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Two questions about the Hexar RF
Old 11-15-2006   #1
sleepyhead
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Two questions about the Hexar RF

Hello! I'm thinking of getting a Hexar RF body and have two questions, one is "serious" and the other more for curiosity.

First, I'm a bit concerned about the loud sound, say compared to an M4-p. How bad is it? Does anyone have experience with using a leather half-case to dampen the sound?

Second, I noticed that in 2000 Konica released a 50mm f/1.2 lens with a special edition hexar. I have no desire nor budget for this lens, but I'm curious because I've read that with the 0.6x finder mag on the Hexar it's difficult to focus lenses such as this accurately. Does this special edition have a different finder mag, or what?

Does anyone have experience focusing a 50mm f/1.4 wide open and close with the Hexar RF?

THANKS A BUNCH for your help,
regards, sleepyhead
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Old 11-15-2006   #2
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First, the film advance. Yes, it has a noisy irritating whine, and I disliked it so much that I got rid of the HexarRF. Some people say that it's a little less obnoxious when you set continuous advance instead of single frame, but I didn't notice any difference whatsoever. That was the only flaw that it had. Anything else can be attributed to 'character' or 'taste'.

Next, the finder. Focussing a 50/1.2 is possible when the lens and body are from the same kit. The finder still is 0.6x, but lens and body are adjusted to eachother. Any other lens can be accurately focused with the HexarRF, a 90mm didn't give me any problems in that respect. It's merely the framing that got a little finnicky at 90 or 135, but the focus was fine from 1meter to infinity.

Between 0.7m and 1.0m, the 0.6x finder isn't a problem in itself. Subjects are so close that you can see them easily. It's the rangefinder concept that is at the limits of its ability here. The correct position of the eye relative to the rangefinder patch is crucial and any subsequent parallax error -however minute- is cause for focus error.

In hindsight, I should of course have kept the HexarRF, as sometimes there's just no substitute for the automation it provides..
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Old 11-15-2006   #3
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The Hexar RF is louder than an M, of course, but not obnoxiously loud like, say, an EOS-3 Canon. And, comparing apples to apples, it's no louder than an M body with a motor winder. The motor winder is a big advantage, I think. It's much more ergonomic when shooting a series of shots than either a thumb winder or a rapidwinder.

I use a Summilux 50 on my Hexar RF and it's just as accurate as my .58 M6TTL was. Parallax error is more a problem than rangefinder accuracy close-up, of course.

The attached pic is wide open, Hexar RF, 50 Summilux at minimum focus distance (.7 meters)
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File Type: jpg eyes:web.jpg (304.8 KB, 56 views)
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Old 11-15-2006   #4
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Thanks for the info pvdhaar.

I'm thinking of getting a Hexar RF as a dedicated body for my Tri-elmar lens, as a general use walk-around and travel camera. I've found that on my M4-p somehow between metering, setting the shutter and aperture, deciding on a focal length 28-35-50, and then focusing, it all gets too slow.

I like the 1/4000 top speed on the Hexar, and I figure that with fast film and the AE exposure, outdoors, I can stop down to f/8 or 11, quickly guess the focus, and just "zoom" and shoot on AE.

Sounds fun, eh?
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Old 11-15-2006   #5
sleepyhead
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Hi Kevin, thanks for the info.

Looks like you forgot the attachment - would love to see it.
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Old 11-15-2006   #6
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Sleepyhead, the attachment's there on my screen...

Funny you mention the Tri-Elmar. A buddy of mine has one and I got to handle it for the first time recently. It's no bigger than the Hexanon 90/2.8, and I'm tempted to get one myself for a walk-around lens to use with the Hexar RF.
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Old 11-15-2006   #7
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The Hexar is not very much louder than an M - at least not my M6. It is just a different noise - a bit higher pitched. If you shoot on continuous the shutter and motor wind noise come together so the duration of the noise is no more than just the shutter release (or at least it seems that way). Great camera if you want the AE and built in winder. I got rid of mine recently as part of my rationalisation process (not sure it was the right thing to do, but at least I have one less choice)
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Old 11-15-2006   #8
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Hi Kevin, beautiful shot of the child.

The TE is quite nice once one gets used to the ergonomics. I have the first version with no depth of field scale, but I like it.
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Old 11-15-2006   #9
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I am a big fan of the Hexar RF. It is very well made -- easily on par with the build quality of a Leica.

It's shutter sound is different. It is bit of a whine. But it is NOWHERE nearly as disturbingly unacceptable as the sound the M8 makes.

I cannot recommend it more highly.

I also am a fan of the Tri-Elmar. I have used both versions. I now have the second version -- it is smaller and has the DOF scale but somehow I still miss the more robust first version...
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Old 11-15-2006   #10
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Of course with the Hexar you have the click of the shutter, and then the motor wind. So that's of course a different experience from the M4-P, but frankly the winding noise is over almost before you notice it. It's not obtrusive at all, I find. If you are any distance from the camera it really is not going to be noticeable. (The Continuous setting does indeed shorten up the winding noise somewhat; I've never used it, though.)

The shutter button is a different feel from the Leicas also, and you may want to try the camera out to see what I mean. You have to consciously apply additional finger pressure to trip the shutter, since like many cameras with electronic shutters there is a first stage of pressure that allows you to activate the metering. Different, but no worse, than the Ms. (I've never used a metered Leica M, so maybe those feel somewhat like this?)
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Old 11-15-2006   #11
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don't get it. we won't like you unless you get a leica.
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Old 11-15-2006   #12
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(1) As others have noted, the shutter itself is as quiet as that on a Leica M, but there is a motor advance that makes a little additional noise. I've never found it to be objectionable--to my ears it's similar to the sound on a film point & shoot or my Kyocera Contax G2. But then again, I don't shoot in libraries or monasteries very often.

