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Thread: Alpa single shot release - tips?

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    Alpa single shot release - tips?

    I noticed this from an older thread, and wanted to know more and/or update, so:

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    With the Alpa the construction is superb but one thing I found was that they are sensitive to the direction of the actual release unit. When the unit is aligned so that the trigger cable is in front, vs at 90 degrees, to the shutter then it is 100% reliable in my experience. If you let it swivel to the side then it becomes more sensitive to double triggers to the back which I suspect is what Narkin is referring to. That's annoying because it'll cause a double trigger fault on the back and you have to cancel and re-shoot.
    Graham, that's interesting - can you explain more about what you've seen? I can't for the life of me think why the Alpa release should be affected according to which way around the cable side is orientated, but I too have had many double trigger failures and would like to get to the bottom of it, as this system should be bullet-proof, if you are working hand held. That is after all why you pay nearly $1000 for it.

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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    I assume you are talking about the Alpa Sync Release. I have used mine with my P65+ and IQ180 backs very extensively. The only time I have trigger failures is when I am too fast with the plunger, regardless of wether I am using a cable release or not. My guess is the backs require the sequence of trigger signals in a particular timing parameter. My IQ180 back is a very early unit and when I first received it, it was almost impossible to use with the Alpa Sync Release. Following some communication with both Phase1 and Alpa about this, we concluded there were issues with how the back was wanting to be addressed (The same sync release was working fine with 6 other P+ backs I tested it with). The first firmware update for the IQ180 fixed the problem. Since then, the only times I have had failures, the cause has been a rushed trigger finger stroke. I use my unit at all sorts of odd angles and I frequently mount my lenses rotated either 90 or 180deg without issue. It would be great if it never failed, but it is soooo much more reliable than the alternatives that I found it easier just to concentrate on regulating my trigger finger. This does not mean your particular unit doesn't have problems, but perhaps it is worth doing some tests in view of what I've just shared.
    Best of luck!
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    I'd agree with Bryan regarding reliability.

    My original hypothesis about the orientation of the release was more related to how tight the release was on the lens shutter as it will tend to swing slightly and loosen. It's definitely a case of being careful to press through the release smoothly and not jab at it and when it's loose I think it's easier to not be smooth. When tight, it's pretty much 100% reliable. Unlike the cheaper competition, the Alpa release won't self destruct on you at some point.

    I do notice that the IQ back trigger sensitivity to misfires seems to go up as the battery level gets low. When I start getting a misfire I make it a habit to check the battery level and I prefer to power cycle the back. I'm not sure that it's necessary at all but maybe the sequence of actions slows me down to deliberately avoid mis-triggering the back next time.

    I use mine almost exclusively with a cable release. I wish that the top mount had a bevelled thread on it to match the cable releases as it holds on with only a small amount of thread with my high quality Ebony release cables. It's no worse that any other cable mount in this respect but it could be better. I also double check the tightness of the cable mount screw as it will loosen in transit - any play would certainly be another factor in mis-triggers too I'm sure.

    One thing to be careful of is that the release itself is made of a relatively soft brass and you can easily bend it by accident and it only takes a minute kink to affect it. I had this happen to one of mine and it became 'sticky' as a result. Alpa replaced it for me though

    Now the above sounds like a litany of problems but in really it's not. The Alpa release is WAY WAY WAY more reliable for me than the three KG releases that I've had. Two failed at one point or other and one of them completely self destructed. They also seem to like falling off the copal shutter and I really disliked the $2 cable release with $0.01 plastic top that will fall off.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    In most cases I use the lenses and with them the release device rotated by 90 degrees to the left , regarding from the back . I find it easier to adjust focus with the HPF ring in that position . I never experienced a malfunction of the sync device using it that way .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    Thanks for ideas, but I have tried the Sync release every which way I can think of to get reliable function with Phase back for over a year now . Slow, fast, gently, firmly, cautiously, decisively, None of it works. I was just out shooting today and had about a 25% error rate. That's dreadful. The battery was fresh and fully charged. As was the second one.

    Yes I could (& do) switch to Zero Latency and use the regular cable, but who wants to walk around with 8 or 10 batteries for a days shoot, and beside which, what is the point of using this release if it doesn't do what its intended for?

    I am not jumping into blaming Alpa though - it is quite likely it's not the release (been through 2 of them - plus a KG one, no difference) but a sync issue in Phase backs. I am on the current firmware, but my back certainly is not consistently accepting the pulses as they come from any of these cables, or, at least not with with acceptable reliability/ repeatability.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    25% error rate? Really? That's extraordinarily high IMHO.

    Is your back triggering 100% off the shutter in zero latency mode?
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    I mean 25% failure, 75% works.
    Yes it works 100% in zero latency.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    What firmware version of your back are you using? When strange things comes and goes I always first of all make sure I'm up to date with firmware.
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Re: Alpa single shot release - tips?

    version 5.x - the one with USB3 on it, so its not that.

    am going to try another back this week.

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