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Thread: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

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    ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Hi Guys,

    I shoot 90% of my time on a tripod using a 5DIII with TSE Lenses - 17mm and the 24mm (Mostly shoot with the 24mm TSE)
    As I also love to photography Landscapes with my Hasselblad or 4x5 Largeformat Camera because of the whole procedure taking a picture I really tend to a tech-camera like an ALPA

    Knowing that this System is not really cheap and I will pay for a price that the costumors don´t need (They are satisfied with the 5DIII Pictures)

    BUT buying new stuff is also a great way to get new inspiration - maybe open up new doors...

    So for that I stick to an ALPA System 12 STC

    - My First Setup should be a 12 STC with a 32 or 35 mm Lens.
    - The Digiback shloud be a CFV-50c - great if I can use it also with my Hasselbladsystem or a cheaper non LiveView System for the staret like a Leaf
    - Aptus II 5 ( putting the Money into better Lenses.
    - + Tilt Adapter

    Question to those who are working with this combination:

    - Analyzing the sepcs of the Canon TSE - I can do all that movements with the STC but only 5° tilting (Lens with an appropriate image circle)
    Is this correct?
    - Does somebody use a STC with an CFV 50c or an cheaper older system (Leaf Aptus II 5 ) ?
    - Which lens can you suggest me which is great for the movements and has an attractive price.


    Using the STC - Is it possible to move it first horizontal and than vertical ? - (left - up - down - center up down - right up down ) - Ist this possible ?


    All the Best,
    Michael
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    The Alpa 12 STC only has movements on one axis at a time. I.e. Rise/fall or left/right shift. If you want movements on both X & Y axis then you would need an Alpa Max.

    Regarding the tilt adapter, in practice I never ran into a problem with the amount of tilt available, especially when using wide lenses. If you decide to go with the system I would recommend getting only Short Barrel lenses and the 17mm TS adapter. For longer lenses (such as 90mm or 120/150mm etc) I actually used the older 34mm TS adapter since those lenses had regular mounts.

    My set up with the STC and Phase One IQ150 was to use 32HRW, 90HR and 150 SK APO Digitars. I use the Canon 17/24 TSE lenses with the IQ150 on my Alpa FPS. However, comparing the Canon 24 TSE with the 23HR that I used to use is a bit like bringing a knife to a gun fight. The 24 TSE is good but the Rodenstock was a lot sharper overall. That said, pretty much no shift/tilt options with the 23HR (plus it was a pain to use at times due to flare).

    With respect to affordable lenses ... Well, that's a matter of perspective. The 32HRW is simply outstanding as the anchor of a system based around a crop sensor MFDB (or full frame come to that) but it is not what I would describe as 'affordable'. I've never owned the 35mm Rodenstock so can't really comment on that lens.

    I owned and used the STC for many years. A great camera system but be sure about what you want from it before jumping in with your wallet. The initial decisions you make regarding lenses are expensive if you change your mind later.


    If you can, I'd recommend engaging with an Alpa dealer to work through your decision. From a capability perspective there are other choices that work just as well or are more flexible. That said, the Alpa is a thing of beauty and a joy to use.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    I'm about a year in with an Alpa STC, Leaf Aptus-II 7 and Apo Helvetar 48.

    This is a great set up and the Leaf back does a beautiful job. The only reason to "upgrade" would be for Wifi, liveview etc. Not for quality as far as I'm concerned.

    The Apo Helvetar is a great all round lens and competitively priced. Cheap is never a word to use in the same breath as Alpa. Be careful as only a select group of lenses are compatible with the tilt adaptors - the 48 is not.

    This is a "slow" and studied camera. It's not a point and shoot really.
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Couple things to add to Graham's post:

    Think about your long-term plan with the digital back. As Graham pointed out changing lenses later is expensive, so if you plan to stick with a crop sensor then the CFV50c is a great choice. But changing formats later will probably involve changing a lens or two on the wide end, which makes an expensive decision even more expensive.

