Alpa Lenses

The optical lenses that Alpa chooses to pair with their excellent shift cameras have to be the finest in the world. To be able to handle the shift parameters, they must be sharp throughout the range of the lens image circle and offer perfectly corrected image curvature. For this task, Alpa has chosen to partner with Rodenstock to create the lineup of class leading Alpagon and Alpar HR lenses.

Key Benefits

  • Lens lineup ranging from 23mm – 180mm
  • Mount options for most lenses include short and long barrel
  • Tilt/Swing options for short barrel lenses
  • Aperture Mount for cameras/digital backs with Electronic Shutter
  • Image circles from 70mm – 120mm

Why It Matters To Us…

High resolution digital backs and cameras require optics with the best possible quality. Every lens in the Rodenstock lineup, 23HR-S, 32HR-W, 40HR-w, 50HR-W, 70HR-W, 90HR-SW, 138HR-SW, 180HR-S offers unmatched resolution for each respective focal length.

What makes these lenses truly exceptional is that they maintain this performance even when the imaging sensor behind them is being shifted, even as much as 20mm – 25mm.

And the icing on the cake is the quality control and matching with the Alpa camera system that Alpa offers.

The ALPA Lens Family

The HR ALPAGON 23mm is the first choice for those photographers who need to cover as wide an angle as possible with a single “single shot”: On a 40x54mm sensor (like the IQ160 / 260/360, IQ180 / 280/380 or IQ 1 100 / IQ3/4 100 and later IQ4 150 from Phase One or the H6d-100c from Hasselblad), the diagonal field of view is approximately equivalent to a 15mm “full-frame” lens (35mm full frame).

For many reasons, the ALPAGON 32mm HR comes with a real exceptional position in the ALPA lens portfolio: Together with the HR ALPAGON 50mm and HR ALPAGON 90mm, it forms the “Holy Trinity” of the ALPA photographers. Its large 90mm image circle allows not only full adjustment ranges for perspective correction but also offer enormous potential for the stitching of single images: Our HR ALPAGON 32mm almost reaches the angle of view of the 23 HR-S. Besides, the short barrel versions allow either the use of tilt/swing on a traditional ALPA or use on an ALPA 12 FPS.

Thanks to its image circle of “only” 70mm, the HR ALPAR 35mm presents itself as very light and robust travel and hiking solution. Those photographers who use it appreciate it as a reliable and, above all, light and compact companion, dimmed to f8 even with modern digital backs. Therefore, it is not surprising that you see the HR ALPAR 35mm more often in front of an ALPA 12TC: This combination is similar in many cases as a KB-DSLR with a corresponding focal length (24mm), but allows capturing with resolutions up to 100MP and one outstanding momentum. The high initial light intensity of F4 allows CMOS backs to focus perfectly even under difficult lighting conditions.

If the conversation comes to the HR ALPAGON 40mm, then the term “workhorse” usually comes up very soon – and quite rightly so, because, for many (professional) photographers, the 40mm is the standard solution for their ALPA. If you wanted to mark it as a “bread and butter” lens, you would be wrong, however: With its brilliant performance and its image circle of 90mm, it plays in the same league as the legendary HR ALPAGON 32mm, but is due to its slightly narrower angle same light intensity significantly lighter, more compact and therefore more robust. It covers (based on 40x54mm) still a comparable angle as a 28mm lens on a 35 mm camera and allows even on the so-called medium format back (40x54mm) even shifts of up to 16mm. A real companion and workhorse.

Anyone who automatically thinks of a standard focal length at term 50mm exposes himself as a 35mm photographer – at least regarding ALPA dimensions. In medium format, the HR ALPAGON 50mm plays the role of a moderate wide-angle lens, which is often referred to as a “report wide angle”. This aspect makes it the ideal complement to the super wide angle HR ALPAGON 32mm and the “normal lens” HR ALPAGON 90mm with which it forms the “Holy Trinity” at ALPA. Like its “siblings” (HR ALPAGON 32mm and 90mm), the HR ALPAGON 50mm is optimized for the perfect resolution of even the finest details, guaranteeing extremely detailed and vivid images with perfect micro-contrast and tonal values. As with the other lenses in this range, the “50s” also recommend the use of a perfectly matched lens hood.

Warning: If a short barrel lens is attached to an ALPA body without an appropriate adapter, mechanical damage to the rear lens element and the camera is possible. The focal plane shutter of the ALPA 12 FPS can also be damaged.

