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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 05-25-2018   #81
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keep them coming Brett. Very nice shots, very unique characters from those lenses. I learned a lot today from this thread (I read it from the beginning).
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Old 05-26-2018   #82
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keep them coming Brett. Very nice shots, very unique characters from those lenses. I learned a lot today from this thread (I read it from the beginning).
Thanks, Im pleased some information has been useful. There isnt a huge amount of detailed first hand information about the ALPA SLRs on the web in English. Some of what I have found has later proved to be not fully accurate. With a good cross section of different models from first to last on hand it seemed a good opportunity to examine them closely and perhaps de-mythologise them in the process.
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Old 06-11-2018   #83
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Some images of the ALPA 9d.

















The 9d felt heavier than some other ALPAs but I thought I might have been imagining that. So I checked its weight with my digital kitchen scales. With its Kern 50mm Macro-Switar f/1.8 lens fitted, and no film, it was 1044 grams. In comparison, an Alnea 5 and Kern Switar f/1.8 lens without a film was 859 grams. So it is a solid camera even by ALPA standards.

Here are a few more photos made with it.



A familiar subject, but this time with the Angenieux 180mm Alitar f/4.5 on Kodak Ultramax 400 C-41.





This Dodge van is in the grounds of the same antique/collectibles business as the Ford Canada 4x4 truck. They have a sideline in importing classic vehicles for restoration. With the Angenieux 90mm Alfitar f/2.5 on Kodak Ultramax 400 C-41.





Autumn colour at Hobart's Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, with the 50mm f/1.8 version of the Kern Macro-Switar pictured above on Agfa Vista 200 C-41.




Cape Tourville, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania.
Schneider 35mm PA-Curtagon f/4 & Agfa Vista 200 C-41.

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Old 06-15-2018   #84
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A couple more images with the two Angenieux long focus lenses from 2017. Fujifilm Superia 400 this time, in the black chrome ALPA 11si.

First, with the 180mm Angenieux Alitar f/4.5.






This one with the Angenieux 90mm Alfitar f/2.5. The original scan shows some good detail. Both images made near Victoria Dock in Tasmania's capital, Hobart.

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Old 06-15-2018   #85
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One or two websites I've seen have suggested that all the 35mm ALPAs used the same lens mount. Most others correctly note the lens mounts of the first few models were different in size, or get it the wrong way around.

To clarify, the very first ALPA 35mm cameras, the ALPA Reflex (and its Bolseyflex and other variants), the ALPA Standard, and the ALPA Prisma, used a bayonet mount that was smaller than that fitted to the ALPA 4 to 11 series cameras.

Here are a couple of photos of two Angenieux 90mm lenses in ALPA bayonet, one made for the early cameras, the other, for the 4-11 series. The difference in size is obvious.

Pictured Lenses:
Angenieux 9cm Alportar f/2.5 (left, small bayonet)
Angenieux 90mm Alfitar f/2.5 (right, large bayonet)
Cheers,
Brett







