Let's tell Konica to start making slrs againgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread
I'm a long time Konica slr user. I've enjoyed many good things at this website and found them useful. Just yesterday I called Greg Weber who sells used (and new) Konica camera stuff. Anyone that's visited this website will, at some point, have come across G. Weber's name and business. I asked him whether he knew of anything that Konica is doing to get started in making slr's again. Greg told me that he's been talking with and telling Konica Japan and Konica USA that they should start making slr's again because interest has grown again among consumers for slr's. Consumers have discovered that the quality of picture is much better with slr's (especially when one has to turn the flash on. Isn't redeye beautiful!). At any rate, apparently there has been some positive feedback from Konica on the slr issue. Greg and Konica USA are talking with each (on Greg's initiative) to come up with a new slr that will be a mix between the Autoreflex T3 and the FT-1 cameras. So, here's my suggestion: let us, users of Konica slr's, flood Konica USA and/or Konica Japan and tell them that we would be interested in seeing them develop a new slr camera that will continue the Konica II lens mount(used on all of the old slr's) and restart production of the new slr. Let's tell them that we will be happy to purchase a reasonably priced slr (not like the exhorbitant and limited-in-use Hexar RF that Konica is now coming out with). The company is an old one and changes come slowly, but with some encouragement from us, Konica slr users, perhaps we'll spur them on to restart making a new slr camera and then we'll purchase them so that we can continue happily on our way being assured of future support for our hobby or jobs with Konica slrs. Any takers for my suggestion? I hope so. All the best to you all who use Konica slrs!
-- Anonymous, February 01, 2000
George, Although I am inclined to just tell you to forget it, that Konica is unlikely to reverse such a momentous decision once it has been made and implemented for more than 10 years, I must admit that tilting at windmills for a good cause like this is appealing. So much so, that I am endorsing this move. I no longer have Konica USA's address for product or sales, so I guess that is the first priority in this fool's quest, finding out who to contact for the most impact. Maybe Greg Weber knows the right ear to talk into?
Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia
-- Anonymous, February 01, 2000
And this new Konica SLR should have all the modern features that today's SLRs have like TTL flash and auto focus. A new line of auto focus lenses should come out at the same time. The camera will be able not only to use these these new auto focus lenses, but will be backward compatible with the old line of Konica lenses including the old Manual Preset types. They will offer a short auto focus (28 to 80) zoom lens to appeal to those who want want this type of lens, yet this lens will also work on our older Konica bodies. A light will come on in the view finder warning you if you have mounted a manual focus or a preset lens. I have my pen and check book in hand, waiting for it to come out. Our old Konica lens collection will quadruple in value overnight. We could just sell off a few old lens to pay for the camera. I'm really getting in to this dream!
-- Anonymous, February 02, 2000
Thanks for your comments, for Jon's and Tim's comments. I'm glad to see others voicing their readiness to encourage Konica to start making slrs again. But it'll take writing them. I think, the more that write, the greater the chance of shaking a few of the decision-making people yo in Konica Company with this possibility. So let's do that, friends! I've prepared a letter that I'll be sending Koncia Japan and Konica USA. How about a few more. Wishing success to all of us in our desire.
-- Anonymous, February 02, 2000
While I agree and endorse the idea of urging Konica into designing a new line of SLRs, I do believe that the autofocus-SLRs is not the right area for Konica. It is too crowded and playing catch up with Canon, Nikon and Minolta is no fun. With the new Hexar Konica addresses the Leica crowd and the wannabes. They should do likewise with a new SLR-line. Compete with Leica and Contax. Manual focus prime lenses of super quality, and a camera body which excels in elegance and puts a priority on avoiding camera shake from the shutter and the flapping mirror so as to get the maximum from the lenses. (Many a super lens fittet onto an SLR never delivers the resolution it does on the test bench, precisely because of camera vibration).
-- Anonymous, February 04, 2000
I agree with Peter about not jumping on th autofocus bandwagon. Konica should concentrate on their traditional areas of excellence, optics,ruggedness, and exposure automation.