    Canon has the best live view on the planet. If you are considering one of the CCD backs make sure you try it and you are ok with the shooting process. I moved from Canon to a CCD back in 2011 and loved it, but missed live view. After 5 years it wore on me and I upgraded to a CMOS back for the workflow improvements live view brings.

    These first two paragraphs are related since a 54x40 CMOS sensor is just too expensive for most, so think, demo, test and repeat!

    Personally I love the STC because it's feature set is perfect for me and it is relatively small and light. But if you want to simultaneously rise/fall and shift, it can't do that at the same time. You can shift or rise/fall in any direction, either the back or the lens. I think 5 degrees is plenty of tilt for landscape. The depth of field gets very narrow as you dial up the tilt, so a 5 degree tilt gets razor thin and not very useful.

    I suspect the 35 Graham mentioned would be the best option where price is concerned. The 40hr is still pretty expensive and may be not wide enough for you. Can't tilt the SK43xl on Alpa, and the 32hr is as much as the CFV50c!

    Dave
    Last edited by dchew; 24th June 2016 at 05:48.
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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    I use the HR ALPAGON 40mm SB + the 17mm TILT ADAPTER . That is a great combination and I find the lens superb .
    I also have the AAA APO ALPAR 35mm and use that with the ALPA TC and my CFV-39 Back .
    As the CFV-50c sensor is smaller than the CFV-50 one , you can shift more till you reach the image circle of the lens .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    The clarity of a good digital tech camera setup is lovely. While some have gone to smaller gear, many of us still like this approach and want to encourage your interest. The world of digital tech cameras splits has both pancake type cameras, where the front and back plates are very close, and view cameras, where there is a bellows still in between the front and back plates. The pancakes (Alpa, Cambo, Arca) have guaranteed parallelism between lens and back (very good for necessary precision of alignment), but have lenses in helical mounts (proprietary and $$). The bellows-type cameras (such as Linhof Techno and Cambo Actus) allow for easy lens changing (on a lens plate), more movements typically, and generally cheaper system flexibility. If you shoot more at f11 (sweet spot of these lenses), parallelism isn't a factor.

    On a good day, one could imagine the bars filled with those arguing advantages of one over the other. I liked the flexibility of the Techno, very much like 4x5 for digital. Any lens can go on it, any back. Changes are pretty easy; tilt, swing, shift all come built in. One person I know hikes with his and seven different lenses, and its not even heavy. Let me know if you want more info - there are a couple of write-ups for it.

    OTOH, the portability, ease, simplicity of the pancakes, of which Alpa is among the finest, is great too. But the STC only has the one axis movements, a hurdle for me. Its a very $$ system, and you really have to know what you want. Tilt adapters area available for most lenses, but for each lens separately. Others, like the popular Cambo WRS, have two axis movements, and many like this body too, not quite as elegant as the Alpa.

    This kind of gear search is filled with missteps, so care is needed. Quite often, the first purchase isn't the right one. And it isn't readily solved by internet research - its a hands-on kind of thing. Just saying...
    Geoff

    www.gigi-photos.com
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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Hi Michael

    My distance from ALPA in Zurich is only 160km and I always take a chance to visit them when I am interested in a product
    and want to have it in my hands before I buy .
    I don't know if you are willing to travel to Zurich , but visitors are always welcome and get very good advice and service .
    Usually all products are onsite and available . Mr. Ochsner is a very good contact .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    Hi Michael

    My distance from ALPA in Zurich is only 160km and I always take a chance to visit them when I am interested in a product
    and want to have it in my hands before I buy .
    I don't know if you are willing to travel to Zurich , but visitors are always welcome and get very good advice and service .
    Usually all products are onsite and available . Mr. Ochsner is a very good contact .
    ^^Yes!

    I also visited Alpa when traveling in Switzerland. They are extremely helpful.

    Dave
    davechewphotography.com
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    many thanks to all of you for your very constructive answers. of course this decision and the investment will take some time ( and money - but it see it as an investment - not only paying money)

    and yes..i have to touch them before buying, but first i want to find the direction.
    when i look at my favorite lenses at 35mm cameras for landscape photography - i use a lot 17, 24 and 35mm
    lenses.