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Old 06-16-2018   #86
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The sample shots here are certainly sharp. Thanks for posting them. They may actually be a little too sharp for my tastes. I favor overall IQ and bokeh over sharpness, but the shot below of the rose from ChrisLivesey is really nice. It probably is largely due to the skills of the photographer as much as the lens, but however it came to be I really like it.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1625/2...572b1a33_c.jpg
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Old 06-16-2018   #87
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Yes, Chris's rose photo with a Kern Switar on Kodachrome is divine. Actually, now that I think about it, Steve, I believe seeing that photo may have been the catalyst which piqued my curiosity about the 35mm ALPAs and started me searching for one (before fate intervened, and a stash of them found me, instead). I'll certainly be running some transparency through my 11si in a few weeks once I have re-set the shutter times, even if it is just a roll of Provia 100F. I've been hoarding a few rolls of Elite Chrome 100, and might load one of those when the southern spring arrives.
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Brett
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Old 07-28-2018   #88
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Hello from Brisbane (Australia) & my first post
Just thought I'd restart this thread as I've just sourced an Alpa Alnea 7 (serial #33219 (55-56?) with a Kern Switar 50mm f1.8 lens (non macro, serial # 383104). It's in quite decent shape IMHO, the shutter curtains are in excellent condition but the rangefinder window is quite hazy. The rangefinder patch is focusing effectively vertically but there is lateral deviation of images ie seeing double/split images laterally - rangefinder prism problem? Cannot get over how small the rangefinder viewing eyepiece is - the Leica LTM eyepieces are giants when compared to the Alpa. I see from the Alpa 7 manual that you could get a rangefinder eyepiece attachment (Oculur - can get optician to insert glass for you optical formula) to screw over the existing one. Anyone know of the existence/availability of these? Also for the larger prism eyepiece is there a rubber cover that can be placed over the metal rim (looks like it could scratch your glasses). Was there anything made for that (rubber eyepiece cup etc) or do you have to improvise her.
Luckily there is someone here in Brisbane that can work on Alpas (he has a collection AFAIK). I'll shoot a roll of trial film then get the camera CLA'd.
I see that we have a Tasmanian Devil on board - Brett, you wouldn't still have that Alpa book so you could more accurately determine DOB (date of birth) of my camera. Many thanks for your informative data on these amazingly bizarre cameras.
I'm also considering using the lens with my LTM Leicas (IIIa, IIIf & IIIg). Kipon make an Alpa Kern to LTM adapter - anyone tried this - wondering how accurate is re effective focusing. That with an LTM to M adapter will enable use on my M's (M3, MP & M240) hopefully.
I have so many more questions to ask.
Can upload more images if anyone is interested
Cheers, Stephen (romualdo)
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Old 07-28-2018   #89
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Originally Posted by romualdo View Post
Hello from Brisbane (Australia) & my first post
Just thought I'd restart this thread as I've just sourced an Alpa Alnea 7 (serial #33219 (55-56?) with a Kern Switar 50mm f1.8 lens (non macro, serial # 383104). It's in quite decent shape IMHO, the shutter curtains are in excellent condition but the rangefinder window is quite hazy. The rangefinder patch is focusing effectively vertically but there is lateral deviation of images ie seeing double/split images laterally - rangefinder prism problem? Cannot get over how small the rangefinder viewing eyepiece is - the Leica LTM eyepieces are giants when compared to the Alpa. I see from the Alpa 7 manual that you could get a rangefinder eyepiece attachment (Oculur - can get optician to insert glass for you optical formula) to screw over the existing one. Anyone know of the existence/availability of these? Also for the larger prism eyepiece is there a rubber cover that can be placed over the metal rim (looks like it could scratch your glasses). Was there anything made for that (rubber eyepiece cup etc) or do you have to improvise her.
Luckily there is someone here in Brisbane that can work on Alpas (he has a collection AFAIK). I'll shoot a roll of trial film then get the camera CLA'd.
I see that we have a Tasmanian Devil on board - Brett, you wouldn't still have that Alpa book so you could more accurately determine DOB (date of birth) of my camera. Many thanks for your informative data on these amazingly bizarre cameras.
I'm also considering using the lens with my LTM Leicas (IIIa, IIIf & IIIg). Kipon make an Alpa Kern to LTM adapter - anyone tried this - wondering how accurate is re effective focusing. That with an LTM to M adapter will enable use on my M's (M3, MP & M240) hopefully.
I have so many more questions to ask.
Can upload more images if anyone is interested
Cheers, Stephen (romualdo)
Welcome to Rangefinder Forum Stephen. Great to hear from another ALPA owner, especially an Alnea 7. I do indeed still have the relevant book by Lothar Thewes (I am keeping it), but am away from home for a few days (in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, actually), so please bear with me until I return home and can check for you.

