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Thread: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Dear forum members, has anyone else come across this?


    The coating on my 6 month old Alpa SWA handgrip has started flaking off.
    I've treated this camera like a newborn child and as you can see there is no other wear nor any marks around the flaking.

    I communicated this to Alpa and they offered to refurbish both handgrips for 250CHF (280USD). They apparently use a two lacquer process which cannot be 'repaired' as such.

    The camera has lived its life in my ONA bag when not shooting, well protected from the elements and hard objects but I didn't notice any issues when I bought it so this must have happened through wear.

    I just thought others should know that the coating on the wooden grips is neither hard-wearing nor user serviceable.

    If it becomes an issue (looks like it will spread) I'll just remove both grips, strip the lacquer and oil and wax them myself like I did with my ebony.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Sorry to see that.

    I have multiple grips but none have worn this way for me (and I'm tough on gear). Maybe Alpa changed their coating approach or third party supplier? Either way, it's not typical Alpa, if you know what I mean.
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Mine still look like new and they are approaching 1 year. Didn't you buy your Alpa used? Maybe the previous owner cleaned them with an abrasive cleaner? What are you cleaning them with?

    Agree with Graham... It doesn't seem typical Alpa...

    Sorry to hear that this has happened to you.

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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Well, I assume the warranty is less than 6 months. This and the fact that Alpa seems to have the service in place to do this would suggest they know the finish is not very durable. Wood is really not a great material for this type of product. One of the many reasons I will not be jumping on the Hasselblad Lunar bandwagon.

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    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Within a few weeks of purchasing my new Phase One camera, the metal clip on the camera strap scratched the paint on the camera body - because I did not pack it quite right in my camera bag - so I put a bit of black electrical tape around the clips on each end of the strap and chalked it up to experience.

    The moral of the story is that be it short or be it long things age - I guess we have to decide how we feel about the aging. Should I get my camera body touched up so it looks more new or should I get on with the relationship with my camera - it's a subjective answer.

    I guess this situation provides you with an opportunity to reflect on these matters and decide on how you will respond to future miss adventures that your camera gear, car, mobile phone, you name it might be affected by.

    Now for another glass of port and a cigar.

    Mal
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Understand the love for Alpa gear.....but...

    That doesn't look like a huge deal at all. It's bound to be nicked if you use it enough.

    Or, like me, buy a XY, no handgrips needed and it'll never flake.

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    Senior Member bab's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    I wonder what kind of lacquer they used on these wooden cameras seems to hold up well except for the scratches.

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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    I have been baffled by the paint and lacquer wear in my house and cars until I made the discovery - its only on the things my wife handles regularly. It turns out the oils in her hand lotions are part of the issue. It softens the paints and finishes and then they wear off much more quickly. Not suggesting this is what you are seeing… just an idea.

    edit - oops I realized I opened myself up to some jokes here….

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Haha, I'm the only one handling my Alpa.
    Through further discussions Alpa came to the party, and I am very pleased with the outcome.

    While I understand that things wear, I was just a little disheartened when I try to be so careful. Needless to say my faith in Alpa is truly restored.
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    A little less hand cream in the future?
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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    Quote Originally Posted by EH21 View Post
    I have been baffled by the paint and lacquer wear in my house and cars until I made the discovery - its only on the things my wife handles regularly. It turns out the oils in her hand lotions are part of the issue. It softens the paints and finishes and then they wear off much more quickly. Not suggesting this is what you are seeing… just an idea.

    edit - oops I realized I opened myself up to some jokes here….
    We'll let it slide this time...

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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    It looks like no big deal. Keep using the camera and if it gets really bad then send it in. Only then will it be worth the money, for a tiny spot like that it isn't, well at least to me.

    Besides, it ads character ! Cameras are meant for shootin'

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    Re: Interesting note on the coating on Alpa handgrips

    One of the reasons I prefer tung or linseed oil wood finishes.
    They can always be touched up AND they don't peel or flake.
    -bob
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