Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Rangefinder Forum > Photography General Interest

Photography General Interest Neat Photo stuff NOT particularly about Rangefinders.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Is anyone here using old Konica glass?
Old 5 Days Ago   #1
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,945
Is anyone here using old Konica glass?

Over the past year or so I came to realize the Stirling reputation of Konica lenses - they were always a bit of a "sleeper" to me.
In any event some months ago, I had the opportunity to buy some Konica lenses due to a local camera store having a few on sale fairly inexpensively from a deceased estate.

Over a period of a few months last year and late the year before, I ended up buying their highly regarded Hexanon AR 135mm f3.2 (often said anecdotally to be one of the sharpest classic 135mm lenses ever ) and AR 50mm f1.7 plus a mammoth and weighty zoom - the Hexanon AR 28-135mm f4-4.6. All were inexpensive for me to buy, though to an obvious high standard. Konica's build quality seems second to none.

Both the 135mm and the zoom I find to be a bit too big to be comfortable on most mirrorless cameras, especially the latter which is not only big but heavy (the 135mm is not heavy - just relatively large and long) but I expect big things from the 50mm f1.7. I have read and been told that the Japanese 50mm f1.7 lenses of that era were all built to the Zeiss Planar design which were manufactured under licence in Japan, mostly by Yashica at their Tomioka plant for themselves and on behalf of other Japanese makers, though I suspect the Konica one may have been made by that company given its skills in the field. Not sure though. In any event being a "mere" f1.7 lens it is normally quite cheap to buy - the f1.4 which also has a high reputation is somewhat dearer.

The zoom, having an f4 maximum aperture can also be taxing apart from its weight, in that it does not seem to respond quite so well to use of focus peaking, making it a bit harder to focus quickly. Though its contrast is very good. (Normally I have focus peaking issues with low contrast lenses for obvious reasons). One unusual aspect of it apart from its size is the that its focus throw is exceedingly short. Only 90 degrees from nearest focus to infinity. This does not help with focus accuracy but I suppose its slow maximum aperture helps hit focus.

I have not had the chance to do any serious photography or even testing of them on my mirrorless kit - just a few random photos around the house but will do so in the near future. I would be interested in seeing other people's examples of pictures as well as hearing your impressions of the above or any other of their lenses.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #2
charjohncarter
Registered User
 
charjohncarter's Avatar
 
charjohncarter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Danville, CA, USA
Posts: 9,020
I've had not SLR glass, but I have had 3 Konica C35 which are RF and fixed lens. All three had amazing lenses. In fact they may be the best lenses I've ever had.

Tools by John Carter, on Flickr

Tmax400 by John Carter, on Flickr

I know it is hard to see how great these cameras are on a computer: but they are magic. I still have one left. They were not made to last.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #3
BlackXList
Registered User
 
BlackXList is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 761
I have and use a bunch of Konica lenses, even as I decreased the amount of film I shoot, the Konica stuff is so good it has to stay.

These days if anything needs doing wholly on film, I'm definitely using my Konica stuff, it's well built and the results are always enjoyable.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #4
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I've had not SLR glass, but I have had 3 Konica C35 which are RF and fixed lens. All three had amazing lenses. In fact they may be the best lenses I've ever had.

Tools by John Carter, on Flickr

Tmax400 by John Carter, on Flickr

I know it is hard to see how great these cameras are on a computer: but they are magic. I still have one left. They were not made to last.
Yes they are beautiful shots.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #5
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,945
I forgot to mention that I also bought a Hexanon AR 55mm f3.5 Macro lens. It was inexpensive and I was curious, though not really keen on macro images, to see how it performed as an everyday lens. I have found that other 50mm (ish) macro lenses work nicely in terms of both sharpness and in terms of bokeh and some can be used as an everyday lens very successfully. The Micor NIkkor 50mm f2.8 AIS is one such lens.

Well I have found this one is certainly sharp both at macro distances and longer distances but its bokeh is pretty average. Never the less for what I paid its a nice lens (and like other Konica lenses) so very well built and I will be happy to use it on those occasions when I need to shoot something very close.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #6
newst
Registered User
 
newst is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 164
Years back when I first decided to concentrate on using classic lenses I concentrated on Hexanon lenses. Many were great, but even the least were good.