I have stripped my 7 down in preparation for replacing the shutter curtains and have inspected the rangefinder system but not in detail. I may be able to answer your queries about alignment when I get home and can take a look at mine for you. Its presently aligned correctly laterally but the distance calibration deviates quite a bit from the reflex focus, which is good, so correcting that is one of the other tasks I need to do to get mine sorted.

Pignons did make an accessory eyepiece or extension for the 48 series models. Its nigh on essential for spectacle wearers such as myself so Id rather like one, too. I believe a rubber eyepiece was available for the reflex finder. I think it clipped over the edge of the eyepiece lens mount but is almost always missing when one is purchased. You may have to adapt one from another camera I suspect because a genuine item is likely virtually impossible to find today and even if procured may not be supple enough to last well, anyway.

Id be interested to get the details of your Brisbane contact, because there are obviously not many ALPA users in Australia, and it would be nice to connect with another, particularly one who works on them, as I have been.

I will update the thread with details of your 7 when I can and, yes, please feel free to add some pictures of your ALPA, or taken with it, Id love to see them.
Cheers
Brett
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Old 07-30-2018   #90
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Originally Posted by romualdo View Post
Hello from Brisbane (Australia) & my first post
Just thought I'd restart this thread as I've just sourced an Alpa Alnea 7 (serial #33219 (55-56?) with a Kern Switar 50mm f1.8 lens (non macro, serial # 383104). It's in quite decent shape IMHO, the shutter curtains are in excellent condition but the rangefinder window is quite hazy. The rangefinder patch is focusing effectively vertically but there is lateral deviation of images ie seeing double/split images laterally - rangefinder prism problem? Cannot get over how small the rangefinder viewing eyepiece is - the Leica LTM eyepieces are giants when compared to the Alpa. I see from the Alpa 7 manual that you could get a rangefinder eyepiece attachment (Oculur - can get optician to insert glass for you optical formula) to screw over the existing one. Anyone know of the existence/availability of these? Also for the larger prism eyepiece is there a rubber cover that can be placed over the metal rim (looks like it could scratch your glasses). Was there anything made for that (rubber eyepiece cup etc) or do you have to improvise her.
Luckily there is someone here in Brisbane that can work on Alpas (he has a collection AFAIK). I'll shoot a roll of trial film then get the camera CLA'd.
I see that we have a Tasmanian Devil on board - Brett, you wouldn't still have that Alpa book so you could more accurately determine DOB (date of birth) of my camera. Many thanks for your informative data on these amazingly bizarre cameras.
I'm also considering using the lens with my LTM Leicas (IIIa, IIIf & IIIg). Kipon make an Alpa Kern to LTM adapter - anyone tried this - wondering how accurate is re effective focusing. That with an LTM to M adapter will enable use on my M's (M3, MP & M240) hopefully.
I have so many more questions to ask.
Can upload more images if anyone is interested
Cheers, Stephen (romualdo)
Dear Stephen,
According to the records reproduced in Thewes's book, your Alnea 7 was manufactured during 1955.
Cheers,
Brett
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Old 07-30-2018   #91
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Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Dear Stephen,
According to the records reproduced in Thewes's book, your Alnea 7 was manufactured during 1955.
Cheers,
Brett
Many thanks Brett, Do you have any idea how many 7's were produced?
A comment I have seen online somewhere was that only 20 to 22,000 Alpas were/have been made in toto - can you confirm that?

The person I mentioned previously in Brisbane who is an Alpa afficonado (he told me he had a collection of them) has a shop in the northern outer suburbs of Brisbane (Margate) - see website below (Alan Robertson)
http://f16cameraservice.com.au/
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Old 07-30-2018   #92
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Originally Posted by romualdo View Post
Many thanks Brett, Do you have any idea how many 7's were produced?
A comment I have seen online somewhere was that only 20 to 22,000 Alpas were/have been made in toto - can you confirm that?

