Konica Hexar AF. In some ways it has no peer, justifying its "cult" camera status as the ideal stealth street camera. High points include a fast sharp lens combined with incredibly quiet and fast operation -- quieter and faster in operation than a Leica M6!! On second thought, in silent mode I can't hear the camera operate -- I have never found a quieter 35mm camera.

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To me, the Hexar feels a little like a complicated camera trapped in the body of a simple one. If you use it in a simple way — much I think like Rob does — I suspect it can be very rewarding; Rob certainly seems to enjoy his, and gets great shots too. Along side the automatic functions common to the genre of cameras the Konica Hexar best fits into, it features aperture priority and even a full manual mode. As I mention in this post , I find a preference in cameras that have clarity of function.

To my mind, this is something the Hexar lacks. At this juncture, I just want to acknowledge a comment I received on my Instagram way back when I first got the Konica Hexar and posted a photo of it. That being said, I made the comment because I already had a fairly strong feeling about not wanting to talk about these features in the same way others have.

What I can only assume has happened is that over the years since the Konica Hexar was released people have bought them second hand without the manuals. More specifically, I guess most people who see the features as hidden must have just not seen the quick reference guide that no doubt came in the box when the camera was new. The PDF can be downloaded here. As you can see, to access a lot of it, you have to go into various modes then press a combination of buttons.

Looking back at my review of the Contax T3 and its custom menu — something that I spoke about favourably in the context of that camera — I do feel I am being a little unfair to the Konica Hexar here. I just think it again comes down to the lack of clarity of function. With the Hexar, we are talking about some pretty major features that you have to fumble through the user interface to find. Yet, it has a dedicated button just for the self-timer. If button space is as limited as it feels the designers felt, surely a self-timer could have been put in a menu along with these other features…?

Next on my hit list of frustrations is the crap manual focus modes. As you can see looking back again at the quick guide there are a whole bunch of manual focus modes. One touch infinity has its uses and is easy enough to access, but as soon as you want to set focus to a distance, you are into the world of button pressing. It also has a focus hold function that could be useful on a camera like this for the separation of either autoexposure or autofocus from the half shutter press.

The issue is, you have to press two buttons at the same time to activate it. In the case of the Konica Hexar, the button is on the top quite close to the shutter button. To start with, the most useful information is displayed on the top of the camera via the LCD.

In program mode, it tells you either not both the set shutter speed or the aperture. Inside the viewfinder, you do get a basic distance indicator, parallax correction and a few little lights that tell you useful information. But none of the information is nearly as useful as having a shutter speed and or set aperture readout display. My final complaint is with the silent mode. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the silent mode — at least depending on the version you have — is that it might actually be the only truly hidden mode on the camera.

Of course, if you have set a manual focus distance, you will have to reset it again after you turn it on, but never mind that…. This silent mode is actually just a slow mode. This camera is very fast, and in normal use, pretty quiet. Despite all the complaints though, I do now want to draw your attention back to two things I said at the beginning of this review.

The first is that I believe the Konica Hexar is in essence very good, if not excellent. The program auto on the Konica Hexar is much as you might find on most cameras. It sets an intelligent average of shutter and aperture to get the best average results in any given lighting.

That being said, I feel I have a growing awareness of my own pickiness. Setting aside my cynical attitude, even the silent mode is pretty damned impressive and brings another layer of unique function to this type of camera. Ultimately, my point here was not to pull apart this camera entirely. I know I am becoming pickier, but in this instance, I just felt my pickiness might shed some light on a few caveats that seem to me to be often overlooked by those who favour it.

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I agree completely, in fact I have had very similar thoughts with regard to the Hexar and the Contax G1 and G2. But what it does in a basic auto mode is so good, well, it does for my needs. I admit at the outset to be a non-technical shooter, and I still rate this camera as my favourite. Before I bought the camera I was convinced I could make it work for me, but after trying it I found that to be far from the truth.

Like a bike computer with two buttons and 80 functions, depending what combination are pressed and for how long.

Just looking at those instructions reminds me of endless frustration when trying to set up a digital watch! This was the era of crap user interfaces and poor instructions- so to flip it on its head I almost want to celebrate their ingenuity for adding so much to the camera with so few buttons , albeit in such a ridiculously arcane way!

