View Full Version : The new camera

22-May-2010, 05:02
Not really new, bought it two months ago from Steve at Alpenhause. In that time, I've shot about 200 sheets of film (!) and the camera has been fantastic. It really got me shooting again, on a regular basis, and that's probably the best thing I can say about it.

I had some specific requests, and they were all accomodated; namely the ability to use Grafmatics and Polaroid 405 backs, and a close-up function. The locking spring-loaded back took care of the first concern,

and some selective drilling and RF calibration took care of the focusing. With this I can focus down to about 55cm, or about 22 inches.

It's a good fast street shooter because the RF and VF are coupled; it also has parallax compensation for the close-ups.

Some images are herehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/zsari/sets/72157623782910881/, mostly happy snaps, but you'll see where the camera excels and where it differs from a monorail or field camera. It weighs about 1.5 kilos (3 lbs) and I can pack five Grafmatics (30 sheets) for a day's shooting in a small day pack.

Now saving up for a second with different lens and slightly different capabilities; I'll post when I've had it for a while.

PS- I don't work for Alpenhause nor do I have any connection to them beyond the purchase of this camera, but I'm happy to praise Steve's excellent work.
There are several people who also do excellent work converting these cameras to 4x5 use (Dean or Noah for example), and Steve is one of them.

22-May-2010, 14:39
New cams are always fun, no matter how old or new. ;)

22-May-2010, 15:18
the spring-loaded back looks interesting. Does anyone know where I can get that back? I did a conversion myself but not even close to this nice.


22-May-2010, 19:58
Very nice pictures.

Could you please explain a bit more about the camera?

23-May-2010, 02:07
It's an Alpenhause - there is a lot more info by searching that name ;)

23-May-2010, 05:43
Very nice pictures.

Could you please explain a bit more about the camera?

Thank you, and Ash is correct: search the name "Alpenhause" and you'll find lots of information. You could also look up "Razzle" which does similar work. Also, look up 110B conversion, there's plenty of information, you can even learn to do the mods yourself.
The camera is essentially an old Polaroid that has been modified to accept 4x5 film.
Btw, Ash, are you still getting some mileage out of your Razzle?

23-May-2010, 08:28
Ari, I tried to sell it a month or two ago, but all I got was time-wasters. In fact, one member had me waste 30 on a train ticket to show him in person... then, with money in hand pulled out last minute!!

I've not used it since selling the Polaroid 550 holder, as I'd been shooting some instants with it til deciding to sell.

23-May-2010, 08:52
That's too bad. I remember reading that cost was a factor for you; it is for me as well.
I've shot Shanghai film the whole time, and the 200 sheets I mentioned cost about $90 (part of a very large order). For home processing, you can look at what this gentleman did:

Your Razzle is a killer, Dean's fit & finish is amazing, and I would have snatched it in a heartbeat if it had a close-up feature.

23-May-2010, 09:03
Ari I have all the means to process b&w and colour at home, but not the space or the tolerance. Regardless of cost, I share a house with family and a pet, and C-41 chemicals don't last long enough for the amount of 5x4 colour film I can afford to shoot, so the Jobo CPE-2 is in the shed. As for b&w, I don't really want to shoot it right now! I prefer colour! So no joy there either :(

I was looking to get a 6x12 back to use in the camera (and on my stereo camera) but the guy's gone away and I've not heard from him for a few weeks now.