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06/29/12 Alpa finally announces their ability to tilt shift, well sort of !!

With this announcement on their newsletter, Alpa of Switzerland has announced that they will now offer a solution for photographers using various Alpa cameras that will let them have tilt/swing on lenses shorter than 70mm.  Here is the link to the Alpa newsletter:

As I understand it, you will be able to get tilt or swing, but not both at the same time, as only Cambo has that ability.  Maximum tilt or swing will be 5 degrees.  Current camera bodies will have to be retrofit for the adapter.  The following lens range will now work:

Schneider:  no wider than 60mm
Rodenstock: no wider than 32mm

This means that the Schneider 28XL, 35XL, 43XL, 47XL, will not work with the adapter and the Rodenstock 28mm and 23mm.  OK, lets look at this a little more.

  1. From my use, the ability to have tilt is more important on a wide than on medium telephoto.
  2. Alpa has left out 4 of the best Schneider wides and 2 of the best Rodenstocks.
  3. If want to use 1 of these 6 wides, you will have to take the tilt/swing adapter off the Alpa camera body, and mount the lens.
  4. From the pictures on Alpa’s site, I can’t see if there are any guides to show you how far you have tilted up or down.  They must have something for this, it just doesn’t show in the pictures.
  5. It appears that if you want to tilt up, you would have to take the adapter out and rotate it 180 degrees and placing the knob at the bottom or turn the whole rig upside down.
  6. The knob to me looks very smallish and depending on where it’s located with a lens attached may be hard to get to.

Overall, in the land of tech cameras, there are 3 real players, Alpa, Arca and Cambo.  When I was looking to make a decision and realized that each of these has their own unique lens mounts I realized that I really needed to make the right decision as there would be no going back or switching brands without a big loss. [Read more…]