(2) The Hexar's low magnification VF does make it more difficult to focus a long lens or a fast 50mm than on a higher magnification M body, but it is possible. Not ideal, but definitely possible. In addition to the lower magnification VF, the RF patch on the Hexar does seem to "wander" more than on a Leica M whenever your eye isn't centered; this may be more of an issue for me since I wear eyeglasses. Since I do have higher mag M bodies to use, I normally don't use my Hexar for anything longer than 35mm, but I have successfully used a Noctilux on it. AFAIK, the special edition Hexar RF that came w/the 50/1.2 had the same 0.6x VF as the regular Hexar, but had a special titanium finish to match the lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead
Hello! I'm thinking of getting a Hexar RF body and have two questions, one is "serious" and the other more for curiosity.

First, I'm a bit concerned about the loud sound, say compared to an M4-p. How bad is it? Does anyone have experience with using a leather half-case to dampen the sound?

Second, I noticed that in 2000 Konica released a 50mm f/1.2 lens with a special edition hexar. I have no desire nor budget for this lens, but I'm curious because I've read that with the 0.6x finder mag on the Hexar it's difficult to focus lenses such as this accurately. Does this special edition have a different finder mag, or what?

Does anyone have experience focusing a 50mm f/1.4 wide open and close with the Hexar RF?

THANKS A BUNCH for your help,
regards, sleepyhead
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Last edited by furcafe : 11-15-2006 at 07:51.
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I agree
Old 11-15-2006   #13
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I agree

The shutter sound of the RF is extremely quiet, louder than the silent Hexar AF, but quieter than my M4P. The winding does make a sound right after the click though, unlike an M. Still quiet, but not as quiet as the Hexar AF in either of it's modes, I think it is probably moving the film faster than in the AF non-silent mode, thus the different pitch.

There's really no comparison with an M though, unless it's the M7. The VF of the RF is also clearer than a Leica's, it is multi-coated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gid
The Hexar is not very much louder than an M - at least not my M6. It is just a different noise - a bit higher pitched. If you shoot on continuous the shutter and motor wind noise come together so the duration of the noise is no more than just the shutter release (or at least it seems that way). Great camera if you want the AE and built in winder. I got rid of mine recently as part of my rationalisation process (not sure it was the right thing to do, but at least I have one less choice)
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Where can you get a Konica RF repaired?
Old 11-15-2006   #14
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Where can you get a Konica RF repaired?

I Like the Hexar RF. By far it is a better motorized Leica M film choice than any Leica M camera with their not so great motors.

The problem is that not only has the Konica RF been discontinued, but the entire Konica camera division has disappeared as well. It is a complicated electronic camera with lots of things that could go wrong. SFAIK, Konica is no longer supplying repair support. Does anyone know differently?

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Hi Stephen
Old 11-15-2006   #15
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Hi Stephen

Yes, I have info., but it may only be relevent to certain geographic regions, so I'd rather not post here. Check my blog regularly though.

Also, your comments on focusing with fast lenses, and comments on incompatibility with M lenses are not accurate on your web page.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest
I Like the Hexar RF. By far it is a better motorized Leica M film choice than any Leica M camera with their not so great motors.

The problem is that not only has the Konica RF been discontinued, but the entire Konica camera division has disappeared as well. It is a complicated electronic camera with lots of things that could go wrong. SFAIK, Konica is no longer supplying repair support. Does anyone know differently?

Stephen
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Old 11-15-2006   #16
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Quote:
The problem is that not only has the Konica RF been discontinued, but the entire Konica camera division has disappeared as well.
I called Sony service to get an eyepiece diopter for my RF. I knew I was in trouble when the woman asked me to spell "Hexar RF" for her.
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Old 11-15-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
I called Sony service to get an eyepiece diopter for my RF. I knew I was in trouble when the woman asked me to spell "Hexar RF" for her.
That really is a shame. The Konica Hexar lines, both RF and AF really were stellar. Particularly the lenses for the RF and AF.

If someone ever wanted to compete with Leica again, they should find those Hexar engineers and designers and get them back together again.
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Old 11-15-2006   #18
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Quote:
The Konica Hexar lines, both RF and AF really were stellar. Particularly the lenses for the RF and AF.
Tom, I don't think the lenses will prove to be any problem for the long haul. I'd imagine that Sherry or DAG can service them as easily as any other Leica-compatible lens. It's the bodies that will eventually need parts that worry me.

But I'm still enjoying my RF for now.
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Old 11-15-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy
Yes, I have info., but it may only be relevent to certain geographic regions, so I'd rather not post here. Check my blog regularly though.

Also, your comments on focusing with fast lenses, and comments on incompatibility with M lenses are not accurate on your web page.
since RFF is an international community
I can't think of any reason why the info should not be published here. I don't want to search thru your blog.

if you disagree with any of my Hexar RF comments, let's discuss them in another thread. it was all carefully researched with sources inside both Konica and Leica.

Stephen
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ok
Old 11-15-2006   #20
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ok

日本語 だいじょうぶ です か ? 


Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest
since RFF is an international community
I can't think of any reason why the info should not be published here. I don't want to search thru your blog.

if you disagree with any of my Hexar RF comments, let's discuss them in another thread. it was all carefully researched with sources inside both Konica and Leica.

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Old 11-15-2006   #21
kevin m
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Thanks, Ampguy, that's just the information I was looking for!


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