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Thread: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    High Precision Focusing Rings .

    For all ALPA users , who are interested in the HPF rings , which were announced at PHOTOKINA 2010 .
    According to an ALPA statement , the RODENSTOCK HPF rings are onsite and can be shipped , starting next week .
    The HPF rings for the SCHNEIDER lenses will follow about a week later .

    So I am waiting for my four HPF rings .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    This thread takes on a whole new aspect now that Phase One has announced the Phase One IQ back will have Live View on the digital back without a laptop, and suitable for landscape/architecture/interior (read: slower, tripod based styles of photography).

    Especially when using tilt/swing as there was previously no ideal method on any platform when using tilt.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Doug:

    in the few instances where I have tried live view (eek!, with the H blads) the image is black and white and funky, maybe suitable for focus check.

    how will the phase live view image be?

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    This thread takes on a whole new aspect now that Phase One has announced the Phase One IQ back will have Live View on the digital back without a laptop, and suitable for landscape/architecture/interior (read: slower, tripod based styles of photography).

    Especially when using tilt/swing as there was previously no ideal method on any platform when using tilt.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Yes Doug , you are right and I knew this argument would come up .
    But it is only valid for those who can afford an IQ1x0 back .
    For those , who can not , the HPF rings are surely a good improvement .

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    Doug:
    in the few instances where I have tried live view (eek!, with the H blads) the image is black and white and funky, maybe suitable for focus check.
    how will the phase live view image be?
    John , I can only agree . I tried live view a couple of times with my CFVs , but dislike the B/W display and am not using it anymore .
    Therefore the HPF rings will be a valuable help for me .
    Till I have an IQ180 .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    Doug:

    in the few instances where I have tried live view (eek!, with the H blads) the image is black and white and funky, maybe suitable for focus check.

    how will the phase live view image be?
    "The Phase One IQ will be the first digital back to allow live view on the digital back without a computer. By building in a total of 9 cores worth of processing, including custom designed dedicated processors, and by working closely with DALSA, Phase One has been able to do what was previously thought to be impossible. The refresh rate and flexibility (concerning scene contrast) will be sufficient to allow still life, interior, architectural, and landscape photographers the ability to check focus in real-time without the need to lug a laptop along (it will not be possible to use this feature off of a tripod due to the limitations of CCD sensors). In addition to the new Focus Mask and fast 100% zoom views (or 200-400% zoom views for critical applications) Live View on the back will make the Phase One IQ the best back in the world for users of technical and view cameras. Please note that this feature is still being completed, and is not activated in the demo units being shown before the product launch, but is planned to be included in the first backs shipping to customers in April."

    From our article here: http://www.captureintegration.com/phase-one/iq/

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    ....Phase One has announced the Phase One IQ back will have Live View on the digital back without a laptop...
    Doug Peterson
    ...and that is the winning feature! bye-bye GG (ground glass - not governer-general for those monarachists )

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    This thread takes on a whole new aspect now that Phase One has announced the Phase One IQ back will have Live View on the digital back without a laptop, and suitable for landscape/architecture/interior (read: slower, tripod based styles of photography).

    Especially when using tilt/swing as there was previously no ideal method on any platform when using tilt.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    This feature along with focus masking pretty much sealed the deal for me to order an IQ140 (I wish I could afford an IQ160/180 but reality intervenes for me ). For me it's a lateral sensor move but the ability to use live view & focus check is really what I've wanted on the back vs ground glass. I'm hoping that it'll make the shoot/recompose cycle quicker & allow me to be faster using just the VF to coarse compose and then fine tune on the back. I suspect I"ll be buying a bunch more batteries too though!

    The HPF rings look interesting but for landscape work at f/8 - f/11 or more I simply just don't need them. Maybe if I shot still life or macro perhaps? Otherwise I don't really see the need for 99% of my landscape work - a nice solution to those that do though I guess.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    This feature along with focus masking pretty much sealed the deal for me to order an IQ140 (I wish I could afford an IQ160/180 but reality intervenes for me ). For me it's a lateral sensor move but the ability to use live view & focus check is really what I've wanted on the back vs ground glass. I'm hoping that it'll make the shoot/recompose cycle quicker & allow me to be faster using just the VF to coarse compose and then fine tune on the back. I suspect I"ll be buying a bunch more batteries too though!

