The ALPA Log
Behind the Scences

On location with Martin Stollenwerk, SIK-ISEA / Zurich


Photogrammetry with ALPA 12 FPS

October 26, 2023
On location with Martin Stollenwerk, SIK-ISEA / Zurich
A View Behind the Scences

The Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) is the centre of competence for fine art in Switzerland. With more than 70 years of experience in the fields of expertise, valuation, inventory restoration SIK-ISEA produces research and publications in the fields of art history and art technology.

SIK-ISEA holds a unique collection of documents, archive materials and specialist literature on Swiss art.

We had the pleasure to join Martin Stollenwerk (Head of Photography, SIK-ISEA) for a special photogrammetry project.

"The camera delivers radical precision!"
Martin Stollenwerk, July 2023

more about SIK-ISEA

Martin Stollenwerk, Head of Photography SIK-ISEA - Behind the scenes

The project:

Villa Bleuler, a historic gem nestled in the heart of Zurich,
Switzerland is the home of SIK-ISEA. This enchanting mansion, with its graceful architecture and captivating surroundings, exudes an aura of timeless elegance and refined beauty.

Currently, parts of the Villa are being restored and the photography department is documenting the process of restauration.

Villa Bleuler - Behind the scenes

As the dimensions of the ceiling span over 9,25 by 5 meter, Mr. Stollenwerk with support of ALPA carefully evaluated the camera equipment to be deployed.

His first choice was the camera ALPA 12 FPS due to its precise capturing setup along with its efficient yet flexible workflow capabilities. Cable release was used to avoid undesired vibrations and the lens in use was an ALPA HR Alpagon 4.0/40 mm from Rodenstock. Alternatively, ALPA as an open platform camera system allow for use of other third party lenses. For elevated camera mounting a computer interface allows for remote control of the ALPA 12 FPS.

The computer modeling subdivided the entire ceiling surface area in 76 individual tiles which then were one-by-one captured by the ALPA camera. The data were subsequently stitched together by means of software.

Agisoft Metashape Software © Martin Stollenwerk / SIK-ISEA


"The camera delivers radical precision - especially to determine the geometry of the ceiling.
The clarity and sheer amount of detail provided by the combination camera, lens and digital back was new to me and very impressive.
I was able to calculate a high resolution 3d model as well as an orthomosaic with approx. 48250 x 26800 px. the resolution is approx. 5px/mm resp. 1px = 0.211 mm"

- Martin Stollenwerk

The ceiling - captured 1:63 © Martin Stollenwerk / SIK-ISEA
Details of the ceiling © Martin Stollenwerk / SIK-ISEA

"High resolution and best components"

ALPA 12 FPS / Phase One IQ4 150 / Rodenstock / ALPA HR Alpagon 4.0/40 mm, SB17, in Aperture Unit

Equipment in use:

ALPA 12 FPS -The Matchless                                                        

The ALPA 12 FPS is probably the most astounding mirrorless medium-format camera for digital backs. It offers an integrated and electronically
controlled focal-plane shutter, runs with extremely low vibrations, and
has the fastest exposure time of 1/4000 sec. It is also possible to use
mechanical and electronic leaf shutters – installed in the lens – for
particularly short flash synchronization speed.

Phase One IQ4 150                                                          

Due to high-resolution The Phase One IQ4 is often considered well-suited for cultural heritage applications due to its high-resolution capabilities, advanced features, and specialized functionalities that cater to the unique needs of preserving and documenting cultural artifacts and heritage sites.

Third party product - not sold by ALPA

Phase One IQ4 150
Rodenstock / ALPA HR Alpagon 4.0/40 mm, SB17, in Aperture Unit                                                        

If the conversation comes to the HR ALPAGON 40mm, then the term "workhorse" usually comes up very soon - and quite rightly so, because, for many (professional) photographers, the 40mm is the standard solution for their ALPA.

Rodenstock / ALPA HR Alpagon 4.0/40 mm, SB17, in Aperture Unit

ALPA would not be ALPA if we would not strive for perfection and care for every single detail.

Photogrammetry and Cultural Heritage photography have high demands regarding resolution and alignment. With the ALPA add|metric II we designed a camera that allows no tolerances.

We build customized solutions.
Get in touch with us.