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Thread: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

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    Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    I was hoping to get some feedback from Alpa owners about the use of filters in front of or behind the lens. What kind of experiences have they had with specific glass filters and vignetting? Are there certain filter and lens combos that don't work well? Others that do work well? Are there any thoughts about the use of center filters with the ultra-wide lenses?

    I'm most interested in working with Alpa and 6x9 film. I plan to use graduated neutral density, warming filters, polarizers, magenta filters, and the Red 29 on a regular basis. I prefer to use drop-in square filters when possible and am wondering if they will work well with the Alpa with rise/fall movements. I LOVE kodak Wratten gel filters. Are there any recommended filter holders/lens hoods or anything like that for working with Alpa?

    Thanks, basically I'm just hoping to get some misc feedback about filters...mainly just to see what Alpa users are experiencing.

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Here is a Lee system which should work for you depending on the lens....
    it is fairly popular with MF and LF landscape shooters.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...er_Holder.html

    Bob

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Thanks for reminding me about the Rf75. I'm familiar with that because it seems to be the method of choice for a lot of Leica M users. I never thought about using it on an Alpa, but it makes sense because many of the lenses have a small diameter and should be compatible with the Lee system. Thanks for mentioning it....

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Mike,

    If you commit to the Alpa system and want to do film I have 66x44 6x7 and 6x8 (power made by Mamiya now labeled as Alpa) backs and MA back adapter that are sitting unused since I sold my Hasselblad H343 scanner. Also Viewfinder inserts for the formats.

    As I doubt I will return to scanning they will be up for sale.

    Thanks,

    Bob

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    cool...I'll keep that in mind, thanks

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Mike,

    I just came back from a trip abroad and used my Alpa Max for the first time as my landscape camera. I purchased it in March and was able to test it for a few months before I left. I purchased it with a 47xl lens only because it is my first foray into medium format digital for travel photography and did not know if I would want to invest in another lens or two.

    I was able to incorporate some of my filtering gear from my 4x5" kit on this trip to see if it would be practical to use, and the gear did work well and will remain with the system.

    I used this Lee Hood and Singh-Ray Vari-ND Filter on the lens 100% of the time. I had purchased the Vari-ND filter a few years ago for use with my Cooke PS945 portrait lens. My style of shooting with the PS945 requires me to shoot at the largest aperture opening a lot of the time, so I had to find a solution that could handle that demand outside of the studio. The Vari-ND fills this need well and also my new desire to shoot at f/11 on the 47xl as that is the sweet spot for this lens. I was happy to look into my tool kit and saw that I could use this filter again with a different lens--I just needed to purchase a step up ring.

    Neutral density graduating filtration I can do inside PS so I will not be investing in another filter at this time; I can use Nik Color for that.

    Here is a my very first shot I took on my trip abroad. I shot it shortly after the Midnight Sun in Iceland (1-2 AM). It is not a fantastic shot, but it is the first shot I made with the Alpa Max on location with the kit I outlined above. I am still learning and looking forward to tweaking my technique with more shooting in the landscape. My experience lies primarily in commercial portrait and product work.


    Kind regards,
    Darr

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

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Darr, thanks for the information about the Lee holder and Singh Ray. I haven't made my final lens decisions yet so I'm still not certain what the maximum filter diameters will be, so every bit of insight about possible solutions helps me make decisions. Thanks again

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Mike I have been using an Alpa with Schneiders for a few years now - the only filter I have used is a center filter on the 24 - because you get a 1-2 stop fall off vignette around the edges - to be honest most of the time I used this lens I actually liked the vignette and lessened its intensity in post shot work. I have a drawer full of Lee glass filters - which I don't use anymore as software does a better job thee days - apart from the occasional ND set .

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    So anyone using polarizers on their alpa?

    Also looking for recommendations for lens shades. had some flare when using my new 120mm, and was surprised because I was in pretty subdued light.

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    Also looking for recommendations for lens shades. had some flare when using my new 120mm, and was surprised because I was in pretty subdued light.
    look at this thread... post #7 and downwards
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18143

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    Also looking for recommendations for lens shades. had some flare when using my new 120mm, and was surprised because I was in pretty subdued light.
    Lee Filters make lens hoods that attach to their standard filter.
    http://www.leefilters.com/camera/pro...46C9C213A68B5/

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    So anyone using polarizers on their alpa?

    Also looking for recommendations for lens shades. had some flare when using my new 120mm, and was surprised because I was in pretty subdued light.
    This is the lens shade I use with my Alpa Max:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ngle_Lens.html

    It has a 105mm thread for a threaded, round filter and 2 slots behind for 4 inch filters. I use a B+W 105mm Kaeseman circular polarizer and Singh-Ray 4x6 inch grads. I simply leave the Lee adapters on the lenses at all times and use the Lee lens caps that fit on the adapters.
    Jeff T.
    Jeff Turner's Emerging Light Photography
    http://www.EmergingLightPhotography.com

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Thanks for all of the feedback in this thread...it really gets my brain going and I've got a much better idea of how to tackle filters for the Alpa now. It's also cool to start Alpa threads just to know who all of the owners are in case I've got more questions in the future

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Thanks for all of the feedback in this thread...it really gets my brain going and I've got a much better idea of how to tackle filters for the Alpa now. It's also cool to start Alpa threads just to know who all of the owners are in case I've got more questions in the future
    I just wanted to thank all as well, as a newbie Alpa user I'm having a blast, and was amazed someone else posted the very question I was going to post on the same day! Love this forum.

