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Thread: ALPA Question

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    ALPA Question

    The cable release fitting on ALPA lenses appears to be threaded specially for the ALPA shutter release. Unlike most cameras or shutters, it has straight threads. Cable releases I've seen have tapered threads, as do all cameras I'm familiar with.

    I'd like to replace the ALPA fitting with one that has the normal tapered thread so I get a better connection with my Kapture Group One Shot cable. Has anyone done this? Do you know of a source for the "normal" tapered fitting?

    Thanks, Steve

  2. #2
    Optechs Digital
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Hi Steve,

    The Alpa lenses use the standard Copal threaded cable release fitting which , as you say, is straight. This is not unique to Alpa. What is unique is that Alpa makes their soft touch release with straight threads to match this already existing fitting. Any tapered cable releases will also work in this fitting but only two or three threads will be making contact. This is the same as for any Copal mounted lens.

    Best Regards,
    Paul

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Paul,

    Since I posted the question, I spoke with my local camera repair guy and with a Copal customer service rep. Neither was aware of the problem. While any cable release will screw into the shutter socket, it will only grab one or two threads. If you remove the cable release (e.g., to change lenses) often enough, the attachment will ultimately fail.

    I'm going to take a cable release to a friend who has a machine shop and see if we can modify its threads for a better fit. I ran a 6-32 tap through the shutter socket and it cleaned things up enough for the cable to fit. Maybe we can use a 6-32 die on the cable end to make it fit as well as the ALPA button does.

    I find it amazing that Copal would continue to sell shutters with a cable release socket that has threads different from those on currently manufactured cables. Especially since they use a tapered socket on one of their shutters. (The Copal Press 0.)

    Thanks for the assist, Steve

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    Re: ALPA Question

    I use the schneider-K 24 and 47 on the ALPA and have no problems with my cable release.
    ---------------------------------
    http://stef974.tumblr.com/
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    Re: ALPA Question

    steflaurent,

    You may not have had any problems (yet), but I have and would prefer a solution that's more reliable. When I asked ALPA whether they knew of a straight thread cable release, they didn't. Instead, they suggested that I avoid too much pressure on the release to avoid the cable popping off.

    Maybe I'm too strong for my own good, but I doubt it.

    Steve

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Steve, not sure if this will help you or not however I found I had trouble threading my cable release in my Schneider lenses for the Cambo then after talking to Chris I came up with the idea of adding an extension. I now have a Gepe 3.25” flexible cable release extension on each of my lenses; I just screw my cable release into the extension and away I go; just disconnect the cable release from the extension and move to the next lens keeping the extension on the lens. I got them from B&H $30 each.

    I also use the one-shot.

    Don
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Don,

    I thought of that, as I think it's the screwing and unscrewing that causes problems, but I'm going to try modifying the cable first. I think KG uses a modified Gepe extension between the black box and the lens. Using the One Shot on the ALPA TC, I'm trying to keep the cables as short as I can, but if I can't modify the cable I have my next step would probable be using a Gepe adapter of some kind. Gepe also make an L adapter (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...k_Adapter.html) that's shorter than the extension cable and would probably work better for me.

    Thanks, Steve

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Interesting discussion Stephen - I have avoided this issue by using my finger to depress shutter...yes I know I know..

    please keep us posted on progeess

    Thanks
    Pete

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    Re: ALPA Question

    One of the first things I noticed when I started with the Cambo and Schneider lenses was how difficult it was at times to screw in the shutter release cable. Sometimes I’d get it the first time others it was time consuming and just hit or miss. Ever since installing the extensions on all my lenses all I need to do is thread the cable release into the extension and shoot simple and no problems. I got the shortest extensions I could find and had actually thought of the L adapter but wanted to give the flex cable a tri first; been using them now for a year without any problems.

    Don
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Like Peter I have gone to using no cable but your idea with the short extension is brilliant...I will order mine this weekend.

    I worry that the L adapter could act as a lever-arm in a very bad way when stored and may damage the fitting or the shutter itself.

    Bob

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Just goes to show that a simple mind (like mine) can occasionally come up with a brilliant idea. BTW I got mine from B&H.

    Don

    Should clarify – the extension came from B&H the simple mind came from someplace else. Just feeling silly about now. Too much eggnog.
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Doc,

    I ordered one of those Libby adapters yesterday as well. Might even use a drop of Locktite on it. Don't worry, we're not in competition; I ordered mine from Badger Graphics.

    I'm still planning to see if I can modify the threads on my KG cable, and will report back on the results.

