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View Poll Results: Is the Hexar AF reliable?
No issues at all 39 43.33%
Had problems with shutter button 27 30.00%
Had other problems 8 8.89%
Fixed shutter problem by cleaning myself 21 23.33%
Yes, I would recommend the camera based on my experience 36 40.00%
No I would not recommend buying one based on my experience 3 3.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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Hexar AF reliability
Old 01-09-2012   #1
pismo923
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Hexar AF reliability

I have been following the recent threads about the Hexar AF. The images it is capable of look to be fantastic. I have also read about some reliability issues, specifically shutter button problems? Have you encountered this problem? Were you able to repair it your self using the online guides?
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Old 01-09-2012   #2
Meakin
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I've had my Hexar AF Titanium for around 6 years - never a problem, not one. From what I can gather the main problem that (may) occur is the sticky shutter button - and from the look of the online solutions, I would not think twice about doing the repair myself if it ever comes up.

Get one - you will not regret it!

Cheers,

/Meakin
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Old 01-09-2012   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pismo923 View Post
I have been following the recent threads about the Hexar AF. The images it is capable of look to be fantastic. I have also read about some reliability issues, specifically shutter button problems? Have you encountered this problem? Were you able to repair it your self using the online guides?
I was able to repair it using that guide & button works just fine now, but... in the process of repair something happened to the small LCD display. It now shows only parts of letters, makes it difficult to set up and read the info. I even sent the camera to Mark Hama, he could not find the LCD to replace it, the are not made any more. So he returned it.
So now camera sits on the shelf, with it's beautiful lens and all.
Serves me right.
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Old 01-09-2012   #4
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I only own it for a year... No issues so far (touch wood)...
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Old 01-09-2012   #5
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Only issue I've ever heard being uttered about hexar af is the shutter button which seems to be a 20min DIY fix anyway.
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Old 01-09-2012   #6
roboflick
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Mark Hama fixed mine. Fragile electronics. And problems with film advance. But now works perfectly. Images are wonderful
Nik
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Old 01-09-2012   #7
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Just got one off of Craigslist - it still has the plastic on the bottom of the camera, so I'm guessing it's about as 'new' as they come.

So far I'm pleased - I don't think I'll enable silent mode very often (it's already extremely quiet without), the viewfinder is darker and the framelines less bright/contrasty than my M4, but it looks to be quite a capable camera.
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Old 01-09-2012   #8
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I posted a how-to a while back about cleaning the shutter button. I recently had to do it again for one of my Hexars.

If you use your Hexar rarely, the button may never give you a problem. I use them as my everyday cameras, and so far I've had to spend five minutes cleaning them every six months. Not bad!
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Old 01-09-2012   #9
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Two problems surfaced with the Hexar-AFs that I've had.

One was the eye-piece falling off. It's glued into the top plate, and the glue hardens too much over the life time of the camera as it continuously expands/contracts due to temperature variations.

The other issue was my own fault, but took a lot of time to diagnose. I did a mid-roll rewind using a pencil to push in the rewind button. However, without my noticing it, some of the graphite got stuck in the mid-roll rewind butting causing it to stick. When I tried to load the next roll of film, it would advance to frame 1 and immediately rewind the film completely, all the while blinking '00'.. When the film was out, it looked OK again, so I retrieved the film leader, put the film in, and it would do the same advance-and-rewind again. I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Only after a while I remembered doing a mid-roll rewind, and noticed the button being stuck..

Despite these little things, in my book, the Hexar-AF is one of the greatest cameras ever..
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Old 01-09-2012   #10
dogbunny
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I've had a Hexar Titanium for about 8 years. Years ago, I dropped it hard enough to put a dent next to eyepiece, but it never effected the performance. Just this year I had to do the shutter button fix that bensyverson posted, and the eyepiece fell off, but I have just been using it without for the time being. I've been meaning to get it CLA'd and have the eyepiece replaced, but I don't like to be without the camera so I just keep using it.
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Old 01-11-2012   #11
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No real problems on my black Hexar - missing eyepiece as have other people.

