Lens Shades from ALPA come out of a 3D Printer and perform perfectly. They even solve problems with light spots.
3D Printing or Additive Design really makes a difference when it comes to producing small batches on demand. It can also help professional photographers solve quality issues. ALPA has been researching for years and is using the technology to produce Lens Shades as well as other camera parts.ALPA Lens Shades are laser sintered and come in various shapes. They match precisely with the features of different lenses and digital back sensors. Furthermore, ALPA Lens Shades are highly effective when it comes to light reflection.They are durable, flexible and at the same time dimensionally stable. This means, you can stuff your ALPA Lens Shade into your bag, leave it there for hours and it still will be able to return to its original shape.Avoiding light spotsJust like any of our products, ALPA Lens Shades had to withstand the high expectations in the field tests. On of the recent testers was Swiss architectural photographer René Dürr. In spring 2017, he took several Lens Shades on a photographic trip to the region of Veneto, Italy.The intention that led him to this field test was a quality issue. "I am used to working very precisely and I've had some problems with light spots different than usual on my pictures", he explains. "I discussed the matter with a lot of experts, but we couldn't find the reason. I was not even able to correct the spots within the post production, so I couldn't use any of the pictures affected." ALPA technical advisor Hans-Peter Ochsner knows the problem. „light spots are quite common, especially when the weather is clouded.“After a short briefing with ALPA, René Dürr decided to try our printed Lens Shades. The result was exciting, he says. "They have proven successful. The spots are just gone and I can confirm all the other advantages, too. For example, I keep the ALPA Lens Shades in my backpack and they never distort. Another pro is the simple handling. I just put them over the lense and they stay right there."
Two of the pictures René Dürr sent us. The light spots in the middle may be small, but they ruined the whole photograph. So he tested different types of ALPA Lens Shades.
"In the end, they save me a lot of time and money as a professional photographer", Dürr says.You'll find more information about Additive Manufacturing of serial components in Frederick Waldern's blog on zuehlke.com (only in German). He also names ALPA as an example.