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Thread: 43mm APO Helvetar

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    43mm APO Helvetar

    I am finally shopping for my first Alpa (I love/hate you all for this).

    Since I cannot afford to go the MFDB/Tech-cam full hog all at once I'm going to acquire the Alpa 12 STC and associated bits & bobs with a 6x9 back first as I do still enjoy film.

    6 months down the track when Fuji discontinue Velvia in 120 as they have in my beloved sheet film I will splurge on a used back and do some stitching if I want wider.

    With all that in mind, I have initially settled on the 43mm APO-Helvetar. I strongly want 67mm filter threads and compact size with digital compatibility. Reasonable price and high resolution are also obvious factors.

    Can anyone give me a compelling argument to go with a different lens?
    I considered the 40/4 Rodie but it might not play nice with 6x9 and is kind of physically long for my handling/aesthetic tastes.

    Cheers,
    Dan

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Dan,

    How important are movements to you with the 6x9 back? With the 43mm you'll have full coverage of the film back plus the ability to do shift or rise/fall. With the 40/4 you'll barely, if at all, cover the film area.

    With a smaller digital sensor obviously your options change significantly.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Hi Graham,

    I'd like to be able to do a little rise/fall with the 6x9 back to get the horizon in the right place, maybe right down to the edge of the frame.

    As far as I can tell the 43mm is the best lens for my purposes.

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    I can't speak for the 43mm APO HELVETAR , but I use a APO-GRANDAGON 4,5/45mm lens , which I got adapted for the ALPA System .
    This lens gives very good results with film (6x7 and 6x9) as well as with my CFV-39 digital back . IC is 131mm , which gives you some movements for 6x9 and plenty for the 37x49 sensor .
    The HR-DIGARON 4,5/40mm is an outstanding lens with an IC of 90mm .
    I have not used it with film yet but its IC does not allow any movement for 6x9 .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Btw, here's the lens coverage bible in case you haven't seen it:
    ALPA of Switzerland - Manufacturers of remarkable cameras - Overview Lenses, Image Circles and Movements

    The important info is in the columns on the right which give you the available horizontal/vertical movement info for the orientation of the back.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

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

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Thanks Jürgen and Graham. Useful information.
    I'll read up on the APO-GRANDAGON and peruse that pdf.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Congrats on your very fine choice!

    I too believe that a SK 43 would be the better lens together with a 6x9 filmback.

    But keep in mind that with the HR40 you could use a tiltadaptor and introduce 1-2 degrees of forward tilt to have endless sharpness across an open field! This is not possible with the SK 43.

    Maybe because 6x9 is right up there with the Rodie imagecircle another possibility could be of choosing the 6x7 back which also is clsoer to the aspect ratio of current DB's. Making the transition easier to digital captures down the road....

    But, I would probably reason as you have done and go for the SK 43.
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Thanks Dan, all logical points and similar to my thinking.
    I hope I can use the camera as effectively as you do.
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    I would suggest you try both lenses if possible, as published numbers don't always align with actual results. When I tested both on an IQ180, the Rodenstock actually had better coverage because of lower color fringing. Film may be a completely different animal.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    What I will add is that Digitar and HR glass is out freaking standing on film. Even my processor commented on my images using my Alpa & 90HR, 47XL & 35XL with film. You think they're good with digital but they absolutely rock with film!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    I can't speak for the 43mm APO HELVETAR , but I use a APO-GRANDAGON 4,5/45mm lens , which I got adapted for the ALPA System .
    This lens gives very good results with film (6x7 and 6x9) as well as with my CFV-39 digital back . IC is 131mm , which gives you some movements for 6x9 and plenty for the 37x49 sensor.
    Here is a picture from the Apo-Grandagon 45 on film, scanned on Hasselblad 343 scanner.

    Alpa TC 45 Apo-Grandagon


    OLD 771





    I agree that the newer lenses may be somewhat improved for digital sensors so you may want one crossover lens if you suspect you will transition to a digital back.


    Bob
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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    Thanks Bob, I am planning to add a P45+ or similar back in 6 months or so, so I think the 43mm Helvetar is the best compromise for me.

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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    The HR40 and SK43 are both lovely lenses, the 40 probably outresolves it to the edges, but it's splitting hairs, the 43 certainly has more character and is a lot smaller and lighter. I did stick with the 40 when I had the chance to change, it's a remarkable lens also.

    If you're not in a rush to buy a digital lens, there are a plethora of really great film lenses that are fantastic and far far cheaper they'll almost certainly disappoint on a P45, but you would keep your initial investment down.

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 43mm APO Helvetar

    wentbackward, can you elaborate on the character your refer to?

    I've started considering the 40/4 Rodie HR with the tilt/swing adapter.

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