I have since moved away from SLR lenses and shoot mostly rangefinders now, however I still keep my two favorite Hexanons, the 1.7/50 that you know, and the 1.8/85 that I highly recommend.

Just a couple of samples taken with an A7II:

2015-08-18 Smokey A7II Konica 85-18 by newst54, on Flickr

2015-05-30 A7II Konica 85-18 by newst54, on Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #7
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,945
Three quick photos from the 55mm f3.5 Macro. The statue is an old temple lion from Asia.

The bokeh is a bit nervous for my taste but the image is otherwise pretty acceptable (with though a little fringing visible).



These details are pretty large so not really much of a test of the lens' ability but subject to my focusing its fine.



At close normal distances the lens performs nicely with good detail and contrast. This is to be expected since as I understand it, 50mm macro lenses tend to have fairly simple optical designs which provide excellent sharpness and good contrast at macro and fairly close / normal working distances.



Overall a good lens but not wholly to my taste for "normal" work.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #8
Trask
Registered User
 
Trask is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 31
Yes, I own and use Konica cameras and lenses (among others). I’ve got a beater T3 with split image screen, and an Auto Reflex that is switchable from full frame 35mm to half frame. I have one Konica lens with a bit of sticky aperture, so my go-to lenses are the 40mm “pancake” lens, and a 28mm f/3.5 lens, both of which are outstandingly sharp — half frame images made with these lenses are very, very usable. Sometimes I overlook the dimension ratio difference and think that a half frame shot I’m looking at was shot full frame. The other thing about the Auto Reflex is that it has one of the few microprism focusing devices that I can really focus with — others, like Pentax Spotmatic, don’t work for me. Here’s a good resource on Konica cameras and lenses — www.buhla.de
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #9
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,334
I have and am quite fond of a Konishiroku Hexanon 50/1.9 in LTM. It is capable of some very nice images; it is not, however, as inexpensive as the Konica SLR lenses. Note that these samples are considerably sharper in full resolution - hopefully they give you a sense of the character of the lens regardless.


__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #10
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by newst View Post
Years back when I first decided to concentrate on using classic lenses I concentrated on Hexanon lenses. Many were great, but even the least were good.

I have since moved away from SLR lenses and shoot mostly rangefinders now, however I still keep my two favorite Hexanons, the 1.7/50 that you know, and the 1.8/85 that I highly recommend.

Just a couple of samples taken with an A7II:

2015-08-18 Smokey A7II Konica 85-18 by newst54, on Flickr

2015-05-30 A7II Konica 85-18 by newst54, on Flickr
I especially like the cat photo - it has the look of a very good 85mm lens. The image has the sharp/rounded/soft look that works so well with images produced by the best portrait lenses. And the bokeh is creamy and dreamy.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #11
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
I have and am quite fond of a Konishiroku Hexanon 50/1.9 in LTM. It is capable of some very nice images; it is not, however, as inexpensive as the Konica SLR lenses. Note that these samples are considerably sharper in full resolution - hopefully they give you a sense of the character of the lens regardless.


Love the first shot especially. The tonal gradations are just as I like - a fairly gentle roll off. Nicely caught.
  Reply With Quote

Old 5 Days Ago   #12
newst
Registered User
 
newst is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
I especially like the cat photo - it has the look of a very good 85mm lens. The image has the sharp/rounded/soft look that works so well with images produced by the best portrait lenses. And the bokeh is creamy and dreamy.
Yes, it is an excellent lens which is why I won't part with it.
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #13
twvancamp
Thom
 
twvancamp's Avatar
 
twvancamp is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 63
Consistently impressed with Konica glass, but what bodies are folks shooting on?

The Konica cameras I've handled have felt pretty flimsy.
__________________
Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #14
valdas
Registered User
 
valdas's Avatar
 
valdas is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,599
Quote:
Originally Posted by twvancamp View Post
Consistently impressed with Konica glass, but what bodies are folks shooting on?