    The HPF rings look interesting but for landscape work at f/8 - f/11 or more I simply just don't need them. Maybe if I shot still life or macro perhaps? Otherwise I don't really see the need for 99% of my landscape work - a nice solution to those that do though I guess.
    I agree to what you say . Focus mask and live view will make shooting faster , easier and more comfortable . If you can afford an IQ1xx PHASE back .
    Currently I can not afford and therefore the HPF rings will be a big help for me . At least , that is what I expect .
    As you say , not for landscape . Agreed . But most of my current work is documentary architecture work in narrow streets in old towns and the distance is often between 10 and 15 meters only .

    On the other hand , would a focus mask and live view not make the focusing precision of an Rm2d/Rm3d obsolete ? ? ?
    With focus mask and live view you could also easily return to use a monorail camera , like my ARCA F-LINE Metric , together with the IQ1xx backs . Not as comortable as with a technical camera , but with lots of shift and tilt possibilities . A kind of revival ? ! !
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I think it is an interesting question. I don't think thet the HPF rings or the focus precision of the Arca is obsolete. First I have to see how good live view is, second I have the fear that it will drain batteries much faster, so I think it still is great to make good focus before using live view. As I havent tested it in any way, but I could imagine that the Arca method together with live view might be amazing to get perfect focus.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I certainly believe that if you are using a live view/focus mask & zoom check with the digital back that the next offering we'll need will be some super high capacity compact batteries.

    Jurgen: I can certainly see how for mid/close work that a distometer & HPF rings would help you. You will have to report back on how they work out for you.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Jurgen: I can certainly see how for mid/close work that a distometer & HPF rings would help you. You will have to report back on how they work out for you.
    I will be away for a couple of days next week and if everthing works out fine , I might be able to pick up the HPF rings at my dealer (250km away from here) .
    I will report back as soon as the rings are here .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I have returned just about 2 hours ago , but with empty hands .
    The HPF rings are shipped but have not arrived yet at my dealer .

    The ALPA people told me , that they are preparing a small video about how to attach the HPF rings to the existing focus mount . That video can be seen on their home page , hopefully next week .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    The HPF rings are available now .
    Have a look here :
    http://www.alpa.ch/en/home.html
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    The HPF rings are available now .
    Have a look here :
    http://www.alpa.ch/en/home.html

    And they seem to be working quite well....

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...rom_alpa.shtml

    The STC looks wonderful.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by smei_ch View Post
    And they seem to be working quite well....

    The STC looks wonderful.
    Can't agree more .

    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I love my STC too but ... how about showing the real look in the field with the sync & release cables? Some of the elegance disappears when you see it fully loaded but it's still a work of art.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I love my STC too but ... how about showing the real look in the field with the sync & release cables? Some of the elegance disappears when you see it fully loaded but it's still a work of art.
    Yes , Graham I agree . I shot an image of the STC with the sync and release cable (gold plated HORSEMAN) and did not like it very much .
    I hope I must not apologize for the above image . I am not an ALPA fetishist , but I love the ALPA precision .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Yes , Graham I agree . I shot an image of the STC with the sync and release cable (gold plated HORSEMAN) and did not like it very much .
    I hope I must not apologize for the above image . I am not an ALPA fetishist , but I love the ALPA precision .
    Jurgen,

    Oh absolutely no apologies needed!! Part of what I enjoy about using the Alpa system and digital backs is the quality of design, construction and operation - I think it helps me take more care and get more engaged in photography when I use it. Your shot shows all of these attributes.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Call me silly - but I really think lot of these photos are fantastic - we are looking at product shots - and what fine products they are.

    However (with my fashionista hat on) a blue Alpa plate ??!!!

    I am sorry totally unforgiveable - Jurgen what WERE you thinking!


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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Pete you missed that thread . He already got teased about it. What is Novaflex thinking?

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    What is Novaflex thinking?

    Exactly!!
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Call me silly - but I really think lot of these photos are fantastic - we are looking at product shots - and what fine products they are.

    However (with my fashionista hat on) a blue Alpa plate ??!!!

    I am sorry totally unforgiveable - Jurgen what WERE you thinking!

    Peter

    As I said (in an other thread) I suffer using that BLUE plate , but it is the most solid solution , as I have modified the plate by two little studs which fit into the ALPA body .

    And if you guys don't stop to "muck" me with that blue plate , I will through the STC away and keep the blue plate .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Get it anodized black at a local shop ?

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I too have an STC, and am awaiting the new release. I hear they had a supplier let them down, and its a good time away yet.