    Steve

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Libby adapters
    Too funny!
    Don Libby
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Doc,

    I ordered one of those Libby adapters yesterday as well. Might even use a drop of Locktite on it. Don't worry, we're not in competition; I ordered mine from Badger Graphics.

    I'm still planning to see if I can modify the threads on my KG cable, and will report back on the results.

    Steve
    Love to know if you find a good thread solution...I placed my Libby adapters order with BH today.

    It is wonderful to find solutions to problems that you do not have the time to even define let alone work through.

    Thanks to both you and Don.

    Merry Christmas.

    Bob

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I ordered mine from Badger Graphics.


    Steve
    Steve,

    Did Badger drop Alpa?

    Did not see any on their site so this is news to me.

    Bob

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Badger no longer sells ALPA. Aside from other reasons, that's a loss as they were the only place you could find ALPA prices online. ALPA's website prices were never the same as the retail price in the U.S.

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Step one: couldn't modify the threads on the cable; the die didn't want to bite because of the tapered end.

    Step two: Steve's Camera Repair in Culver City is trying to get me a tapered thread socket from Copal.

    Step three: I'm going to call S.K. Grimes when they get back to work after the New Year to see if they can modify a straight thread socket to fit a tapered end cable.

    More to come.

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Step one: couldn't modify the threads on the cable; the die didn't want to bite because of the tapered end.

    Step two: Steve's Camera Repair in Culver City is trying to get me a tapered thread socket from Copal.

    Step three: I'm going to call S.K. Grimes when they get back to work after the New Year to see if they can modify a straight thread socket to fit a tapered end cable.

    More to come.

    Steve

    I am interested in a solution to the above described issue as well .

    I believe it is better to get a modified cable release to have a straight thread end instead of getting a modified socket with a tapered thread .

    I know a company , specialized in making cable releases of all kind , industry and photography , here in Germany .
    I will contact them when all X-MAS and NEW YEAR holiday is over and give feedback with my findings .

    They produce any kind of special cable release solution on demand . I have no idea about prices , but I will investigate that as well .

    A decent price might be achieved when enough people would want a "solution" . I am prepared to handle this .

    Jürgen

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Steve

    I am interested in a solution to the above described issue as well .

    I believe it is better to get a modified cable release to have a straight thread end instead of getting a modified socket with a tapered thread .

    I know a company , specialized in making cable releases of all kind , industry and photography , here in Germany .
    I will contact them when all X-MAS and NEW YEAR holiday is over and give feedback with my findings .

    They produce any kind of special cable release solution on demand . I have no idea about prices , but I will investigate that as well .

    A decent price might be achieved when enough people would want a "solution" . I am prepared to handle this .

    Jürgen
    Might be worthwhile to get Alpa involved in this...cannot see that any of their customers would not want the improvement! Should be enough people if they take control of this.

    Thoughts?

    Bob

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Might be worthwhile to get Alpa involved in this...cannot see that any of their customers would not want the improvement! Should be enough people if they take control of this.

    Thoughts?

    Bob

    Good idea Bob

    I will try to contact Mr. Wagner by tomorrow .
    Don't know if he is in , but it is worth a try .

    Jürgen

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Jurgen,

    "I believe it is better to get a modified cable release ..." I thought of that as well, but decided a tapered socket was the better option. The reason is that currently manufactured cable releases have tapered threads. They have become the standard. Changing the shutter's cable release socket would mean that you could then use any cable release.

    Many of us use the Kapture Group One Shot cable release, which has tapered threads. The availability of a straight thread cable release wouldn't help us. The people who really should fix this problem are at Copal. They make one shutter with a tapered thread socket, but four with straight threads. (http://www.rtsphoto.com/html/copal2.html) They should make all their shutters with tapered threads, or at least make them an option.

    Steve

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    Re: ALPA Question

    I was thinking on similar lines. No fault or Alpa (or in my case Cambo) rather it should rest on the lenses manufacture.

    Don
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Let me check if and/or what the two companies I mentioned are willing to do .
    I am able to produce an adapter for a cable release , but I can not produce a tapered thread . So I will come back with hopefully some good news .

    Jürgen

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Interim update: I got a Libby adapter as well as a Gepe L-adapter (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...k_Adapter.html) today. I found the L adapter works better on a short lens (a 35mm Digitar) while the longer Libby adapter works better on a longer one.

    Derek at OpTech Digital confirmed that the Copal 0 press shutter does have tapered thread on its cable release socket, so I'm going to go back to visit Steve's Camera to see whether we (or he) can use them on my regular Copal shutters.

