New Konica Group established

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by craigclu, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    Konica brought many innovations to photography and lots of great glass in various formats and configurations. I think that it is a great "sleeper" brand with great bargains to be had for their very competent equipment. Are there any like-minded folks out there?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    They had close ties to Misubishi and Sekonic.

    PE
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I know that is not glass but I loved their IR film.

    Jeff
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    PE,

    What is your view on their films? Before I got into photography I had thought of them as a "snaps" brand but now realize Konica did produce some specialist products such as a near IR film in 120 format.

    Tom.
     
  5. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I purchased a large quantity of their 160 in 120 some years back (I may still have some frozen). It was a decent wedding film and held texture in white gowns and had nice skin tones. Not every lab handled it correctly but a couple that I trusted (CamerArt & Whitehouse Color) did a very nice job with it.

    It did seem that they were a price-point film and I only used a few sample rolls with mixed results. Konica had messed up an order and when they corrected it, sent some complimentary films from their last emulsion upgrade. I walked around an outdoor hot rod show in St Paul with a Hexar loaded with the 200 and must say, for that duty, it gave as good of results as I could have hoped for from any film.
     
  6. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Craig,

    I'm a long-time user of the Koni-Omega MF system and have a high opinion of it. Let's not pump it up too much, however, since I don't want the price of used stuff to increase. Too bad someone doesn't tool up and provide new K-O backs with the weak points corrected. I also bought a Konica A2 a couple of years ago ($15!) and find it a most satisfactory item.

    Konical
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

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    I have a bunch of Konica 35mm gear CLA'd by Greg Weber. Unfortunately, you can't even sell this stuff anywhere near the prices of similar types of Nikon or Minolta. I use my T3 and 21mm all the time. Actually the 40mm is really nice as well. 85mm is not bad but I prefer my Rokkor 85mm.
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have used Konica IR 35 film a few years ago and I loved for easy use of it (general speaken), but I've never used the 120 up to now, thou I wish I had.
    Jeff
     
  9. RobC

    RobC Member

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    LOL wasn't the idea to do this in the new group. :D
     
  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I'm a very happy Koni-Omega user.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tom;

    At one time, Konishiroku was the premier photo product manufacturer in Japan, but a series of tragic fires destroyed their plants in WWII and then in the late 50s after they rebuilt.

    I found the products to be comparable to those of Fuji at the time, and their cameras were excellent. I loved the Koni-Omega but could not get one with the features I wanted. I almost bought one though.

    PE
     
  12. hexarrg

    hexarrg Member

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    I'm not a greybeard w/ 40 years experience but what experience I do have says the Konica Hexar AF is one of the finest 35mm cameras ever made. Albeit something of a niche camera, the thoughtfulness and care that went into it's design is something that everyone on that engineering team should be very proud of.
     
  13. phenix

    phenix Member

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    Since at least 10 years I use only Konica films when it goes to color print film. I tried almost all brands, most knew and less knew, and one autumn day I dropped in my camera (at random) a Konica VX-200. When I got the results from the lab, I was astonished. Never saw more beautiful saturated colors in a print film: it looked almost like a Velvia but in print. Soon I discovered that best white skin tones, I could get from the old VX-100 (not the Super) and from the latest pro. 160 (I suspect they were the same film). For events, I found fabulous the Centuria 400 and the pro. 400 (I also suspect these two were the same film, or very close at least). And in the spring, when green and yellow are important without dropping on the red, my most beloved is the Centuria 100. The VX-400 is an all around good film, and the Centuria 200 I found to be an all around bad film. But there was no autumn in the last 10 years, I haven’t shoot at least a half a dozen of VX-200, and nothing else.

    Unfortunately, two years ago, Sony (after buying Konica-Minolta) stopped the production of these films. It was at that precise moment that I decided to stop shooting color print film and move the color photography to digital. No other print film gave me what Konica did. On the other hand, at that precise moment I started to pay more attention to B&W, and decided that on this side, it is film and only film that works for me. While still having 20-30 rolls of VX-100 and 200 in the fridge, I really feel sad each time I drop one of these into the camera: it feels like grieving. Some of you might have experienced the same feeling when Kodak discontinued the Tri-X-400, or imagine what would have feel like if Fuji would discontinue the Velvia.

    As written before, not all labs handled well these films. But those doing it, showed that Konica made some of the bests (if not the bests) color print films ever.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008
  14. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I'm sure I'll sound like a complete idiot, but what do I have to do to join this Konica group?
     
  15. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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  16. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    I've been using a Konica Hexar AF for about ten years and love it. I'm not too much into equipment just for the sake of owning a particular camera, (or so I kid myself), but am very attached to this wee thing. That's one of it's benefits. It is realtively small and very light, but still sturdy. It's got a fixed 35mm f2 lens which is fine by me as that's my preferred 'standard' and is very unobtrusive. It's own dedicated, seperate flash is quite powerful and good for flash and blur. I've actually gone off using SLRs since owning it as they seem so big and look too much like a proper camera. These feelings have extended to DSLRs but that's another story. Some say it's a bit like an auto focus Leica. It's also good in low light conditions with 3200 ISO film.
    Lovely!
     
  17. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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  18. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    I just bought a K-O Rapid M kit, with four lenses and two backs, plus another back. All of the backs need to go visit Mr. Weber.

    I had wanted a Fuji 670, but this whole kit cost less than a used Fuji with one lens and no changeable back.
     
  19. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    If you ever feel like donating the 135mm to an impecunious APUGer, keep me in mind. :smile:
     
  20. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I owned and used the KO RF system w/all the lenses some years back and also had an Omegaflex system. The TLR was surprisingly agile and user friendly. I found myself grabbing it ahead of the KO many times. The 135mm mentioned was absolutely great in both cameras and some of my favorite old prints came from those cameras. I was fortunate and never had any trouble with the backs, but they are a known weak point.

    What is the actual weak spot in the back mechanism? Is it a specific piece that could be re-engineered and possibly updated? I rather liked the quickness of the film advance and general function of it.

    I was just looking at a 16X20 photo hanging at work that I recall taking with the Omegaflex picturing about 15 people. Every eyelash and clothing thread just sparkle in that picture and it reminds me of the basic goodness of that old glass!
     
  21. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Craig,

    I've never had the 135mm lens for the K-O rangefinder, but I share your opinion of the 135mm on the Koni-Omegaflex.

    The weak point for the K-O backs, in my experience, is in the fragility of the advance lever; specifically, the metal at the internal end of the open slot tends to weaken and crack because it comes to a hard stop against a pin at the end of the "pull" portion of the advance movement. Perhaps it should have been designed with thicker or stronger metal at that point. I have learned not to be too vigorous in advancing the film, thus reducing the chance of failure. That does, to some extent, defeat the intent of the very rapid pull-push action, but, since I often use the K-O with flash, I usually need some recycle time anyway and don't suffer from a slower approach. The K-O backs can also develop some frame overlap problems, particularly with the first few frames of a roll, but that problem isn't unique to the K-O system. I have some of my backs marked to remind me that I need to tweak the early-frame film movement a little when I use them.

    I have to say that my Fuji 6 x 7 RF (90mm) is just a tad sharper than the much older Koni 90mm lens, but it takes a sizable enlargement to show the difference. The overall flexibility of the K-O system still makes it a winner. Let's just not publicize that too much so that prices of the used K-O stuff don't go higher; I have already noticed some increases during the last couple of years.

    Konical
     
  22. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Ha! I'm sure at least half the cost of the whole kit was for that one lens. Tomorrow I'll be getting back some test slides so it'll be interesting to see what results.