    Yes it looks a bit ugly and homemade which is not typical for Alpa.

    It is badly needed though, as you have little choice with a Phase back in the field. Zero Latency drains a battery in 30-40 minutes.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Peter

    As I said (in an other thread) I suffer using that BLUE plate , but it is the most solid solution , as I have modified the plate by two little studs which fit into the ALPA body .

    And if you guys don't stop to "muck" me with that blue plate , I will through the STC away and keep the blue plate .
    oh I missed the other thread - my apologies!

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by narikin View Post
    I too have an STC, and am awaiting the new release. I hear they had a supplier let them down, and its a good time away yet.

    Yes it looks a bit ugly and homemade which is not typical for Alpa.

    It is badly needed though, as you have little choice with a Phase back in the field. Zero Latency drains a battery in 30-40 minutes.
    The WAKE-UP cable release devices are available .
    What you need is the "release device" + a sync cable .
    There are two cables for HASSELBLAD (20 and 30 cm) and also two
    cables of 20 and 30 cm length as well for the PHASE backs .
    I think it does not look ugly . Compare it to the K-Group solution .

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    oh I missed the other thread - my apologies!
    I just received a black ARCA plate , but will have to modify it as well .
    Why do I modify all these little thingies ? ? ?
    I am an absolute safety freak after I once dropped a lens .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Modifying things is part of the fun - thats why!

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by narikin View Post
    ... Yes it looks a bit ugly and homemade which is not typical for Alpa.
    To my eyes it looks ugly too! It looks like something from the coaxial cable splitting days!
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Modifying things is part of the fun - thats why!
    Attachment 40763

    I think I have finally found the ideal QR plate for my STC . It surely can also be used with many other cameras which you want to use with the CUBE or D4 or any fliplock , which can handle an ARCA plate .

    The plate is 38x38x10 mm and weighs 37 gramms including the screw .
    The square design allows a two way mount to your tripod head .
    And the plate is black ! ! !

    Originally the plate has a thin rubber platelet on top of it , but I have removed that for my modification purpose .
    The ARCA partnumber is 802208 A .

    I will still have to do my modification . But that is part of the fun , as Peter says . Dead right .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Markins has good ones; http://www.markins.com/2.0/eng/plates.html and is a very high quality brand, made in South Korea and very low weight as well. Their ballheads are known to be among very best and lower weight than competition...

    KangRinpoche quick plates made in China is cheaper and seem to work fine albeit not same tolerances (who needs it for quick plate? ).

    Above of course match Arca mount...

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Excuse the nasty iPhone pics & hotel room white balance but this is what I have on my STC. I reverted back to the Really Right Stuff MPR-73 for the base and BPNS-S for the side for rise/fall use. The front horizontal bar of the MPR-73 is relocated to the center settings which makes for a very rigid and twist resistant base.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Jurgen - much better!

    Anders interesting link thanks

    Graham - I am wondering why you need a plate on the rise fall side? My guess is that you do because that way you can switch orientation of back from landscape to portrait - without taking back off - flipping the camera on to side?

    one of the benefits of the Sinar external and Leaf internal rotating back designs directly addresses this issue - and why I am hesitant to sell my Sinar....

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I can happily testify that both Markins plates and ballheads are very high quality and durable tools .

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    one of the benefits of the Sinar external and Leaf internal rotating back designs directly addresses this issue - and why I am hesitant to sell my Sinar....
    Albeit assuming shimming of such back is made for the horizontal position of sensor, a question is how well the vertical position of such sensor is to equally tight tolerances. Shimming of backs using Alpa system is very exact. Anyone with experience of how the rotating sensors hold up in this regard?

    Thanks

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Peter,
    The STC has movements in one plane only. In the landscape orientation the back slides left/right, but not up and down. To get rise and fall you have to change the camera orientation with the handle down. Then the movement is up/down.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    ...I am wondering why you need a plate on the rise fall side? My guess is that you do because that way you can switch orientation of back from landscape to portrait - without taking back off - flipping the camera on to side?

    one of the benefits of the Sinar external and Leaf internal rotating back designs directly addresses this issue - and why I am hesitant to sell my Sinar....

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Anders,
    I think it depends on how it is shimmed and where the alignment issues are. If the only shims used are the complete square shims, then there is a good chance rotation won't matter. However, if trimmed corner shims are used then that might pose a problem depending on where the tolerance is off.