The person I mentioned previously in Brisbane who is an Alpa afficonado (he told me he had a collection of them) has a shop in the northern outer suburbs of Brisbane (Margate) - see website below (Alan Robertson)
http://f16cameraservice.com.au/
Hi Stephen,
The 7 had a higher specification than Eg the 4, 5 and 6, because the 7 and its derivatives the 7s, 8, 7b and 8b, were the only Alnea-based models to incorporate the additional coupled rangefinder, (with or without a split-image rangefinder reflex focusing screen, depending on the exact model). Perhaps surprisingly, then, the 7 is still one of the more numerous production ALPA models with 3884 examples of the base 7 version recorded.

As to the overall number of 35mm ALPAs made by Pignons over the years, I am not sure if anyone has ever verified an accurate total, because as I understand it there are a few inconsistencies in the factory records. Around 40,000 is the number which seems to be most frequently suggested, though.
Cheers,
Brett
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Old 07-30-2018   #93
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Hi Stephen,
The 7 had a higher specification than Eg the 4, 5 and 6, because the 7 and its derivatives the 7s, 8, 7b and 8b, were the only Alnea-based models to incorporate the additional coupled rangefinder, (with or without a split-image rangefinder reflex focusing screen, depending on the exact model). Perhaps surprisingly, then, the 7 is still one of the more numerous production ALPA models with 3884 examples of the base 7 version recorded.

As to the overall number of 35mm ALPAs made by Pignons over the years, I am not sure if anyone has ever verified an accurate total, because as I understand it there are a few inconsistencies in the factory records. Around 40,000 is the number which seems to be most frequently suggested, though.
Cheers,
Brett
Brett, 3884 is still very low numbers when compared to the production output for many of the Leica models.

I ended up putting an O ring round the larger eyepiece - affords some protection but not totally (scratching glasses) - really need something that covers the rim - mdid a search online last night & couldn't find anything that could work.
Spent a bit more time looking at the various range finder settings - for some reason the 90 setting gives me the clearest image (even operable without glasses). The lateral splitting/deviation of the image is annoying but the vertical focusing appears to coincide with the prism (ground glass screen) at distance but close up they are totally out. BTW what is the closest focusing distance of the K-S 50mm f1.8 lens (non macro) - the lens shows 3 1/4 feet in black then the next reading in red is 1/15, continuing in red to 1/12, 1/10 & finally 1/9 - having trouble interpreting these readings.
Cheers
Stephen
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Old 07-31-2018   #94
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Originally Posted by romualdo View Post
Brett, 3884 is still very low numbers when compared to the production output for many of the Leica models.

I ended up putting an O ring round the larger eyepiece - affords some protection but not totally (scratching glasses) - really need something that covers the rim - mdid a search online last night & couldn't find anything that could work.
Spent a bit more time looking at the various range finder settings - for some reason the 90 setting gives me the clearest image (even operable without glasses). The lateral splitting/deviation of the image is annoying but the vertical focusing appears to coincide with the prism (ground glass screen) at distance but close up they are totally out. BTW what is the closest focusing distance of the K-S 50mm f1.8 lens (non macro) - the lens shows 3 1/4 feet in black then the next reading in red is 1/15, continuing in red to 1/12, 1/10 & finally 1/9 - having trouble interpreting these readings.
Cheers
Stephen
Not particularly being an adherent to the cult of Leica I tend not to quantify anything photographic by comparison with their products, so I couldn't say. But by ALPA standards, where several types have a total production measured in a few dozen (or even single figures, in some cases), a production of nearly 4000 is still a significant number. It's of no real consequence anyway to my way of thinking. Either you like the camera, the images it makes and its features, or you don't. If it works for you, that's the main thing. Personally, the Alnea 7 was the particular model I most wanted because the ALPA lenses are very good, and the idea of a single lens reflex that additionally incorporates a coupled rangefinder is fascinating, technically, to me. A 7s or 8 would have been even better, with their additional split RF reflex screen, but prohibitive cost-wise (the 7s is truly rare) however a 7 is good enough for me. I have an Alnea 5 and 11si also, so I count myself very fortunate indeed.

