ALPA 10d vs ALPA 11si

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by carlos_prado|2, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Hello
    I am looking into the ALPA reflex cameras.
    I have found several references stating that the "ALPA 11si" had improved "mirror" and "shutter" compared to the "ALPA 10d".
    Can anyone tell me what these "mirror" and "shutter' improvements were, and are they really noticeable?
    I am finding very good copies of the "ALPA 10d" at much lower prices than the "ALPA 11Si", and I really want to know if these "mirror" and "shutter" improvements are worth the extra premium.
    (by the way, I am very aware of the differences in meter functions between the two cameras. However, this is not a deciding factor for me.)
    Thank you all in advance for your help.
  2. From my copy of "Alpa the Collector's Guide":
    - the mirror on the 11 series was re-shaped to be lighter. No further specifics provided
    - the 11 series (except for the 11es) had a mirror lockup - the 10d did not
    - the release lock became 2-stage to be easier to use.
    I owned the 10d and 11si at one time, and don't recall any significant usage differences.

    I certainly don't recall any differences, or issues, with the shutter.
  3. Vick
    Thank you very much for your reply.
    This information is invaluable to me.
    Please feel free to share any other data, that may help me in my descision to buy an ALPA reflex camera.
    Also, do you know if anyone restores and repairs these cameras?
  4. Yes, Radu Lesaru at 3rCameras. He knows them inside out.
    I sold all my Alpas a few years ago. I had "almost one of each". I see the prices have increased significantly, especially on lenses.

    I do suggest you also look at the books available at
  5. Vick
    thanks again.
    I am leaning towards the ALPA 10d.
    Since you have owned all the ALPA cameras; If you can offer an argument for any other ALPA model, I would love to hear it.
    (by the way, I read a lot of complaints about "dim viewfinders". Did you find this to be the case?)
    Thanks again
  6. Love to have an Alpa, but the price always defeats me. Had a 6C some years back with a completely stuffed shutter and no-one wanted to fix it. Sold it to someone in Japan, still got a good figure for it, even though it didn't work!
    If you get one we would love to see some shots of and with the camera.
  7. The Alpa, except at the very end, was a hand-built camera of great quality. However, if you want that experience, you need to adapt to the camera, not the other way around. Same for any of the old-time (pre-AE, pre-AF) cameras.
    You need to want to recapture those moments in the past when you wanted one, but could not afford it in any way short of illegal appropriation or homicide.
  8. 'You need to want to recapture those moments in the past when you wanted one, but could not afford it in any way short of illegal appropriation or homicide'
    Thank you for that, it rather sums up my purchasing habits for the last few years. Just don't tell my wife!
  9. Alpas and old Nikon and Canon RFs for me are always just a little more than I feel like paying.
    Then I wait a while, finally decide that I should just spend the money, only to discover that the price has again gone up to just a little more....
    Endless recursion........
  10. ph.


    I have not used the ones I have for quite some time, but cannot recall much practical difference.
    The metal bodies, -and I suspect the prisms, had the same dimensions. I recall that the Visoflex III was brighter, but then its prism was very much larger and the matte screen I had for it was very bright.
    The 10d may be cheaper since about 3500 were made while the 11si came in about 1000copies. There are also the intermediate versions 11e, el etc. some may be less expensive than the 11. Even the most profusely common Alpa was made in smaller numbers than the Leica IIIG. Of the half frames, microfilming bodies etc, some were made in single figure numbers, some like the Surgical and the Mercure, had double figure production numbers.
    Still, it is the optics which are really worth having, not only the apochromatic Kerns & Kinoptics. Some of the others are (relatively) inexpensive. I am fairly certain that they checked every single one before shipping.
  11. Thank you all for the wonderful information. I know feel pretty confident in getting a 10D instead of an 11si, and I will save considerable money.
    Now, I need some help with the lens adapters. I want to get an M42 lens for the ALPA, and have seen several M42 to ALPA auto-adapters.
    Can anyone here tell me if there are any "cheap" non-auto adapters available as well?
    In other words, are there any M42 to ALPA adapters available that are just a simple "adapter ring" without the "auto-aperture" feature?
  12. ph.


    Apart from the automatic adapters for m42 and Nikon mount, original, non auto rings were made by Pignons for m42 ("Practibag") as well as for Leicaflex, Nikon, Exacta, Topcon as well as for the Zeiss Luminar. Whether they are easy to find is another matter.
  13. I always wanted an Alpa 11si, but never got one back when they were new. As far as I remember, the 10D and 11E both had the same mirror. It was lightened and lengthened on the 11EL and the 11SI, to prevent finder image cutoff with longer lenses. However, one advantage of the two models with the shorter mirrors is that they would be compatible with the very strange motor drive made for the Alpa. By strange, I mean that the motor sits on top of the camera instead of beneath it and it actually advances the film by moving the front facing advance lever that's on the camera. It's difficult to describe, especially since it's so unusual. So if for some reason you wanted one of these motor drives for the camera, the 10D and the 11E would be a better bet. However, the Alpa went to LEDs for meter readout starting with the 11e and went from CdS cells to silicon cells with the 11si. If you can find and afford the 11si, that would probably be the best way to go. I think the last year they were made was 1989. I have a Minolta CLE that I've carried every day since I bought it in 1981, so if you can find an Alpa from the 1980s, it should still work okay if it's been maintained.
  14. ph.


    My various Alpas live safely stored,not "maintained" but still work. The meter cicuit is of the bridge coupled type, so voltages do not matter,BUT the instruction book warns asgainst using any conventional oil when servicing, since that will destroy all lubrication inside.


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