An outstanding rangefinder for less than you think
What we have here is the wonderfully engineered Konica Hexar rangefinder. This particular one is the ‘limited’ version. Only 2001 pieces of this model were actually made, to celebrate the year 2001. Originally this one was sold as a set with the stunning 50mm f/1.2 lens. Though somewhere along the line this one has become separated from its lens. The limited came as a numbered unit and only in silver, as opposed to the usual black version.
The Hexar is a funny beast. It is basically an M6 on steroids, with auto winding, AE exposure and lock, a swing door, metal shutter and a massive and gorgeous viewfinder. Funnily enough the Hexar shares the same framelines as the M6 and same layout, but that is where the similarities end. The Hexar is automated, fast and easy to load on the fly.
The layout of the dials and setting on this camera are really well thought out and very intuitive. This camera is a pleasure to use, especially for street work. It is fast and well balanced. The only gripe that I would have as a street camera is the motor drive on the camera not being particularly quiet, which could earn you a slap if you are somewhere that requires discretion.
The weight and the feel of the build on the camera are solid and dependable. The camera feels like a tank and your certainly know if you have it hanging around your neck. Which brings us to another important point….don’t run with this thing unless you want extensive bruising and the possibility of a black eye, it is heavy and will swing around, if you need to make a swift exit then hold on to the camera well.
The cool thing about this camera though is that it sports the M mount. The Hexar lenses were magnificent, but it is always nice to be able to put your Leica or Zeiss lenses on this camera (and Voigtlander if you are that way inclined).
All in all this is a pretty cool camera, and it will cost you about half the price of an M6 of comparable condition, which makes it even cooler. This is a great entry level rangefinder camera, that can also be an excellent backup for someone with a Leica in their bag.