Konica Autoreflex T...A Few Shots and Impressions

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by andy_collins|1, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. I've shot a couple of rolls of film through the Konica in the last week or two and though most of them were pretty forgettable pictures, a few were worth looking at more than once and I came away with a favorable impression of the camera. It is a very solid and sturdy camera that feels like it was cast out of iron. The shutter button also feels just as sturdy and takes a hearty squeeze to activate, but it's a sensation I quickly got used to. I really like the look of the camera with its pointed top that reminds me of the Olympus OM-cameras and the Spotmatic. In reviewing my pictures I was impressed by the Hexanon 57/1.4 as it put in a good performance. The pictures that I didn't like weren't unsatisfactory due to any fault of the camera, but rather to my lackluster choice of subjects. I do agree to some extent with some who said earlier that the lens is very good but not quite as good as the FD or Nikkor offerings, and I'll add the Rokkor lenses to that select group as well. It's a sharp lens with pretty good contrast but it seemed to lack that 'something' that my FD lenses have. I'll keep experimenting with it though as my first impressions are often tainted by my lack of experience with a particular piece of gear. I really like this camera and I think that I could grow to love it and get even better performance from it the more I become familiar with it. Here a a few shots taken with the camera as well as a picture of the 'star of the show' itself.
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  2. Shot #1
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  3. Shot #2
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  4. Shot #3
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  5. ...and finally, shot #4
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  6. Very nice Andy, that Hexanon seems to perform very well, with nice contrast on all the images. I must say it is a pretty interesting sample you are demonstrating here, with such strong opposites, the brute force of an earth mover and the delicacy and beauty of the floral world.
    Image # 2 has both elements in the same frame, and I find it really interesting, the menacing barbed wire, perfectly balanced by the beautiful yellow wild flowers. In this image, the power of the Hexanon seems even more impressive as I am guessing an aperture of f/5.6 or f/8 was used to get this interesting DOF and a great color rendition.
    All in all, this combo is definitely a keeper IMO. Enjoy and create/take more pictures with it please. Regards.
     
  7. Another "very nice" although I have to tell you that at first as I was scrolling down, I thought at first that earthmover was the internal works of the camera!
     
  8. The shot with barbed wire is just super. Pretty camera too. No, you can never have too many flower pictures.
     
  9. Andy, your pictures look wonderfully sharp to me! If that camera is "missing something," I can't see it :)
    I've always had a fascination with machinery, and in the picture of the earth mover you can see every bit of rust and even a reflection on the hydraulic cylinder. The details are super sharp and you nailed the exposure just right...which is NOT easy to do with cluttered machinery like that. (If someone gets a picture of a locomotive now, they'll make me into an instant friend!)
    And I defintiely agree with Ralf about the 2nd picture...there is something about a flower growing alongside barbed wire. Like even in the most evil and foreboding places, something beautiful still manages to survive and flourish. That's the theme I got from it, anyway.
    That's a very cool camera and I'm going to have to look into it. Geez...Andy, every time you post a topic about one of your cameras I end up going on Google to look it up, and then eBay to see if I can find one! :)
     
  10. They are great looking cameras aren't they Andy. Very solid as well, the shutter action takes a bit getting used to, but makes a great noise when it fires.
    Your Hexanon looks good on these posts, but I have found that the 1.7 seems to perform a little better.....I have the same 1.4 as you, plus the later model with multi coating.
    Of course you will have to seek out all those AR lenses, I find them really well engineered, and my 28mm and 135mm are really good optics.
     
  11. Very Nice All your images are very well done. I know the feeling.. you think there's more there but you blame it on yourself. I am so often disappointed or lets say unfulfilled. I can almost always place the blame on poor judgement of subject, exposure, development etc. These photos are actually really good so stop beating yourself up. I liked the flowers and the rusty post as well as the wildflowers themselves. I'm drawn to photographing machinery too. I think Chris said it best. ..when you can get the right exposure that balances the guts with the form; you've hit it!
    I've always wanted to try one of these Konica SLRs came close twice. But ..yet another lens mount?!? I think too,
    you ought to keep experimenting and hopefully you'll pull out the finer points of these Hexanon lenses and the
    great workmanship of the fine Konica cameras.
     
  12. I like the shots, too. But, how could any of us comment on exposure or color? We are looking at scans converted to JPEGs and (for most of us) viewed on uncalibrated monitors. In my case, it's a laptop screen, too.

