Alpa 10D Camera -- and yes, there is always a next purchase...

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Takizawa

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The good news... I placed the winning bid on a Alpa 10D camera. The bad news is, I lack a lens. I'm thinking of buying an Alpa adapter to use M42 lenses. Anyone have experience with using a lens adapter on an Alpa camera? Does it tend to work well? Any thoughts on M42 versus getting the 'to Nikon' lens adapter instead? Thanks all.
 

Paul Howell

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My understanding is that Alpa had the shortest lens to film plane distance, there were lots of adaptors for Alpa lens to other bodies, and I am sure a M42 mm to Alpa adpator was made, but it may required a glass correction lens. The Kern Swiss is said to be one of, if not the Sharpist normal lens ever made for 35mm.
 
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Takizawa

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Thanks. By the way, what is a glass correction lens? I haven't heard the term. Ahhh, the Kern Swiss... it's hard not to hear about the virtues of that lens. Unfortunately it has a price to match its reputation. I'm looking for a modest lens at this point. My wife is not overly fond of my combined Leica, Hasselblad, and Rolleiflex collection. It would be nice to hear if anyone has had good results with the more modestly-priced Alpa lenses.
 

E. von Hoegh

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My understanding is that Alpa had the shortest lens to film plane distance, there were lots of adaptors for Alpa lens to other bodies, and I am sure a M42 mm to Alpa adpator was made, but it may required a glass correction lens. The Kern Swiss is said to be one of, if not the Sharpist normal lens ever made for 35mm.

The Alpa flange distance was 37.8mm. This means most SLR lenses adapted to the Alpa (Nikon, Leica, etc) will need a mechanical adapter only. To use an Alpa lens on (for instance) an M42 body (45.46mm flange) would require optics to focus at infinity, making the Kern lens into a fuzzy-wuzzy.

Here is a chart of flange/filmplane distances: http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~westin/misc/mounts-by-register.html
 
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Takizawa

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Good to know. That also explains why there are such an array of adapters for Alpa cameras. As a particular class of adapters, the 'autobag' adapters are interesting. I get that it allows for the quick swapping of lenses since you have that button release. That said, I rarely swap lenses once I step aside. I'm not convinced it holds extra merit for me.
 

Paul Howell

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Thanks. By the way, what is a glass correction lens? I haven't heard the term. Ahhh, the Kern Swiss... it's hard not to hear about the virtues of that lens. Unfortunately it has a price to match its reputation. I'm looking for a modest lens at this point. My wife is not overly fond of my combined Leica, Hasselblad, and Rolleiflex collection. It would be nice to hear if anyone has had good results with the more modestly-priced Alpa lenses.

In terms of a correction lens, in order to focus to infinity a lens is need in the adaptor, some call it a balance lens. As noted above. “To use an Alpa lens on (for instance) an M42 body (45.46mm flange) would require optics to focus at infinity, making the Kern lens into a fuzzy-wuzzy. “ I don’t what the loss would be, or for that matter if you can find one, Alpa were made in very small numbers. I have a friend whose wife inherited a 11E with 3 lens, he shot a roll of slide film before sending it an auction house. The 3lens were outstanding Lenses were made in Swisserland (sp?) Germany, France, the Netherlands, U.S and a few in Japan to Alpa specs, not in large numbers, I don’t know which are in the modest range.
 

John Koehrer

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The Alpa flange distance was 37.8mm. This means most SLR lenses adapted to the Alpa (Nikon, Leica, etc) will need a mechanical adapter only. To use an Alpa lens on (for instance) an M42 body (45.46mm flange) would require optics to focus at infinity, making the Kern lens into a fuzzy-wuzzy.

Here is a chart of flange/filmplane distances: http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~westin/misc/mounts-by-register.html

+1 Mechanical adapter ONLY no glass needed!
It's basically an extension tube, 7.8mm long.
 

thegman

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I'm not that familiar with the Alpa system (other than wanting one, congrats), but aren't there cheaper Alpa fit lenses available under the Kilfitt brand?
 

elekm

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Unlike most cameras, buying an Alpa is different from most cameras. Having used an Alpa, I would say that you definitely should get an Alpa lens.

The body is one thing. Quirky ergonomics, rock-solid build.

The lens is something that you need to see to understand and enjoy.

You can slap some other crap lens on it, but to use my car analogy (again), this is like buying a Ferrari and then putting retreads on it.

If you're going to go to the effort and expense of buying an Alpa, complete the journey and get the correct lens.

By the way, this is the only lens that I've ever used that I think delivered photos that actually have a 3-D effect. The lens is in a class all its own.
 

sjeffg

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First of all, there's no such thing as an Alpa lens. Alpa engaged a variety of third-party manufacturers (e.g. Kern, Schneider, Angenieux, etc.) to supply lenses for their cameras. However, they had extremely good taste: the 50mm Kern-Macro-Switar is one of the finest normal lenses ever made.

As for adapters, I've used the Autnibag Alpa-to-Nikon adapter on my Alpa 11si with excellent results. It's for those who want to enjoy the weirdness of an Alpa body with their existing glass. If you're hunting for the M42 equivalent, make sure the adapter you get is the Autobag—the earlier "Alpa M42 Manual Adapter" lacks automatic aperture coupling and is therefore far less useful. And be aware that the adapter could run you as much as a lens; they tend to go for at least $350.

Enjoy your 10d. You have purchased an extremely odd, rare, ungainly, heavy and unreliable camera which you will grow to love above all others.