    Dave

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    I can happily testify that both Markins plates and ballheads are very high quality and durable tools .



    Albeit assuming shimming of such back is made for the horizontal position of sensor, a question is how well the vertical position of such sensor is to equally tight tolerances. Shimming of backs using Alpa system is very exact. Anyone with experience of how the rotating sensors hold up in this regard?

    Thanks

    Regards
    Anders
    ...

    I have to get an AFi adaptor for my Alpa to do that test...

    Thanks to you DChew for explaining the Alpa configuration - for some reason I thought the STC had movements in both direction..
    Last edited by PeterA; 24th February 2011 at 05:19.

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    ...

    - for some reason I thought the STC had movements in both direction..
    Here is a visual for you Peter:

    Normal orientation for Left and Right Shift

    Attachment 40811

    Attachment 40812

    Attachment 40813


    Oriented for Rise and Fall

    Attachment 40814

    Attachment 40815

    Attachment 40816

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Thanks CMB - now I 'get' the fuss about the mounting plates..

    I think Alpa have been very clever introducing the 12STC ...at the price point they have chosen less than a MAX and a LOT less than an artec ..Alpa are asking the user - well what features do you "really" need and use the most and how portable do you want something versus full movements?

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Well, I did it:
    Alpa STC w/ Rosewood grip
    Schneider 43 XL (picked that over the 40 HR because of size & weight)
    HPF ring
    The new wake-up cable release thingy

    Ordered today. Should be here in a week or two except the cable release
    Helloooo Dante...

    Dave

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Congratulations David! (I would have gone for the Schneier 35...)

  41. #91
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Thanks Peter,
    I rented a 35 and it was a little too wide for me, at least here at the outset. I may gravitate that way, but my current favorite 35mm-format lens is a 35mm Zeiss f/2. I have a 21mm and a 24mmTS, but I don't use them near as much for some reason. So I dove in at 43mm.

    In an effort to keep this on-topic, I'm planning to use the HPF rings in combination with an IQ back to focus. No ground glass and no laser range-finder.

    I may break down and get a range finder, but we'll see how it goes.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Congratulations David! (I would have gone for the Schneier 35...)

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I hope this doesn't violate forum rules, but I have an ALPA ground glass and loupe for sale. It's listed on the Buy/Sell section a few weeks ago; I haven't bumped it.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23318

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Well, I did it:
    Alpa STC w/ Rosewood grip
    Schneider 43 XL (picked that over the 40 HR because of size & weight)
    HPF ring
    The new wake-up cable release thingy

    Ordered today. Should be here in a week or two except the cable release
    Helloooo Dante...

    Dave
    Congratulations to you Dave for the STC . A lovely camera .

    You will have to wait a little more for your cable release thingy .
    The release device is available , but there is some delivery delay for the sync cables .
    I got that info yesterday . I am waiting for the sync cable as well .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  44. #94
    Member David Duffin's Avatar
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Well, I did it:
    Alpa STC w/ Rosewood grip
    Schneider 43 XL (picked that over the 40 HR because of size & weight)
    HPF ring
    The new wake-up cable release thingy

    Ordered today. Should be here in a week or two except the cable release
    Helloooo Dante...

    Dave
    Dave, that new camera should be lots of fun. Enjoy your shimming, if you are using a digital back!

    You have opted to omit ordering a viewfinder with your STC. How are you planning to frame your shots?

    BTW, I didn't order a viewfinder either -- I'm going to try to use an iPhone with Viewfinder Pro app just held manually on top of the camera (using an RDS 90mm, which the app can frame easily) and see how that works out. I opted for a 5-pack of P65+ batteries rather than the wakeup mechanism.

    For framing, I will finalize composition on the back with a trial shot or two. If that's not good enough, maybe I'll either get the sport viewfinder or the standard Alpa viewfinder. But if it does work well, a new Alpa iPhone holder may be on order.

  45. #95
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    I am going to use a digital back, so shimming will be the job of the day. As far as framing, I'm going to be on a tripod essentially all the time, so I'm hoping to do without. My rental experiences have been without any viewfinder and I seemed to get along ok, although that experience has been quite limited. I can always add the viewfinder later. I'll be backpacking with this, so I'd like to keep everything as light as possible (hence the 43 XL vs. the 40 HR). Also, I still need to spring for a back, so the pain in my wallet isn't anywhere near over. I'll see if I can survive for a while without the $1,600 viewfinder by shooting and reframing.