    Limitations of our medium... :-(

    --Marc
     
  13. Very nice. If you get Konica fever, keep your eyes open for bargains on a T3, which has a few more features. I've always found the Konica a decent camera to use, in part because of its impressive heft.
    Oddly enough, the first shots I took with a T3 tended to be of a mix of vegetation and old machinerey, and recently my brother in law came to visit and borrowed one, and wandered around the place taking vegetation and old machinery. There must be an affinity here.
    Marc, obviously we can't always criticize exposure and color with shrunk-down JPG's on an uncalibrated monitor, but on the other hand if the exposure and color look good even under those conditions, then a good result has been obtained. A nice shot is a nice shot if it looks good where it is.
     
  14. Most Konicanistas consider the 50 1.7 to be the jewel of the normals, the 50 1.4 close behind. Many consider the 57 1.4 to be a touch soft. Try this link for reviews of all the Hexanons. Just beware, collecting them is addicting.
    http://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/eHexanonHaupt.html
     
  15. Hey Andy, I still have a pile of Konica stuff that I want to get rid of. If you're interested send me an IM, and I'll tell you what I have.
     
  16. Ralf--Thanks for the great feedback, as always. Image #2 was, in fact, an aperture of f/5.6, just enough for a bit of DOF and to still have a little bit of background blur. I plan to keep this one and work with it quite a bit more, and I'm sure I'll begin to acquire the lenses next. Do you have any Konicas, and if so which ones do you have and prefer?
    JDM--LOL! That would be quite a camera if it looked like that on the inside, although some of my earlier digitals operated so slowly that I imagined their insides to look similarly to this.
    Louis--What's funny to me is that you like the barbed wire picture and when I was trying to get this particular shot, the thought passed through my mind, "How would Louis shoot this scene?" Honestly.
    Chris--Thanks for the very kind words. It's definitely a camera to look into getting as it has a nice feel to it. I hope you do get one; your pictures are enjoyable no matter what you're shooting them with, and I'd like to see some of your b&w work through one of these.
    Tony--Yes they are! And I do like the sound it makes when fired, enough so that I find myself just winding and shooting it for fun. I'm intrigued by the 50/1.7 and have begun the search for one, and of course I'll have to get a 28. And a 135. And maybe a zoom of some kind. Let's not forget the 35 because every outfit should include a 35, right?
    Chuck--Nice to hear from you! Thanks for your feedback. I think you should get one of these as well because I think you'd enjoy it. It's definitely worth the effort to keep trying to find one.
    Les--Thanks and no, it's not a small camera but it's not huge either. Pretty typically sized, but also fairly heavy although the weight feels good in the hand. I do have a pretty high bar and much of my gear meets my high standards. Sometimes though I forget to consider other factors in the final picture such as the performance of the lab I had the pictures finished at, and maybe unfairly attribute this to the performance of the camera when in fact the camera may have done just fine.
    Marc--Thanks for looking!
    Matthew--Thanks for the tip on the T3. I hope I don't get Konica fever, but I am starting to feel a bit shaky and beginning to get the chills. Interesting how flowers and machinery weave their way into our photographic psyche, huh?
    Michael--I was considering the 50/1.7 after Tony mentioned it, but your post has "sealed the deal". I've got to get one now. Thanks for the great link; it's very interesting and informative reading.
    Ed--I'll be in touch!
     
  17. Great shots and congrats on your acquisition. I have a Hexanon 50mm f1.4 that I use on my TC-X. I also have the neat little Hexanon 40mm f1.8. I've been tempted lately to look for a T/T2/T3 since that size body is a better match for the 1.4 than the TC-X.
    Another lens I like is the Hexanon 28mm f3.5. Great little performer.
     
  18. Yours is the T from 1968-1970 with the 57/1.4 chrome & black but with no EE lock pin. I started out with a T2 ('71-'73) and the 57/1.4 chrome & black with the EE lock pin. I took so many pictures with that lens that by the fall of 1975 I had worn out the focusing mount and the T2. I traded them in for a T3 with the new 50/1.4. I found the 57 to be quite good and the 50/1.4 to be excellent too. The T3 wasn't nearly as reliable as the T2 had been. The T3N was much better. Although I use many different cameras now I still have a large collection of Konica cameras and accessories. Some of my Konicas have been serviced over the yers by Greg Weber. I think he has kept Konica users going when other repair places would no longer work on these cameras. I have a black T3N and a black T2 out on a table in my office. The T3N has been converted to use MS-76 batteries and I use 675 hearing aid batteries in the T2. The T2 also has a Nikon E (grid) screen in it to make macro work easier. In the last week or so I saw some really nice Konica lenses sell on eBay for very little. These included the venerable 35-100/2.8 Varifocal and the 45-100/3.5 UC.
     
