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Wondered if anybody knew whether or not Konica, late in its history, subcontracted the production of any of its lenses out to other manufacturers, such as Tokina.

I recently saw on Ebay an 80-200f4 Tokina zoom in a Konica mount which looks pretty much exactly like the Hexanon 80-200f4 zoom I already own. Years ago I owned an 80-200 UC Hexanon (two rings for zoom and focus) which met an untimely end. Rather than repair it I replaced it in the early 80's with a "newer push-pull version" which was smaller, lighter, and less than half the cost of the UC zoom. The materials and mechanical quality didn't seem quite the same as my other Hexanon's, but the optical quality is very good. I always suspected that there was something "different" about this lense - is it a Tokina in disguise?

Wondered about the heritage of some of the other late Hexanon zooms: 35-70, 28-135, and 80-200 f4.5 as well. Any Konica trivia experts out there?

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2000


Tokina Hexanons


Interesting supposition, and from what I can deduce, that's exactly what happened. I am just comparing my Tokina 28-85mm f4.0 zoom to the Hexanon 85-200mm f4.5. The knurling on the aperture ring of both lenses is identical, and different from other Hexanons. The lock button is also the same and unique. Another clue: Both these lenses have 3 screws on the base. All my "true Hexanons" have four screws.

The 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 is reputed to be an outside product, I am told on good repute. It is all plastic and certainly doesn't have the build quality I see in Tokia lenses. It has four screws in its base.

Konics also contracted out production of the TC-X SLR to Cosina. The TC-X seems very light and plasticky, but works like a charm, and seems to have beef in the right places.

Well, that's all the trivia I can handle for one night. I guess if it makes good pictures that's good enough!


-- Anonymous, May 04, 2000

Gerald, Back in the old days Tokina and Konishiroku had the same importer/distributor, so, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Tokina were contracted out to make lenses for Konicas. I have noted similarities in build with several Tokina lenses as compared to Hexanons (late ones, anyway). I have a 100-300mm zoom that if the name were removed could pass off as a Hexanon. There are, I am quite sure, many such examples among the zooms. However, I don't believe this is true for the fixed focal-length lenses, with the exceptions of the late wide and normal lenses whose elements are sealed together as a unit within the barrel. The 40mm 1.8 leaps to mind on this issue. Of course, without confirmation from on high, this is all pure speculation based on handling experience. Konica seem rather reticent to talk about anything related to their history. Why? Corporate paranoia? Who knows? They certainly aren't talking to me.

Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2000

28-135 Hexanon

I have a 28-135 Hexanon which purportedly was made for Konica by Tamron. I have only seen pictures in old advertisements for the Tamron, but the appearance is very similar. I traded for the lens two or three years ago. I was surprised to see that it had a Tokina lens case, yet the fit was perfect. The individual I traded with wasn't the original owner, and had no additional knowledge of the case. I talked to my friend Greg Weber about it, and he confirmed that the 28-135 was indeed made by Tokina. I'll mention this post to Greg and perhaps he can provide some additional information on the subject.

-- Anonymous, May 08, 2000

28-135 Hexanon

Fred, It doesn't surprise me one bit! As I said before, Tokina and Konica had a very close relationship at one time. Not being a repair tech, I have had no opportunity to strip down Tokina lenses and compare them to Hexanons, but on the surface, many zooms appear to have more than the usual resemblances to each other. This is not as rare an occurence as one might suppose. It was quite common (still is) for a lens manufacturer to make lenses for several camera makers. All to the specs of the camera producers, of course. One should remember, too, that Tokina's founders were engineers (I believe at least two were from Nikon) from other companies, so it wasn't as if they didn't know how to make quality equipment.

Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia

-- Anonymous, May 08, 2000

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