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Thread: Alpa Anyone?

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Yes, you'd be amazed.

    Cheers,

    R.
    Maybe, maybe not Roger! There seem to be a lot of wide lovers out there who have used both and from what I have read the Mamiya has has at least as many votes as the Biogon...more it seemed to me. I guess the Mamiya 7 provided a very appealing more handholdable and flexible (interchangeable lenses) package which naturally appealed to the Hassy superwide users who up until then had no real alternative. I read of a number who sold up straight away once they used the Mamiya and 43mm, some claiming that they found the Mamiya images superior, forgetting the handling issues (of course the Alpa solves these).

    Then there is the bigger negative's real estate.....6x7 vs 645 or Alpas unique 66x44 as I recall. Certainly in the case of 6x7 vs 645 there is quite a substantial difference, less so for 66x44 assuming you dont crop to a less elongated shape. Not that it matters a jot in the grand scheme of things. The Mamiya is a heck of good way to get pin sharp 6x7 negs whether at wide or small apertures, handheld with a whisper quiet and smooth shutter. Nothing else can do this as far as I am aware. I dont work for the mamiya marketing dept, but the lenses are simply breathtaking.

    I admit that I have never used both and dont even own a Mamiya 7. I have however printed from the Mamiya 7 and have had hands on. My comments are a result of reading comments from users of both.

  2. #22
    Philippe-Georges's Avatar
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    Actually, it is the lens that duos the thing, most of it if not all.
    The deference between Zeiss and Schneider is amazing.
    In attachment (if it worked, I have never done this before on APUG) you can see two pictures I took in the same environment, on the same day, on the same film (FP4+), with the same filtering (A1), developed in the same tank in the same dev. (Rodinal 1+50 + 1 gr./lit. Borax).
    The square picture is taken with the Biogon 38 mm (Hasselblad) at F 11 1/2 (t = 16 sec.) and the 6x17 is shot with the Linhof 617 II + Super Angulon 90 mm 5.6 (not the XL) at F 22 (t = 60 sec. Schwartschild compensation included) and the same exposure metering (Pentax digi spot).
    Scanned on the same scanner (Epson), same software, same computer (OSX) in RGB and then converted to B/W with P.S. but no other manipulations except for the www resizing.

    Philippe
    [IMG]SPE-TAKE-1_2-6-web.jpg[/IMG]
    [IMG]SPE-TAKE-1_8-3-web.jpg[/IMG]
    "...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
    (freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)

    PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    Maybe, maybe not Roger!
    Can't argue with that. There's always the point that Biogon users may find it necessary to justify their blindingly expensive lens, not least to themselves, though I have yet to hear from anyone who has used both an Alpa 66x44 with Biogon and a Mamiya and prefers the Mamiya or even rates them the same. As I think I said earlier, Zeiss's own research showed better hand-held results with the Alpa simply because it's easier to hold steady. It's a bit academic, though, as the last time I heard there was one new Alpa-fit Biogon for sale (in Russia -- he reckoned he'd get over $10,000 for it) and there ae only 99 others in use, with no plans for a third batch of 50.

    Of course if you want acreage there's my wife's preferred combination: 35/5.6 Apo Grandagon on 56x84mm.

    Cheers,

    R.

  4. #24
    Bromo33333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    Then there is the bigger negative's real estate.....6x7 vs 645 or Alpas unique 66x44 as I recall. Certainly in the case of 6x7 vs 645 there is quite a substantial difference, less so for 66x44 assuming you dont crop to a less elongated shape.
    I though Alpa allowed you to use many different backs?
    B & D
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    ...

    Then there is the bigger negative's real estate.....6x7 vs 645 or Alpas unique 66x44 as I recall. Certainly in the case of 6x7 vs 645 there is quite a substantial difference, less so for 66x44 assuming you dont crop to a less elongated shape. ...
    Um, Tom, I don't understand why you people keep on talking about standard issue when DIY is possible.

    My little 38/4.5 Biogon of nothing at all wasn't blindingly expensive. I use it on a Century Graphic with a 2x3 back, also not blindingly expensive. The lens actually covers 87 mm, although outside ~84 mm the image is very dim. So I get badly vignetted 2x3 or some what less vignetted 6x7 or completely unvignetted 6x6 negs. The 2x3 allows cropping to ~ 25 x 82.

    Why use a Mamiya 7 or an SWC or an Alpa 12 and settle for less?

    Cheers,

    Dan

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Um, Tom, I don't understand why you people keep on talking about standard issue when DIY is possible.

    My little 38/4.5 Biogon of nothing at all wasn't blindingly expensive. I use it on a Century Graphic with a 2x3 back, also not blindingly expensive. The lens actually covers 87 mm, although outside ~84 mm the image is very dim. So I get badly vignetted 2x3 or some what less vignetted 6x7 or completely unvignetted 6x6 negs. The 2x3 allows cropping to ~ 25 x 82.

    Why use a Mamiya 7 or an SWC or an Alpa 12 and settle for less?

    Cheers,

    Dan
    Thanks Dan. I am offically one of 'those people'. I always felt like an outsider - Excellent!

    My reasoning was that a bellows based folding camera is a very different beast to a non folding Alpa or Mamiya 7. I felt guilty chipping in about the Mamiya 7 let alone a bellows based press camera. One thing I will say, is that there is a world of difference between a folding bellows camera and a non folder when it comes to very short lenses. In my experience you really have to have exceptional alignment to get the results these lenses are capable of. If shooting at wider apertures this of course becomes absolutely critical. I have seen it myself with folding cameras. Most just are not up to it, esp where bellows compression can cause standards to be pressed off square as the leather buches up.