    Happy New Year.

  25. #25
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post

    Derek at OpTech Digital confirmed that the Copal 0 press shutter does have tapered thread on its cable release socket, so I'm going to go back to visit Steve's Camera to see whether we (or he) can use them on my regular Copal shutters.

    Happy New Year.
    Hi Steve, there is one big difference between the sockets of the Copal Press 0 and the regular Copal shutters. On the press shutter, the cable release actually threads into the body of the shutter. On a regular Copal shutter, the socket is on the side of the body and the cable release trips the shutter release lever. So the sockets are actually quite different.

    I can snap a few pics if you want to see what I'm trying to describe.

    Cheers!

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    Re: ALPA Question

    I have now tested 6 different cable releases .
    The tapered thread seems to be a bit different for these cables .
    There were three cables , where the biggest diameter of the thread is 3,8mm . Two of them had 3,6mm and one , the HORSEMAN PRO cable release has 3,4mm .
    The length of the threads was almost the same .

    The HORSEMAN PRO cable release screws into the COPAL perfectly well .
    The power you need to release the shutter is very low and therefore , I believe , there is no rework required for any of the ALPA lenses , or ALPA adapted lenses or any LF lens .

    Jürgen

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Jürgen - Thank you for efforts. Am I to understand that you have concluded to use the Horseman cable release and will not seek any further solution?

    In the USA, B&H has this product:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ase_Large.html

    Is this one to which to refer?

    Thanks again.

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    Re: ALPA Question

    CMB

    Yes , exactly , that is the HORSEMAN cable release which I prefer most from all others , I used for testing .

    One techical and one cosmetical advantage :
    The screw in part is extremely flexible and the crome plated parts are golden plated . That fits exactly for an ALPA design .
    But just to make shure , that is not the important part .

    Jürgen

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Thanks again!

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    Re: ALPA Question

    I shoot a lot in the winter and just returned from the So Rim Grand Canyon where it warmed up to 19 degrees in the morning so gloves were a must. I’ve found that changing lenses are much easier using the shutter extenders as I didn’t have to take my gloves off when doing so. I realize folks are trying to find a solution where you can directly attach however for me the answer is the extenders.

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    I shoot a lot in the winter and just returned from the So Rim Grand Canyon where it warmed up to 19 degrees in the morning so gloves were a must. I’ve found that changing lenses are much easier using the shutter extenders as I didn’t have to take my gloves off when doing so. I realize folks are trying to find a solution where you can directly attach however for me the answer is the extenders.

    Don
    Don

    I can fully understand , that under the given circumstances , it will be very difficult to screw in and/or unscrew a cable release .
    But . . . . there is a very simple and inexpensive solution .
    If you know , that you will be shooting only by using a tripod , why not attaching a cable release to each lens when you get your gear packed .
    Wrap the cable arround the barrel and that is it .
    I have done so when I was shooting a large series of waterfalls and was fed up with attaching and detaching the cable release for each lens I had with me .
    Usually I know which lens I will need and have them "cable release prepared" before I leave my home .

    Jürgen

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Jürgen - Very good idea however I’m using a Kapture Group One Shot so it was much cheaper to invest in the Gepe 3.25 flexible cable release extensions for each lens. That way (which is similar to your suggestion) I just need to attach my release to the extension that’s hanging from the lens and away I go. Takes me longer to make up my mind on which lens to use that it does to actually make the switch.

    This might not work for everyone however it does for me.
    Don
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    Re: ALPA Question

    I'm in the same camp as Don (vis-a-vis the KG One Shot), but instead of using the flexible Gepe "Libby adapter," I'm using their L-shaped adapter: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...k_Adapter.html

    I haven't given up yet, and intend to visit Steve's Camera repair when I get a chance to see if their Copal tapered socket can be fitted to my shutters.

    Steve

  34. #34
    Optechs Digital
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Hi Steve,

    I hope you don't mind this slight sidetrack but related discovery.

    We just found this cable release solution from Alpa for the Max camera system. We never new about it until yesterday. Pretty nice idea!

    Attachment 26806

    Attachment 26807

    Attachment 26808

    I will be stocking these in the very near future.

    Best Regards,
    Paul

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Paul, that is a lovely looking bit of kit and itgives you freedom in how the lens is oriented. However, is appears to be held where it transits the body? That would not isolate the camera from my hand. For my purposes, isolation is the main reason for a cable.

    Does this one have a non-tapered thread?

