Monday, January 28, 2013

The User's Review: Minolta Hi-Matic AF 35 mm Camera, Released in 1979

Hi-Matic AF is the first model with auto-focus in Minolta Hi-Matic series. When Hi-Matic AF was in my hands, it reminded me Konica C35 AF, the first mass-produced AF camera.

Minolta Hi-Matic AF comes with a multi-coated Minolta Rokker 38 mm f2.8 lens and with ASA range of 25 - 400. The inboard flash has to be turned on manually. Other features include self-timer, focus lock, mental tripod socket and 2 AA batteries.

Like Konica C35 AF, Hi-Matic AF also takes 46 mm filter. On both models, the light eyes will be covered by the filter used. Therefore, the user does not need to worry about the auto-metering when using a filter. Both models have a dedicated lens cap. I should call them 'front masks' because they cover not only the lenses, but also the windows of rangefinders and focusing systems. The front mask on Minolta Hi-Matic AF even protects the shutter button from accident release. A good design is that the Hi-Matic AF bottom case has a hanging to keep the mask from missing. 

Unlike Konica C35 AF, Hi-Matic AF can't accept a shutter release cable, but its self-timer may be more helpful in daily use.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

The User's Review: Albinar ADG 80-200mm 1:3.9 MC Macro Zoom, Made in Korea

This zoom lens is made in Korea, with pretty good quality. When changing the focus length, its total length does not change. However, when focusing from infinite to 1.3 m (for Macro 1:5), its length extends a little bit, and its front barrel turns.

The focus distance is marked in both meter and foot. The aperture ring has 3.9, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 and 22 index. There are 6 aperture blades inside. In the front, it accepts 55 mm filters.

This one I have is for Minilta MD mount (Cat. # XB857874PDP), distributed by Best Products Co., Inc., Richmond, VA 23260.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The User's Review: Konica Hexanon Zoom 1:4.5 70~230mm

Built like a old cannon at some historical sites/castles, this is one of the heaviest lenses/zooms from Konica Hexanon. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The User's Review: Revue SP Full and Half Frame 35 MM Camera, Released in 1966

Revue SP is a rebranded Konica Auto-Reflex P and Konica Autorex P , even the kit lens of SP is marked Hexanon only.

Like the kit lenses in the Auto-Reflex/Autorex P, my Revue SP lens is also 'yellow-dotted' at the EE/AE gear of aperture ring. The f1.4 yellow-dotted lens is rare since Auto-Reflex/Autorex P and Revue SP kits were sold at lower prices.  

The Revue SP I have has no the dedicated slip-on light meter and case. I do not know whether the meter and case sold with SP are marked 'Revue' or not. My SP came with a front lens cap without any brand name. Don't know if it's a original one. 

It's common to see a sticker on the inside surface of film door in most Konica SLR cameras. However, there  is no such sticker in my Revue SP.

On Revue SP, the frame sizes (24x35 and 18x24) are marked by the frame switch while, on both Konica Auto-Reflex P and Autorex P, FULL and HALF are marked. 

Revue SP might be one of the first cameras launched by Foto-Quelle, a photographic retailerin western Europe.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The User's Review: Konica Auto-Reflex P and Dedicated Konica Light Meter III, Released in 1966

The top half of the case for Auto-Reflex P has extra room for the installed light meter.

Compared to the Auto-Reflex with a inboard meter, I noticed at least six superficial differences between the sibling models, not including the differences on the upper case as I mentioned above and a tiny one on the lens coming with the Auto-reflex P.

The slid-on light meter is powered by a cell battery. The lens sold with Auto-Reflex P has a yellow dot after f16 on the aperture ring. This is the EE or AE gear on other Koinca AR lens/zoom. Since there is no EE/AE function on Auto-Reflex P body, the lens is only 'yellow dotted', not marked otherwise. 

The light meter seems complicated. I neither have nor find a manual for the meter. If you as my reader happen to have a copy of the manual, I hope you can scan and post it online. Instead, I used a Petri Shoe-mount light meter when I shot with my Auto-Reflex P. 

Also saw a black version of Auto-Reflex P as shown in the following image.

An identical JDM-version of Konica Autorex P was sold in Japan. Similarly, Revue SP marketed in Germany and Europe.

Today, when I prepared this post, I found that several websites for Koinca camera/lens have been shut down. This is not good for the users of Konica film cameras although there are not many such people out there. I hope Konica-Minolta, Pentax and Ricoh, I mean the camera companies, also set up their official camera museums online, as Canon does. I believe, this is not only for commercial reason, but also for their long-time users, education, technology history and more.