lense quality

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How good is konica standard lense ???40mm, 50mm, 52mm or 57mm ???

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2001


lens quality


Most Hexanon "normal" lenses are quite good. I am most familiar with... 57/1.2, an exceptional fast lens if you need the speed, pricey, especially the late model with the rubber focusing ring which is very collectible. 57/1.4: solid performing lens, large & heavy, I believe only made in a metal focusing ring. 40/1.8: reported at the time it was introduced by as the sharpest lens one of the major photo mags had ever tested, very compact (too small for my hands, which is why I don't use one). 50/1.4, both versions: early (f1.4-f16) and late (f1.4-f22), excellent performers, comparable, sometimes better than most other manufacturer's normals, moderately priced. 50/1.7, a less expensive lens that holds up very well to the 50/1.4 beign sold at the same time, almost makes you wonder why Konica offered both, their performance is so comparable.

Take a look at the normal lens tests & comparisons on Mike LePard's Photography Bluebook website, including Hexanons and many others.

I should also mention there was an early 52/1.8, which I haven't used, and a late 50/1.8 which was considered a "budget" lens (some or all were partially plastic-bodied, possibly built by a third party manuf.), but I haven't used either of these and really can't comment on their performance.

In addition, in my opinion, the Hexanon Macro 55mm makes a very nice normal lens, with effectively a built-in lens shade (as with most macros), extreme close focusing capability (for a "normal"), and small f22 min. aperture.

I may be overlooking something, perhaps others will fill in the blanks.

Across the entire line of lenses, Hexanons have been considered very good quality, especially the primes, and were referred to as "Slide Shooters' Lenses". This label was used to say that the lenses by and large gave wonderful color rendition, excellent contrast, are sharp and accurate, meeting the demands of slide film (which is less forgiving than print film). I think this is because Konica was a pioneer figuring out lens coating technologies, along with good design, solid construction and manufacturing techniques. There are certainly some lenses made today which are a bit sharper, somewhat faster, more advanced, etc. But you'll pay a whole heck of a lot more for them... making the Hexanons a real bargain.

I'll climb down off my soapbox now... hope this helps.

Alan Myers, San Jose, Calif.

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2001

oh, and one more thing...


By the way, I know a number of photographers who consider a 35mm their "normal" lens, prefering the slightly wider view... Hexanon 35/2.8 is an excellent lens, the 35/2.0 is nice too, although a wee bit "soft" wide open.

And, if you do look at the lens tests and comparisons on Mike's website, I seemed to notice that a distinction among most of the Hexanons was that they acheived & held edge sharpness better than nearly all their competition. I don't know why this was, but it may in part explain their reputation.


Alan Myers

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2001

Hexanon lens quality

I recently purchased a Konica FC-1 body which had a 50mm f/1.8 lens on it, and I shot a couple of rolls of film through it. I can honestly say that this particular example of the 50 f/1.8 is no where near as sharp as the 50mm f/1.7's, the 57 f/1.4, or the 57 f/1.2 that I own. I was quite disapointed with the image quality of it. So far as the build quality, it doesn't feel quite as nice as the 50m f/1.7, although it is a bit lighter and shorter. I ended up putting this lens into the closet, and I honestly don't think I will ever use it much.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

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