| 1960s Alpa 9d body|
image by eBayer kucuklu (Image rights)
| Alpa Reflex II, 1945-52|
image by Missy Bergen (Image rights)
Alpa is the brand name of successive generations of high-quality 35mm SLR cameras made by the Swiss manufacturer Pignons S.A. It was of an unusually solid construction, and featured a cast metal body with figured surfaces. Controls were very simple, consisting of only a film-advance lever, and a shutter-speed indicator. Lenses were labeled "Kern-Switar." Alpa also used lenses made by Angénieux. The standard lens for the Alpa 10d was a macro 50mm lens, unusual for its time.
The original design was called the Bolca Reflex and had been made by Jacques Bogopolsky, who had already designed the Bolex movie camera (see Bolsey). The rights were bought by Pignons in 1942, who named the camera the Alpa Reflex.
Alpas were very expensive hand-made cameras, made of carefully selected materials, with many variants that could be produced on special order. The company ceased camera production in 1990 and liquidation was initiated.
There were five distinct generations of Alpa cameras produced by Pignons, the last of which was manufactured in Japan under license.
Unlike later generations, all of these models offered a coupled rangefinder; the Alpa Standard, however, did not offer reflex viewing.
- Alpa Standard
- Alpa Reflex
- Alpa Prisma Reflex
Second Generation (Alnea models)
Initially the second generation cameras were branded "Alnea," later replaced simply by "Reflex."
| black-finish Alpa 9d|
image by tgrill1 (Image rights)
- Alpa Alnea/Reflex model 4
- Alpa Alnea/Reflex model 5
- Alpa Alnea/Reflex model 6
- Alpa Alnea/Reflex model 7
- Alpa Alnea/Reflex model 8
The third generation of Alpa SLRs introduced built-in meters, both conventional (Model 6c) and TTL (Model 9d).
- Alpa 10d
- Alpa 11 (11e, 11el, 11si, 11z)
- Alpa Si 2000
- Alpa Si 3000
Capaul & Weber era
The Alpa trademark was purchased by new owners Capaul & Weber in 1996. Later that year, the Alpa name was revived for a prototype of a new, premium-level medium format camera, the Alpa 12. Production models of the 12WA, and 12/SWA (with built-in perspective control) followed in 1998. All of these cameras had a modular design that accepts a variety of superb wide-angle lenses from Rodenstock, Carl Zeiss, and Schneider. In 2007 the new enterprise became the ALPA Capaul & Weber AG.
| Alpa 12 TC|
image by Carlos Echenique (Image rights)
| Angénieux Alitar 180mm f/4.5 lens for Alpa cameras|
image by Geoff Harrisson (Image rights)
- ↑ Alpa Standard at alpareflex.com
- ↑ Alpa Reflex 6c with Makro-Switar 50 mm f/1.8, sold at the 20th Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 1 November 2011.
- ↑ Alpa Si 2000 at alpareflex.com
- ↑ Alpa Si 3000 at alpareflex.com
- company homepage
- Alpa Reflex Cameras from Switzerland at alpareflex.com
- Alpa Reflex Series D at Collection Even
- Alpa Cameras at www.collection-appareils.fr
- Alpa English instruction manuals at Orphancameras.com
- Alpa 6B at Au fil des Images (in French)
- Alpa Cameras Price Guide, Photos, Descriptions at collectiblend.com