of the camera body tilting sideways during adjustment.
Heavy Duty Tripod from ALPA / Novoflex
With the Classic Ball 5 II tripod head, ALPA presents a new alternative for setting up the camera system. Furthermore, we have also considered something new for the solid basis underneath: The TrioPod Pro 75 tripod is characterized by its load capacity of 65 kilograms and its maximum height. When using the tripod legs and without tripod head/middle column, a maximum working height of 1.54 m is achieved, which can be increased by 50 cm to 2.0 m with the optionally available carbon leg extensions. The pack size is just 57 cm (4-part legs) and 69 cm (3-part legs).
The TrioPod Pro 75 is available with 4-part legs (shorter one on the left) or 3-part legs.
Spain-based photographer Dan Lindberg already went out with the new TrioPod Pro 75 and the ALPA GON to capture the landscape of Andalusia, Spain. "Love the new tripod", he writes back to us. "When you feel the precision and stability, you forget the weight of heavy setups. Long exposures are perfect each time."
Setup with TrioPod Pro 75, GON modular tripod head and ALPA 12 FPS. © Dan Lindberg
TrioPod Pro 75, ALPA GON modular tripod head and ALPA 12 Max. © Dan Lindberg
The TrioPod Pro 75 works in combination with all common tripod heads, of course including the ALPA GON and the ALPA / Novoflex Classic Ball 5 II. It also offers numerous expansion options. On the one hand, the carbon legs are removable and replaceable. This saves space and, depending on your preferences, legs can be attached with three or four segments. A single leg can also be used as a monopod.
Conversely, it is of course also possible to combine the sturdy and massive legs of the Triopod Pro 75 with the finer tripod head of the ALPA / Novoflex Triobal tripod head. The complete centre plate of the tripod can be removed and replaced by a crank column or a levelling base. The ALPA / Novoflex Levelling Base is expected to be introduced as a product by spring 2018.
Many connections possible
Like the Classic Ball 5 II, the TrioPod Pro 75 follows the modular philosophy of our company. The connections at the end piece of the ball head as well as via the tripod are made alternatively by means of a 1/4" or 3/8" thread.
Both products correspond to the international mounting standards UniQ/C (Dove Tail) and Universal Rail ("Nato Rail"). This ensures the highest possible connectivity with products from different manufacturers, including video applications.
ALPA / Novoflex provides a vide range of mounting accessory, making your preferred setup possible. Please contact us for informations about the complete assortment.
TrioPod Pro 75 with different Universal Rail clamps.
With the Classic Ball 5 II and the TrioPod Pro 75, ALPA offers photographers a perfect basis for easy and fast handling, precision, flexibility and outstanding workmanship.
Products already available in a first batch:
ALPA / Novoflex Classic Ball II, professional price CHF 794
ALPA / Novoflex TrioPod-Pro 75 Set with carbon legs C3930 and drum stick legs (length 161 cm, closed 60.5 cm), professional price CHF 1,393
ALPA / Novoflex TrioPod-Pro 75 Set with carbon legs C3940 and drum stick legs (length 161 cm, closed 50 cm), professional price CHF 1,393
Availability planned for February 2018:
ALPA / Novoflex Levelling Base MBAL-PRO 75, professional price CHF 357
All prices ex works Switzerland.
ALPA / Novoflex TrioPod Pro 75, 3-part legs
ALPA / Novoflex TrioPod Pro 75, 4-part legs
ALPA / Novoflex Classic Ball 5 II
ALPA / Novoflex Accessory Mounting System
ALPA / Novoflex Levelling Base
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
3D Printing or Additive Design really makes a difference when it comes to producing small batches on demand. It can also help professional photographers solve quality issues. ALPA has been researching for years and is using the technology to produce Lens Shades as well as other camera parts.
ALPA Lens Shades are laser sintered and come in various shapes. They match precisely with the features of different lenses and digital back sensors. Furthermore, ALPA Lens Shades are highly effective when it comes to light reflection.
They are durable, flexible and at the same time dimensionally stable. This means, you can stuff your ALPA Lens Shade into your bag, leave it there for hours and it still will be able to return to its original shape.
Avoiding light spots
Just like any of our products, ALPA Lens Shades had to withstand the high expectations in the field tests. On of the recent testers was Swiss architectural photographer René Dürr. In spring 2017, he took several Lens Shades on a photographic trip to the region of Veneto, Italy.
The intention that led him to this field test was a quality issue. "I am used to working very precisely and I've had some problems with light spots different than usual on my pictures", he explains. "I discussed the matter with a lot of experts, but we couldn't find the reason. I was not even able to correct the spots within the post production, so I couldn't use any of the pictures affected." ALPA technical advisor Hans-Peter Ochsner knows the problem. „light spots are quite common, especially when the weather is clouded.“
After a short briefing with ALPA, René Dürr decided to try our printed Lens Shades. The result was exciting, he says. "They have proven successful. The spots are just gone and I can confirm all the other advantages, too. For example, I keep the ALPA Lens Shades in my backpack and they never distort. Another pro is the simple handling. I just put them over the lense and they stay right there."
Two of the pictures René Dürr sent us. The light spots in the middle may be small, but they ruined the whole photograph. So he tested different types of ALPA Lens Shades.
"In the end, they save me a lot of time and money as a professional photographer", Dürr says.
You'll find more information about Additive Manufacturing of serial components in Frederick Waldern's blog on zuehlke.com (only in German). He also names ALPA as an example.
Venez découvrir les nouveaux produits ALPA chez PROPHOT au Forum Pro Images pour sa 13ème édition les 19 et 20 juin 2017 au Cyclone Le Studio à Paris.
C’est une occasion exceptionnelle de découvrir des nouvelles technologies et l’entrée est entièrement gratuite.
Nous vous attendons nombreux au Stand Prophot!
Pour en savoir plus : Forum Pro-Images
Prophot: ALPA à Prophot
Date : 19 & 20 juin 2017 • 10h-19h
Lieu : Cyclone Le Studio • 16-18 Rue Vulpian, 75013 Paris
There are still places available for ALPA Class in South Tyrol from August 23 to 27.
We therefore extended the deadline from End of May to June 30.
ALPA Class is taking place on the wine estate Lageder in Margreid as part of the IF/Summer Academy. The focus is on architectural photography as well as still life photography. The heritage buildings on the estate lead back to the 13th century. They build a strong contrast to the modern industrial structure.
Your course instructor will be ALPA-photographer Dan Lindberg, assisted by several experts. They will give direct feedback and allow you to improve your skills and learn new techniques.
If you always wanted to work with ALPA-equipment, you will have the opportunity to do so. Cameras, objectives and kits will be available on demand. To read the details about ALPA class, please follow this link.
The application form can be found directly on the IF/Summer Academy website.
© Ralph Rosenbauer
© Ralph Rosenbauer