To expect anything more would be asking for trouble! I think I should just keep my eyes open for a nice C Nostalgia is a great reason to buy a camera like that I think! But I love it anyway. There is no other camera like this, and the results it delivers are simply beautiful.

Think of the the other stuff as there to avoid having to carry another camera to get the difficult shots. Is that a fair sentiment do you think, or with experience do you find it a lot less of an issue to use?

I use it as a quieter, quicker stylus epic or yashica t5 — with a better viewfinder and faster lens. Short shutter lag — unlike the yashica. I think the real issue is to forget about the other modes and just enjoy it as a point and shoot.

If you commit some time to it the commands become second nature and so no fleeting moments are lost. Ok, good. This camera was on my list to try some day. You just saved me money! Perhaps it is a great camera with a few foibles that most can ignore. For me though, the foibles make it feel broken, or at least somehow incomplete. The poor implementation of focus hold being a particular frustration. I could never feel quite happy with a camera that annoyed me through being such a bear miss…. I have a bit of reverse prejudice, I freely admit: a very expensive film camera has to pretty much walk on water to get a glowing review from me.

But a cheap camera that does middling work will usually get positive words from me. Hamish, it was one of the best reviews I was expecting to read about it. It feels like those cameras were the bridge between analogic and digital era. Brilliant and complicated algorithm of data. It made me really inspired to talk about the Nikon 35ti.

The last photo is beautiful. This is my favourite camera for shooting on the streets. Though, I understand your problems with it, but still the lens performance only worth the price for me. I agree with some of your comments, the menu design is absolutely terrible. It was not really marketed the way other cameras were marketed in the 90s.

Interestingly, Konica serviced the Hexar for a long time, they stopped servicing it a few years ago, simply because there were no more parts available to keep fixing them. But still, in silent or slow mode the Hexar is doing an awesome job. Mostly I just set it to hyperfocal and just shoot.

The exposure time will be kept in memory until you explicitly set another value or switch of the camera. The light reading is made for an circular spot area of 4 degrees. Easter eggs are delicious, if one likes chocolate. I fully get you feelings about using this camera and I suspect users who have a wide technical knowledge of photography might be expected to have knowledge about what its features would allow them to do and then get frustrated when trying to access a specific feature in a hurry.

Just out of curiosity as to where traditional cameras had moved, recently, as an example, I got hold of a Minolta si very cheaply to add to my collection. Another in your Hexar category; try using it without its user manual! And even worse, trying to then remember how you did it! A nice feature, though, it can store exposure data for up to 9 films of up to 40 exposures each. What a handsome camera.

But it should really be a point and shoot. No matter how fiddly all the modes are, of course we want to try them all. But too many button combos make Jack throw the camera across the room, or at least put it in a drawer. The Hexar is one of the, if not the, fastest cameras for grab shots. On vacation a few months ago I used it to shoot some slide film because of the auto-exposure, and it did well.


The Konica Hexar AF – The quietest camera in the world?

The Konica Hexar is a 35 mm fixed- lens , fixed focal length autofocus camera which was produced through the s. It was introduced to the market in While styled like a rangefinder camera , and intended for a similar style of photography, in specification it is more like a larger "point and shoot" camera. The Konica Hexar enjoys something of a "cult status" among film camera aficionados because of the quality of its lens, rangefinder -style ergonomics and interesting and useful operating modes notably its "silent mode". The camera is fitted with a 35mm fixed- focal length lens with autofocus and with a large maximum aperture of f2. The lens accepts lens filters of 46mm diameter however, camera settings must be manually adjusted to compensate for any reduction in light transmission caused by the filter. A metal pull-out lens hood surrounds the lens.


Konica Hexar (AF)

To me, the Hexar feels a little like a complicated camera trapped in the body of a simple one. If you use it in a simple way — much I think like Rob does — I suspect it can be very rewarding; Rob certainly seems to enjoy his, and gets great shots too. Along side the automatic functions common to the genre of cameras the Konica Hexar best fits into, it features aperture priority and even a full manual mode. As I mention in this post , I find a preference in cameras that have clarity of function.

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