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Paul, the cable part looks very similar to the one they make for the 12 WA/SWA. From the attached photo below it appears to me that the threads are tapered. The one for the MAX may be the same.


    Attachment 26814

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    Re: ALPA Question

    I thought I'd resurrect this thread suggesting use of a "Libby adapter" between a cable release and shutter. I never did find a way to modify the Copal shutter cable socket to better fit the end of a cable release, and found that the Libby adapter allowed more cable routing options as well as protecting the shutter's socket.

    Don Libby: an under appreciated leader.

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    Re: ALPA Question

    The Gepe extension, to me, seems to be the best solution....albiet a little expensive. It can remain on the lens and its flexibility eliminates any potential handling damage - versus a rigid adapter. Never knew it existed until reading this thread.....

    Victor

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I thought I'd resurrect this thread suggesting use of a "Libby adapter" between a cable release and shutter. I never did find a way to modify the Copal shutter cable socket to better fit the end of a cable release, and found that the Libby adapter allowed more cable routing options as well as protecting the shutter's socket.

    Don Libby: an under appreciated leader.
    Thank you for the very very kind words.
    Don Libby
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    Re: ALPA Question

    I know it is expensive, but the Alpa sync release is a dream. the threads that go into the lens match, and the cable release always stays on its little adapter.

    Dave

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Dave,

    How easy is the Alpa sync release to move between lenses when in the field? They seem nice but way too expensive to have one per lens for example (or rotate a couple between lenses?).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Dave,

    Any chance you could post a photo of the ALPA sync release "in action?" The ALPA photos are close ups that don't show the cable routing. (I assume the cable goes down from the little box, plugs into the PC socket in the shutter, and the continues around to the back.)

    Thanks, Steve

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    Re: ALPA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    I know it is expensive, but the Alpa sync release is a dream. the threads that go into the lens match, and the cable release always stays on its little adapter.

    Dave
    Dave,

    I'll chime in with Steve and Graham and would like to see how this looks on an ALPA, and hear your first-hand experience using it (in the Palouse PODAS?). Thanks in advance.

    Joe
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Sure. Here are some images:
    1. The system assembled around the lens (shown on a 70HR-W). You can route the cable over the top of the camera or continue around counterclockwise then under to the digital back. I used to route it over but now prefer around and under.


    Regarding the sync parts themselves, here is the assembly. You can see the straight threads on the sync that screws into the shutter release:


    Here is an image of it disassembled. What I do is remove the cable release by unscrewing the small step-shaped knurled piece and leave that on the cable release as shown. The sync stays on the lens when the camera goes in the bag. I only remove it when I swap lenses.


    The bad part about this system is that you have to remove the sync each time you change lenses. Unless of course you pony up and buy one for each lens; yeah, not me. Some day I know I'm going to drop that thing in a river or over a cliff.

    Aside from that it works really well in the field. It seems to be very forgiving with how fast or slow I trigger the release, and the cables are just the right length. My longest lens is a 150, and it easily reaches, yet doesn't flop around on my 43xl.

    Dave

  45. #45
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA Question

    There is one other issue that may bother some people. I have not yet found a perfect way to route the cables. They tend to cover up something no matter how you do it. For example, the way I wrap it around it lays on the top of the HPF ring and it is at times hard to see the scale without pushing the cable out of the way.

    I'm talking miner gripes though. I really like it. And maybe someone will chime in with a better way to route the cable or orient the lens.

    Dave

  46. #46
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Dave - what happens when you mount the lens 90 degrees in either direction or 180 degrees - the length of the cords is still OK, etc.?

  47. #47
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Actually, orienting the lens "normally" is the most challenging when it comes to cable length. All the other three positions seem to be easier in regards to routing cables. Short lenses are the most challenging because cables can get in the way of controls and your view distance scale, shutter speed and f-stop. You just have to be a little creative in positioning the sync cable. Here are a few more images. Note in the second image I routed the cable down and under instead of over the top of the lens. This keeps cables out of the way but puts a tight radius on the cable that comes out of the pc connection and heads under the lens to the sync switch. That always concerned me, so I don't do it this way. There are of course many ways to route cables to your hearts content. YMMV.

    Dave








  48. #48
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    Re: ALPA Question

    egad, what a contraption!

  49. #49
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Sure is. I has custom cables made at Paramount cords. Might want to look into shooter syncing cables
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  50. #50
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA Question

    Btw you can also use Arca Slide fix camera plates. I put a 32x32mm plate on my Cambo very small and looks and works great
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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