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Thread: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

  1. #51
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Darr,

    Thanks for your reply. I am sure there is a long learning curve ahead on both using the camera to its advantage and to stitch. Wide views really appeal to me for some reason and i want to get good at it. Practice, practice i guess.

    Are there any web sites/forums that specialize in pano's? I am sure there will be a number of techniques to do pano's.

  2. #52
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Dave - yes its clear to me that the STC can do vertical as well as horizontal - one direction at a time only. This is why i am considering the Max of the XY.

    Bit confused about your comment on buying two mounting plates though.

  3. #53
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    I have read the screens on the newer backs are not that good for focusing, and live view is a joke. Have I read these postings wrong? Why do some IQ shooters use a Surface Pro or similar device instead of their back screens if the upgrade for the screens are worth it?
    Darr, spot on.

    Young'ee - regarding your choices I'd pick the best body/lens combination first and that would be the MAX and either Schneider or Rodenstock glass. Schneider if you expect to stay under 60mp or away from CMOS and save money and avoid distortion. Rodenstock if you want the best universal lenses but at a price.

    Personally, with the benefit of some experience now, I'd go for the best lenses and system first. The backs (I've had aptus 65, 2x P25+, P40+, IQ160 and now IQ260) are great but they're ALL great and you can shoot whatever you need even with the limitations of the P+ or Leaf backs vs the wonderful IQ series. I'd go for a perfect Rodie lens setup and MAX or FPS and a P45+ vs my IQ260 with the benefit of hindsight.

    $0.02
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  4. #54
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Dave - yes its clear to me that the STC can do vertical as well as horizontal - one direction at a time only. This is why i am considering the Max of the XY.

    Bit confused about your comment on buying two mounting plates though.
    The only way to get the STC set up for rise/fall is to mount it on the tripod grip-down. Very few would put up with moving the tripod mounting adapter plate (usually RRS, A/S or Novoflex) each time we go from shift/stitch to rise/fall. So we buy two identical plates and leave them mounted; one on the bottom and one on the right side where the grip is (viewing from the back of the camera).

    I used to think the need to rise/fall while shifting was rare. But the more panos I do this the more often I run into situations where I'd like to do both. So I'm with most of the others here: Max or XY for you!

    Keep in mind that marvelous 16x7 ratio would require a 30mm shift each way on a 54x40 sensor w/o cropping. That's a 114mm image circle.

    Dave
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Personally, with the benefit of some experience now, I'd go for the best lenses and system first. The backs (I've had aptus 65, 2x P25+, P40+, IQ160 and now IQ260) are great but they're ALL great and you can shoot whatever you need even with the limitations of the P+ or Leaf backs vs the wonderful IQ series. I'd go for a perfect Rodie lens setup and MAX or FPS and a P45+ vs my IQ260 with the benefit of hindsight.

    $0.02
    Graham, your insights are important as you are out there shooting with this gear, so I'm sure there are lots of little tricks you've learnt along the way. I've been reading this forum back to front and upside down trying to pick up the gems of advice that ARE there for the searching. I've read many of your posts, looked at many of your images and am blown away - your work is inspiring!

    So very interesting that your take on this is to concentrate on the body and lens system and go with whatever back is great value.

    I agree.

    But to hear it from you really confirms it for me and takes away any doubts i had.

    I am going to go for the Max or XY, FPS (because i really want to try old lens systems - not looking for "perfect" - looking for character) and will get some technical lenses for those - "needs to be technical perfection" , times.

    I think whatever ideas i have today will look much different a year from now though, so as always, its best to stay flexible .I think i know what i want to shoot and how i want to do it, but who knows up the track what my interests will turn into. I think the FPS covers that angle quite well. The Max or XY will give me the shifting i want to get into.

    Thank you for your comments, highly appreciated!

  6. #56
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    So I'm with most of the others here: Max or XY for you

    Dave
    Yep - agree - a Max or XY for me ..... - now to decide which one. I'm not really worried about size or weight - i could be wrong on this but its seems to me given the whole routine of getting a tech cam out of its case and setup with DB on it is such a time consuming and slow way to work that a bit of bulk/weight is of little consequence? - thoughts?

  7. #57
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Just to point out one big reason I went Cambo was I could do rise/fall and shift at the same time since those bodies have movements in both directions. I actually did more rise and fall than anything else so in Alpa the MAX would be a good choice. Seriously the XY is pretty darn big and from what I seen its like putting up a poster board in the wind, its kinda big. But I like small cameras so that's where my preference is. As far as lenses no matter what back the Rodie's are the best solution. But the SKs are great if you stay pretty much away from the 80 mpx backs.
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  8. #58
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Yep - agree - a Max or XY for me ..... - now to decide which one. I'm not really worried about size or weight - i could be wrong on this but its seems to me given the whole routine of getting a tech cam out of its case and setup with DB on it is such a time consuming and slow way to work that a bit of bulk/weight is of little consequence? - thoughts?
    Hmm. You will get many opinions on this one. Basically depends on how far you plan to hike. Like Guy just said, I too am a fan of small cameras. Some store the STC with back and lens mounted. I could but I don't because the mounted lens never seems to be the one I want to use next. So I store the STC with the back mounted. The XY is a big plate, so figuring out how to store it with a back mounted is a packaging challenge. If you store it alone, it is basically a little larger than an 8.5x11" sheet of paper. The laptop sleeve in many backpacks would be fine (or the ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60).

    Of course the bigger the backpack, the more space you have to add all those lenses, and of course you have to fill every inch of space you have! I think the best way to keep your wallet and your back healthy is to keep your backpack small.

