Over the past four years Architectural Photographer Bob Graham, Jr. has been on a mission to modify his ALPA 12 x/y (Legacy Product) and ALPA SILEX Mk II system, Horseman SW-D II Pro and Rollie X-act D view cameras. These modifications have expanded the size and scope of Bob’s passion for Panoramic photography and unified his workflow.
The main goal of these modifications was to be able to use Bob’s 4 ALPA lens (Rodenstock 32mm, 40mm and 90mm lenses), Canon T/S 17mm with adapter, the Hasselblad 35-90 mm with adapter and Bob’s favorite and most used lens, the Schneider 60mm xl 5.6 digital (no longer in production) and on all three camera systems.
One of the bottlenecks for this process was gathering parts. Fotoman provided 5 different Helical Focusing mounts with extremely fast delivery. With these Helical Focusing mounts from Fotoman, SK Grimes was able to customize five lenses, three FUJI lenses (focal lengths: 300mm, 400mm and 600mm), a Schneider 120mm digital macro lens and Rodenstock 120 digital macro lens.
SK Grimes customized lens adapters to first work on the ALPA 12 x/y. SK Grimes then modified the back of ALPA 12 x/y so the frame would support the complete camera system horizontally using the ALPA Tripod Stitching Adapter. SK Grimes’ custom mounts on both sides of the horizontal position. This effectively keeps the ALPA x/y mounted lens in the same place while moving the frame horizontally a total of 70mm left and right on the front and 50mm up and down on the back. Currently this cannot be done on any ALPA camera.
SK Grimes made several modifications to the Rollie X-act D view camera. To achieve focus at infinity and provide movements. SK Grimes mounted the PhaseOne digital back plate to the wide-angle bellows. On the front of the wide-angle bellows, they mounted a cage lens mounting frame that once installed on the front standard would accept all the ALPA mounted lenses.
Three years ago, Bob purchased a Horseman SW-D II Pro frame only because all the movements were on the back while the lens was stationary on the front. SK Grimes took Bob’s plan and created the small monster with insane movement.
They were asked to give left and right movement on the front of the camera. The Horseman SW-D II Pro now has 25mm movement left and right. When you combine the 17.5mm left and right movement from the back of the Horseman SW-D II Pro to the movement of the front you get a total movement of 85mm of movement. They also built a custom base to this camera that would fit the Arca Swiss Cube and hold the ALPA Mk II both on the left- and right-hand sides.
Over the next few months, Bob will be posting videos on how he uses these Panoramic Photographic Tools. If you would like to know when they will be posted, please fill out the Subscription tab to the right side.
This shot was taken from the Pier at Jersey City, NJ (Across the Hudson River) on a very windy night. The Memorial Lights were approximately 1 ½ miles away from the Pier.
Big crowds on the pier and strong winds made taking this shot a challenge. I took this shot with a Fuji 400mm T lens modified by SK Grimes, ALPA x/y and my PhaseOne IQ3 100 Digital Back using an electronic shutter.
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