The Konica cameras I've handled have felt pretty flimsy.
I am using Autoreflex full/half frame model. Quite unique camera able to shoot both half and full frame shots on the same roll with the simple move of a switch.

Some examples with Hexanon 50/1.7 and 28/3.5 lenses on my flickr:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/129139...57651805238063
__________________
My Flickr
________
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #15
petronius
Registered User
 
petronius's Avatar
 
petronius is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southern Germany
Age: 56
Posts: 2,340
On my FS-1 I used the 40mm/1,8, the 28mm/3,5 and the 135mm/3,2. They all feel great on the Alpha 7 too. In fact, the 40mm is most used lens on my A7. The short adapter plus the sort lens give a very well balanced combo with the A7 (I use it without a sunshade). Later on I bought the 35-70mm/3,5 from the 70s which is a large beast, but great in handling and it focuses down to 35cm.
Pictures
__________________
My tumblr

My Rollei 35 tumblr
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #16
KoNickon
Nick Merritt
 
KoNickon is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hartford, CT USA
Age: 61
Posts: 3,158
The Autoreflex T-3 is the opposite of flimsy. Excellent camera body -- just know that it takes 2x675 cells (1.3V mercury; 76 or 357 cells are a perfect fit but you need to compensate the film speed -- 200 instead of 400 speed for instance). And it's not quiet either -- the Copal Square shutter isn't stealthy. But it is extremely durable and accurate.
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #17
DwF
Registered User
 
DwF's Avatar
 
DwF is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,200
Many years back when I had my Konica Hexar, a friend who worked at a local camera store, and who loved shooting his Konica Autoreflex, told me that, -and rather than paraphrase, I take the following here from a wikipedia. I'm pretty sure he told me this in the 90s before wikipedia existed

"Konica's lenses were even used as a reference for the Japanese Ministry of Industry as the benchmark against other manufacturers' lenses"
__________________
DwF DwFs Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #18
DwF
Registered User
 
DwF's Avatar
 
DwF is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,200
And a bit off-topic but Pentax also made some wonderful lenses. I know Pentax's SMC 50 f 1.4 was a favorite for Pentax shooters, but I really liked the SMC 50mm f 1.7

__________________
DwF DwFs Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #19
davidde1000
Registered User
 
davidde1000 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 30
I use a 35/2 AR Hexanon on film (TC-X & FC-1) and mirrorless
digital. It is a phenomenal lens with alot of character. It was really hard to find but one just popped up on KEH one day. The 35/2.8 is no slouch either. Retrofocal lenses seem to work particularly well on mirrorless. It seems the secret is out though on the better Konica lenses. The 57/1.2, 21/2.8, the UCs, etc. are all getting really $$$ these days.
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #20
Dralowid
Michael
 
Dralowid's Avatar
 
Dralowid is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,714
Right at the bottom of the scale the Konica Pop was an excellent little device that consistently produced acceptable results on many family holidays.

Ours was red.
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #21
valdas
Registered User
 
valdas's Avatar
 
valdas is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,599
Hexanon 50/1.7



28/3.5

__________________
My Flickr
________
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #22
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
 
Phil_F_NM's Avatar
 
Phil_F_NM is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Age: 43
Posts: 4,152
I have some hobbyist experience fixing the Autoreflex T3, of which I have two bodies, one a black paint, the other in chrome. The lenses are stellar. When I got my 135/3.2 I thought that Konica should have been the company that Leica paired with instead of Minolta. Their lenses are definitely equal to Leica R glass. The "flimsy" body that most folks have experience with is the Autoreflex TC, which is not a bad camera, just a little lighter and with fewer options than something like the T4, which I also love using. That said, I have enough TC bodies that I could outfit a small classroom, and I actually lent them out last summer to a local community arts program.

Phil Forrest
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #23
mpaniagua
Registered User
 
mpaniagua's Avatar
 
mpaniagua is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Age: 46
Posts: 1,144
Got some Konica as well. My favorite is the Autoreflex T4. Have two T3 with sluggish shutters and hazed viewfinders. T4 is quite light and nice to use.

My favorite lens are the 40mm and the 55mm. I use the 135 from time to time.

Quite fantastic lenses.