    Dave
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    same as Guy; Cambo WRS because of rise/fall and side-side shift at the same time and a compact body

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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    small and compact seems to be highly favored here - I should take the advice i think.....

    yeah wind is an issue as well - i KNOW i will be on some high escarpments looking out over vast valleys far far below = wind and lots of it. Something to consider.

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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Cambo....Alpa.... Cambo...Alpa......hmmmmm. Need to look into this. At the moment i am blind sided by sheer beauty (well not quite true - lens playtime on the FPS is what got me here in this mess - and you can see i sit here reading/posting all day, ignoring my work that is piling up, so in deep now)

    Good part is wifey is happy for me to spend all the money, so half the battle is won. But there is Soooo much to buy when one is starting from zero.

  12. #62
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    The Alpa's are a 10 when it comes to the beauty of the camera they are really nicely engineered and just a thing of beauty. The Cambo's are also nicely engineered and very nice looking but a lot of folks lean more to the beauty side of just shooting a really nice looking camera. There is nothing wrong with this you spend a lot of money and you want to hold a piece of art in your hand. Alpa's tend to be a piece of art all by itself. Totally get that side of owning one. The Cambo's are just designed to have most of the movements already built in to the body the rise/ fall and side movements without the adapter like you need on the MAX. Now tilt and swing on the Cambo's are in the lens mounts not all lenses have it and they cost about 1500 more per lens to have that mount. Alpa uses tilt adapters but there are some restrictions as well to focal length. I'll let the Alpa folks touch on this. Frankly they are both wonderful systems that are compact and a joy to shoot. They are just different setups that you need to understand how they function.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  13. #63
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Now and the Alpa folks can answer this far better than me but if your going FPS than owning the MAX makes more sense as some parts are interchangeable and maybe they can touch on this aspect of it as I'm not sure but good info to know. Since I think you can share the use of accessories on both of them.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  14. #64
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    At some point this thread maybe a good sticky thread on how to buy a tech cam. Lots of great info going on here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  15. #65
    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    I too chose the Cambo WRS for the rise/fall and side-side shift at the same time and the compact and reasonable lightweight body. No regrets.

    Peter
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Cambo....Alpa.... Cambo...Alpa......hmmmmm. Need to look into this. At the moment i am blind sided by sheer beauty (well not quite true - lens playtime on the FPS is what got me here in this mess - and you can see i sit here reading/posting all day, ignoring my work that is piling up, so in deep now)

    Good part is wifey is happy for me to spend all the money, so half the battle is won. But there is Soooo much to buy when one is starting from zero.
    The big three in tech cams are Arca Swiss, Alpa and Cambo.

    If you want tilt with any lens you mount, want shift AND rise and fall on the back, and want all that built into the (not too large) body and don't like dealing with adapters the Arca Swiss RM3Di is the choice. (Arca does offer some nice adapters to fine tune your setup but they are not essential for some features)

    If you want a compact body with good shift and rise/fall capability built in then the Cambo are nice and compact. They do require each lens you want tilt on to be mounted with the tilt mount which adds cost to every lens and the tilt mechanism is somewhat in the way of the focusing and shutter/aperture settings of some lenses.

    If you want a LOT of flexibility and do not mind dealing with a bunch of adapters (and in the case of the Max and XY, larger sized body when all is set and done) the ALPA and its extensive adapter selection allows you to configure a camera just like you want it. They do offer the FPS and adapters to several lens lines. Due to ALPA's having similar front and rear mounts you can mount a lens on the front or rear, same with the backs and any adapter.

    My choice was the ARCA RM3Di but as usual YMMV.

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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Is it really possible to use 2 x 17mm T/S ?
    Yes. if you can use 1 x34mm adapter on a SB lens on a Max, then you can use 1 x17mm on the front and 1 x17mm on the back and get a combo of tilt on the lens and swing on the back, for example. You will need to work tethered if movements are getting this complicated, but thats not a huge problem, even on location - see the recent thread here about tethering to the Surface Pro tablet.

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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by young'ee View Post
    Cambo....Alpa.... Cambo...Alpa......hmmmmm. Need to look into this. At the moment i am blind sided by sheer beauty (well not quite true - lens playtime on the FPS is what got me here in this mess - and you can see i sit here reading/posting all day, ignoring my work that is piling up, so in deep now)

    Good part is wifey is happy for me to spend all the money, so half the battle is won. But there is Soooo much to buy when one is starting from zero.

    It's really a case of picking the right tool for the right job. What I like about the Alpa system is it is just that - a system. You can go ultra small and light with one body (TC) or 4 way shift movements with multi panel stitching giving very high resolution with another (Max/XY), or Focal Plane Shutter (FPS) with a third body for easy use on the go, and faster action and ability to use Canon/Nikon/Hassy/Mamiya optics. Same lenses, backs, accessories flipped from one body to another according to that days needs. If you are only ever going to do one of those, then just buy the 1 single body you need - be it Alpa or Cambo or Arca/ whatever. If you are going to do many other types of imagery, or just want to keep those options open, then look for a rich system worth investing in.

  19. #69
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    Has anybody ever used a decentered (in the up position) SK Apo-Digitar 47mm XL on an Alpa STC?

    I can't decide whether to buy a SK 24mm XL (equivalent to a 17mm lens in 135 format on my Leaf Aptus 75) or whether to stitch left & right with my 47mm XL on an STC. I'm also unsure of what horizontal equivalence 18mm's of shift left & right with a 47mm lens would end up giving me. Is there a clever spreadsheet somewhere?

    Any experiences gratefully received.

  20. #70
    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Help Selecting an Alpa setup.

    You can compare lenses with and without shift on the DT Visualizer: Tech Camera, Image Circle, Focal Length Equivalent

    You need to pick the same back for each one. Choose single shot for one, three shot for the other, turn off auto match, etc. You can figure it out. You'll get two images rectangles for the two chosen setups.

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