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Thread: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

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    Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    I think I may have crossed a line which I'll probably regret.
    But, one look at the Alpa SWA on internet has swayed me to sell many 35mm gear and chase was on...
    It is so cute.....

    I will be getting Alpa SWA with 35mm Apo Digitar, with P25+.

    I have so many questions as if I'm starting to learn the photography all over.
    Actually, this new learning experience is kind of fun, or refreshing for my hobby.

    But, please allow me to ask to few questions that I feel I need an immediate action.

    First of all, which option is better for the view finder?
    iphone holder or Alpa viewfinder...?
    I will be using mainly one lens for now, and maybe add 120mm later as I get more used to the camera.

    Second, what tripod would you recommend for travel and hiking.
    I often travel oversea, and do a regular weekend hiking, so i really need the lightest one possible which can handle the SWA.

    Lastly, will I need the center filter and the HPF ring for my 35mm lens...?
    I feel that I will be shooting mostly at f/11 or f/16 ....

    Thank you in advance for kind input.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Paul,

    Viewfinder - it depends.

    I have both the optical and iPhone finder and it somewhat depends as to which is the best option (or even no viewfinder). When I'm shooting a variety of lenses I use my iPhone holder because I can dial in the lens. However, if it's very bright conditions the iPhone tends to act like a mirror so all you can see is your own eyeball reflected back at you. It's no good for walkaround use (IMHO) as it's a relatively delicate item that you don't want to be bashing. It is great in the right light when shooting off of a tripod though.

    The optical finder is wonderful especially if you have a single or couple of lenses. Very bright and clear. Basically though you are crudely aligning your image so precision isn't really necessary, especially if you're using rise/fall. If you intend to shoot handheld then it's a nice option too.

    You might want to consider the collapsable finder which is basically just a frame. With the benefit of hindsight and a few years of using the other two, I seldom need the precision as I shoot / review or use live view.

    tripod - I use a Feisol 3441T for travel and it works well enough with a TC or STC. However, I normally use a much bigger standard tripod (Gitzo/RRS) when given the choice. I wouldn't use a Gitzo traveler though - too flimsy. A 2 or 3 series Gitzo/RRS would work well for everything.

    CF Filter - I'd say yes. It makes a difference for LCCs and I find it essential on my 35XL.

    HPF - I'd get one because of the extra precision as you approach infinity. Those extra distance marks can be helpful as they all stack up rapidly towards the end. That said, with the 35mm you can pretty much dial in 10-12ft and it's all in focus at f/11 or f/16.

    Hope that helps.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Paul, just a thought but I'd strongly consider your lens choice seeing as it will be a one lens kit. IMO, as a landscape lens the 35XL is much too wide. Most subjects unless up close will be dots on the horizon.

    As a landscape kit the minimum I'd go to is 40mm (to start with) and most probably choose something longer in the 50-60mm range.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    With the P25 you can go with the older SK47 which you should be able to find at a good price. 35 is kind of wide as a one lens kit. If it was me and one lens only than the 47 would be my choice. Now unless you plan to build a system than even 35,47,72 would be nice. Best advice on lenses and gapping yourself is thinking ahead on what your kit goal is a 3 lens kit a 4 lens kit. I found with tech cams figuring out your future kit is a smart way to decide. My favorite was 28, 60 than maybe a 90 or even a 120. Nice 3 lens setup. Some folks may go with a 35,47,72,120 to make up a 4 lens kit. Or you could go 35, I think there is a older 55 that maybe good with the P25.

    Now having said that you have to think back upgrades in the future as this will also reflect certain lenses down the road.

    Problem is you need to think ahead and Dante is always ready to turn the flames up to fill that black hole. Lol

    Now the more modern lenses fit the newer backs better for instance the Roadie 40 will work with any back in production right now a not so cheap expense but it covers any upgrade path you may take later on with a back. These are all budget considerations as how far you want to go with it and frankly how much your willing to throw money at it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Some iinteresting comments regarding the p25+ & 35mm because actually I find that to be a great combo. I have the 47 but find it a little long for my taste both on the 25+ and my IQ.