    I don't have an iphone, so that's not an option for me. Maybe I'll carry around a masked-off plastic slide frame and duck tape it to the top! Alpa would hunt me down if I did that...

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by David Duffin View Post
    Dave, that new camera should be lots of fun. Enjoy your shimming, if you are using a digital back!

    You have opted to omit ordering a viewfinder with your STC. How are you planning to frame your shots?

    BTW, I didn't order a viewfinder either -- I'm going to try to use an iPhone with Viewfinder Pro app just held manually on top of the camera (using an RDS 90mm, which the app can frame easily) and see how that works out. I opted for a 5-pack of P65+ batteries rather than the wakeup mechanism.

    For framing, I will finalize composition on the back with a trial shot or two. If that's not good enough, maybe I'll either get the sport viewfinder or the standard Alpa viewfinder. But if it does work well, a new Alpa iPhone holder may be on order.

  46. #96
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Dave - if you watch Paul's video and notice his viewfinder, Alpa will not hunt you down.

    go to the 2 minute mark.....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzz1I...mbedded#at=117






    .

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Thanks Terry, that's a much nicer and more elegant solution.

    Dave

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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    I am going to use a digital back, so shimming will be the job of the day. As far as framing, I'm going to be on a tripod essentially all the time, so I'm hoping to do without. My rental experiences have been without any viewfinder and I seemed to get along ok, although that experience has been quite limited. I can always add the viewfinder later. I'll be backpacking with this, so I'd like to keep everything as light as possible (hence the 43 XL vs. the 40 HR). Also, I still need to spring for a back, so the pain in my wallet isn't anywhere near over. I'll see if I can survive for a while without the $1,600 viewfinder by shooting and reframing.

    I don't have an iphone, so that's not an option for me. Maybe I'll carry around a masked-off plastic slide frame and duck tape it to the top! Alpa would hunt me down if I did that...

    Dave
    I have both a Horseman SW-DII and an Alpa STC. I normally use both without viewfinders, even when shooting handheld. I just sight over the top of the camera. I have both viewfinders but prefer to work fast and more importantly, light, so I leave them at home.
    In any event, the VF's are pretty imprecise, so offer guidance only.
    Pretty soon, the Phase One IQ backs will have 3fps liveview, so your screen on the back will give you much better compositional info than the VF. I currently shoot with P45+, P65+ and Aptus 12 backs and find even with these, just shooting a test frame gives me the info I want.
    If you keep your head about 1 foot from the camera and sight over the top, noting where the imaginary centreline hits your subject, then shoot a test frame and adjust the imaginary line accordingly, you can get pretty accurate with practice. It's the same principle as sighting a shotgun.
    To give you a practical example of this, I am an architectural photographer specialising in construction. I often shoot from a steel basket suspended from a crane atop a highrise building or on a construction barge offshore. As these never stay still (they swing and rotate), shooting from a tripod is impossible. This was one of the reasons I evolved the method above. I haven't missed a shot yet.
    Given where the technology is headed with the backs, I'd suggest you put the money towards another lens. After all, lenses make pictures, not viewfinders.

    Cheers,
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Bryan,
    Thanks for the post. I'm hoping I come to the same conclusion with my technique / process, and looking forward to seeing how live-view works on the IQ backs. I'm already chomping at the bit to get two more lenses, probably something in the 90-100mm range and a 180mm. But I want to get some mileage under my belt first while renting a P65+.

    I'm really curious about how I deal with this focus topic. For me, focusing has always been the limit to my image quality whether using MF or AF, especially with wide lenses. Finally with live-view on my 5DII I can confidently say that constraint is gone. But the tech camera will bring it right back along with narrow DoF...

    Helicon Focus will be my friend and wind my enemy.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    I have both a Horseman SW-DII and an Alpa STC. I normally use both without viewfinders, even when shooting handheld. I just sight over the top of the camera. I have both viewfinders but prefer to work fast and more importantly, light, so I leave them at home...

    Given where the technology is headed with the backs, I'd suggest you put the money towards another lens. After all, lenses make pictures, not viewfinders.

    Cheers,

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: HOW DO YOU FOCUS WITH YOUR ALPA

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Helicon Focus will be my friend and wind my enemy.
    Dave,
    Be careful of this one too! When I got my Max I learned quickly after my first shoot employing 'Helicon Focus' that it is a different set of latitudes with MF digital. Read up on how others have devised their helicon technique before you use it on the MFD gear.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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