Swiss Alpah 11 e?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Paul Howell, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Anyone with experiance with Swiss Alphas 11se, I have a friend who's wife's father just passed way who left her an Alpha 11 se. I have not seen one in decades, were espensive then, I thought Alpha was sort of cult camera, could not find much on the internet other than sold one ebay for a couple of grand a couple of months ago. The camera comes with 3 lens, 28, 50, and 100mms, not sure if they are 3rd party or not, they live in another state so I have not seen the camera in person. She may sell but my friend as a couple of digital camers and he s thinking shooting film. Any thoughts about an Alpha as a daily user, or should they take the money and run?
     
  2. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    The camera you are talking about is an Alpa, not an Alpha. They are all rather quirky. If you want the experience of an odd old fllm camera you might try it. If you just want to take pictures, get a Nikkormat.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    They're a superb camera, if you can get past the quirks.
    The Kern lenses the Alpa uses are to Leica lenses as Leica lenses are to Nikon lenses.:smile: - you won't find better at any price.:smile:
     
  4. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Alpa, maybe the reason I did not see anything on the internet. Camera is not for me, I have Pentax, Konica, Sigma, just sold my T90 and FD lens.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Has anyone an idea where the name Alpa comes from? I thought it might be kind of toponym but the manufacturer was located in the Jura Mountains, not exactly the Alps.
     
  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    It comes from Galatasaray footballer Alpay :smile:
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I found some data on line, seems like Alpa had a nice lens line up, motor drive, lots of Macro gear. Wikipedia states that the lens were made in Germany, showed a set up with a motor drive and 500 to 800 zoom reflex, never seen a zoom reflex, did not know it was even possible. I think she should sell, getting repairs and finding lens will be a challenge.
     
  8. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Get a price and see if she wants to sell here. Heck, I'm interested.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Kern lenses, made at Aarau, Switzerland, for Alpa. http://www.alpareflex.com/Lenses/KernSwitars.htm

    Lesson #4,337 in the book, "Why you shouldn't use wikipedia as a reference for anything".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2012
  10. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I will let her know, from I understand they are still in probate, although she is the only surving of 3 daughters due to house and and other assessts esate taxes will eat up a chunk. Her huband, my friend Harry will checking with auction sites, not ebay. I did see that a E11 sold on Ebay for over $2000 a couple of months ago, I have no idea what a set will bring, or if it would be better to price it out by the item. Who knows Harry might take a liking and want to keep it, if so he will pop up on APUG.
     
  11. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    From I can gather, Kern made one the 50mms which is said to be one the best 50mm for 35mm ever made, but I did not see any others. Agnenieux, Kinopye, Schnedier, Kilfit, Zoomar and even Pentax made Apla lens for Apla, Germany, France, US and Japan. I could find any referance to the 500 to 800 zoom reflex shown in Wikipedia.
     
  12. onepuff

    onepuff Member

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    Alpas were manufactured by Pignons SA who also manufactured parts and movements for high-end Swiss watches. The cameras were very well engineered (but heavy) and need to be handled for the quality to be appreciated. The Alpa 11e is one of the later models dating from around the early 1970s and is the third from last model in this series of cameras. The Final version, the 11si was made into the 1980s by which time they were technologically quite outdated though there was still a small market in (wealthy) enthusiasts and the cameras were surprisingly popular for medical use. E. von Hoegh is correct that the Kern lenses - in particular the 50mm Macro Switar are very fine lenses in construction and performance. Other makers such as Angenieux and Schneider also made lenses for Alpas and these tend to be excellent too. The cameras can be used and should produce excellent results. If your friend wishes to use a beautifully constructed mechanical, manual camera then he could do much worse. If he isn't a photographic enthusiast then it would be more sensible to sell and I would recommend he approaches either a dealer who specialises in cameras of this sort (there are specialists in these cameras) or if he wishes to he could send it to an auction house which holds specialist auctions of high end cameras. An auctioneer would be able to give an estimate but remember that there is normally 15% to 20% seller's commission to pay. A reputable dealer should offer around the same or slightly more than you would expect to receive after commission at auction. Beware of using ebay to gauge prices as they can vary wildly. One seller could find a ready market for a kit such as this in excellent condition at USD 1500 while a dealer may be asking a fixed price of USD 5000 and wait a long time to sell. I hope this helps.