The Konica SLR system as a whole. General Thoughts on... : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread

I just wanted to say I am learning quite a lot about the Konica SLR system from this forum, and I have to complement the people here for providing a great place to learn.

Most of you probally don't know but I'm new to the Konica SLR system, I have 2 cameras (a T and a T3) and several lenses. I have found the Konica SLR system to be a mystery more than my Nikon system.

I would really love to know why it was abandoned by Konica. From what I see in both the quality of construction and the optics of the lenses it doesn't make sence. I have heard due to bad marketing. But I have a copy of a 1977 Photo Canada magazine that has a many Konica ads in it as there are Nikon or Canon. In 1977, the Konica T3 didn't cost any more than a Nikon FTN or Canon AE-1. Infact, Nikon in an ad says it only have 30 different lenses at the time.

I guess I find it a little shameful that I can buy such high quality lenses for so cheap because the system is no longer made. I guess if it was still, the lenses wouldn't be so cheap for it. For example, I just bought a Quantaray 200mm f3.5 lens for $20. That is pretty close to my 80-200mm f2.8 lens I paid $350 for but at only 10% of the cost! But almost all the lenses are like this. The 57mm f1.4 is an excellent lens (about $26-49), but an equivalent one for my Nikon ($175-200 used) is again 7-8x more expensive.

OH, I did a little test myself on my Nikon 50mm f1.8 AF-D lens and noticed that the optical coating of both my Konica Hexanon 57mm f1.4 and the 50mm f1.7 lens were the SAME as my new Nikon 50mm f1.8 lens (by the colours and colour reflections only). If this is true, then the Hexanon lenses (even if they are over 30 years old and 20 years old) are almost the same as the Nikon lens today. Wow.

I just have fallen in love with this system. The quality for the price I just cannot find anywhere else. I am buying everything I can get my hands on in the way of lenses (those that go for $25USD or less) and cameras with lenses (about $100 cdn).

BTW: If you have any Konica stuff for sale in that price range, let me know. :) I need a 40mm f1.8, a 135mm f3.2, a 400mm...800mm...

What a system. Well, Konica, you may not currently make it anymore, but I will give you 2 thumbs up for probally making the best SLR system out there!

Mike LePard Photography Blue Book Photography Blue Book

-- Anonymous, November 02, 2000


General Thoughts

Dear Mike, I was a relatively early adopter of the Konica Autoreflex but when my father wanted to move to an slr system (from his very high quality Zeiss range finder), the Olympus OM2 has just come out. A pity I do not remember the year, but instantly the Konica system seemed at bit aged. TTL-flash control (one of the very few features that I miss in my Konicas) and a much more capable eletronic automation compared to the mechanical automation Konica had pioneered. And all this in a smaller, lighter camerabody in which the light weight was not accomplished using plastic. Konica did not respond in a timely manner to this while the other competitors learned from Olympus very quickly. Konica was a pioneer in its time but did not turn out a winner. Olympus took the next giant leap but although Olympus is still around one can hardly claim that they are the front runners today, nor winners in the market place. Konica could have developed into Contax competitors as their Hexar RF demonstrates. Maybe they still could? Peter

-- Anonymous, November 03, 2000

Konica's Failure(?)


I believe that the weakness of the then US distributor had a great deal to do with Konica's withdrawal from the SLR business. I'd neven even SEEN one until I joined the Army and they were in the PX overseas. At the time, I was set on a Pentax system. Glad I took the time to check out the Konica!


-- Anonymous, November 03, 2000

Poor marketing by Konica

Hi. I would have to agree that one of the reasons that Konica may have finally decided to cease production of the SLR cameras was their marketing. I think that most of us here will agree that the Konica system was on par with most anything that was made by Canon or Nikon (at the time), and that fact should have stood Konica in good stead. The marketing is suprising however. I am a Canadian student studying in England, and I have noticed that it is extremely difficult to find any Konica equipment here. Most used camera shops in the U.S.A. and Canada seem to have a Konica AR lens or two, but in the United Kingdom, it is the proverbial "needle-in -the-haystack". From what travelling I have done in continental Europe, it seems that they are not terribly common there either. With Canon and Nikon being extremely popular just about everywhere, why did Konica put so little effort into Europe? Anybody have any ideas? Cheers. T.D.Hulit

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2000

Konica history

I worked in Toronto for 11 years from 1967, just before the original Autoreflex (the half-frame model) was introduced, and as I remember the various models were pretty popular throughout that time. I bought a T to replace my stolen Canon, found it was far better, and stuck with it until about 1990, when I traded it for an FS-1 which was even better. I've now got about all the lenses I'll ever need, from fisheye to 400mm, which is sad because the body has now died, and they are very hard to find here in the UK. If anyone knows of a British equivalent to Greg Weber please let me know. Alternatively, is there any UK reader with an FS-1 or FT-1 body they'd care to haggle about?

-- Anonymous, March 08, 2001

Good to hear from another Konica fan. :)

Hi John, Good to hear from another Konica fan. :) Is that a 400mm Hexanon lens? If so, I myself have been looking for one too, would you be willing to part with it? :) Mike.

-- Anonymous, March 08, 2001

"400 mm" lenses - not!

Sorry if I raised your hopes, Mike. What I actually have are two zooms (a Tokina and a Mitakon) which push out to 200 mm, with a 2x converter on the end. It's not purist photography, but there have been times when I needed all the focal length I could get, and real Konica kit is thin on the ground here in the UK. I used both lenses because the Tokina's a small, light lens but the Mitakon has a much bigger light-grabbing objective and a macro setting.

-- Anonymous, March 13, 2001

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