Marcelo
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #24
twvancamp
Thom
 
twvancamp's Avatar
 
twvancamp is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
The Autoreflex T-3 is the opposite of flimsy. Excellent camera body -- just know that it takes 2x675 cells (1.3V mercury; 76 or 357 cells are a perfect fit but you need to compensate the film speed -- 200 instead of 400 speed for instance). And it's not quiet either -- the Copal Square shutter isn't stealthy. But it is extremely durable and accurate.
Thanks for this! I've looked at the T4 as well. The size and price are right that's for sure.
__________________
Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #25
KoNickon
Nick Merritt
 
KoNickon is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hartford, CT USA
Age: 61
Posts: 3,158
The T4 is similar in design to the TC (though with more features) -- can't say I ever warmed to these two smaller bodies. "Flimsy" is the impression, for sure. And the body covering is very prone to shrinkage -- conveys a shoddier impression of Konica than is warranted.
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #26
rumbliegeos
Registered User
 
rumbliegeos's Avatar
 
rumbliegeos is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 282
I inherited an Autoreflex TC with 40mm 2.8 from my father. Since then I have added the 135mm 3.2, the 28mm 3.5 and the 50mm 1.7 lenses. I have not used the equipment a lot, but I do remember shooting a roll of Kodachrome 64 with it and the slides had a lovely saturation and sharpness. I had Greg Weber convert the camera for use with modern batteries. It does make a very loud shutter noise for such a small camera!
__________________
Gerry
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #27
rumbliegeos
Registered User
 
rumbliegeos's Avatar
 
rumbliegeos is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 282
Excuse me, 40mm 1.8. I hope to use the lenses more someday when I finally acquire a mirrorless camera.
__________________
Gerry
  Reply With Quote

Old 4 Days Ago   #28
02Pilot
Malcontent
 
02Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 1,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by twvancamp View Post
Consistently impressed with Konica glass, but what bodies are folks shooting on?

The Konica cameras I've handled have felt pretty flimsy.

This one, primarily. It's a little nose-heavy, but otherwise a good match.

__________________
-------------------------------------------------------
Any man who can see what he wants to get on film will usually find some way to get it;
and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.

-Hunter S. Thompson
-
http://filmosaur.wordpress.com/
  Reply With Quote

Konica III
Old 4 Days Ago   #29
Alfasud
Old Toys
 
Alfasud's Avatar
 
Alfasud is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 455
Konica III

I have been using a Konica III rangefinder with a fixed Hexanon 1:2 48 lens for over twenty years. The quality is great.


__________________
Contax IIIa, Konica I Type Cs, Konica III, Vitessa L Ultron, Leica iiif (RD), Rollei 35, Minox B, ZI Nettar 510/2,, HP Photosmart 945, Kiev 4.

If I age as well as my cameras, I'll do all right
  Reply With Quote

Old 3 Days Ago   #30
blumoon
Registered User
 
blumoon is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Sarasota, Florida USA
Age: 70
Posts: 246
Konica Hexanon 21mm 1:4 on Lumix G7
[IMG]P1030529 [/IMG]
  Reply With Quote

Old 2 Days Ago   #31
newst
Registered User
 
newst is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by twvancamp View Post
Consistently impressed with Konica glass, but what bodies are folks shooting on?

The Konica cameras I've handled have felt pretty flimsy.

I am using an FT-1 that a seller said was dead and included free when I purchased a lens from him. Funny thing, when I put in batteries it started right up and has worked fine ever since.
  Reply With Quote

Old 2 Days Ago   #32
mpaniagua
Registered User
 
mpaniagua's Avatar
 
mpaniagua is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Age: 46
Posts: 1,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by twvancamp View Post
Consistently impressed with Konica glass, but what bodies are folks shooting on?

The Konica cameras I've handled have felt pretty flimsy.

umm T4 'seems' flimsy but build quality is definitely there. I mean, it looked pretty toylike on internet but handling is pretty nice IMHO.

Marcelo
  Reply With Quote

Old 2 Days Ago   #33
davidde1000
Registered User
 
davidde1000 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 30
With the 35/2. It's a pretty big setup.

  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:01.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.