    I also will wait for photokina the decide the next steps. visiting zuerich will be the best option.

    ps
    maybe i will meet somebody of this forum in koeln, photokina - talking about camerastuff and having a beer is always good 😉
    [ no picture ]

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Here one from this afternoon .
    ALPA12STC , CFV50 , HR DIGARON 40mm SB , 15mm downshift , f11 . No sharpening .

    Name:  ALPA.GEIGER.@.jpg
Views: 777
Size:  743.0 KB
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    getting deeper and deeper into this topic - i see very good prices on used digibacks like the iq180!

    great to have a 80mp - that means also less movements on a tech camera, for most of my commercial work 80mp are far too much - for my landscape photography it will fit perfect!
    with the newer cfv50c i will get a great digiback which i can use also for my hasselblad 501cm systems - but the sensor is smaler, less megapixels with crop factor :-(

    it is getting more complicated ;-)
    [ no picture ]

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Welcome to Dante's Inferno! Graham is probably the one with the most insight since he used a FF CCD, then switched to a crop CMOS w/ Alpa. It seems to me the CFV50c is the better way to go for you, but you are in the area where personal preference takes over.
    • Are you ok without liveview in the field (or at least very limited LV).
    • Do you want a FF sensor eventually? If so you just have to be thoughtful about your lens choices.
    • Can you get your hands on a 32hr to try? It is a great lens but quite big and heavy.

    I am guessing the CFV50c + 32hr, vs IQ180 + 40hr would end up being about the same total price...?

    So crop vs convenience.

    Dave
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Using a Crop sensor should be a Must for Interieur and Architecture photographers - right? ( as i use my 17mm tse on teh 5diii for interieurs very very often)

    So when i check https://digitaltransitions.com/suppo...ualizer-tools/ -> the 28mm in combination with an IQ180 is very limiting due to the image circle/sensor area.
    So a Cropsensor would be the best option for me as i want to use to use rise and fall for architecture ph.

    Does anybody has experience with the cfv50c and the 23mm rodenstock lens?
    I think there shloud be a lot of problems with colorcasting, or?

    A non crop sensor gives me a wider field of view - but with a 28mm i cannot do movments anymore.
    With a crop sensor - do i have problems with colorcasts?


    How do you compensate those problems?

    maybe the best combo for me will be a crop sensor with a 32mm hr (using movements) and a 40mm alpagon for the 35mm dslr view

    (My favorite lenses downwards are the 17mm, 35mm, 24mm, 50mm and 85mm lens on a 5diii)
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    I used the iq150 with 23mm on my Alpa for a while. It was a pain to use due to the Centre red spot which seemed to be worse with iq150 vs my iq260. I ended up trading it as it seemed the sensor reflection was extreme unless totally shielded. Others mentioned that rodenstock updated the coatings to avoid this issue but it was too late for me.

    for super wide I use the canon TSE 17/24 on my Alpa fps. They work great. The 23 hr costs as much as the fps so it worked out for me in the end.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    At the risk of me stating the obvious, don't forget that the reason you have more movements on a cropped sensor is because its smaller. Part of your shift is into areas the 54x40 sensor would cover without shifting.

    Other than the (significant) benefit of price, I'm not sure there is a real benefit in movement capabilities in the final image with a cropped sensor (assuming identical sensor technology). If the scene just fits on a 54x40 sensor with a 32hr mounted, then It won't fit on the cropped sensor and you will have to stitch to get it in. Pretty sure the same applies to shifting for perspective. Sure you would crop away unused space on the unshifted 54x40, but the cropped sensor is effectively doing that too.

    Again, huge benefit in cost. Believe me I get that part!

