Alpa 12 PANO Rosewood for Panoramic images with PhaseOne IQ4 150 and Similar Digital Backs + Reader Comments
I cannot afford a PhaseOne IQ4 150, nor would I necessarily want such kludgy technology given the far greater ease of use of the Fujifilm GFX100S. At least for most purposes. OTOH, for dedicated landscape... the IQ4 150 has significantly better image quality, including vastly superior capability for monochrome images, as I’ve previously shown (given the white horizontal stripes with the Fujfilm GFX100S/100 in some images).
It seems proper that if you can afford a PhaseOne system ($$$$), and you do landscape, you really ought to have the Alpa PANO for fast parallax-free panoramas. The rosewood, not so much—cherry or walnut or Ipe or titanium or ballistic plastic would be fine with me. The functionality is right, the finish is not so important to me. But it sure looks nice!
The ALPA 12 PANO was introduced in 2018, but unfortunately for those in the US, it has not been available for sale. That is not until now!
The ALPA Alpagon Lenses HR 70, 90 and 138mm offer a large image circle that often cannot be used in its entirety. Which is why the ALPA 12 Pano was built to be the optimal stitching machine. Especially one perfectly designed to take breathtaking panoramas.
The new ALPA 12 PANO opens up completely new perspectives. Movement of only 10 to 12 millimeters are not enough. That is why the PANO offers a full 35mm of horizontal movement to the left and right with a newly conceived shifting system and fixed dentents for pre-programmed final formats. We will also be keeping the 10mm for further rise and fall simultaneously!
The advantages of “flat stitching” over simple rotation are manifold. In particular, the time consuming search for nodal points is no longer necessary. The new live view back allows for convenient and straightforward framing which eliminates a lot of the guess work that is often the case with rotational panoramas/.
The camera shares the handgrip with the ALPA 12 MAX and apart from the spirit level module provided, additional elements can be mounted. The camera offers four mounting points in total
DIGLLOYD: on the 53.4 X 40.0mm sensor of the PhaseOne IQ4 150, ±35mm both directions yields a total capture area of 53.4 + 35 + 35 = 123mm wide X 40mm high, for a 3-shot capture resolution of 346 megapixels on the 150MP IQ4 150 digital back. Whether the lenses can deliver the goods at such extreme angles and what happens with color shading—dunno.
Louis F writes:
Keep in mind the XT cannot tilt and as such is a non-starter for many Alpa/IQ4150 shooters who use this feature often while shooting landscapes. For hiking the Alpa STC can at least shift around 15mm in both directions and accepts the Alpa tilt adapters of 17 and 34mm when using a SB lens.
DIGLLOYD: noted and accepted. However, in my experience, tilt is vastly overrated as a usable tool in the vast majority of shooting situations, because too much sticks out of the tilted zone of focus and it sticks out like a sore thumb. And f/16, f/22, f/32 produce diffraction dulling so bad I am unwilling to use those apertures.
Roy P writes:
On another note, I checked on the Alpa 12 Pano camera with a couple of people who shoot landscapes with technical cameras + the P1 IQ4 150 back. Their feedback was don’t bother with the Alpa 12 UNLESS your primary goal is pano stitching. Apparently the Alpa 12 is double the bulk and size of a P1 XT, and if pano stitching is an occasional thing and not THE primary goal, then either the XT or a Cambo is much more practical.
DIGLLOYD: makes sense; a camera supporting the movements has to be relative large and heavy and stiff. It would be a lot simpler to carry a short ‘nodal slider” for rotational panoramas. But nothing matches doing a true parallax-free stitched image, so if that’s your thing, I think it would come down to whether the lens performance us satisfactory across the 123mm-wide field, and whether color shading is tolerable, particularly with the 70mm and 90mm lenses.