View Full Version : Konica Auto S2 w/45mm Hexanon 1.8

09-11-2003, 17:52
Anyone ever seen one of these? I've had one that I recieved as a gift from my dad when I was 12 yrs old that I still have. This camera really got me interested in photography in the first place. I still have this camera and use it today. It's got a great RF viewfinder and brightlines, the Hexanon lens is awesome. I've seen this specific camera on ebay for reasonable prices of under $100. If your looking for an entry level RF body w/fixed lens (the only drawback to this one!) either for yourself or a teenager, this is a great piece

09-11-2003, 19:55
You just photographed my camera!


Mine doesn't have the built-in lens hood (I can't recall if yours has it), but I agree: these are wonderful rangefinder cameras. And, unlike the Canonet, they do have a full set of speeds. The Canonet G-III QL 17 stops at 1/4 of a second. That is to say, there's no 1/2 and no 1 sec. exposure; it goes from 1/4 directly to B; this one has these two stops, but they don't differ in the higher speed, which in both is 1/500.

I have a friend who only uses Tri-X on his, and is more than happy with it.

09-12-2003, 15:02
These appear at flea markets frequently. It is a rather large camera and not something to slip into a pocket. The Canonets seem more attractive to me among the Japanese RF's of this era.

09-12-2003, 18:26
Mine does have the built in lens hood, it's small and slides out about 1/2 inch. I always keep a roll of Tri-X in mine. The lens is tack sharp, I've gotten really good enlargements up to 11x14 that look fantastic. The Hezanon doesn't have the "Bokeh" that Leica lenses offer on some of thier designs, but I've shot it wide open or at very wide apertures and it's stunning. I haven't seen one at a flea market in a while, if you do see them the shutter is frozen up or it's been dropped, etc. The selenuim meter failed on mine years ago so I just use an old Sekonic with a large incident dome that gives me really good readings.

09-20-2003, 20:45
I'm expecting to recieve an s2 this week (ebay purchase). Hopefully, The description of the camera holds true & I'll have something operable and ready to shoot. It'll be my first venture with film. Two years ago, I bought a digital camera for some web projects and produced some interesting images - maybe even some fine ones, considering the limitations of 3.3/4 Megapixels. But I think it was the quick turn around time from camera to computer that accelerated in me a thirst for exploring a personal visual narrative. I was ready for an upgrade. However, digitaly speaking, there isn't anything out there to lure me insanely into further debt. Besides, how long do those little plastic digital wonders last? Well, this is how I come to film - and I've read that the s2 is a fine solid camera. I welcome any coments, helpful hints, film, battery suggestions. As this is my first post on this forum, I'd like to say hi to eveyone. This is a great site!

09-22-2003, 02:24
modernrat, you'll like the Konica. It's a very solid camera, with a quick, responsive meter. I like mine, but, as Scoop said above, when it comes to choosing a street shooter... I grab the Canonet.

Let's see what happens this week, as things may change radically.

09-22-2003, 11:42
Just a question about the Konica (and the Canonet, too, for that matter). Do you find the metering to be accurate? How easily is it fooled by things like backlight or the Sun at noon? I have one of each of these cameras and I have not been terribly trusting so far. For that reason, I carry a hand meter when I take them out.


09-25-2003, 12:52
Well, I did recieve my s2 and I love the design. But as an inexpensive ebay purchase, I'm probably getting what I paid for. Thus far, the shutter seems stuck and I haven't been able to get the meter to respond after battery replacement. It might help if I read the manual I downloaded - perhaps I'm missing something obvious. While it looks gorgeous on the shelf, I'm determined to get the bugger going. I dont wanna be a wannabe anymore! Suggestions are always welcome.

Modernrat (dave martin for the curious)

09-26-2003, 06:56
Dave, depending on how much you paid for it, a repair can go from $80 to $150. If you want to send it for fixing, look carefully, as these rangefinders aren't always served due to a scarcity of parts. I speak from experience: my first S2 was a dud purchase from eBay (I learned not to buy from antique dealers!), but soon enough I got one in good shape, and it's a delight to work with. Good luck!