  19. very nice work Andy, very sharp with great color.
     
  20. John--Thanks very much!
    Les--I have too many to list, somewhere between 125 and 150 cameras altogether. That's a lot but still much more manageable than when I had well over 200 and that's still a small number compared to a lot of folks on this forum. I have been trying to get my collection down to only cameras that I will use or cameras that are unique enough to collect and not just buying any old camera that I see (although that's a habit that's hard to break!). It's also been fun building small camera systems based on the SLRs that I really like; it'll be fun building a Konica system, however large or small it turns out to be. As far as keeping their operation straight, I enjoy playing with them enough to become really familiar with them which just makes it a lot easier to use them in the field. Plus, it's always fun to learn new cameras and all of their nuances.
     
  21. Actually the MX is one I don't have and want badly!
     
  22. The MX does turn up on KEH from time to time. Haven't checked ebay in a while. I got my MX at KEH about two years ago. It is compact, but when I hold it the layout of the controls makes me feel like I'm holding a larger camera. With the 40mm SMC M pancake lens mounted, an MX will fit in most jacket pockets. Definitely a worthwhile addition to any Pentax K system.
     
  23. I do have the ME-Super and I really like it a lot! It's the same body as the ME and MX, I believe, a really compact but supremely enjoyable camera, much smaller than the Konica and quite a bit lighter, but still has a good heft to it.
     
  24. the thought passed through my mind, "How would Louis shoot this scene?"​
    Thanks for the thought, Andy. However if one abstracts the scene to the graphic underpinings, one clearly sees your own very well-developed design and pictorial sense that has arrainged the main shapes and lines in a balanced, harmonious composition.
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  25. The only thing I would add is to continue after the fact to strengthen the design by burning down the background and adding a bit of contrast and color to the fence to push the flowers and fence forward. This adds subtle emphasis to the key design elements and creates a greater feeling of depth. Which version is better? Its a toss up, but that would be my thinking on completing this excellent, well seen image.
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  26. Thanks for the excellent feedback, Louis. I actually do like the second version with more contrast and a toned-down background, and how the bright flowers jump out. I would have liked shooting this scene with a larger aperture while mounted on a tripod for an even more blurred background, but in order to even get this shot I was standing in bushes where the bees were hard at work and much too close for my comfort, just inches away. I don't know that a more blurred background would have given as much of a sense of depth though, so your suggestion of adding contrast and color to emphasize the key design elements would yield the most dynamic results.
     
  27. The Konica T series are gorgeous and sturdy . . . I still have several! Interesting point, they have an extremely well designed film chamber and were the first (?) to mass produce the copal vertical shutter in the 35mm SLR. They were relatively rugged. The bayonet mount is easily adaptable to many other lens brands, but adapters are getting hard to find. The Hexanon 50mm was a stellar performer!
     
  28. Andy- your results have inspired me to take some pics with some of my Hexanons. Currently I'm taking a few with my 50mm f1.4, but the 40mm f1.8 and 28mm f3.5 will also get some "exercise." The only Konica body I have is a TC-X. I'm hoping to eventually pick up a "real" Konica. My first choice is the T3N.
     
  29. Good to see Konica gear here. The T series are bulkier than what I like to carry around, but I can see they do look nice & sturdy! My first camera is a small plastic Konica TC-X purchsed new many years ago. Despite being cheap & plastic, it's still going strong. I have the 28/3.5, 40/1.8, and 50/1.7 Hexanon lens. All pretty good performers.
    Do you find T's viewfinder kind of dark? I've read about the later Konica got brigher VF. My recent addition are Konica FC-1 and FT-1. These are slightly more modern but equally reliable Konica SLR.
     
  30. The T series viewfinders are not particularly bright. The focusing screens from the T through the T3N were all the same size. Some people have had the split image screen from the T3 installed in a T2. This can be helpful when focusing wide angle lenses.
     

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