Konica AF or RF Film Cameras
wonderful cameras that some day turn into extremely furstrating paperweight.
But really, If you are ok with having them die on you someday, and using it in the mean time, I can't say enough good thing about them.
The only M body with 1/4000, very handy if you like to shoot wide open without messing with ND filters. :)
Have had 3 over the years, never had a failure, although nothing lasts forever. Buy three or maybe 4 for every M7...and much easier film loading.
I bought my RF here 6 years ago for ~$400. It has worked fine since, and shows no faults, and I’ve gotten my money’s-worth in images.
Dante Stella wrote an entertaining appraisal of the RF v. M7 years back, when I could afford one, not the other, so he is partly to blame for the purchase. This RF is likely be with me until it expires or I do: I bought it for its built in -3 diopter, because I prefer to shoot without my specs, but Hexar RF eyepieces are harder to find than camera bodies, so this RF would work only for someone with my vision are plus my eyeball-to-eyepiece shooting preference.
Below are a couple of images with ISO 100 film, Ektar and TMax.
ZM 50/2, Oregon sun
ZM 28/2.8, Oregon overcast
I also owned the Hexar AF, not once but twice, and got a handful of splendid street images from it. But I was not committed to film autofocus—from missing focus on too many shots I disliked having missed; because I forgot the Hexar AF’s exposure/control logic very time I put it away for weeks or months (and being reminded of my forgetfulness and ignorance was uselessly irritating!); but mostly because small digitals like the GR and X100 and RX1 could fulfill the AF need, and I used each enough to know it, i.e. not forget how it worked.
Hex AF, FP4
I was momentarily tempted by the Hexar AF in the classifieds, but have learned my lesson. Twice.
I have two Konica RFs, one black and one chrome. At the 2001 PMA show in Orlando Florida, Konica showed off the Hexar RF Limited in chrome finish. Apparently only 2001 of these will be made.
Here are a few service options, probably outdated now:
2022 East 7th St.
toll free 877.721.3873
Nippon Photoclinic, Inc.
New York, NY 10010
Precision Camera Works
8004 W. Oakton Street
Niles, IL 60714
Konica Hexar RF, 1.4/35mm Summilux Asph
The issue is repair parts since companies changed hands. I obviously can't confirm this, but I read somewhere along the line that Sony threw out all the parts for the Hexar RF. Who knows if that is true but I would have loved to have been at that dumpster when they did that.
I've had my Hexar RF now for eleven years and it has been my most used camera in that time. Can't beat titanium covers. Imagine if Leica made titanium covers.... I've practically worn the paint off the power switch and the corners are mostly bare now too. When I first got it I had read about the rangefinder going out of alignment so I set it then put a drop of Canada balsam on the adjustment wheel. Haven't touched it since. I covered the 75 and 135 framelines on mine too since I never use those lenses. If you can get a working one, they are fantastic cameras. There is only one thing I don't like about it. Shutter lag. There is about a tenth of a second lag between the time you press the shutter and the shutter firing. Long enough to be noticeable. I never understood why they made it that way. If they had made it instantaneous like a Canon 1n the camera would have been the best rangefinder ever made. Some people might not like the low magnification finder, but I wear glasses so I think it is great. If you want to shoot with a 35mm lens and you wear glasses it is the best option if you don't want to spring for a Leica.
When the Hexar RF came out there were all kinds of rumors that Leica lenses wouldn't focus accurately on it. Total hogwash. I think it was just human psychology. A lot of people are snobs and they didn't like that their collection of Leicas weren't the best anymore....
One thing that is just my opinion of course is that the Hexar lenses aren't all that great. By that I mean they are boring. Can't really put my finger on why, buy they just don't seem to have any zippidy-do-da.
I suspect if it wasn't for the spare parts issue, they would be selling for a premium these days. I don't know if I would buy another one if mine went south because it is a bit of a crapshoot and because the prices are creeping up. I'd probably move on. I'm hoping though that it doesn't go south. I've more than got my money's worth out of it though. I've put hundreds of rolls through it possibly approaching a thousand. Still works. Knock on wood!
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