09-26-2003, 20:58
Thanks Francisco, I'd really hate to retire this camera to land fill and the repair costs you estimated would be quite reasonable, given the tasks at hand. I've done a little reading about freeing up frozen shutters to know that it would be a formittable chore for an inexperienced clutz like me. Then too, there's the light meter and so on. I'm not sure where I'll go on this. For the same money I'd surely do better with a smarter purchase. I wouldn't mind undertaking the repairs myself, but it would be risky, not to mention a rediculous amount of time pursuing another hobby. I'd rather get out there like you guys and shoot wonderful pictures which was the idea in the first place. Thanks for your comments - I remain encouraged. Dave

09-27-2003, 04:45
Wether repairs costs are justified for an older camera, of course, depends on what your intentions were in buying it.

It can certainly be fun to buy well-ade older cameras for very little money and enjoy their use for as long as they continue to function. Reliability will be something of a question, even for a camera which is working at the moment. After all, it probably hasn't seen maintenance or lubrication in 35 years.

On the other hand if you buy a camera as solidly made as a Konica (and Konica tends to have really robust build quality) then have it CLA'd, you will wind up with a well made camera in good operating condition probably for well under $125. Not to bad for a sound camera with a sharp lens but perhaps too dear for casual novelty purchase.

The comparison that " the camera cost X and it will cost 4X to repair it" really only has meaning if (5X) is more than you're prepared to spend for that camera in reliable condition. A price of 5X might be very reasonable indeed; all the more reasonable if you had to buy 4 cameras to get one that would work for any length of time.

If you are bottom feeding (one of my weaknesses, to be sure) then you will inevitably acquire quite a collection of parts cameras. Part of the game.

09-27-2003, 12:50
Scoop, As a fellow bottom feeder, I've encountered all of the above comments you've mentioned as part of the game. The Konica will just have to wait for the right service technician (God, I hope it's not me!). In the mean time (talk about a collection of parts ... ) I have 2 Yashica gs's awaiting battery adaptation. The Konica attracted me because of it's manual use, independent of batteries. Well, one must be patient in bottom feeding. By now this thread has moved beyond issues specific to the s2 (sorry). Still, I wouldn't mind hearing from anyone's experience with this camera. Some light is always welcome.

Bottom rat

10-12-2003, 14:41
What nobody has mentioned so far is how great the lens is on these Konica Auto S2 cameras. IMHO, the fixed Hexanon 45mm f1.8 is every bit the optical quality of the Leica Summicron from the same vintage (late 1960s). The other major strength is the superb bright frame auto parallax-correcting finder.

The main trouble spot with these cameras is the metering system, but unlike many of it's peers, it's fully operable in manual mode as well, even if the meter circuit is shot. BTW, fair value on these is $20-35 if the meter is busted or untested, but it's otherwise functional, $50-80 if the meter and everything else is known to work.

01-24-2004, 11:20
Hello modernrat,

I also had problems with my S2, stuck shutter and aperture blades.
I repared it selfhandedly using with the help of this link ;


Mine is working again.

06-23-2004, 08:17
Can somebody tell me what the proper sound is for the winding lever on the S2? I just put one together from two parts cameras and the lever makes a high pitched ratchety sound. It doesn't seem quite right.

By the way, these are tough cameras. One of my part cameras had a bashed in top. Apparently there is reinforcing under the lid to protect the viewfinder and meter if that happens. Also the Copal shutters seem to have very strong springs. The diaphgram blades stick long before the shutter blades jam up.


06-23-2004, 16:30
They are tough as nails - I have had several over the years. I currently have two Auto S1.6's and they've endured the past 30+ years in perfect condition. Takes a lot to kill them and the meters hang in longer than most.

The winding noise is higher pitched and more uneven than most. (The ratcheting "click" goes away towards the end of the stroke). I think it's just par for the breed - sort of like the 'thunk' Yashica G's make when they're advanced.

I don't find it disturbing or remarkable, just different. Just make sure there's no metal on metal rubbing where there shouldn't be and you're fine.

06-23-2004, 17:36
I just took some shots with my Auto S3. Definately a ratchety advance on my camera too.

