Konica FT-1 SLR - First Impressions.

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Just wanted to post this incase anyone wanted a little "review" of the FT-1 and my first impressions using it.


-Light Weight (lighter than my T3) -LED light meter (when its dark, you can actually see it!) -Good feel/grip (very holdable, carryable (that a word?) -Takes AA/AAA batteries (ahh, nice, easy to find (4 AAA's for $1)) -Auto film loading -SUPER++ easy braketing (from +2, to -2 exposure settings. Wonderful to take snow shots with) -Bright Viewfinder

Cons: -Don't like where they put the self-timer button (small and hard to reach it) -(big one for me) Why did they move the Tripod mount from the middle of the body to near the end of the body? Hard to use a heavy lens with when sideways, not as balanced as if the mount was in the middle of the body.

That's about it so far. Overall I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. (would be 5 stars, but the tripod mount really is bothersome sometimes)

Mike Photography Blue Book web site. Server #1 Photography Blue Book web site. Server #2

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2001


FT-1 impressions

Hi Mike,

I agree with your observations about the FT-1. I find myself using mine more & more.

One possible solution to the tri-pod problem (which I think would occur where ever the socket was on the body with a heavier lens, happens on my T4s & others) is to use a quick release that has some sort of locking mechanism. I mostly use Bogen/Manfrotto tripods, monopods and heads. I like their smaller rectangular QR for 35mm and their larger 6 sided QR for medium & large format. Bogen's QRs can be "locked on" with a screw for which you need to drill a small hole. I haven't done this on an FT-1 yet (baseplate is plastic), but have modified the base plates of my T4 Autowinders, as well as the tripod mounts on most of my longer, heavier lenses. NOTE OF CAUTION: remove any baseplate first, before drilling, and to check if there is adequate clearance under it. Alternatively, I've seen some "long lens mounts" that might solve this problem, too. Bogen, Kirk and others offer them.

On a related, and to me more bothersome note: to get to the film rewind button on the FT-1 you must remove anything attached via the tripod socket: QR, tripod, accessory flash bracket, etc.! That slows me down at a time when I'm often hustling (kind of defeating the convenience & speed of autoloading, which I like a lot). The lever on the back of a T4 Winder is a much better solution!

A major positive I've noticed with the FT-1 is that it is waaaaayyy quiet! Especially noticeable compared to a T4/Winder!

I can't comment on the self-timer, because I haven't used mine. That's because, unlike the T4, the self-timer on an FT-1 does not lock up the mirror, which would be 99.9% of my reason to use a self-timer. AFAIK there is no way to lock up the FT-1 mirror.

You mentioned in a previous post experimenting with dedicated flash on your FT-1. Fyi, Sunpak makes (or made) several models that use interchangeable dedicated modules, one of which is for the FS-1/FT-1/etc. series of Konicas. I saw a few earlier posts on them. I'm currently using a smaller 322D flash and a larger 444D (GN around 120)with the FT-1s. I think you'll find these operate pretty much as Konica intended with their own flashes. I'm still experimenting & learning to use them, keep wanting to do everything manually! I picked up the flashes for about $50 (both) and found a spare module at a photo show recently for $5 (still avail. new, but $79!).

Other FT-1 issues:

I still miss the depth-of-field preview (ala T4,T3).

The FT-1's film door is easily removed... nice for cleaning or light seal replacement, but with no optional backs available (AFAIK) it doesn't serve much purpose. Personally I'd like to have a bulk film back. But, data, Polaroid and digital would be neat options in some cases.

I occasionally wish that the FT-1 had a few other "modern" features.

Maybe the rumored New Konica SLR (FT-1N?) will have TTL flash control, higher & lower shutter speeds, more data & info in a near-100% viewfinder, auto rewind, faster winding capability (5 to 10 fps), faster & slower shutter speeds, sophisticated autofocus on at least moderate to longer telelphoto lenses (while maintaining compatibility with my wonderful old MF Hexanons!), auto bracketing, a viewfinder shutter, a few other things that have slipped my mind, and, of course, the old Konica reliability!

Ah well, while we're waiting for the big announcement from Konica, I still enjoy using the FT-1s and I'm gonna keep my T4s a bit longer, too!

Alan Myers San Jose, Calif.

-- Anonymous, January 30, 2001

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