The ALPA 12 PLUS offers four individually calibrated spirit levels for optimal camera alignment. What if the camera is in a suboptimal position? What to do if the spirit level is difficult or impossible to see?
ALPA has solved this with the first pentaprism since the end of production of the historic 35mm ALPA. A reminiscence of the SLR cameras and at the same time a simple and elegant solution to the problem. The pentaprism is securely mounted in a high-end AM (additive manufacturing) housing and can be installed quickly and easily on the ALPA 12 PLUS.
The oversized pentaprism allows a comfortable and laterally correct view of the reflected spirit level. A simple mirror solution could not offer this. Besides, the photographer can easily read the projected image of the spirit level even with some offset to the optical axis.
ALPA delivers the new Pentaprisms in the sequence of orders.
Product page: ALPA Pentaprism for ALPA 12 PLUS
photo basel, Switzerland’s first and only art fair dedicated to the display and promotion of photography.
photo basel, 12 – 17 June 2018
VIP Opening 11th of June 2018
Volkshaus Basel, Switzerland
From its inaugural edition in 2015, photo basel has cemented its profile as the most prominent photography fair in the German-speaking region. The fair seeks to provide a platform for the fostering of dialogue between members of the photographic and broader art world communities by attracting international media, visual art experts and collectors at a key moment and location in the annual art world calendar.
Curated by Daniel Blochwitz, an expert in photography, the fair runs from 12 - 17 June 2018 coinciding with the modern and contemporary art fair, Art Basel. The fair brings together 35 exhibitors from both emerging and established galleries across 13 countries including France, Italy, Belgium, Colombia and Japan. Newcomers to the fair include Ibasho Gallery (Belgium), Only Photography (Germany), Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporânea (Portugal), °Clair (Germany) and Aperture (USA). Returning to Basel this year are Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie (Switzerland), Galerie Esther Woerdehoff (France), Flatland Gallery (The Netherlands), Bildhalle (Switzerland), Galerija Fotografija (Slovenia) and Galerie Springer (Germany).
Besides the main section, photo basel is pleased to announce a new sector entitled Master Cabinet: Pivotal Moments devoted to selected classic masterpieces of the 20th century. Participating galleries present a programme of significant photography in a collaboration with curator Daniel Blochwitz and photo basel's director Sven Eisenhut.
ALPA Award at Photo Basel
In cooperation with a private collector from Zürich, ALPA and Photo Basel are introducing a new purchase award for the best artist at photo basel, the ALPA AWARD 2018. This will be the first year the ALPA AWARD is presented to an outstanding photographer, but it is intended as a reoccuring feature of photo basel. From now on, every year a small jury will select an artist from all the artistic positions on display at the booths of the exhibiting galleries. The ALPA AWARD winner will be announced during the week of photo basel and one work purchased from the gallery representing the artist by the private collector. In addition, ALPA® will award a cash prize or ALPA® camera system to the winning photographer.
List of Galleries 2018
Have you always dreamed of advancing to the top league of macro photography? With the introduction of the affordable Fujifilm GFX 50R this is now possible. A universal, compact camera with 50MP sensor in 33x44 format and both fully electronic and mechanical focal plane shutter on a high-performance stacking solution from ALPA with high-end macro lens for large sensor. This is now becoming a reality with the connection ring for Fuji G cameras: The investment in a modular and universal system where the camera can always be updated cost-effectively with the latest system in the future.
The adapter allows easy and safe mounting of a Fujifilm GFX body to an ALPA bellows unit or stacking solution. The V-Groove version also allows a comfortable adjustment of the alignment/rotation of the camera body.
ALPA Adapter Ring Fuji G
Alpa Macro Switar 5.6/105 mm float
ALPA Castel Micro Focus Stacking
When we designed the ALPA 12 PLUS, the comparison with the Swiss cross quickly came up and thus the connection to the home country of the ALPA and the national flag with a white cross on a red background. Since a red camera was always associated with too much attention and imponderables during production - who wants red reflexes in the pictures - we decided to use two different color stitching adapters instead. And so there are two colour variants of the product: classic black and a new dash of red. And since we are introducing the adapters in the week of the Chinese New Year, this fits perfectly too.