Apart from that it's been dropped from my shoulder lens first onto solid stone paving. Luckily with cap and filter attached some of the impact was absorbed - it continues to work utterly flawlessly.

No complaints here.
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Old 01-14-2012   #12
dboxer
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I just did the shutter repair today. It was simple and took less than 15 minutes.
The switch was really quite clean, so I'm surprised the rubbing alcohol made a difference.

Thanks to bensyverson for his step-by-step:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...hreadid=107262
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Old 01-18-2012   #13
Paul T.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tychom View Post
No real problems on my black Hexar - missing eyepiece as have other people.

Apart from that it's been dropped from my shoulder lens first onto solid stone paving. Luckily with cap and filter attached some of the impact was absorbed - it continues to work utterly flawlessly.

No complaints here.
Quoted for my truth. (My paving might have been concrete. But no dent).

My only reliability problem was picking up new film before a US trip and not being able to find any. I did the same work, that I always do with the Hexar, with my Panasonic GF1. No comparison. It was a struggle finding one keeper of my subject, with the Hexar I usually get two or three.
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Old 01-18-2012   #14
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I bought mine of a fellow Rff'er and on about the 3rd outing (on holiday) it started getting the shutter button problem. The problem was intermittent but caused me to lose focus on a fair few shots. After a while you can sense when it's going to do it and take your finger off the release so you don't lose the shot. Next press, it was usually OK.

Anyway, I got fed up with dealing with the problem and didn't want to remove the top myself, as I didn't want to risk damaging it, so I had it fixed by a repairer for £30 plus return postage. It's been fine so far after a couple of films...

The repair guy I used knew nothing about the hexar, but has serviced a few cameras for me before (Nikon S2, Contax 139 etc) so I emailed him the PDF guide to the problem I found online and all was fine.
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Old 01-27-2012   #15
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I've never had a problem with mine. That's no guarantee I won't have one in future. I hope that if I do it is one of those that is easily remedied by some of the fixes recommended here.

...Mike
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Old 01-27-2012   #16
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Incredible camera.
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Old 01-28-2012   #17
foto_mike
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Mine is an early black model. I've had it for six or seven years. It's a user. The bottom plate is showing some brassing as well as a small amount of brassing on the corners of the top plate. The black shutter release button fell off and was lost a few years ago. The brass post that actually operates the shutter release button is all that's left, although it doesn't really affect operation at all. It's recessed slightly below the shutter speed dial and my finger depresses the brass post just about as easily as the black plastic button that was once there. The glass is pristine.

Mine has had the sticky shutter button problem pretty much the whole time I've had it. For a while, I could make it work better by vigorously operating the shutter button (with no film in it) two or three dozen times. Then it seemed to behave for a short while or, at least, be better. I haven't used the camera much for the last couple of years because of the balky shutter button. I knew about the Alps switch replacement, but my soldering skills aren't that good.

Tonight, I discovered this thread with the step-by-step procedure for cleaning the existing shutter release switch. I've had the top cover off several times contemplating a fix, but I've never gone as far as removing the small circuit board. I didn't know how to get the ribbon cable disconnected without damaging it. Thanks to the guide above, I found the plastic ribbon cable lock and easily removed it.

I proceeded to clean the switch following the instructions. Working carefully, I disassembled the switch and I immediately saw a brown film of oxidation, crud, or whatever covering the switch contacts. I carefully cleaned them. The two switch contacts in the corners are difficult to get to with a q-tip. The tip is too large to get into the corner adequately. I stuck a tiny precision slotted screwdriver into the cotton of the q-tip and twisted it several times, winding some cotton around the tip. Using that, I could reach the tiny pads in the corners.

All clean, I put it back together and it works perfectly!. Best of all, if I have to do it again in the future, it will be a 15-minute fix.

Last edited by foto_mike : 01-28-2012 at 20:43. Reason: add hyperlink to the shutter fix thread
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Old 01-28-2012   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foto_mike View Post
Best of all, if I have to do it again in the future, it will be a 15-minute fix.
Glad to hear your camera's working - and good to know it worked so well should I ever need to do it myself.

