Meet the Alpa 12 FPS. The Ultimate Open Platform.

The Alpa “12 FPS” (for Focal Plane Shutter) is the best example of both “modular” and “open platform” we have seen. The concept is fairly simple: take a small sliding back adapter and attach a digital “brain.” In reality, it is obviously way more complicated than that.

On the front, the system can take virtually any lens (with the corresponding adapter), including Nikon and Canon lenses, Hasselblad V, Mamiya M, Leica S, view camera lenses from Schneider and Rodenstock, and even Cine lenses from Zeiss.

On the Back, the system works with pretty much any Medium Format Digital Back. What makes this system unique and brilliant is not only the amazing flexibility but the “brain” that can be configured to control shutter speed, aperture, bracketing, (even for HDR) and flash-sync. I was told that the very well finished prototype I saw was finished just hours before Photokina started.

The system configuration I played with had the FPS body, a Leaf Digital Back with a Zeiss 21mm CP.2 lens and was being triggered with Pocket Wizards…a true digital Frankenstein!

I can see an important demand for this system from landscape and architectural photographers, as well as rental houses all over the world. More images and complete tech specs are available here. If you are truly interested, here are the prices.

UPDATE 20121207 We attended a great event this week by Andre Oldani at Foto Care and learned a lot of new and interesting things. Just a couple of months after we first saw the FPS system at Photokina, Alpa has clearly worked hard and fast to finalize some loose ends and deliver a truly impressive platform.

These are a couple of images from Oldani’s presentation.