The Stitching Adapter for the ALPA 12 PLUS is an accessory adapter that allows rise and fall movements The adapter has a built-in, universal, square dovetail adapter to UniQ/C standard for ALPA tripod heads and third-party products. The millimetre laser engraving 20/20 mm allows easy and convenient reading of the high and low adjustment, even behind the camera. The integrated mounting screw (1/4") is designed to be "loss-proof". It is available in black or red - you have the choice.
ALPA Stitching Adapter PLUS in red
ALPA Stitching Adapter PLUS in black
With an exhibition by ALPA photographer Bernhard Schurian, the association p: photography unlimited opens its doors in Berlin at the beginning of May. Schurian's series "Nachtschwärmer" (Night Owls) includes fascinating close-ups of flying insects from all over the world and depicts them in an unusually large format. The images were taken in connection with a focus stacking project by ALPA and by a specially developed camera setup.
The exhibition will take place from 4 May to 17 May at the association's site at Wilhelminenhofstrasse 68 A in Berlin-Oberschöneweide. The rooms of p: photography unlimited berlin e.V. will be officially opened the day before on 3 May. Klaus Lederer, Deputy Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin, will give an opening speech. To register for the exhibition, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Bernhard Schurian
Duration 4 to 20 May 2018
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 4 pm-8pm, Fri-Sun 12-20pm
Diogmites lindigii © Bernhard Schurian
Press release p: photography unlimited:
"In the German language, the moth, known as a “NACHTSCHWÄRMER”, has two meanings: The first being the winged insect and the second describes a “night owl”, a person who “changes day into night, and night into day”.
The Berlin-based photographer Bernhard Schurian portrays these “NACHTSCHWÄRMER” in the true sense, namely insects (actually butterflies), that take flight in twilight and darkness. He is less interested in the little tormenting insects around the Berlin-Brandenburg Lakes, but rather in splendid specimens from the natural history collections of the world. Taxonomically they have illustrious names such as the Sataspes tagalica that belongs to the Sphingidae (swarmers), or like Exaerete frontalis, the green orchid bee, or even Phytalmia alcicornis, a fruit fly with horns. Geographically, they come from Asia, India, Nepal, China and Thailand, Papua and North Australia or Central and South America.
Schurian portrays the insects as iridescent and glamorous as the “night owls” of the golden twenties, who are still regarded today as a symbol of the extravagant Berlin nightlife. Magnificent and tall, he places them on the black background in the limelight, showing them in frontal or three-quarter profile, as if people were sat opposite him. The iridescent green of the orchid bee would certainly have caused a stir then, as well as the hairy velvet blue of the moth with the Latin name Sataspes tagalica. The different insects stare back at us, a great leap in the proportions of big and small, with which the photographer plays, to point to the importance of insects for the ecological balance of the world.
At the same time, the image size of these usually very small insects is characteristic for Bernhard Schurian’s photography, because, with conventional photographic technology, it is almost impossible to picture such small creatures from the antennae to the tip of the tail. In order to achieve the desired depth of focus, Schurian uses the stacking technique, in which a few hundred individual images are cut out of the respective sharp areas and, using special software, are assembled into a new, deeply-focused picture throughout the image space. The recordings were made possible by the precision of the macro system and the MacroSwitar lens of the Swiss camera manufacturer ALPA, which generously supported the project.
The exhibition prints were made in the workshops of p:berlin. The exhibition NACHTSCHWÄRMER by Bernhard Schurian gives a clear example of how p:berlin works: Through cooperation and networking we promote artistic photography beyond the normal workshop operation. For p: berlin, the careful use of the environment is a premise of the trade so that with this exhibition we also want to refer to the insect killings of recent years. One more reason for p: berlin to succumb to the fascination of these little creatures and to present them in the artistic form of Bernhard Schurian."