I'd vote for a thumbwheel control of exposure compensation, usable from eye-level, selectable metering patterns, a higher speed motor drive (5fps). Retain the the KII mount and shutter priority automation.
TTL flash is a MUST, also.
Make it a premium product like the Hexar!
-- Anonymous, February 04, 2000
Although it may be possible that Konica will make an SLR again someday, why wait for it to happen? Get a nice FT-1 or T-3 or whatever old style Konica you like and use Konica lenses to your heart's content. Greg Weber can keep them working for you. If you don't want auto focus, you won't have to be troubled by it. If you do want auto focus, get a new camera and only the lenses you specifically need for your autofocus efforts. Control your own destiny. I recently took a spin with a new Canon EOS 3 and 28-135 Image Stabilizing lens. Dynamite! I also love my old Konica stuff and will use a lot of it well into the future, but a Canon autofocus is in my immediate future too. Life is too short to worry about what Konica may or may not do in the SLR market.
-- Anonymous, February 05, 2000
No new AF-Konica SLR is neccessary if you take a look a the Contax RX: No AF, but electronic focusing aids in the viewfinder including depth of field! So you con use all non AF lenses from Zeiss/Yashica. A very interesting and unique (as far as I konw) solution. Contax always like Konica in its SLR era, had been good for uncommon solutions. Regards from Germany Heinz
-- Anonymous, February 22, 2000
I for one would love a new updated Konica SLR body that would take my existing Hexanon lenses. In theory, it would be possible to design an autofocus body similar to the Contax AX (which offers full autofocus and not just focus confirmation), however, this is probably more difficult and Contax may hold the necessary patents. I would be happy with a manual focus body that has the following features:
1. TTL flash metering 2. Choice of spot and average or matrix metering 3. Faster shutter speeds than 1/1000 4. Better damping and smoother shutter/mirror action 5. Interchangeable focus screens
Hmm, come to think of it, it sounds a lot like many of the Contax SLRs. Contax has managed to carve out a niche for itself with well thought out, ergonomic manual focus cameras coupled with top quality optics.
-- Anonymous, April 10, 2000
Dear Jason, It would be great to have you write Konica about your wish to see them make slrs again. My suggestion would be write Konica USA and Konica Japan. You can go to their website at
and you'll find a "Contact Konica" on the left side of your screen. Click once and you'll be able to e-mail them at the bottom of the opened page. The company's US addresses are given there too. If I'm not mistaken, Konica Japan's address is as follows: Konica Corporation No. 26-2 Nishishinjuku 1-chome Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 163-05 Japan Let's let them know that we'll gladly purchase slrs from them, folks, once they start make them again. I hope this will urge them to help us out in our desires. Jason, your letter will be another vote and I believe they do pay attention to such letters. With best regards, George Repetski
-- Anonymous, April 10, 2000
From: Robin Edgar
I'm all for George Repetski's suggestion that Konica users should lobby Konica to start producing SLR's again. Here is my take on it.
Konica should first, and perhaps exclusively, introduce an updated version of the fully mechanical Autoreflex camera so that all existing Hexanon lenses could be used on it. There is no shortage of electronic SLR cameras on the market today but there are very few fully mechanical SLR cameras available. The Nikon FM2, a Leica R series, a mechanical Contax, and the Cosina produced mechanical body under various guises (including the Nikon FM10 and an Olympus body) are the only ones that I know of. Pentax recently discontinued its venerable K1000.
THERE IS CURRENTLY NO FULLY MECHANICAL CAMERA THAT HAS THE KONICA AUTOREFLEX OPTION OF SHUTTER PRIORTITY AUTOMATION. PERIOD.
I believe that many serious photographers would buy such a camera including professionals who work outdoors in difficult conditions.
I personally would like to see the introduction of a new Konica Autoreflex that has the tank-like solid metal construction and the beautiful styling of the original Autoreflex. The one that had the option of switching to half-frame format. I own three of these beautiful cameras and do use them professionally, although I tend to use my T4, TC and FS1 bodies more routinely. This new Autoreflex need not have this unique and useful option (how else due you get grainy photos these days other than reducing the size of the negative?) but wouldn't it be wonderful if it did. I think that it would be a fine way to reenter the SLR market with a unique and prestigious camera.
