Alpa eFinder iOS App Review

Originally published: April 9, 2011

Alpa eFinder iOS App review, electronic viewfinder iPhone 3Gs and 4G

Alpa creates some of the highest quality technical cameras out there today. Their designs (viewable at alpa.ch) combine medium format film or digital backs with large format lenses placed within their own coupling lens boards similar to any large format or panoramic camera. They are also known for their forays into software that applies directly to their products. One of Alpa’s claims to fame are its adaption of wide angle lenses and camera movements (tilt/shift etc). Consequently they attract mostly a landscape and architectural crowd who demand technical quality. They created distortion reduction software specifically for their camera and lens designs.

The Alpa eFinder app however is misnamed. It is a digital viewfinder that works with Alpa cameras, however it also functions (view in app purchases) with any still or motion picture (cine/cinema) camera. Alpa actually has a accessory to mount an iPod Touch / iPhone 3gs/4 adapter to place the device on top of the camera to utilize it as the viewfinder. The app is very useful for visualization especially when using film where there is obviously no instant image preview (alright polaroid backs but who uses those anymore?). Here are some examples:

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GENERIC 617 (MEDIUM FORMAT FILM) PANORAMIC CAMERA

Alpa eFinder iOS App review, generic 617 6x17 format viewfinder with mask

This example is set up with a Schneider 150mm XL lens which will cover everything up to an 8×10 which means it would work perfectly with a 6x17cm film panoramic camera. As you can see here it crops the the viewfinder to show the angle of view applicable to that lens and film combination. It is fairly simple to know that this is correct since the information about the AOV (Angle of View) and other camera information for the iPhone 4 is available from which you can interpolate the correct information for different sensor and lens combinations.

NIKON D3S FX (NIKON FULL FRAME) CAMERA

Nikon D3s D3x D3 viewfinder with masks in the Alpa eFinder iOS App

This example shows the frame lines for multiple lenses on the same camera similar to the way you would see them on a rangefinder camera like a Leica M camera.

As you can see this app is very useful and you are capable of creating any lens and camera combination. The app has a large database of cameras and lenses for you to choose from. You can also select items entitled “generic” for instance rather then selecting a Mamiya 645AFDiii with a Mamiya Sekor 55mm f/2.8 lens you could select a “Generic 6x45cm Film” and a 55mm lens which is the thing however the specific cameras options will give you extra control to confirm that you are composing as accurately as possible. This app is very good and can restore your faith in Humanity and apps. Although other camera aid apps like Light meters are are less then accurate this one is in another caliber of application.

 

 

2 Responses to Alpa eFinder iOS App Review

  • Pingback: Alpa app | Dogfordogs

  • David Bruce says:

    I take it as stated the new updated version of Alpa eFinder is only available for iPhone 5 users. If so is the older version, eFinder IOS, available for a iPhone 4, if yes where can I get it.

    With thanks

    David Bruce

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