Text: Christoph Tempel, Alexander Schippel, March 29, 2017
© Karsten Thielker
According to its own statements, p: photography unlimited is the Berlin representation of an international photography network. The institution is intended to serve as a contact point for photographers working as artists in Berlin and, among other things, to promote an equal connection between analogue and digital workflows. In addition, the association serves as a workshop and production room for photography and photographic books.
Photographers page Bernhard Schurian
Website p: photography unlimited berlin
When insects become huge - Macro Photography with ALPA
ALPA Focus Stacking Project
© Karsten Thielker
Julian Calverley is a master of impressive landscape and commercial photography. He is using his iPhone as quick and simple but also creative complement to his ALPA cameras. Read the offprint of the UK magazine "Amateur Photographer", July 2014 with insight to his work with the iPhone and his love for ALPA. Julian also published a lovely little book with iPhone images only. His commercial work can be seen from his website, too. Julian was repeatedly selected for Lürzer's Archive for the 200 best ad photographs of the year.
Julian Calverley - Books: iPhone Only
Calverley - iShoot landscapes (PDF)
Photographers page: Calverley, Julian
ALPA is reviving a historical and style-forming brand in the field of cinematography: Introducing the unique ALPA SWITAR Cine Primes, the formerly well-known brand for the 16 mm format now plays in the top league of large sensor formats. The comfortable image circle of 70 mm offers more than enough reserves for all digital cine sensor formats known today. It can also be used with the Fujifilm GFX100 and the ALPA Platon without any problems. No problem with ALPA Switar Cine Primes.
The ALPA SWITAR Cine Primes offer a shimable PL mount as standard. To make the life of the user as easy as possible, each lens comes with an individually calibrated adapter mount for the new shimable LPL port. In this way, SWITAR Cine Primes can move quickly and efficiently between the two worlds and are automatically future-proofed. This sense of practicality has also prompted ALPA to develop an M88 to M95 filter adapter. Where space is limited or mounted to rigs, a compendium is often too bulky and impractical. With the help of a filter adapter, the operator circumnavigates this cliff elegantly.
How do you put the characteristics of lenses into words? Here the condensate from a conversation with a DOP.
The ALPA SWITAR series offers a consistent and homogeneous image across all focal lengths. In terms of optical impression and rendering, each lens embodies two completely different characters: With T5.6, the lenses behave very similar to a Leica Summilux-C or Zeiss Master Prime. Wide-open, the SWITARE's aim is instead the intermediate realm between an uncoated Thalia and a Vantage T1. This without the excessive lateral chromatic aberration of the T1.
Like a cameraman using them as his preferred tool to express his vision, the lenses offer both: a core of imaging perfection at T5.6 for absolute craftsmanship and precision, and on the other hand a (only slightly tamed) wild soul at wide open (T2.0 to T3.5, with the 210mm a T4.0 is). This behavior goes hand in hand with a pronounced artistic character due to stronger midrange illumination, slightly less contrast, even creamier Bokeh and beautiful flares. But still with the sharpness needed in modern professional production (the trick is not to be too sharp concerning line pairs due to the contrast balance between high and low-frequency areas of the field).
Given this, the SWITAR lenses mentioned above are not only better tuned but also faster than their main competitor, the ARRI Prime DNA series. They have an impressive 15 aperture blades for smooth and creamy Bokeh. The construction is free from the "onion ring problem" that plagues many newer prime sets due to the less sophisticated manufacture of the aspherical elements.
The smooth focus goes entirely hand in hand with the higher perceived depth of large format or 65mm images. Utterly enchanting - especially with analog film!
If you delve deeper into technical MTF graphics, you could characterize these lenses with the attribute of "creamy sharpness." The first cameramen who worked with the set spoke of warmth, depth, and truth, especially in combination with the 5-perf 65mm or the gigantic sensors of the Alexa 65 and the ALPA PLATON. Primarily because of the shallow depth of field created by using these extra-large sensors, the blurred areas were an essential part of the design process. It is not only the quality of the Bokeh that inspires. An organic characterizes the lenses in a slightly curved plane of sharpness. This marked contrasts sharply with the often completely flat-looking "modern" calculations, resulting in an unprecedented approach to taking large format and epic images.