Thewes's book states a minimum focus distance of 53.5 centimetres or 1 3/4 feet for the 50mm Switar, and 28 centimetres or 11 inches for the 50mm Macro-Switar.

I can probably offer some informed comments about rangefinder adjustment of your 7, and perhaps some images of the rangefinder optics, however I am travelling again for the next few days, and won't be able to follow it up until some time next week, sorry. But the only way to really get to the bottom of what your camera is doing, focus-wise, is to take it back to square one. The lens focus adjustment of a camera is always set so that at the infinity stop, a sharp image of a subject at infinity is recorded at the film plane. The means by which a user adjusts said focus (reflex focus screen, coupled rangefinder, even TLR viewing lens, in the case of a TLR) is always calibrated so that it accurately matches the film plane, never vice-versa.

Hence, you can't draw any conclusions at all until you have established what the film plane focus accuracy is like. If the primary focus (the film plane) looks good, then, and only then, may you really establish what the accuracy of the reflex focusomg screen (and the rangefinder focus in the case of the 7, being a hybrid focus design), is. Once you're satisfied that the primary focus is, indeed, good, you may consider adjusting the user focus viewing system to agree with the film plane.

Let me put it another way, in the interest of an abundance of clarity: the film plane focus is your master reference. Only when this is verified good should you consider dialling in the reflex or rangefinder to match it. In the case of a 7 or 8 ALPA, you get the bonus technical challenge of dialling in both the reflex focus screen sharpness and that of the coupled rangefinder, until all three individual focus references agree. So, check the film plane first. Then and only then, can calibration of the screen and rangefinder be contemplated.
Cheers,
Brett
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Old 07-31-2018   #95
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Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Not particularly being an adherent to the cult of Leica I tend not to quantify anything photographic by comparison with their products, so I couldn't say. But by ALPA standards, where several types have a total production measured in a few dozen (or even single figures, in some cases), a production of nearly 4000 is still a significant number. It's of no real consequence anyway to my way of thinking. Either you like the camera, the images it makes and its features, or you don't. If it works for you, that's the main thing. Personally, the Alnea 7 was the particular model I most wanted because the ALPA lenses are very good, and the idea of a single lens reflex that additionally incorporates a coupled rangefinder is fascinating, technically, to me. A 7s or 8 would have been even better, with their additional split RF reflex screen, but prohibitive cost-wise (the 7s is truly rare) however a 7 is good enough for me. I have an Alnea 5 and 11si also, so I count myself very fortunate indeed.

Thewes's book states a minimum focus distance of 53.5 centimetres or 1 3/4 feet for the 50mm Switar, and 28 centimetres or 11 inches for the 50mm Macro-Switar.

I can probably offer some informed comments about rangefinder adjustment of your 7, and perhaps some images of the rangefinder optics, however I am travelling again for the next few days, and won't be able to follow it up until some time next week, sorry. But the only way to really get to the bottom of what your camera is doing, focus-wise, is to take it back to square one. The lens focus adjustment of a camera is always set so that at the infinity stop, a sharp image of a subject at infinity is recorded at the film plane. The means by which a user adjusts said focus (reflex focus screen, coupled rangefinder, even TLR viewing lens, in the case of a TLR) is always calibrated so that it accurately matches the film plane, never vice-versa.

Hence, you can't draw any conclusions at all until you have established what the film plane focus accuracy is like. If the primary focus (the film plane) looks good, then, and only then, may you really establish what the accuracy of the reflex focusomg screen (and the rangefinder focus in the case of the 7, being a hybrid focus design), is. Once you're satisfied that the primary focus is, indeed, good, you may consider adjusting the user focus viewing system to agree with the film plane.

