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Alpa 12 TC


Well-Known Member
This camera has a gorgeous look. How is the performance of Schneider lenses ? Most of these lenses have small maximal aperture like f5.6. I suppose lenses with small apertures do have better performance. A Schneider 38mm f5.6 could be better than Zeiss Biogon 38mm f4.5. Once I get a camera like this, it could be the time for me to sell my C-Y Distagon 21mm f2.8.


Well-Known Member
Wang, this is so funny, I am thinking about securing an ALPA also.

I have less experience with Schneider lenses than Zeiss and Leica, but what experiences I have had were most excellent.

Schneider makes the 28mm PC R lens for Leica which if I recall correctly had stellar performance for that type of lens. I owned one a number of years ago so I do not know if it was updated to modern specifications (coatings for ex&le). They also made that big zoom for Hasselblad V cameras some years ago.

My very best lens for the Kaiser MF enlarger is a Schneider.

Schneider has always been a highly regarded maker of large format lenses and has in recent years developed a super high performance line of APO LF lenses for use with digital backs ... which is a more demanding application than LF film because the sensor size is so much smaller that a 4X5 sheet of film.

I would be very interested in your analyst of ALPA and the lenses you'd pick to work with it.
I know that the camera is regarded as the very top available in the world.


Well-Known Member
The reasons I am thinking about 12 TC are:

1. It could be one of the smallest mechanical medium format camera. They are a bit like Leica M, small with mechanical excellence. They are those cameras you like to fondle. TC 12 is the smallest one from Alpa, the others like 12 SWA is too big for me. I don't want to play with the shift mechanism. I like the obliquity and the ''pulls" from the wide angles.

2. When I am taking photos with my wide angles, I always go for f5.6 or f8 with or without a tripod. I rarely go for f4. Most of Schneider lenses have f5.6 as the maximal aperture. With a small aperture, it is easier for Schneider to reach optical excellence. I think a small maximal aperture and a tripod are the key to get great shots in wide angles.

3. My alternative is Hassy, but all their bodies and lenses are a bit big for me to handle, so
are the items from the other manufacturers. I was thinking about the Hassy SWC Zeiss 38mm f4.5 Biogon, but I am not at all impressed with the MTF graph. Sinar Zeiss 4/40 Distagon is good, but if I go for Sinar, we come to the problem of being big again. Sinar does not have many lenses available at the moment. Sinar Zeiss 4/40 might not be wide enough for some applications.

4. I have tried handling Hassy 500 series and Contax C645. No doubt they are essential tools for Pros but I feel the shutter anounces itself too much. I have not tried an Alpa yet but I would assume it is more quiet like a rangefinder.

The lenses I am going to try are Schneider 38mm 5.6 it has an angle similar to my 21mm distagon. Makro-Symmar 5.6/80 and Makro-Symmar 5.6/120 are the other two I wish to try.


Well-Known Member
Do you believe it ? I went to the shop today for the new Alpa 12 TC, it was sold ! It has an amazing turnover.