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ALPA 35mm
Old 09-22-2011   #1
burancap
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ALPA 35mm

Hi all,

Any ALPA folks out there?

I am gearing up for a "LIGHT" cosmetic restoration of a 5 and I am looking for some manuals as posted in THIS THREAD.

Thanks,
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Old 09-22-2011   #2
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Basically, all Alpa series 4,5,6,7,8 are all the same. The hardest part to work with is a winding knob/ film counter. Good luck with your search.Cheers.
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Old 09-22-2011   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EZfan View Post
Good luck with your search.
Thanks! I will likely need it.

As far as the camera -I can likely achieve what I want: to correct some cosmetic issues w/o the manuals -but it is the quest to find something I have been looking for that is driving me now.

From what I have gathered, most -if not all of the Pignons factory documentation "disappeared" during the transition of ownership. I am going on the assumption that someone, somewhere must have something (that is a lot of somes)!

The closest I have come is from the late Ed Romney -and I was hoping there might be a copy of his ALPA specific manual out there. The quest shall continue!

Back to the camera itself... as mentioned, this will be a rather light clean up to include a repair to the VF sight glass (simply cam ajar). Unfortunately, at some point a previous owner appears to have modified the face to accept an ill-fitting lens. It looks as though they took a file to it and my goal is to remove as much of the scar left as possible. Otherwise the camera is rather clean and fully functional. The existing patina will remain in place -so this is not a "total" repaint as such.

I will try to get a shot up later and perhaps a thread as I progress.

Would love to hear from anyone else!

Thanks,
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Old 09-22-2011   #4
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I wish someone would post some photos from the Alpas. I've never even seen one, but I understand the lenses are excellent.
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Old 09-22-2011   #5
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I think that Roger Hicks is the Alpa expert.
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Old 09-22-2011   #6
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I had an Alpa collection for a while.

A couple web links here:
http://www.alpareflex.com/index.html

A new company bought the name and make MF cameras:
http://www.alpa.ch/en/home.html

....Vick
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Old 09-22-2011   #7
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Contact Thomas and Ursula at www.alpa.ch. Some very strange things happened after the old company went bust -- even stuff that Thomas and Ursula don't understand. If there's anything they have available, they'll make it available to you.

They wanted to preserve a great Swiss name. An alternative was Egli-Vincent, but Alpa won. And, it has to be said, the new Alpa is a great success.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-22-2011   #8
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I have to say not having the Ed Romney "repair" book is not a great loss. It was a poor reproduction of exploded parts list for the alpa cameras, not a how to book. I used to have one, if you are a trained repair person it might help show you where things go but that's about it. Wish I had something to offer but that's it.
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Old 09-23-2011   #9
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Thanks for the posts.

@Roger - I will try to contact them -certainly the best source of information, having been in the front lines of the change over.

@agfa - Thanks for the honest assessment. Your comments seem to confirm what little I have been finding regarding the documents in question.

It is a shame (though very intriguing) that so little information exists regarding Pignons.
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Old 09-23-2011   #10
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Alpa’s are great cameras. Like a swiss watch.
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Old 01-08-2012   #11
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Well, I finally sourced a lens recently -a Schneider 50/1.9 -have yet to run a roll through it.

I hope to get this project back on the front burner in the new year. Maybe today!
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Old 01-08-2012   #12
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Oh, Radu Lesaru at 3r camera will repair Alpa's for you. He ran the repair/service for Alpa imports in the USA.

http://www.3rcamera.com/

Somewhere buried in my stacks is a complete parts manual for the Alpa 11. I remember photocopying the drawings and having my son colour the parts so that it would help me disassemble it. Maybe they are still on ebay.

...Vick
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Old 01-08-2012   #13
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Thanks Vick... I have been rather passive about the project until this morning.

The camera seems to function fine. I just dropped the first test roll in and hope to have results this afternoon.

Barring any malfunction or severe leaks, my interest in disassembly was to repair cosmetic damage. A previous owner took a file to the body's front in what appears to be an attempt to get an ill-fitting adapter on.
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Old 01-08-2012   #14
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OK... Some random first impressions, no real order to any of this...

A solid, well built body. Has a feeling of precision to it married to a slightly "industrial" feel of the casing. When I first got it in my hands a few months ago, my opinion was that it was less elegant Barnack SLR.

Now that I have shot the first few frames, that initial opinion has changed.

First, it is a bit odd to load, not so different than the period Leicas. No, you don't have to trim the leader, but removing the take-up spool definitely makes life easier. The broad open back helped as well. The first thing that I had an issue with is the 45 finder. Feels natural on medium format, like a Hasselblad, but certainly odd on 35mm. It took a while to remember to look down. Secondly, the release on the front of the body is difficult to get used to, but does seem to offer a bit of stability regarding one's grip. Lastly, compared to my RF cameras it was a bit discomforting to watch your composition disappear as the mirror rose, again much like the Hasselblad.

I guess in short, my initial impression that it would be akin to a Barnack SLR, has been changed by the overall feel and use -much more like a SLR Hassy in 35mm, had they ever made one.
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Old 01-08-2012   #15
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Regarding the composition, disappearing...

Something that will come with use/familiarity is the fact that the body does also include a 50mm viewfinder that I did not mention.

I think in practice, you would focus with 45 and compose with the VF. In that case, not really different from the Barnacks excepting the amount of eye movement and the change in angle.
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Old 01-08-2012   #16
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Test successful!

Lost two frames because of my grip. The film advance knob/speed selector is rather chunky (like my hands) and can get hung up if you are not careful, especially in portrait orientation. No other issues, but I did have a hangup during rewind -need to work that out with a dead test roll.

The lens was the real surprise. Very favorable at first glance. I had a chance to obtain a LEIALP adapter for my LTM lenses but passed; now I think I may look for the inverse and give the old Schneider a whirl on my M's.
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Here's my Alpa 6b with Alpa Curtagon 35 lens.
Old 01-09-2012   #17
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Here's my Alpa 6b with Alpa Curtagon 35 lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
I wish someone would post some photos from the Alpas. I've never even seen one, but I understand the lenses are excellent.
The Alpa 6b offers a "wink" mirror so you never lose sight of your subject. Also the lenses are in a class of their own for example this Curtagon is a fine lens. The pictures from the Kern Macro Switar 1.8 are so spectacular in sharpness and color that it's difficult to photograph with anything else. Try it with a color film such as Reala or Portra or a slide film such as Provia and you'll see.
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Old 01-09-2012   #18
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I hope this works.
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Old 01-09-2012   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Some very strange things happened after the old company went bust -- even stuff that Thomas and Ursula don't understand.
OK....so are you gonna tell us? C'mon! Jeeez!
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Old 01-09-2012   #20
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This is a better picture of the Alpa with the Curtagon.
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