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Alpa 6B favori envoyer Print
Photos by JCB text by JCB. From the collection of JCB
France Version française

Chronology of the Alpa brand  New window

History of the brand Alpa New window

Manufactured in Suisse from 1959 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 10360

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Alpa 6B

Traduction de Daniel W, USA


The Alpa 6b appeared in 1959.  It is part of the second generation of these cameras made in Switzerland by the firm Pignons S.A.

It is the first in that family to receive a rapid return mirrorOne characteristic common to all Alpa models up to the 6c (1060) is the 45º finderIt still has a Galilean type finder covering the field of view of 50 mm lenses (the first models Alpa Prisma Reflex had in addition to the reflex finder a rangefinder).

The focal plane shutter, with fabric curtains, offers “B” and speeds from 1 second to 1/1000th.  Flash synch at 1/60thThe shutter release button is placed on the front of the body to the right of the lensIts mounting has a strong shoulder traversed by a button (part of the lens’ barrel) that presses the shutter release (on the body) and that itself operates a mechanism that stops the lens down to a preselected aperture.  The little knurled knob, marked with an arrow and visible on the top of the shoulder, closes the diaphragm manually to allow depth of field preview.

Film advance/shutter cocking of earlier models was done with a large knurled knob; shutter speed was selected by raising the knob’s outer ring.  This knob is retained here, but is topped off by a robust lever which has the peculiarity of having to be operated in a counter-clockwise direction (this is opposite to the direction of most other cameras).

The Alpa 6b has a self-timer (chromed lever to the right of the lens, and below the shutter release button).

Lenses and accessories

The camera shown is fitted with a 50/1.8 Kern MacroSwitar, allowing focusing to 28 mm from the subject (magnification 1:3).

The closeup photo of the lens shows the lens’ depth of field scale.  While turning the diaphragm ring, one moves a colored (copper) section under some small holes drilled in the lens’ barrel.  The holes’ positions correspond to the limits of depth of field for each aperture, which is read on the focusing ring’s scale.  The distance scale is in meters and in magnification ratio – red engraving (remember that this is a macro lens).  Here, the diaphragm being set to f/8 and focused distance set to 1.10 m, the depth of field extends from 1.00 m to 1.20 m (a depth of field calculation gives, with more precision, 1.00 m to 1.22 m).  [translator’s comment:  this style of depth of field scale is also used on Switar cine lenses.]

A large range of lenses is available, from the best makers of the time:  Angénieux, Kilfitt, Schneider, Kinoptic, as well as all of the usual accessories, extension tubes, and bellows.  The bayonet mount is proprietary as is the mounting (spring-loaded) of filters and lens shades, the front of the lenses are not threaded.

Alpa 6B