The ALPA Log

IQ4 150 - Good to Know


Actual Status of the state-of-the-art next generation back and first impressions. Updates: First functioning one-shot solution for the operation of IQ4 150 on ALPA 12 FPS and Silex.

February 6, 2019
IQ4 150 - Good to Know

The new IQ4 150 digital back from Phase One is an exciting product. As so often, many ALPA owners will be first movers. Relevant information for users: The Phase One firmware development is ongoing, and the compatibility for ALPA cameras (Flash Sync Mode) is not yet given. Besides, the new digital backs have a new 12-pin multipin connector, which is not directly hardware-compatible with the previous 8-pin connector. Currently, the "Electronic Shutter" is supposed to work. As soon as we have verified the information and have conducted tests, we will inform our customers which are the best upgrade options for sync cables and new ALPA products to be expected.Brad Kaye from Capture Integration has written a very worth reading article about the first findings of the new Phase One digital back IQ4 150. Have a look!LINKIQ4-150: The BEST digital back EVER for Technical Camera use - Brad Kaye, Capture IntegrationUPDATE 7: 7 February 2019The Odyssey is approaching at least one intermediate destination. After we finally received a small number of suitable cables from Phase One on Tuesday and a series digital back from a customer (thanks to Jost von Allmen), we were able to do follow-up tests with the ALPA 12 FPS and Silex Mk II. The new cable "C3 long" and sync program work and allow One-Shot capture with FPS and Silex. We were able to test the FPS with focal plane shutter and also Hasselblad H lenses. Silex Mk II can also easily synchronise lenses in e250 and external lenses with the IQ4 via ELA. With Silex Mk II we can also directly trigger an IQ4 in "Electronic Shutter" mode.Caveat: Unfortunately Phase One has developed the current firmware so that we have to run an eight times longer latency to achieve a capture without an error message. This performance is no longer at the level of old backs of the P and IQ1/2/3 series. Not a disaster but just not as instantaneous and pleasant as before. We hope P1 improves here. The special sync program for FPS/Silex can be downloaded HERE.Important: The IQ4 backs have been changed compared to the previous digital backs from Phase One and all other manufacturers regarding port voltage. So P1 forces us to manufacture new ALPA Sync Cabling (Y-type) for Copal shutters that work with this reduced port voltage. However and as always, we will work out a solution as fast as possible.Availability: We try to make the cables (C3b long or whole sets C3 long, see below) available asap. As we have only received a small number of cabling, the availability is not very high. Waiting lists will be unfortunately inevitable.Workaround FPS: For ALPA 12 FPS users, the standard Phase One cable (Syncro Cable IQ4, 50300298) can be connected directly to the FPS flash socket. The FPS Sync Program "IQ4 NORM" controls the flash socket and LEMO1 simultaneously. Flash photography is not possible in this setup.Users of ALPA Silex Mk II have unfortunately to wait for the FPS/Silex firmware adaptation February/March until this is possible. Nevertheless, we recommend the use of our cables with LEMO plugs, as this connection is more reliable and less vulnerable.Product Pages[/en/article/alpa-sync-cable-type-c3-long|ALPA FPS/Silex Sync Cable Type C3 long][/en/article/alpa-sync-cable-type-c3b-long|ALPA FPS/Silex Sync Cable Type C3b long (Replacement)]

UPDATE 6: 01.2019A breakthrough: After we finally received a complete set of IQ4 150 and Phase One 12-pin beta cables, the modular and flexible architecture of the ALPA 12 FPS allowed us to develop an interim solution for our users within a very short time. As soon as we receive cables for modification, we can offer ALPA users of the ALPA 12 FPS and ALPA 12 Silex Mk II a working one-shot solution. Waiting for a final firmware for the Phase One IQ4 150. We stay working on it!Preliminary Remarks & ThanksTests were performed with IQ4 150 (firmware 1.01.18) on an ALPA 12 FPS (firmware 5.01) and a beta cable from Phase One. Many thanks for the loan by Prophot Switzerland and counter-test by Foto Care New York.In this firmware version (1.01.18), the back requires an unusually long latency between waking up and triggering the exposure. This results in a slightly longer trigger delay.Phase One beta cables can only be connected to the flash sync port of the ALPA 12 FPS and ALPA Silex. However, in firmware 5.01 Silex only operates the flash signal on this port and cannot supply a parallel signal. For this reason, users of ALPA Silex Mk II will have to wait until ALPA receives correct cables from Phase One for modification to LEMO.Since the flash sync port is occupied for back control, no flash exposure can currently be taken in this configuration.DownloadDownload Interim Sync Program for ALPA 12 FPS/Silex operating IQ4 150

No worries, shaking in the video due to using just a soft pad and no proper tripod.UPDATE 5: 01.2019The attempts with the "Break-Out-Box" (BOB) from Phase One have unfortunately been unsuccessful. Although the IQ4 150 can be triggered in "electronic shutter" mode, no signals are transmitted from the Copal shutter. A countercheck with a phase cable with integrated wake-up button ( installed before the BOB) was also negative.

UPDATE 4: 01.2019A test result from our rooftop testing facility here at the ALPA HQ in Zurich. The IQ4 150MP with the RODENSTOCK / ALPA HR ALPAGON 5.6/70 MM, LB, focus on infinity, ISO 50, 10s. The details are simply amazing even without any sharpening.

UPDATE 3: 01.2019 (early)We have been in contact with P1 since product launch and are waiting for our ordered cables for modification and firmware updates. A new firmware release shall enable the use of technical cameras in January. As soon as we could test this ourselves, we will report.UPDATE 2: 12.2018The firmware of the currently delivered IQ4 150 is still not suitable for flash sync. Besides, Phase One has caused incompatibilities due to the introduction of the new 12pin socket. Therefore the usual operation with Copal, ALPA 12 FPS, ALPA Silex Mk II is not yet possible. We will inform you as soon as we see a flash-sync-compatible version of the firmware and also the necessary information for the production of useful release cables. As always, ALPA will try to offer its customers the most efficient cabling and/or adapters possible.UPDATE 1: 12.2018Last week we had the chance for testing the abilities of the IQ4 150 MP in term of color cast. They we're able to eliminate lens cast almost complet with the new IQ4. Find unedited tests done with the ALPA 12 PLUS and a SCHNEIDER / ALPA APO-SWITAR 5.6/36 MM, LB. We used the PhaseOne IQ3 100MP and the IQ4 150MP. See the results below:IQ3 100MP - ALPA 12 PLUS - SCHNEIDER / ALPA APO-SWITAR 5.6/36 MM, LB


IQ3 100MP - ALPA 12 PLUS - SCHNEIDER / ALPA APO-SWITAR 5.6/36 MM, LB - Shift 16mm

IQ4 150MP - ALPA 12 PLUS - SCHNEIDER / ALPA APO-SWITAR 5.6/36 MM, LB - Shift 16mm

©ALPA 2018

Photograph © Brad Kaye