    I'd agree that if there is a goldilocks starter then for me it would be the 40 but that comes at $$$ expense vs 35mm used.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 22nd May 2013 at 15:06.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    I'm with Graham, the 35XL is a great landscape lens. I traded my 47XL in for the 35XL, have not regretted it.

    Cheers, -Peter
    Alpa TC STC | IQ140 | 24XL 35XL 120N-ASPH
    www.peterlomdahl.com

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    It just goes to show we all view the world in our photography very differently.

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Thank you all for kind input...

    CF filter.... I'll get one.

    Viewfinder....For hand-held purpose, I think I'm going to use either Zeiss one or Mamiya 43mm finder, since I already have the adapter.
    For tripod use, I think I'm going to get iphone holder...I think that would be convinient way to use it as a live view....

    HPF ring... I think I'm going to skip for now for my 35XL.....

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Lens choice is extremely personal. Overall its best to go a bit wide (but not too wide) IMHO than too tele. You can always crop a tad if you want. I absolutely love my 40 on the iq160. It is, to me, extremely versatile.

    Check out this online tool, works great! HERE

    Regarding the viewfinder, I really like my Arca optical viewfinder. I usually use it by itself before setting up the camera. I walk around, compose and then take out the rig.

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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    My initial setup:
    STC + P25+ with 47 + 35 + 24
    Then p45+ SWA + Max
    Now waiting IQ2 + 50 + 70 + 120
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
    www.raymondchak.com

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Graham, is Gitzo 1541 that unstable...?
    Is it worse than the Feisol?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Gitzo 1541T is ok so long as you don't raise it up too high and support the tripod by applying some bag weight to it IMHO. I used one for many years and it is super light and convenient but ultimately it is exactly that - super light and convenient and not super rigid and robust in any type of wind etc. I personally also found it borderline too short but with an Alpa that probably isn't so much of an issue due to the position of the viewfinder. It certainly is usable if that is what you currently own but don't put too much weight on it or anything off centre.

    I changed to the Feisol because the height is better for me (perfect) and also I prefer the extra girth of the legs vs the traveler. It's still pretty light and so you need to watch out if it's windy. I solve that problem by using the Feisol spiked feet.

    Tripods, like lenses, are personal choices really. What might not work for me may well be perfectly acceptable to someone else. For example my normal tripod is a Gitzo 5561 SGT giant with a cube on it - most people cower in fear when they see it and groan when they try to pick it up but it suits me perfectly. Different strokes for different folks ...
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 23rd May 2013 at 17:56.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    I used a Gitzo 1541 for about a year with my Alpa Max outside the studio. Then one day, I realized I was taking a big chance with the weight sitting on those skinny little legs. I then planned on buying a series 2 leg set. When Guy put his RRS series 2 legs up for sale, I grabbed them at a good price. I put the BH-40 head from the 1541 on it and use the 1541 with a BH-25 for my Sony NEX-7.

    BTW, I shoot a P45 with 28-47-72 lenses. I use a Hasselblad 41050 SWC ground glass + Hassy viewfinder for composing.

    Have fun!
    Darr
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Today I'm using the RRS series 2 but the tallest one. I really like these tripods. Actually I used Gitzo my whole career and I like this a whole lot better. I sold Darr my regular size series 2.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    There even in stock too. Wow

    TVC-24L Versa Series 2 Tripod - TVC-24L
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Another vote for RRS. You can even get away with no ball head at all: I use their leveling base and panning clamp instead.

    In a world where people spend thousands of dollars on cameras and lenses (forget about DBs), I think it's a mistake to try to save three or four hundred dollars on a tripod. If you make the right choice at first, a good tripod will last years longer than that other stuff.
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    IMO the perfect travel companion is a Gitzo 3542LS with something like an Arca P0 head.