All focal lengths cover 70mm image circles and even beyond. The result is a comfortable coverage for 5-perf 65mm, Alexa 65, Alexa LF, 8-perf S35, 4-perf S35, RED and DXL 8K VV, Sony Venice, Full Frame. With some modifications, even 15-perf 65 is achieved. The SWITAR lenses feature a shimable PL connector as standard. The scope of delivery also includes an adapter mount for the new LPL standard. These additional mounts are shimable too. So the SWITARE feels at home in both worlds, and the user can quickly and safely change over. Since they are quite compact with all lenses with 95mm diameter (like the Thalia, Summilux, and Summicron) and weight between 1.3-1.6kg at a maximum focal length of 210mm at 1.85kg, they are suitable for handheld and Steadicam work as well as for studio productions.
From the very beginning, ALPA has been known among the perfectionists of photographic technology as the world's top brand for technical camera systems. Today this reputation is based on cameras like the ALPA 12 PLUS and the entire ALPA 12 platform, which embodies the highest mechanical precision. An unprecedented versatility and reduction to the essentials attracted countless photographers who intended to leave the world of compromise behind. ALPA is the perfect equipment finding unhindered access to their creativity.
To extend this quality attitude to large-format film technology, ALPA thought the SWITAR Cine Primes without compromise. No wonder, they fit seamlessly into the ALPA's 70-year heritage in still-image.
Highlights in the summary
- homogeneous and consistent imaging over all focal lengths
- changeable character depending on T-Stop
- Iris with 15 aperture blades for an almost circular aperture and a creamy bokeh
- organic sharpening process and overall impression optimized for large formats
- future-proof with an extra-large image circle
- compact with low minimum distance optimal also for handheld and Steadicam use
- PL and LPL mount included (shimable)
- including filter mount, if space for a complete compendium is limited
ALPA Cine Lens Set Switar 35 - 210, meters
ALPA Cine Lens Set Switar 35 - 210, feet
LIMITED AVAILABILITY - WAITING LIST - ONLY FULL SETS OF ALL SIX LENSES DELIVERED
Making-Of / Behind-the-Scenes Milano 2019
Of course, sophisticated professional camera photography has also been working digitally for a long time. ALPA was one of the most important pioneers in this process. The Swiss camera system ultimately offered the precision from the very beginning that the digital backs - almost in contrast to the roll film - only began to require over time. But until now, the actual technical/view cameras used the old mechanical Copal shutter, although its production was discontinued years ago.
Now also here the electronics take over. With the eShutter 250, Rodenstock and Sinar have developed a modern leaf shutter for view camera lenses as a successor, while Phase One and Hasselblad backs now allow access to the built-in electronic “rolling” shutter. Only when it comes to the photographic use outside of the studio, the ingenuity of the manufacturers has so far been rather limited. There were hardly practical solutions from the laptop to the huge control unit dangling down from the tripod. With the ALPA Silex Mk II this will change for the better now.
Here the trigger sits where it should be - on the side of the body, close to the hand grip - and the complete package with a robust housing made of two solid, milled aluminium halves is pleasantly compact, although even the 48V power supply for the eShutter has been integrated. In addition, this grip with brains can be rotated using the supplied Arri rosette adapters and the camera and back functions are always optimally visible.
The Copal shutter has been mourned a lot, but anyone who has ever worked with the eShutter will no longer want to do without it. Precise shutter speed setting, low vibration shutter operation, accurate repeatability, operation from the Silex control unit without having to open the shutter on the lens - photography with tilt, shift and stitch does not need to be cumbersome at all. And as long as the electronic shutters are not yet "global", there is no way around the electromagnetic shutter for flash photography.