    Dave

    Edit: I guess I never did the math before to realize the pixels on the crop sensor were that much bigger: 5.4um vs 4.6. So much for my "assuming identical sensor technology" comment. I knew they were different, but didn't know they were that different.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmfotografie View Post
    Using a Crop sensor should be a Must for Interieur and Architecture photographers - right? ( as i use my 17mm tse on teh 5diii for interieurs very very often)

    So when i check https://digitaltransitions.com/suppo...ualizer-tools/ -> the 28mm in combination with an IQ180 is very limiting due to the image circle/sensor area.
    So a Cropsensor would be the best option for me as i want to use to use rise and fall for architecture ph.

    Does anybody has experience with the cfv50c and the 23mm rodenstock lens?
    I think there shloud be a lot of problems with colorcasting, or?

    A non crop sensor gives me a wider field of view - but with a 28mm i cannot do movments anymore.
    With a crop sensor - do i have problems with colorcasts?


    How do you compensate those problems?

    maybe the best combo for me will be a crop sensor with a 32mm hr (using movements) and a 40mm alpagon for the 35mm dslr view

    (My favorite lenses downwards are the 17mm, 35mm, 24mm, 50mm and 85mm lens on a 5diii)
    Last edited by dchew; 6th July 2016 at 12:45.
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I used the iq150 with 23mm on my Alpa for a while. It was a pain to use due to the Centre red spot which seemed to be worse with iq150 vs my iq260. I ended up trading it as it seemed the sensor reflection was extreme unless totally shielded. Others mentioned that rodenstock updated the coatings to avoid this issue but it was too late for me.

    for super wide I use the canon TSE 17/24 on my Alpa fps. They work great. The 23 hr costs as much as the fps so it worked out for me in the end.
    I agree with the 23mm center red spot problem when there's a light source from above, but I don't like the idea of FPS being unable to shift some Alpa lenses. I also don't like the filters or corner sharpness for the 17mm TS-E. Thus I ended up keeping the 23mm. In the end I found that I almost always shoot against the sun so I'm hardly caught by the center red spot.
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I used the iq150 with 23mm on my Alpa for a while. It was a pain to use due to the Centre red spot which seemed to be worse with iq150 vs my iq260. I ended up trading it as it seemed the sensor reflection was extreme unless totally shielded. Others mentioned that rodenstock updated the coatings to avoid this issue but it was too late for me.

    for super wide I use the canon TSE 17/24 on my Alpa fps. They work great. The 23 hr costs as much as the fps so it worked out for me in the end.
    I also use the HR23 with my Alpa setup and I acquired the lens second hand. It also has the orange blob lens flare issue, however, I was offer the opportunity by Alpa to send it back to them/rodenstock to have it recoated to the new lens coating and it came back all fixed. I have very rarely see the flare issue creep up and is really loving the versatility that it provide on a Full frame digital back!
    HR23 IQ3100mp STC
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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: ALPA 12 STC with Digiback - Equipment Question

    Quote Originally Posted by kimyeesan View Post
    I also use the HR23 with my Alpa setup and I acquired the lens second hand. It also has the orange blob lens flare issue, however, I was offer the opportunity by Alpa to send it back to them/rodenstock to have it recoated to the new lens coating and it came back all fixed. I have very rarely see the flare issue creep up and is really loving the versatility that it provide on a Full frame digital back!

    Yes, this is (currently) still an option to have an older 23HR lens re-coated. If anyone has an older 23mm HR lens in Alpa mount they'd like to have re-coated, feel free to contact me.

    And also, the Alpa Custom Lens Shades for full image circle are now shipping. Yes, they have a price tag, but being Alpa, you already know this, and yes, it is fixed, so perhaps some unusual incoming light angle could be handled better with a Lee Compendium, which is adjustible. And it can work with filters, but only screw in.

    https://captureintegration.com/alpa-...ixteen-models/

    So - the value proposition is that it is custom designed (mathematically calculated) for each lens, so out of the box they are generally going to be extremely effective, vs on-the-fly shaping a Lee Compendium Shade, which has no reference for the lens you're mounting it to. The result is automatically a very convenient and effective lens shade for each lens.


    Steve Hendrix/CI
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    TechCam: • Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar • Authorized Reseller
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