    The four section 3542LS is amazingly compact when folded and very light weight and I can't imagine using something less than the series 3 legs. I like Graham have the series 5 giant and its an absolutely amazing tripod, the best I've ever owned but its not for everyone and the sole reason I own the 3542 is for travel.

    If you don't need a geared head, I can't imagine a more perfect head than the Arca P0 and don't understand why it is not more popular in these forums. The P0 will be the next head I buy as soon as I save up again after finally ordering a Cube.

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    I use the GT3542LOS although the series 2 is a tiny bit lighter and similar height (at the expense of a little rigidity).

    The 35XL is great on my P45, I love the ~24mm equivalent FOV and then stitch using shift to increase my vertical FOV and use a small panoramic base for increasing horizontal FOV.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Just FYI because it is a little confusing the RRS series 2 is equal to the Gitzo Series 3 in leg diameter and such. They just number them diffrent.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    I have a Gitzo GT2530 and a GT3541. I like to have the center column. I usually take the 2530 (with standard rrs head and panning clamp). I find it a touch more stable because the leg spread angle is a touch more than the 3 series. I use the 3 series for when I need more height. It also takes less space when stored. The 2530 has take a LOT of use and still works and looks great.

    You can't go wrong with gitzo and rrs products. Choosing which specific product is a bit of a personal choice depending on you specific gear and how you work.

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    I do have have few tripods, including a very heavy and sturdy Manfrotto one.
    But, I'd like to get a lightest possible one for my gegular weekend hikes.
    So, each pound counts...

    If Gitzo 1541T can handle Alpa SWA, I'd like to get that....
    Obviously, I'll be using it for long exposures...

    I went to fotocare yesterday, and compared the 1541 and 2451, and I could feel the difference of weight, though the difference is only a pound.

    I'm even considering 1550T if it can handle SWA....

    Both 1550T and 1541T have specs for at least 10 lbs, but if it is too wobbly, I'll have to go with 2531 or 2541....

    Decision, decision.....

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    BTW, if anyone is selling the Gitzo 1531T or 1541T, please let me know....

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    If you are looking at the Gitzo traveler tripods then you might want to read this first too:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/gear-gar...r-tripods.html

    I brought mine along to our Death Valley workshop and Jack and a few others subsequently got their own, with Jack putting up this review. I followed his advice and added the spikes to mine which makes a big difference IMHO.

    If you are interested, a friend of mine (who also went Feisol 3441T) put together a comparison spreadsheet of the various tripods for comparison of size / weight / segments etc. I'll see if there's a good place to put it here.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    That would be a interesting thread. I can move it to the review section after your posting if you want.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    The Feisols are very nice. You have about 3 or 4 brands that are good solid tripods. Might want to look at the RRS 1 series traveler as well. I get a link to it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    This looks very nice but they are not cheap but the good news tripods can last years and the top brands are known for it.

    TQC-14 Quick-Column Series 1 Tripod - TQC-14

    I've seen the Feisols Graham and Jack use, its very nice and well built. You have some choices
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    BTW that's a nice setup you have. I still to this day wish I had my P25+ back as a second back. Loved that back
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    +1 on the P25+ on the Alpa or any tech really. It's really unstressed by the optics and so no problem stopping down to f/16 or more if needed. I know that you can get the same results by downrezzing a higher MP file but it's nice getting decent acuity and sharpness in the native file straight from the back.

    Btw, I've attached the tripod comparison table. Guy: I'll send you a copy directly and you can post it where you want. Prices may be a little out of date but if someone wants the xslx let me know.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    That be great. Give me author too so I can give them credit. Thanks
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa SWA ... Newbie Questions...

    Hey folks I added this to our review section and gave 10 tips on choosing a tripod along with it..

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/lens-acc...tml#post515157
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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