Jeff
 

jochen

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Hello,
in a book about the Pentax screw mount system by Danilo Cecchi it is said that Alpa cooperated with Asahi Optical and had some Super Takumar (M 42) lenses on stock which were fitted with a factory mounted adapter and were called Alpa-Takumars.
 
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Takizawa

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All of this is quite fascinating. I had no idea the Autobag version is so useful and differs from the Manual Adapter. I'm also curious whether the Alpa lens mount has stayed of the same design over time. For example, would a Alpa mount lens built 30 years prior to the 10d couple correctly with the 10d.

Michael
 

Paul Howell

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All of this is quite fascinating. I had no idea the Autobag version is so useful and differs from the Manual Adapter. I'm also curious whether the Alpa lens mount has stayed of the same design over time. For example, would a Alpa mount lens built 30 years prior to the 10d couple correctly with the 10d.

Michael

I was very tempted to buy an Alpa so I looked into the differnt models and and lenses. From what I gather the mount has not changned, later lens are fitted with a coupling that linkns the shutter to the diapharm to stop down the lens. Some of the lens I looked at on Ebay did not appear to have the coupling and appear be stopped down. Even these lens are really pricy, a 500 Mm is over $5000. Which is why I passed.
 

elekm

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Price is relative, for sure. People have no problem paying $500 or more for the latest digital gadget, whether it be a phone, tablet, camera, video-game console, or television. However, those aren't single-use products, so maybe my argument doesn't hold water.

If you think of it, much of this pricing scheme really took off with the original iPod. Apple set the bar very high and found that people were willing to pay a price premium for a very nice music player.

I would simply look at it as a one-time purchase. And if you don't really care for the Alpa experience, you should be able to sell it and recoup your money.
 
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Takizawa

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How do you tell if the coupling is there or not?

I was very tempted to buy an Alpa so I looked into the differnt models and and lenses. From what I gather the mount has not changned, later lens are fitted with a coupling that linkns the shutter to the diapharm to stop down the lens. Some of the lens I looked at on Ebay did not appear to have the coupling and appear be stopped down. Even these lens are really pricy, a 500 Mm is over $5000. Which is why I passed.
 

momus

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"You have purchased an extremely odd, rare, ungainly, heavy and unreliable camera...."

Except for the rare part, you have just described every medium format Russian camera I've bought :{
 

Paul Howell

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How do you tell if the coupling is there or not?

The coupling extends beyound the barrel of the lens, rather large, fits over the shutter relase so when you press the shutter release the coupling stops down the lens at the same time. I recall that the 10 used stopped down metering, the 11E use open metering. In most images I saw on E bay I could see which lens had it or not.
 

duckrider

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The coupling extends beyound the barrel of the lens, rather large, fits over the shutter relase so when you press the shutter release the coupling stops down the lens at the same time. I recall that the 10 used stopped down metering, the 11E use open metering. In most images I saw on E bay I could see which lens had it or not.

Hello to all!
This is my very first post in the APUG forum & I think ALPA is worthfully to start with here....

All ALPAS from 10d to 11Si (if metering is enclosed into cam, there were also models without metering, e.g. 11z) do only meter with lens stopped down:
there is a 3 positon switch in front of the camera:
position to the right: No metering, but release is possible
MIDDLE switch postion: Metering starts, when lens release button is pressed; Blade closes an You have to check, if metering is o.k., further pressing releases camera.
position to the left: camera is blocked, no release possible - but meter works: In this postion You can press meter without danger to release the cam.

Got my ALPA 11Si from a well reuptatet dealer, who described camera as not working: He did'nt find the middle position - haha - my luck!

All in all ALPAs are a bit tricky to use, it took some time for me to understand their philosophy....

There are two main (semi-!)automatic adapters: AUTOBAG for M42 & AUTNIBAG for Nikon lenses; they work same way like original for ALPA manufactured lenses like Kern Switar, Kinoptik, Schneiders and Angenieux lenses. These two adapters are not cheap: AUTOBAG approx $300.-US, AUTNIBAG approx 200.-$ (more than AUTOBAG :wink: )
And there were some self-made lenses, got myself a converted Tele Tessar for Rolleiflex 200mm:
http://forum.mflenses.com/200mm-zeiss-for-alpa-mount-t63577,highlight,+alpa.html

Very very unfortunately there are no Rolleiflex to Alpa Adapters I know of: My Zeissies would appreciate to be fixed to an ALPA!

The master of manuals himself has lot of information for those, who'd like to learn more:
http://www.butkus.org/chinon/alpa.htm
Don't forget to donate his GREAT work with a lill' fee!

Thomas

apropos money:
There's a wide range of price span:
Kern Makro Switar 1,9/50mm will make 2000.- - 2400.-, earlier 1,8 version some bucks less.
have a look to the depth of sharpness - scale and enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTJd76nPBLs
These Schneider lenses like 35 ,50 and 135mm will be in the 350.- - 500 region,
Kinoptik 2/100 & 2,8/150 will be in the face gets red region: 4000.- each...
The tiny Makro Kilar 40mm will be roughly in the 200.- - 400.- class, ther are 3,5 and 2,8, and different min distance, worth to have a look to, but no Semiautomatic aperture version!
- but how many lenese do You, made in Leichtenstein - do You even know Liechtenstein itself?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liechtenstein
 

ph

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A few posts back in this thread, there was a Q. on whether the Alpa mount has changed.

For the 4- 11 models, the mount was the same. Before that "Alnea" version, a smaller diameter bayonet was used. Lenses for the smaller mount may have names starting with "AL" like Algular, Alfinon . They were produced by Angenieux, Oude Delft\Spectros and Berthiot and are not particularly common.

p.
 
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