...Mike
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Old 01-28-2012   #19
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I was able to repair mine just 5 days ago. not an easy fix for me as I have very shaky hands but i was able to do it.

now my hexar is working flawlessly and better than before.

should you decide to buy one, you will never regret it because the images it produces are just wonderful
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Old 01-28-2012   #20
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I always check that they have the eyepiece and do not have the (stupid) data back. At least half of the ones for sale fail in that regard.

Figure on cleaning the finder and switch at least once.

Also watch for LCD bleeds and battery corrosion, as with any 90s-era camera.

I fear that age is catching up with many of them.

I'm trying not to buy one for the fifth or seventh time, I've lost count. I like them, especially for the value and quality. I get frustrated with the automation and the damn quietness. Even in normal mode, they are so quiet that you can't tell that you made an exposure! In the end I prefer a M but in terms of image quality they give anything else a run for the money.
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Old 02-09-2012   #21
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Well you can now count me in as a Hexar AF owner. At the end of the day, in my mind the positives far outweighed the negatives and I have purchased a complete kit in like new condition. The original owner put a few rolls through it and then stored it in a safe as part of his collection. Silent mode was enabled and I have added the "hidden features".

So far I have put five rolls of b/w through it and all is good. It is indeed very quiet and the AF in low light is a revelation. The lens is superb and if the camera suits ones needs it is a true bargain.

Time will tell if the Hexar "works" for me but the investment is not so great that it is worth worrying about. Too many good things said about it by many and the images speak for themselves. Like many here I enjoy using a mechanical camera and always will. However, after using the Hexar for even a short period of time, I am pretty certain that it will allow me to get some shots that would be difficult if not impossible for me to get with a mechanical body.
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Old 02-13-2012   #22
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Love my Hexar.

Got it for a steal and a week after I got it I thought I'd discovered why, the shutter button.

Managed to find a guide to cleaning it via a Flickr group and hey presto, good as new.

It did start to play up again last week while I was out on a cold and wet day so I took the film out and fired it a few times, was acting a bit funny. Got it home and it seemed to have recovered but took it apart once more to clean the switch, it didn't seem too dirty actually so maybe t was due to the dampness and the cold.

Hopefully it'll keep on going for a good while yet.
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Old 02-14-2012   #23
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I took mine out for the first time in a while, the other day, and suffered some panic: it didn't want to work at all. I consulted my memory of Douglas Adams, though, calmed down and tested the battery - which could barely raise 4 volts. When I used a new battery the camera began behaving perfectly. OK, no big deal, but I thought I should put in a reminder: this camera really doesn't like faded, unhealthy batteries.

...Mike
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Old 02-15-2012   #24
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My battery is fairly recent but perhaps cold was degrading it.
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Old 02-15-2012   #25
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Yeah, I've found the battery to be sensitive to freezing temperatures. So if you're going to be hiking or walking in the cold, keep the camera under your jacket or in your bag. Or at least the battery.

I've also been able to revive the camera by switching from silent mode to normal mode. I wonder if silent mode uses more power?
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Old 04-09-2012   #26
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Bought my Hexar AF in 1993. In 2009 I had the shutter syndrom. I opened the cover, unscrewed what I could, blowed on the thing (no cleaning), then closed it and it now works.

What a pity the circular eyepiece disapeared.
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Old 04-09-2012   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubilai View Post
Bought my Hexar AF in 1993. In 2009 I had the shutter syndrom. I opened the cover, unscrewed what I could, blowed on the thing (no cleaning), then closed it and it now works.

What a pity the circular eyepiece disapeared.
Ha, nice!

My eyepiece started to come loose at one point. I screwed it on nice and tight, and now I'll be sure to keep an eye on it in the future!
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Old 04-12-2012   #28
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Quote:
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Ha, nice!

My eyepiece started to come loose at one point. I screwed it on nice and tight, and now I'll be sure to keep an eye on it in the future!
Use locktight (or is it lock-tite?).
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Old 04-12-2012   #29
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Quote:
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Use locktight (or is it lock-tite?).

