News & Updates
ALPA at Photokina2006

Last Update: 20 Septl 2006

Who's no 160?

It weights around 2 kilo and is made from Alumec 79, an extra hard and durable type of aluminium that is used for aeronautical purpose. It is machined at very high precision and the two hand grips are always made from a single piece of wood.

When Thomas Weber-Capaul and I completed the montage of the modules of my newly bought ALPA 12 SWA at the premises of ALPA Switzerland in Zurich, Ursula Capaul Weber handed me over the invoice and said: "You know, that is exactly the no 160 delivered."

"Well, then this will become simply my no 160." I said to myself.

No 160 did its first cry on June 11th, 2002 and I am absolutely convinced it will accompany me for a very long time.


The Logbook

Date Event
2004 Well, a lot to do and to travel for No 160: Digital back tests, new digital Schneider lenses and new other lenses, new ALPA back, trip to China (business for ALPA, in the Chines province of Tijuan No 160 has its first sleeping train experience), medium format show in Zurich, trip to Munich and Berlin/Jena, trips to the Swiss mountains (lens tests, demo pictures for ALPA), upcoming photokina and more to come...
2003 The ALPA/Linhof 6x7 back is now in use. Much better quality and nicer feeling. The Helvetar lens arrives and becomes my 'Swiss Army Kife' for photography.
2003/05/16 Got an ArcaSwiss 6x9 back from ALPA for test purpose. Mixed feelings about the quality but the format is HUGE :-). The perspective of MF wide angles is simply more natural than small format (47mm on 6x9 equals a 20mm in small format!).
2003-05-09 Got a 36x72 back from ALPA for test purpose. Used it with the Biogon and Schneider Super Angulon XL's. Only 9 frames per roll of 120 (Mamiya 6x8 back). Super flat and large reserves around the picture result into NO stray light from the edges of the film layer. Very nice. Effect could also achieved with a true 6x7 back (56x72) and cutting in Photoshop.
2003/05/03 ALPA Myth & Rebirth, expo in the Swiss Camera Museum
2003/04/02 No 160 is in Australia
2003/03/25 Layout update of ALPAvision
2003/03/01 The Schneider Super Angulon XL 5.6/47mm arrives for gerneral work. It's a rare one with Compur shutter (no longer available).
2003/02/01 The Schneider Super Angulon XL 5.6/38mm completes and mates the Bigon, also for shift work etc.
2002/10/15 My Biogon arrived!!! Got me a manual Mamiya RB67 back modified for the format 44x66 to enhance my possibilities. I shot my first rolls the following Sunday. Some more results will be in the November update of the site. But one thing is already cristal clear: A dream of a lens!

2002/10/01 Got me the Biogon plus a manual Mamiya back, modified for 44x66mm. Amazing!
2002/09/01 No 160 was lazy. It's Hasselblad 203FE brother was much more active in a quite big shooting. I shot some Pola on a Polaroid back I got from ALPA for testing purpos.

I got me a used Hasselblad ground glass (AcuteMatte) and tried it with the HB adapter from ALPA. Quite comfortable with the PM45 viefinder prism from my Hasselblad.

What a pitty: I was not able to attend Photokina due to the flu :-((

2002/08/23 I visited the last of the four sites of the Swiss national exhibition - a very progressive art exhibition with lots of architectural high lights. It last for some 6 months. The Murten site is a historical place and the motto is "transcience and eternity" - all the buildings are made from wood or rusty steel...the pictures.

2002/08/21 I have the opportunity to make the product shots for ALPA - also with an early version of the new Biogon I ordered.

2002/08/03 Various tests with negative and slide material, got a polaroid back for test purpose from ALPA.

2002/08/02 The first pictures of no 160 are online and shown on ALPAvision.

2002/07/17 I'm gone with the wind and took no 160 with me: hot air ballon flight and no 160 acts as an aerial cam. Arrgh, I should have already my Carl Zeiss 4.5/38 Biogon for no 160! Light metering was done with the Euromaster II. This beast is fun to use but not always efficient. Maybe I restrict the usage for the expedition to Antarctica or the flight over the Alps I plan to do this a hot air balloon of course. Together with No 160 and the Hassy.

2002/06/25 Enfin! I get my little Billingham 205 for No 160. Wow, if one could fell in love with a camera must be a Billingham. This will become expensive as I instantly want to have one of the largest for wedding shootings and as a home for my Hasselblad 203FE.

The Euromaster is...nice...but oh boy, I think I will need to learn using my Minolta Flashmeter IV as a conventional light meter, too.

2002/06/16 First pictures during a portrait shooting at home (the "Kelly" family). OK, it works great with the Profoto light guns but one should pull the exposure cover before shooting! And boy oh, boy...parallax correction is not known in the universe of the titans...and ALPAs. Think, idiot!

2002/06/15 As a result of the first experiences I need to set up a drill for using no 160: evaluate the light, estimate the distance, envisage the picture, trip the shutter, wind the film and cock the shutter...evaluate, estimate, envisage, trip, wind, cock

2002/06/14 Start of evaluation of a light meter. Thomas showed me the Euromaster II he got from Monochrom. All manual as well and very fancy...and...basic.

Monochrom also offers Billingham bags (the prices of the Swiss importer are just ridiculous!). Years back I wouldn't even have considered such an old fashioned bag. Well, everybody should be allowed to get wiser...even me :-)

2002/06/12 16 x 16 x 20cm: No 160 is quite big! Help! I need a new camera bag! Number...oh, I shouldn't count. Women have their zillion handbags, I have camera bags...zillions!

2002/06/12 I get the very first negatives and scan it in the evening. The spacing of the modified 6x8 gives me 10 exp per roll of 120 film. To my great surprise my Nikon LS8000 gets it without problems. Hey this all manual works. Nice results for the very first try but I see a steeeep learning curve...steep but interesting.

2002/06/11 No 160 comes alive with a Schneider-Kreuznach super Angulon XL 5.6/58mm and a Mamiya RB67 motorized back (6x8 modified to 6x6). I have choosen the 58 because it can cover the full 6x9cm with nice shifting for the future. The main lens will become the Carl Zeiss Biogon 38 (new calculation) as soon as it is available. The modified mot. back is 6x6. I own a Hasselblad 203FE and a Mamiya 6 in the same format. The square attracts me so much that I try to restrict myself also with No160 to this format for the moment.

The first two rolls of film I shot this evening were very forgiving Kodak T400CN - I had no light meter with me...a completely new experience!


Perfection is reduction to the essential.

elements - a photo exhibition with all ALPA pictures

alpa - about the camera (pictures)

press - additional resources and pictures

no 160 - who is no 160? history and log

catwalk - no 160 seen through the lens of my Contax (pictures).

system 12 - the complete models as per photokina 2002 - the site of the manufacturers of the ALPA


+++ site launched july 2002 +++ ALPAvision by André Oldani, ola/switzerland +++ copyright 2002-2004 +++ +++ the manufacturers +++

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