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    So , why are you using a polarizer filter when shooting digital , if you do not want to reduce or suppress reflections ? ? ?

    I am only talking about polarizer filters .

    Recently , I have been doing a lot of street photography with a friend . He used a DSLR camera and a polarizer for each shot .
    What is the advantage of that filter ? ? ? when the saturation can be corrected in PS ? ? ?

    Jürgen

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    So , why are you using a polarizer filter when shooting digital , if you do not want to reduce or suppress reflections ? ? ?

    I am only talking about polarizer filters .

    Recently , I have been doing a lot of street photography with a friend . He used a DSLR camera and a polarizer for each shot .
    What is the advantage of that filter ? ? ? when the saturation can be corrected in PS ? ? ?

    Jürgen
    Hi Jürgen:

    The advantages of using a circular polarizer:
    1. For foliage, intensifies greens by reducing reflections and exposing more detail. Detail lost because of reflections can't be regained in PS.
    2. Intensifies sky; though you can increase saturation or decrease blue luminance in PS to darken or intensify the sky, noise may also be increased. A circular polarizer won't increase noise.
    3. Minimize reflections on water surfaces resulting in more intense color, and details of objects in the water.
    4. Minimize distracting reflections on glass; at times important for urban photography.

    Hope that helps,

    Cheers, Jeff
    Jeff T.
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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner View Post
    Hi Jürgen:

    The advantages of using a circular polarizer:
    1. For foliage, intensifies greens by reducing reflections and exposing more detail. Detail lost because of reflections can't be regained in PS.
    2. Intensifies sky; though you can increase saturation or decrease blue luminance in PS to darken or intensify the sky, noise may also be increased. A circular polarizer won't increase noise.
    3. Minimize reflections on water surfaces resulting in more intense color, and details of objects in the water.
    4. Minimize distracting reflections on glass; at times important for urban photography.

    Hope that helps,

    Cheers, Jeff
    Thank you Jeff
    That all sounds very logical . I will give it a try .
    I use my ALPA12SWA only for WA photography , and do not have a polarizer for all the 3 WA lenses I use . The 95mm diameter filter will then be the biggest investment .

    I had a look to your galleries and like the images very much .
    I can see that all images were taken with a polarizer .
    Very well done .

    Best regards
    Jürgen

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    Member Jeff Turner's Avatar
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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Thank you Jeff
    That all sounds very logical . I will give it a try .
    I use my ALPA12SWA only for WA photography , and do not have a polarizer for all the 3 WA lenses I use . The 95mm diameter filter will then be the biggest investment .

    I had a look to your galleries and like the images very much .
    I can see that all images were taken with a polarizer .
    Very well done .

    Best regards
    Jürgen
    Thanks for the kind words Jürgen.

    Since you will be using a polarizer with wide angle lenses, I should also mention that you may see uneven polarization across the sky with the center of the image being darker and lighter toward the edges. This has to do with the way in which polarizers work and that the angle of polarization varies continuously with the angle of light from the sun. The variation in angle of polarization will therefore be more obvious with a lens that has wide angle of coverage. Some find this objectionable in the final image. For me it just depends how drastic the variation is. If it is too drastic, I usually take the tiff into a program called LightZone, mask everything but the sky and compress the zones (e.g. similar to the zone system) toward the darker zone, so there is far less variation from dark to light areas.

    Also, if you also plan to use the polarizer on an autofocus camera, you will need a circular polarizer instead of a linear polarizer. With the Alpa you can also use a circular polarizer.

    Regards,

    Jeff
    Jeff T.
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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Just started with my Alpa MAX & 47 XL and have run into the inevitable vignette with shifts. Do folks using the MAX shoot with the center grad full time, shooting an LCC card image for each shift, or are you fixing in post?

    Very interested in hearing about the best workflow for this.

    Thanks

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    see here: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18258

    as to light falloff: you have to consider that any luminance boost in post results in an effective increase of ISO... i.e. noise.
    If you want to keep the noise level low at the edges you should use a centerfiler.

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    The Apo-Digitar 47XL has an image circle of 113mm at the sweet point of f=11. That should give you enough room for shifting when using a 37x49 sensor . Looking at the Schneider datasheets , a centerfilter is recommended for that lens .
    I think you should do a WB shot for all shots . For shots with shifts this is essential . I find it easier to take a WB shot than doing a rework to color casts in PS . In many cases this is just impossible .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Working with filters and Alpa Cameras

    Thanks Thomas & Jurgen,

    I'm shooting with a 33x44 sensor which hasn't been a problem with coverage even on extreme rise or full 18mm shifts. What I do need to fix though is the fall off at those (and lesser) movements.

    I missed the other thread - very helpful thx!

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