What Konica zoom for a Konica Autoreflex T3n?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by andy_collins|1, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. I recently picked up a pristine T3n with the Hexanon 50/1.7 and a couple of other lenses for the bargain price of $39.99. The camera is in beautiful condition and the lenses are very nice too. I would like a nice walk-around zoom lens for the camera though, but I don't know which Hexanons are good zooms and which are not. I've been watching a couple of Hexanon 28-135/4 zooms on eBay, but I don't know what their reputation for performance is. Any suggestions or lenses to avoid? I'd appreciate any thoughts.
  2. Lenses like the 65-135 Hexanon are not easy to focus on a T3 unless the light is very bright. I have a T2 and an FT-1 with Nikon E focusing screens transplanted into them. This makes using macro lenses and slow zooms easier. The 28-135 Hexanon was made by Tokina and is the same as the Tokina AT-X of the same range. It's not a bad lens if you are not doing architectural photography but it's heavy and quite slow. It has an element in a rear group which can sometimes get cloudy and which is difficult to access or replace. The 35-100/2.8 Varifocal Hexanon is a decent performer but is also very heavy. Some independent lenses to consider: Vivitar Series 1 35-85mm f/2.8, Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5, Vivitar 28-85mm f/2.8-3.8 Auto Variable Focusing (made by Kino Precision and also sold as a Kiron). In the longer range there is the Konica UC Hexanon 80-200/4. This is a two-touch zoom and is quite good. When it came out in about 1976 it was very expensive so not many were sold. It succeeded the earlier Konica Hexanon 80-200/3.5. The f/3.5 model is much larger and heavier. The final version of that model (rubber covered focusing ring) is better in difficult lighting situations than earlier f/3.5s. The last two 80-200 Konica lenses, the f/4 one-touch and the f/4.5 one touch were made by Tokina and are not nearly as good as the f/4 UC model. If you feel strong you can look for the first three versions of the Vivitar 70-210mm Series one lenses. The first one is the heaviest and was made by Kino. It/s an f/3.5. The second was made by Tokina and is also an f/3.5. The third is an f/2.8-4 and was made by Komine. All three are capable of good results so condition is more important than which model you get. The Komine version is considered by some people to be the best of the three but isn't found as often. The last two versions of the 70-210 Series 1 lenses were made by Cosina and I do not think they were make in Konica mount. Soligor sold a few interesting zoom lenses which were made for Konica. Their 70-220/3.5 C/D was made to compete with Vivitar's Series 1 lenses and is supposed to be good. There was a more modest 80-200/4.5 Soligor C/D which also had good performance. My last suggestion is the Soligor C/D 35-70/2.5-3.5. This is an excellent lens which often sells for very little. It is even decent in the close-up range. It should not be confused with the slower 35-70/3.5-4.5. The slower lens would not be fun to use on a Konica T3N. The last thing I can tell you is that the Konica T3, A3 ad T3N models all had some problems with non-Konica lenses. The spring tension of the lenses does not match what the camera needs. When the problem shows up the shutter will fire again as you let the advance lever return. Many Tamron lenses with mount adapters (Adaptamatic, Adaptall, Adaptall II) have spring tension problems with Konicas and can damage the camera. The older Konica Autoreflex T2 seems to get along with non-Konica lenses better than any of the later models. You just have to try a non-Konica lens with your T3N to see how it works. If you need service on a Konica or are looking for a particular lens or accessory you can contact Greg Weber at gweber@webercamera.com or 402-721-3873.
  3. Andy,
    While I have a couple of the Konica Autoreflexes I have only used them with prime lenses. I found a test of a Konica 28-135mm zoom in Modern Photography. I don't know if this is the version you are looking at.
  4. Thanks everyone for the help! Mike, Jim, thank you for those links. I found those to be interesting and helpful reading. Jeff, I found the Soligor 35-70/2.5-3.5 along with a Series 1 70-210/3.5 for cheap, although both are in excellent condition from a seller with an excellent record. Thank you for all of your information and tips; I was hoping you'd see this thread and offer your wisdom, and I'm most grateful that you did! Marc, that test of the 28-135 is also very interesting to read and gave good info.

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