Any one know any thing about the FP-1? : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread

I saw a FP-1 in a local shop, and was wondering if any one knew anything about this body? Is it very sturdy, it's not as full featured as the others but it is cheaper too. Would you suggest this body at all? Thanks Jon Potter

-- Anonymous, July 01, 1998


FP-1 Program description

The FP-1 Program is unique among the cameras which use the Autoreflex (AR) lens mount, in that it is the only one which has a programmed exposure mode. That is to say, in operation it sets both the aperture and shutter speed automatically. It has no shutter speed dial.

The scheme Konica engineers chose for implementing programmed exposure is unique, and I believe superior to the algorithms used by the competing manufacturers. Adhering to the concept that priority should be given to shutter speed over aperture to minimize the effects of camera shake and subject motion, the FP-1's program is biased toward relatively higher shutter speeds. In actual use, it automatically selects shutter speeds using the same logic that a human operator would use to do it manually.

The program works like this:

First, the light meter measures the lighting of the scene and assigns an EV value between EV 8 and EV 17.

Once the level of brightness has been determined, it selects the aperture in one of three stages:

For EV 8 to EV 11, the aperture selected is f/2.8. For EV 11 to EV 14, f/5.6 is selected. For EV 14 to EV 17, f/11 is chosen.

After the aperture is selected, the highest possible shutter speed which will render proper exposure at the selected aperture is then chosen.

For example when shooting outdoors in daylight, you can take for granted the range of brightness will be between EV 14 and EV 17. The FP-1 program would automatically select f/11. Assuming the use of ASA 100 film, the camera's program would then select a shutter speed between 1/1000th sec. and 1/125th sec - descending from highest to lowest (fastest to slowest), depending on the actual brightness of the light. If the light dims below the level where f/11 and 1/125th sec would give proper exposure, it shifts to the next aperture stage at f/5.6 and chooses a shutter speed between 1/400th sec and 1/125th sec. In low-light conditions, the camera would first select aperture f/2.8. With ASA 100 film, it would then select a shutter speed between 1/200th sec and 1/30th sec - descending from highest to lowest.

I don't know of any other manufacturer's programmed mode that works like this. Even though the aperture is selected first, this is done only so preference can be given to a relatively faster shutter speed. So in essence, the benefits of shutter speed preferred exposure automation are preserved.

Naturally, the implementation of such a scheme involves a compromise. For one thing, the only apertures which are used are f/2.8, f/5.6 and f/11. If the photographer believes use of f/8 is imperative, for whatever reasons, he is simply out of luck. Also, f/2.8 will be the widest aperture available for use - even if a f/1.4 lens is mounted on the camera. In low-light situations, 1/30th sec and f/2.8 is the most exposure you can get. The camera has no shutter speeds slower than 1/30th sec. However in hand-held photography, 1/30th sec is about as slow as one can go without seeing the effects of camera shake anyway.

The FP-1 can be used in manual mode by moving the aperture ring off of the "AE" position, but the only manual shutter speed is 1/100th sec. The camera synchs with flash at 1/100th sec with either dedicated or non-dedicated flash.

The viewfinder has 2 LEDs, one red and one green. A constantly lit green LED indicates proper exposure has been achieved. If the green LED blinks, this indicates a dedicated flash has been recharged and is ready for exposure. A constantly lit red LED indicates the light is too dim for proper exposure, implying that electronic flash should be used. A flashing red LED indicates the camera is in manual mode (the lens aperture ring has been moved from the "AE" position and 1/100th sec shutter speed has been selected).

The ASA range of the light meter is 25 - 800. It uses a common 6 volt battery.

The FP-1 Program uses the same accessories as the FC-1, including the Power-Winder F and leather, ever-ready case. It uses the same dedicated flash units as all the F-series cameras, the X-18, X-24, and X-36. It has the same remote terminal as all the F-series cameras for attaching the electronic cable releases, the left-hand shutter release, the interval timer, and the radio controlled shutter release.

The FP-1 Program is the easiest to operate of all the Konica 35mm SLRs, and will produce beautiful results for a photographer who knows absolutely nothing about the effects of varying shutter speeds and apertures. And the results will be the same as an expert photographer could achieve, except where small apertures are desired in low-light situations to emphasize depth of field.

I think the FP-1 is undeservedly under-appreciated, and sort of illustrates the principle of less being more. There are really very few photographic situations where its limitations would cause problems and its simplicity of use should be a desirable benefit in the hands of many photographers. The Konica FP-1 Program is rather rare, but is often priced surprisingly low.

Gene Windell

-- Anonymous, July 01, 1998


Jon: FP-1 allows the photographer almost no control. I had one that quit and was told it couldn't be repaired. Gave same away. If its cheap enough it may be ok though.

-- Anonymous, July 05, 1998

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