    As for the 38 biogon, I have no doubt that it is exceptional and probably has a different look to the Mamiya 43mm. I know Roger feels his 38mm one of his Magic lenses and fair enough as images come in a variety of flavours not all of which can be quantified in resolution terms. The Mamiya lenses are however extremely contrasty which has been a real Zeiss strength for years. Certainly the ngs I have printed and chromes I have seen have been astounding. Personally if I could afford an Alpa with one lens, I would instead take a couple of Mamiya 7 II bodies plus the set of lenses and enjoy the change. If Rogers style means he has no need for the wider aperture selective focus performance it is teh Mamiya offers little to add. There is no doubt that Alpas must evoke the same pride of ownership and pasion of Leicas. A Mamiya 7 is not the same!

    I have had an MPP Mk 7, a 6x9 view camera, a TLR and none of them did it for me, but they work well for others (non folding view cameras however do - ie RSW45, Walker 57XL). My current favourite all rounder, the Bronica 645 really does it for me, as I can work so fast and effectively with it. The Mamiya 7 is similar in this regard if a touch slower. Both are miles faster than a press folder and in many respects less awkward. In terms of lens performance, MF lenses do in some cases blow away LF at the wider to middle apertures and sink down to join them when diffraction comes into play. I have seen with my own eyes that a Mamiya 7 neg from the 80mm will beat the same shot from a 90mm off a 6x7 back on a 5x4 camera. My reasons for sugesting the Mamiya is that when shooting wider, you can do things an Alpa cannot do (at least not quickly and without GG) and enjoy a far better optical performance than any folder will give you for the reasons stated. Stopped down, they all merge together. See the Perez tests on the Mamiya 6 and 7 lenses if you want to see how they stack up. I can say from having printed them that they are really are that good. I just cannot see any camera with joints and standards being able to exploit the 38 biogon to its full. Maybe I am wrong.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromo33333 View Post
    I though Alpa allowed you to use many different backs?
    Yes you can but I believe the 38 biogon wont cover anything bigger than 66x44 as it was designed for 6x6. You therefore cannot use it on 6x7+.

    Comparing the look of a 6x9 back with say a 47/55mm lens and the 66x44 back and 38 Biogon must be interesting. Roger how would you summarise the difference in look when printed the same size? I guess you have seen both as Frances uses 6x9.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    Yes you can but I believe the 38 biogon wont cover anything bigger than 66x44 as it was designed for 6x6. You therefore cannot use it on 6x7+.
    If it was designed for 6x6 - why can't you then do 6x6 on an Alpa?
    (Not that this is a possibility for me - like I said earlier, I am VERY curious)
    B & D
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  9. #29

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    Tom, fair comment re alignment. There is, though, a way to improve it greatly with press cameras.

    One of of Graphics' weaknesses is that unless the front standard is snugged up against the infinity stops it is easy to have slight unintended front swing. I use too many lenses on my Graphics for having a set of stops for each lens to make sense. It might not even be feasible.

    The solution is to use a device that Fred Lustig, a well-known Graflex/Graphic repairman, calls a chinaman. This is a piece of metal with cross section like an inverted top hat. It rides on the bed rails, is held perpendicular to them by the section that squeezes in between 'em. Put the chinaman in approximately the right place, pull the front standard to it, and there you are. All squared up.

    Also, it really isn't fair to Graphics and, more generally, press, field, technical, and monorail cameras to lump them with, um, consumer grade pocketable fixed-lens folders.

    You're absolutely right that a good RF camera like your Bronica 645 or a good viewfinder camera like Roger's beloved Alpa is, in most situations, much faster working than my humble Century Graphic. On the other hand, my net cost (long story, gross outlays were reduced by sale of unwanted parts of package deals) for the Century was $75, for my Biogon was < $275, and for the roll holder I use was around $35. I traded off convenience for cash. You may prefer more convenience and less cash.

    You and Roger shouldn't accept Zeiss' claim that the 38/4.5 Biogon covers 80 mm. Mine covers 84 mm, and I know the difference between "covers" and "illuminates." Think about the rectangles that will fit in an 84 mm circle. Good image actually goes out to 87 mm, but falloff is extreme. And beyond 87 mm there's nothing at all.

    About comparisons of shots on 2x3 with a 38 Biogon, a 47, and a 55, sorry but since I'm non-digital (NOT anti-digital) I can't oblige. And I don't have a 55. But in addition to my 38 Biogon, I shoot a 47/5.6 SA on my Century and a 58/5.6 Grandagon on my 2x3 Speed. The SA and Grandy fill the corners nicely but don't see as much. If you lay an 84 mm circle on a 56 x 82 rectangle you'll see what the Biogon doesn't fill.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  10. #30

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    Now I want a 58XL for my new Fotoman. I use the fotoman like an Alpa; hyperfocal focusing, handheld or off tripod. The fotoman may not be leica quality but I could use this as a weapon or to bang in nails and where it matters it appears plenty good enough. The machining appears very good indeed. I was actually pleased to see how astonishingly simple and rugged it is. Even the new viewfinders are only so so (but good enough), but the body itself is a tank. I can add my exisiting LF lenses and hey presto. And then there is that big 612 neg. Some dont like the aspect ratio but I love it as you can use foregound more than 617 yet get the wide look too. I am having a lot of fun with it and dont get too worried when a bit more Afghan dust gets blown over it. In fact I have not had so much fun with a camera for ages.I am sure you felt the same when you got your biogon on the 2x3 press!

    Still, I would not say no to an Alpa!

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