Let me put it another way, in the interest of an abundance of clarity: the film plane focus is your master reference. Only when this is verified good should you consider dialling in the reflex or rangefinder to match it. In the case of a 7 or 8 ALPA, you get the bonus technical challenge of dialling in both the reflex focus screen sharpness and that of the coupled rangefinder, until all three individual focus references agree. So, check the film plane first. Then and only then, can calibration of the screen and rangefinder be contemplated.
Cheers,
Brett
many thanks for the info & advice Brett
Stephen
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Old 08-24-2018   #96
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Hello,

I omitted to follow this interesting thread, although I'm a happy user of Alpa (11Si) cameras.

One of the two I have, is fitted with a Macro-Switar 50/1,9 of the last batch, fitted in the "japanese" barrel: its mount, is a regular 42x1 screw, then fitted in an "Autobag" adapter ring. I am sure it's a 42x1, since the lens perfectly mounts to my Praktica MTL-5B so, I don't think it's a 43x1 screw.
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Old 08-24-2018   #97
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The japanese mount Switar is exceedingly rare. The optical cells were ready, but Kern no longer did the mounts, so Pignons used their new Japanese supplier to get them mounted. The thread is the ordinary (Contax)\Pentax thread and the adapter is the same that was used when Alpa had the Takumar series in its catalogue.



As for current adapters, Metabones makes (made?) an Alpa to MFT adapter which is a very snug fit.


p.
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Old 08-27-2018   #98
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Hello,
I agree with the statement about the rarity of the Kern Macro Switar 50/1,9 in the "Japanese" barrel: actually, very few of them (I think, less than 100),has been assembled).

This, affects its price, because it ranks amongst the Alpa collectable "rarities". On the other hand, this type of Macro Switar has the advantage that it can be mounted to any 42x1 reflex camera, from the humble Zenit onwards.

My 11Si with the "rare" lens, is a piece regularly imported in Italy, with all its matching papers and boxes (the lens's test-negative is missing, though).

The "Autobag" adapter ring was created not only to fit the Takumar lenses, but first of all, to fit the Carl Zeiss Jena ones.

Another very useful (although not really common) adapter, is the "Autnibag" ring, that allows the use of Nikkor lenses.
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Old 08-27-2018   #99
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Not certain that this MSW is entirely usable on all M42 cameras. years since I had a Pentax , but with the M42 to Canon EF adapter the mirror has problems when I focus further away than perhaps 10-15 meters.


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Old 08-27-2018   #100
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Hello,

The Kern Macro Switar 50mm. f:1,9 in the 42x1 thread mount, is like any other screw mount 50mm. lens, as the Pentacon Auto or the Helios-44: thread-mount with the diaphragm pin connection for stop-down measurement.
No "protruding" rear element, that could affect the regular movement of the reflex mirror in any reflex with thread mount.
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Old 08-30-2018   #101
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The Pentax mount-flange is of course a bit further out from the film plane, so I have no doubt that the MSW will fit there.



My experience was with the M42 to EF mount adapter and even though the Px mirror has more space to move, the EF mirror may be different.


An examle is the Leica R: its flange is much further from the film plane, but still the EF mirror tries to hit the rear of one of my R lenses.



I do not have the Canon 5d II at hand , but when i tried my M42 mount MSW on it with an ordinary MFT to EF adapter it did have problems which for instance my 50\4 M-Takumar does not have. I will make another test soon and will report back here.



On my MFT camera it does of course work.


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Old 11-11-2018   #102
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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A couple of photos from a few months ago made with the 100mm Kinoptik mounted on the Alnea 5.

IMAGE DETAILS:
Camera: ALPA Alnea 5 35mm SLR.
Lens: Kinoptik 100mm Apochromat f/2.
Film: Ilford FP4 Plus.
Shutter: 1/500.
Aperture: f/2.
Focusing Distance: 9 feet.
Other Details: ID-11 1 + 3 20m/20C.




IMAGE DETAILS:
Camera: ALPA Alnea 5 35mm SLR.
Lens: Kinoptik 100mm Apochromat f/2.
Film: Ilford FP4 Plus.
Shutter: 1/500.
Aperture: f/8
Focusing Distance: 9 feet.
Other Details: ID-11 1 + 3 20m/20C.

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