But make sure to use the blue version, which can be unscrewed if needed.
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Old 01-23-2018   #30
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For shutter button repair, just follow this video and you'll be all set:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhT3jwYx0LM

Mine is Silver model and I've had it for 3 years. A few months ago it developed the shutter button problem. I watched the video and fixed it in 15 min. It's not hard at all.
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Old 01-23-2018   #31
FalseDigital
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It WILL need to have the shutter button cleaned. I've actually had to do it twice already in 3 years. (Although it was not difficult to do myself)

However now mine has a leaking capacitor (I think) sending it out to have it looked at.
If you live in a humid place, be careful.

It's my favorite camera to shoot on, period.
When it works, it works beautifully.
However, it is an electronic camera and Konica aren't known for reliable electronics.
*cough* Big Mini *cough cough*
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Old 01-23-2018   #32
Dante_Stella
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The shutter switch needs to be replaced, not cleaned. The interwebs are fraught with stories about how this is dirt. It's not. There is a reason that the "fixes" last a couple of months - it's because the problem is not fixed. It's metal fatigue and wear and tear. This is not a problem that will be fun to find has recurred when you are doing something critical.

And it's not that big a deal to fix. Konica didn't invent this Alps switch with a 25K actuation service life (that's 600-1,000 rolls of film, by the way), and newer and better DSLR switches have the same surface mount points. In fact, my guy dropped a Canon DSLR release in mine eight years ago, for 90 bucks, and it has not missed a beat.

But if you want to keep stretching the leatherette, marring the screws, stressing the hot shoe contacts, bending flex connectors on the circuit boards every so often, and still having periodic malfunctions, be my guest. The camera itself can take a lot of abuse, but its internals are not as tough, and the less "servicing" you do, the better.
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Old 01-23-2018   #33
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Hi Dante
When the time comes for mine to need a new shutter switch, I might bug you to give me the info for your tech
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Old 01-23-2018   #34
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That's exactly what's happening to my otherwise trustworthy Hexar...cleaned the contacts, spent 2 weeks in the arctic wilderness (where the camera endured the ever-present sand very well) and it developed the shutter syndrome again recently. The inside's perfectly clean, including the contacts.

Guess next time I'm in China I'll go find one of those cyber wizards in Shenzhen...where they have mountains of shutter switches in stock
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Old 01-24-2018   #35
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It would be great if we could identify the specific replacement part that fits the Hexar AF. Mine is working OK at the moment, but I'd certainly rather fix the problem than just put a Band-aid on it.
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Old 02-21-2018   #36
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Quote:
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It would be great if we could identify the specific replacement part that fits the Hexar AF. Mine is working OK at the moment, but I'd certainly rather fix the problem than just put a Band-aid on it.
Old thread (https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...ad.php?t=42099) reveals it's likely to be this one: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...bkTNLxBATGo0s=

Which does look identical to what's underneath the Hexar's shutter button.

In Beijing next week, I'll try if I could have mine swapped.
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Old 02-21-2018   #37
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Thanks for that. Since they're so cheap, I may order a few of those just to have around in case I need to attempt the repair.
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Old 03-12-2018   #38
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I have one hexar af that moves the aperture constantly when on and closes all the way down to f22 when set to f2(?) I have one that's totally dead. Yet, i love the lens and the amazing AF so i went and bought a third one :P
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Old 03-13-2018   #39
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The aperture problem may just be an issue with the dial. Have you pulled the top plate off to investigate?
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Dead Hexar Af
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #40
karlin
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Dead Hexar Af

Hello!
My dear hear af, one of my most important cameras suddenly died.
I'v tried changing battery and a local tech opened the camera but was not able to fix it.
It happend couple of months ago. about 3 weeks ago it suddenly woke up but than went to sleep again. since then- no sign of working.
before I buy another one, did anyone here got this problem before? is there a good tech you could recommend , who still fix those and know them well?

thanks
Ophir
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