09-08-2006, 18:02
Hello everyone, I found this thread during a Google search a couple of days ago, just after buying a Konica S2 on e-bay.
A few days before that, I bought a C35 http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v125/debjd/camerakonica.jpg
at an estate sale, and whilst searching for info on that, came across the S2.
(As a teen, I saved for weeks to buy a Pentax K-1000, which seems to have been the standard student SLR. I think they stopped making them in ’97. I am on a quest to find another like it, as I sold mine, along with my b&w enlarger, which was “vintage” even then, and other darkroom essentials years ago, when I lived in New York.)
I tested the C35 with the rechargeable batteries I have on hand, and it seems to be working fine, though I removed the batteries immediately, since everything I’ve read so far indicates that they are not a good substitute for the mercury. I know substitutes can be purchased online, but I will wait until we are in the city to see what is available.
Anyhow I look forward to receiving it in the post in a few days, and to my renewed interest in RFFs. I will certainly try to do some catching up in the forum.


09-15-2006, 09:55
Hi there - I've just bought a Konica Auto S2 with a sticky shutter, but I knew that and I intend to fix it. My problem is that the viewfinder does not show two images as one should expect with a rangefinder - any ideas? I figured someone has been in and cleaned the viewfinder, and rubbed the silvering off. But maybe a mirror has just become dislodged?
Still, it came with it's original inctruction manual, box and ER case so I figured that's worth something!

09-15-2006, 10:14
Well that's a turn up for the books - just got the top off and found the rangefinder mirror has come unstuck! Dab of glue on it and it's as good as new - just need to sort out the shutter now!

09-15-2006, 14:49
Here are five photos taken with the S2.


09-15-2006, 22:50
Nice photos Raid, were they taken in Florida?

I've managed to get the shutters working, just by flushing with lighter fluid, but they still stick sometimes, on top of that when I did get the shutters working I found that the aperture blades were pretty much stuck. Tried flushing those out too, but although it loosened them off it still isn't 100%.

So, the next step is to get the leatherette off and remove the whole assembly for cleaning. Right then, I'm going in and I may be some time....

09-16-2006, 14:46
Nice photos Raid, were they taken in Florida?

I've managed to get the shutters working, just by flushing with lighter fluid, but they still stick sometimes, on top of that when I did get the shutters working I found that the aperture blades were pretty much stuck. Tried flushing those out too, but although it loosened them off it still isn't 100%.

So, the next step is to get the leatherette off and remove the whole assembly for cleaning. Right then, I'm going in and I may be some time....

Yes, the photos were taken locally on Pensacola (Florida).
I wish you success in getting that S2 back working 100%.
If you fail, you can always get a second S2.


09-16-2006, 15:47
Has anyone ever done a side-by-side comparison to a Leica 50 suumicron?

09-16-2006, 16:06
Bill: Not directly; by I have taken many photos with 50mm lenses and with the S2 too.


09-17-2006, 08:49
Well, what a lot of hassle! I took the whole lens assembly off the main body and removed the rear lens, and then flushed the whole shutter / aperture assembly out. It made no difference at all :-(

The biggest problem was with the aperture blades, where they would move freely for some time and then 'seize up', then work but you could hear the scraping sound of something none too clever going on. There was no way round it but I had to completely dismantle the unit and clean each aperture blade and shutter blade individually! Can't believe just how dirty they were.

I've only just got the camera and I'm wondering if someone has been in before me (particularly as the front lens was very easy to remove) and put too much oil down there.

Anyway, the aperture and shutter blades are now back in their respective places and much easier to move. I've also taken some pictures as I've gone along so at some point I may post a HOW-TO on completely dismantling the Copal SVA shutter.


09-17-2006, 09:05
You are braver....or more patient than I am. Perhaps the economy of this kind of work here in Korea has also spoiled me.

09-17-2006, 09:48
Not sure about being braver! I took the view that as I already had it in several pieces (and even putting back together again would still result in a non-functional camera) I might just as well take it completely to bits :rolleyes:

Of course, I am some way from putting it all back together again in the correct order ;)

I did have one bad moment, when I undone the wrong screw on the slow speed escapement... and a small cog came out. Trying to line up three tiny spindles, place the top cover on and trying to put the small screw back in again was something of a trial :bang: . Anyway, I took the opportunity to clean the escapement out - still I'll know for next time!