Alpa 12 Camera Systems : Benefits of a Square Lens Mount

 In ALPA, Alpa Camera Body, Alpa Lenses, News, Steve Hendrix

ALPA 12 Camera Systems

Benefits of a Square Lens Mount

Some of the greatest benefits of a camera system are the result of small things that contribute to a better experience as a whole. Alpa makes some of the world’s most uniquely capable technical cameras, most of which incorporate shift and tilt and take advantage of the amazing Rodenstock HR lenses. An Alpa technical camera is sort of like a single standard/frame from a view camera without a rail and a bellows, but with in-line shift. They’re commonly used for producing the finest quality landscape and architectural photography, but not restricted to those pursuits.

With no rail for focusing, the Rodenstock lenses are mounted into a proprietary helical mount with a focusing ring that fits to their Alpa 12 camera bodies. Unlike most other technical cameras, this lens mount is square. The lenses can then be mounted in any orientation that you like. There are advantages to this! 

Why does a round lens have a square mount?

Aperture Mount Advantage

An Aperture Mount lens has no shutter and only incorporates an aperture dial and small aperture scale readout, which is displayed on 2 sides of the lens. With the scale at the top or the bottom of the lens, it may not be easy to see unless the top of the camera sits about the height of your chest and how often does that happen? With the Alpa square mount, you can re-position the lens so that the aperture scale readouts are on the left and right (this is how I typically have the lens mounted).

Well, isn’t this convenient?

Copal Shutter Advantage

A copal shutter incorporates:

  • a cocking lever
  • shutter speed dial
  • shutter speed cable
  • aperture lever
  • aperture scale
  • lens open and close lever
  • cable from sync post to sync port of digital back

That’s a lot to cram onto a lens and your fingers need to navigate these elements. Everyone is different, and some things are better accessed in a different place than others for some photographers. You can arrange these elements to be accessible on whichever side of the lens works best – top, bottom, left, right.

Turning over a new leaf.

X Shutter Mount Advantage

The X Shutter – finally, after all these years – puts all lens control (except for focusing) behind the camera, accessed from the interface of the IQ4. So other than focusing, there is no need to access the lens, and really, no need to even see the lens. However, the X Shutter requires a cable when mounted to any non-XT camera, and being able to turn the lens into any of the 4 possible mounting positions allows one to position this cable in the way that works best for you.

It all starts with the square.

Rotation has its advantages!


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