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Thread: Question for the ALPA owners

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    Question for the ALPA owners

    Hi Alpa people (on this forum apparently aka Alpaholics )

    Can someone that owns an swa and an stc post a few pictures of them (from different angles) side by side please (pref with film backs not digital if possible??) ?
    I would like to see how they compare size wise before thinking about making arrangements to go to a dealer (bit of a trek because they are not close to me at all).

    Couldn't find any of these sorts of photos online so would really appreciate some help.


    Also, would the request sound better if i instead worded it as "hi everyone, please go ahead and show off your ALPA SWAs and STCs side by side" ? )

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir

    davechewphotography.com

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    I am fortunate to own both the STC and the SWA and from a size perspective, the STC is taller but less wide. A bigger difference is that the STC shifts left or right (plus the equivalent down or up if you rotate your back), while the SWA shifts only up (or left, or right, or down, if you rotate your back).

    Another difference is that I consider the SWA to be perhaps the world's most beautiful camera (the Leica M3 being next). The STC is more practical for all sorts of reasons, but an SWA with two rosewood grips and Alpa's quaint-but-beautiful round viewfinder is stunning to me.

    Specs:

    Alpa STC: 145x140x25 mm, 590 g, 18 mm shift or rise, no tilt without adapter
    Alpa SWA: 180x115x45 mm, 640 g, 25 mm rise, no tilt without adapter

    Enjoy-- you can't go wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    Hi Alpa people (on this forum apparently aka Alpaholics )

    Can someone that owns an swa and an stc post a few pictures of them (from different angles) side by side please (pref with film backs not digital if possible??) ?
    I would like to see how they compare size wise before thinking about making arrangements to go to a dealer (bit of a trek because they are not close to me at all).

    Couldn't find any of these sorts of photos online so would really appreciate some help.


    Also, would the request sound better if i instead worded it as "hi everyone, please go ahead and show off your ALPA SWAs and STCs side by side" ? )
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post

    Thanks for the link dchew, i looked at all 15 pages and i didn't see any images showing the two side by side except one and it was a large group shot that showed the swa and 12tc not the stc.

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by onasj View Post
    Specs:

    Alpa STC: 145x140x25 mm, 590 g, 18 mm shift or rise, no tilt without adapter
    Alpa SWA: 180x115x45 mm, 640 g, 25 mm rise, no tilt without adapter

    Enjoy-- you can't go wrong!

    Thank you as well onasj, im hoping someone can post some images as actually seeing the difference would help quite a bit.

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    Thanks for the link dchew, i looked at all 15 pages and i didn't see any images showing the two side by side except one and it was a large group shot that showed the swa and 12tc not the stc.
    I understand you may want various angles. That post by David Duffin I linked to does have the STC on the right, SWA in the middle and TC on the left.

    Wish I could help more but I don’t have the SWA.

    Dave
    How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir

    davechewphotography.com
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    The Alpa website gives dimensions and images of all products.

    It might worthwhile to email Alpa directly to ask for side by side images they might have.
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    I understand you may want various angles. That post by David Duffin I linked to does have the STC on the right, SWA in the middle and TC on the left.

    Wish I could help more but I don’t have the SWA.

    Dave
    It is so strange, i cant see the image on my computer however when i open the link on my phone, i can see it! also, the PC opens the thread on a different page to the phone and onto a different post number within the thread. I see the image, that is quite useful, thank you Dave.

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    The Alpa website gives dimensions and images of all products.

    It might worthwhile to email Alpa directly to ask for side by side images they might have.

    Good idea, i never think to ask the actual manufacturers such questions. I guess being a "smallish shop" they wouldn't mind doing that for me

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    I took these running out the door this morning, so sorry for the quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    Thank you as well onasj, im hoping someone can post some images as actually seeing the difference would help quite a bit.
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    Good idea, i never think to ask the actual manufacturers such questions. I guess being a "smallish shop" they wouldn't mind doing that for me
    Just paid them a visit 3 weeks ago and they are very genrous with their time for their customers or to-be customers.

    Heinz-Peter covers the USA and André Oldani is a principal who answers my questions all the time. When visiting in person they offer a good coffee too.
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by onasj View Post
    I took these running out the door this morning, so sorry for the quality.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Onasj, you are a true Hero.
    Thank you very much!

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    Good idea, i never think to ask the actual manufacturers such questions. I guess being a "smallish shop" they wouldn't mind doing that for me
    As Lou noted, they're super friendly and helpful, I'm sure they'd provide some pictures for you if you asked

    You could also reach out to Steve or Brad at Capture Integration, they could probably help you out too.
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Just paid them a visit 3 weeks ago and they are very genrous with their time for their customers or to-be customers.

    Heinz-Peter covers the USA and André Oldani is a principal who answers my questions all the time. When visiting in person they offer a good coffee too.
    I have been thinking about making a trip to one of their dealers but it is a 3 hour trip for me so i hoped this might save me the trip

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    I have been thinking about making a trip to one of their dealers but it is a 3 hour trip for me so i hoped this might save me the trip
    Since I have no way of knowing your location I added a direct visit information or direct contact.
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Since I have no way of knowing your location I added a direct visit information or direct contact.
    Thank you Algrove

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by onasj View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    BTW Onasj, is that the tilt adapter on your swa?

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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    BTW Onasj, is that the tilt adapter on your swa?
    Correct. SWA with cable release right shoulder plate, 17 mm tilt spacer, 17 mm regular spacer, viewfinder, and Rodenstock 50/4 HR.
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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Thanks Onasj for the helpful images. I am adding some barebone images to get a grip (I'm so sorry for the pun) on the comparison of the camera sizes all stripped down. Also, know that there is a black grip'd SWA version available as well (in fact, we have this one in our pre-owned inventory at a great price!).

    Ultimately to me, the STC always feels like a smaller camera, because it is most often used in a one grip configuration. The SWA does not allow for this (easily). And so the SWA therefore needs the head to move over 90º to shoot with a vertical movement, while the STC - in the one grip configuration - can be rotated 90º on its own and attached to support.

    Functionally, if I shot a lot of mixes of horizontal and vertical orientations, I might lean toward the STC. If I was more of a vertical orientation shooter, then I would consider the SWA. Also, note the SWA has 25mm of shift vs 18mm for the STC. Your choice might depend on which digital aback and lenses you own.

    I think they're both beautiful cameras, but the SWA does have more of that classic look.

    There are also some accessories that help with tripod navigation (clearance).

    https://www.digitalback.com/product/...or-alpa-waswa/
    https://www.digitalback.com/product/...for-12-stcfps/

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    Steve Hendrix/CI
    Last edited by Steve Hendrix; 19th July 2019 at 11:14.
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    Authorized Reseller Digital Cam: • Phase One | Fuji | Leica | Sinar •
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners



    The Alpa SWA is easily, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful camera body....ever....

    The STC is the smarter choice with more flexibility, but oh my...if you want something that inspires just by holding it - the SWA wins hands down!

    It USED to be mine on the photograph above, but sold it in a moment of madness. I regret that dearly. Doesn't matter that my current Alpa 12 Plus is better, smarter, also good looking, the SWA was something very very special!
    Alpa 12 Plus • TC | Schneider 90N | Schneider 120N | Hasselblad X1D | XCD 21 | XCD 45 | XCD 90 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post

    The Alpa SWA is easily, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful camera body....ever....
    +1 Although I'd get a STC or Max everytime for real shooting vs drooling. For film use though, the SWA is the classic Alpa.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    The World is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page ...
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    Re: Question for the ALPA owners

    An other portrait of the ALPA SWA .

    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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