ALPA Silex Mk II on ALPA 12 MAX and HR Alpagon 4.0/32 mm with eShutter 250
Silex - the grip with brains
Hasselblad H, Canon EF, Contax 645, Nikon E and Rollei lenses can also be controlled in this way. This is not only of interest for digital photography. Despite the electronic interfaces, the autonomous Silex offers the opportunity to make these lenses with built-in shutter as well as Rodenstock's professional lenses for analogue photography up to the 6x9 format fit for the future. Whether digital or analog - the Swiss precision tool will remain future-proof, not least through free firmware updates. Finally, the electronic (rolling) shutter of modern backs will certainly become even faster and triggering the eShutter directly from the LiveView without a rolling shutter is only a matter of time. Then the compact view camera becomes even more mobile.
ALPA Silex Mk II on ALPA 12 TC controlling a Hasselblad HC 4.5/300 mm
The Sound of Silex is the future.
Price and Availability
The ALPA Silex Mk II control unit is now available at a net price of CHF 3,897 (ex works Switzerland) from local ALPA dealers and ALPA in Zurich. Owners of the ALPA Silex Mk I can upgrade their units for CHF 685 (ex works Switzerland) to Silex Mk II.
ALPA Silex Mk II
Hardware Upgrade Silex Mk I > Mk II
Capture Integration Blog: ALPA SILEX MK II - The Technical Camera Powerhouse
ALPA Silex Mk II at Work
Behind the scenes © ALPA/Ralph Rosenbauer
Large scale printers can build an entire row of buildings within one day. With her work „New Artificiality“, Swiss photographer Catherine Leutenegger approaches to modern additive manufacturing in China. On a much smaller scale, the technology is also being used by ALPA.
From its initial primary use in prototyping, 3D printing has become a rapidly growing medium with a wide range of applications in the last decade. With its increasing democratization and its ever-growing possibilities, Catherine Leutenegger explores the current limits and future developments related to additive manufacturing in the process of revolutionizing numerous business sectors.
For her ongoing work titled “New Artificiality”, she visited the headquarters of a Chinese construction company named WinSun (also called Yingchuang) based in Suzhou in northwest of Shanghai. The firm built one of the world's largest 3D printers and gained massive attention by producing ten houses in 24 hours at a cost of approximately $5,000 each. As proof of their abilities, the company also printed a five-story building and a 3’600 square meter mansion in the Suzhou Industrial Park.
„WinSun uses a basketball court-sized printer to layer ground up construction materials, mostly recycled waste, around quick-drying cement, bonded together to make walls which are reinforced with steel and stuffed with insulation“, Catherine Leutenegger writes. „The striated structure of the walls creates an unusual texture and confers a feeling of unheimlich. These irregular layers remind the static noise of a screen producing uncomfortable and hypnotic visual stimuli. A virtual glitch materialized in the tangible space.“
ALPA and 3D printing
„New Artificiality“ sheds new light on large scale 3D printing. In a different way, ALPA does apply the technology of additive manufacturing as well. To us, printing things makes sense when there is a need for a small amount of high precision products. Classic plastic manufacturing is based on injection molds, which makes manufacturing of smaller amounts of numbers expensive. 3D printers are able to produce a single product without a form,
while being highly precise.
These arguments are the reason ALPA decided do use additive manufacturing for different products such as lens shades. Being laser sintered in Switzerland, they are durable and exactly match with the picture angle of the particular objective. Printers also produce parts like protection covers, handgrips and viewfinder adapters. As ALPA keeps a close eye on the development of additive manufacturing, other printed products will follow.
Nearly everybody (of a certain age) in Switzerland knows the famous "Wisa-Gloria Trycicle" from their childhood or other nearly vanished brands and products. The customer magazine of Swiss insurere Swisslife covers in its Spring 2013 edition the revivel of legendary Swiss brands under the aegis of new owners and spirits. Swisslife also selected ALPA of Switzerland as one of these famous and nearly vanished brands.
Link to the PDF article (German only): Swisslife Magazine 1-2013