Given its compactness, one could easily underestimate the HR ALPAGON 70mm, but this impression is entirely deceptive: With its vast 100mm image circle it offers extreme reserves for the perspective and sharpness compensation (tilt and shift) and also the optical performance is entirely convincing. Since its focal length almost matches the image diagonal of the large medium format (40x54mm sensor), it corresponds to the usual definition of a standard lens and is characterized by an image that corresponds particularly well to human perception. Thus, the ALPAGON 70mm HR is ideally suited as an introduction to the ALPA system, especially since it makes an excellent figure on analog film: It also covers 6×9 film and then corresponds approximately to a classic 35mm in 35mm format.

As an SB-34 version, the HR ALPAGON 90mm, thanks to its large image circle, allows for enormous flexibility, especially in the perspective correction. The perfect sharpness of the 90s makes it the perfect choice for all photographers, whose pictures have to function perfectly, as different sizes on exhibitions or billboards. If you are looking for perfect details and maximum resolution, there is no way around the HR ALPAGON 90mm.

Scope of delivery: The product images are sample images and often show the lens with an ALPA HPF ring (High Precision Focusing). This HPF ring is not included in the scope of delivery of the lens. However, ALPA recommends the use of an HPF ring for optimum handling.

The Rodenstock / ALPA Macro Switar 5.6/105 mm is a high-performance lens for image scales of 1:4 to 4:1. The user can optimize the specific image scale via a ring-operated floating element which covers 1:3 to 3:1. Sharpness is extraordinary and only limited by diffraction. The ultra-low distortion nearly vanishes at 1:1 and beyond. The chromatic aberration is minimized and contrast performance is superior.

This lens offers almost unlimited resolution and, thanks to the automatically adjusted floating element, can convince with its consistently high imaging performance and uniformity.

Scope of delivery: The multifunctional adapter SB 51 and a sun shade are included.

Further information and result photos will follow. Demand is expected to be high. Please place your pre-orders asap.

It is often overlooked that landscape and architectural photography is not automatically equivalent to wide-angle photography: Often, detail shots enrich the meaning of an image path and topographical features also require the use of longer focal lengths. For these subjects and requirements, the HR ALPAR 180mm rounds off the ALPA lens portfolio. Since the use of long focal lengths usually leads to very low camera inclinations, its image circle of 80mm in practice is easy enough, especially as the resolution remains almost constant over the entire image field. With a weight of less than one kilogram, the HR ALPAR 180mm remains easy to transport and, with an aperture of 5.6, delivers perfect performance even with an open aperture.

Scope of delivery: The product images are sample images and often show the lens with an ALPA HPF ring (High Precision Focusing). This HPF ring is not included in the scope of delivery of the lens. However, ALPA recommends the use of an HPF ring for optimum handling.

  • The HR Digaron-S lenses provide extremely high resolution already from open aperture, perfectly corrected image curvature and a correction for the thickness of the sensor’s protective glass. They are the best lenses for smaller sensors up to 33×44 mm or (if no large shift is necessary) even up to 37×49 mm with a pixel pitch around 5 μm or even smaller.
  • The HR Digaron-W/SW lenses with a little bit smaller working aperture (optimum: f/5.6 to f/8 or f/8 to f/11) and a larger image circle diameter for sensors up to 40×54 mm provide almost the same extraordinary characteristics.
Alpa Lens Specs23 HR-S32 HR-W35 HR-S40 HR-W50 HR-W70 HR-W90 HR-SW138 HR-SW180 HR-S105 Macro
Weight26.2 ounces32.8 ounces22.9 ounces25.4 ounces24.7 ounces17.6 ounces31.0 ouncesTBD33.5 ounces18.7 ounces
Effective Focal Length23.8mm33.1mm35.2mm41.9mm51.7mm70mm90mm138mm179.6mm105mm
Max Aperturef5.6f/4f/4f/4f/4f/5.6f/5.6f/6.5f/5.6f/5.6
Minimum Focus9.8"15.7"13.8"19.7"27.6"31.5"31.5"31.5"196.9"4 to 1 Magnification
Angle of ViewNone107º90º94º84º70º67º44º25ºTBD
Filter Size72mm86mm67mm67mm67mm58mm72mm67mm67mm43mm
Image Circle70mm90mm70mm90mm90mm100mm120mm110mm90mm82mm
Tilt/Swing OptionNo, LB onlyYes, SB17No, LB onlyYes, SB 17Yes, SB34Yes, SB17Yes, SB34Yes, SB51Yes, SB34TBD
Lens equivalent, 44mmx33mm 19mm26mm27mm33mm40mm55mm70mm109mm140mm83mm
Lens equivalent, 54mmx40mm 15mm21mm23mm27mm33mm45mm58mm89mm115mm67mm

©PaulReiffer 2018; Phase One IQ4 150 MP; LS 40-80 f/4.0-5.6