This new Autoreflex would have the same or similar shutter as a Nikon FM2 with a 1/250th second flash sync and a top speed of at least 1/2000th second. It would have a modern Matrix/Multi-Spot metering system with full digital readout and complete exposure information even in manual mode. (A window in the viewfinder could be designed to display the f/stops on the original Hexanon lenses.)
OTF flash metering would naturally be included, and a powerful modern electronic flash produced (or licensed) for the camera. A mechanical depth of field preview would be de rigeur. Mirror lock-up... why not? An add on, medium to high speed, motor drive capability would be a must for professional and serious amateur use.
I believe that such a camera could be produced mostly from existing parts. It could be built around the Nikon FM2 frame and shutter and the MD-12 motor if Konica could arrange appropriate licensing with Nikon. Alternatively Konica could cooperate with Cosina in designing an improved Cosina mechanical body and motor. If Konica does not want to reintroduce such a camera it should licence the original Konica Autoreflex/Hexanon mount to a manufacturer that would be willing to produce such a camera. A non-Japanese camera manufacturer could possibly produce such a camera comparatively cheaply. I am not rich by any means but I would be prepared to pay several hundred dollars CDN for such a camera and would probably buy at least two bodies.
Obviously the main initial market would be current Konica camera users who have a significant investment in Hexanon lenses but find their camera bodies slowly deteriorating and not easily repairable due to a lack of parts, particularly in the meter department. I believe however that Konica would find many new customers amongst all types of serious photographers if they produced such a camera.
There are so many Konica Hexanon lenses still available that it would not be neccessary for Konica to enter the market with a full range of lenses avalable at first. There seems to be no shortage of fast and sharp normal lenses, including the 40mm f1.8, that they could probably dispense with producing such a lens and introduce the camera with a wide to tele zoom. 28mm f3.5 lenses are quite common and 135mm and 200mm lenses are not rare and need not be produced. A 70-300mm zoom would be good.
There are even new, in the box, Hexanon mount lenses still sitting on the shelves of some camera stores gathering dust. Anyone want a Vivitar Series 1 135mm f/2.3? I know where there are two, brand new in the box, with a ticket price of $139 Canadian! The only reason that I haven't bought one or both of them is that I own two 135mm f/2.5 Hexanons and I am not convinced that the performance of the Vivitar Series 1 lenses is significantly better. Although it is a highly reputable, even legendary, lens.
Konica might, however, be willing to arrange with Sigma, Tamron and/or other high quality independent lens manufacturer to build a Hexanon mount version of their existing lenses. Imagine this new Autoreflex initially coming onto the market with a full range of Sigma and/or Tamron produced lenses from 8mm fisheye, through 14mm rectilinear, 17-35mm zoom, 28-105mm f2.8 zoom, 80-200mm f2.8 zoom etc. Lenses that would meet Konica's high standards and thus worthy of the Hexanon title of course.
I could go on a bit more of course but I will leave my proposal at this for now...
Please let me know what you think.
I am always interested in buying and/or selling Konica equipment. I would especially like to buy a 21mm (either version), a 55 macro, an 85 f1.8, and any telephoto lenses longer than 300mm. Maybe a 15mm fisheye...
I have two 24mm f2.8 Hexanons, two 35mm Hexanons (f2 & f2.8), a bunch of 28mm f3.5s, three 40 f1.8s, several 50s, two 57mm f1.2s, the 135s mentioned, two 200mm f3.5s, and one 300mm f4.5. I also own independent brand lenses in Hexanon or Tamron Adaptall mounts including the wonderful Tamron SP 70-150 f2.8 Soft Focus zoom lens and a 17mm f3.5 Tokina. Konica never produced a rectilinear lens wider than 21mm although their 21mm lenses were considered to be exceptional. The Tokina gets the job done but is prone to flare.
-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000