Konica Hexar RF review
My good friend and passionate camera aficionado Dan K has put together a detailed and very informative review of this great camera. Read on and find out about the Hexar…
I find a lot of beautiful items, here are some of the best
As the camera hunter I get to find some pretty nice bits of kit. A lot of cameras come and go, but some of them really stand out. I never get tired of doing this but sometimes there are real highlights to doing the job. Here is a selection of my personal favourite finds that I have been lucky enough to come across since I have been doing this.
Get your wallet ready, there is a fair in town
That’s right, it is time again for the ICS used camera fair. There are a lot of camera fairs in Tokyo, but this one is considered to be one of the premium ones. The Imported Camera Society began in 1972 as a group of camera traders whose primary interest was the sale of imported cameras. Over time this group expanded to 22 member companies, although now there are 19. They have three shows a year, the main one being in Matsuya Ginza. This show will be held in the transportation building in Yurakucho, Tokyo. This is a short fair, only being held for two days, but it is still significant.
I shall be there almost all day on the Friday, if anyone is coming along you can drop me a line and we can meet up. If you cannot make it and there is something that you really want from the show then let me know and I can try to get it for you. There are going to be a lot of items that will not be regularly available, so this is a chance to get something cool.
See you there,
Konica released a few special edition Hexar AF cameras
This is your chance to own some of them (or all of them). I have currently got three very special Hexars available for purchase. These are all exceedingly rare cameras, so you be be the envy of your friends by owning them.
I don’t really need to go into detail about the Hexar AF, I have done that in other posts.
So, without further ado, here are the Hexars.
Konica Minolta Hexar AF 35mm Rangefinder camera Gold anniversary Exc
No 98 of only 300 made, this camera is boxed and with all original paperwork.
This camera has signs of use and marks on the coating of gold, it is by no means a mint camera by my standards. Though it is still a beautiful camera, of that there is no doubt and it would be certain to have the laydeez swarming around you, as if you were a movie star.
The camera is in perfect working condition and the lens is clean. This is still a collectors camera, but not a showpiece collectors camera.
¥130,000 plus shipping
Konica Minolta Hexar AF 35mm Rangefinder camera Rhodium Mint
This is the ultra rare and ultra desirable Rhodium version of the camera. There were hardly any of this version made, and they came with the beautiful off-pink Rhodium coating and custom brown leatherette.
The lens and viewfinder are both clean with no hazing or fungus, there is no visible dusting. There are very very light marks to the body. It does not come with a case or anything, just as is. Regardless of that this is an extremely collectable camera and a must for any serious collectors set. This is a legendary piece of camera history, get it before anyone else.
¥100,000 plus shipping
Konica Minolta Hexar AF 35mm Rangefinder camera Brown leather. V. Rare. Mint
This is a very rare version of the camera, with brown leather covering the body. Officially these were never made, but a few made it out of the factory. Apparently from what I have discovered, this was a sample unit passed to select stores to check for sales viability, but this one made it out of the store! This is about as rare as it gets, you will not find another like this for a long long time.
The lens and viewfinder are both clean with no hazing or fungus, there is no visible dusting. There are light marks to the body, but that is it.
Come and own this piece of photographic history now.
¥75,000 plus shipping
So, there you go. Remember, I have mouths to feed (mine, mainly, my wife doesn’t eat much) which is why I sell cameras. Please don’t ask for silly discounts, unless you actually want me to call you horrible names. If you need more pictures or info about the cameras then please contact me and I shall send you everything you need.
The Konica Hexar AF has many talents, most of them hidden
Now, before people go and get their knickers in a twist, I do sell all of the cameras you see on this site, and that includes these fine Hexar’s, just contact me and you can find out how to have them for your very own.
Right then, now that all of the niceties are out of the way, cast your eyes on some lovely camera porn showing the charms of Miss September, the Konica Hexar AF.
This is the Hexar Af, not the rangefinder, but the autofocus version. This camera was first released in 1993 and was sold throughout the nineties as a point and shoot camera, although I feel that is an unfair classification, as it is more of a rangefinder than a p&s.
This camera runs with a 35mm f2 lens, that is considered by some to be one of the best street point and shott lenses available, though I would beg to differ, that spot should really be reserved for the Ricoh GR1V or the GR21.
Though this camera is no slouch, the 35mm lens is very sharp indeed. Some have said that it was modelled from the Leica Summicron F2, but that is not actually the case. Still, it is a very fine lens, and not the sort of thing you would expect to find in a ‘compact’ camera.
Now for some details, this camera uses an infrared focusing system, which can also be switched to manual. The focus is snappy and fast, and so far through my tests it has shown to be accurate too. The meter is actually on the camera body, as opposed to TTL metering, so be careful not to put your finger over the meter.
The camera body itself is made from cast aluminium, and you can certainly see the influence of cameras like the Leica in the design. The grip is Hexar all of its own though and fits quite nicely in the hand.
Just begging for your sweet caress
But I hear you bleat “what about the silent mode”? Yes yes, I am getting to that, be patient. It is true, this camera does come with a ‘silent’ mode.
Now the Silent mode on this camera is what really sets it apart from the rest of the rabble. Officially the silent mode only came on some of the cameras, as there was talk of copyright infringement, but the mode is on all of the cameras, you just need to find it through the arcane menu system. When operated the Hexar is more than just quiet, it is barely noticeable, you many even think that you have not taken a shot, as the auto focus, shutter and film advance are all covered by the silent mode. If you have ever shot a Leica then you know how quiet cameras can be, but this thing even trumps them.
Resplendent in their finery
The Hexar was officially released in several models, the most common being the black and the silver versions. There was also a ‘classic’ silver version released, to commemorate 120 years of camera manufacture by Konica, this one is as rare as rocking horse poop, as only 2000 were made. If your silver one says ‘classic’ on the top, then keep it and let no-one have it.
There was also a gold Hexar released for the same occasion, though only 500 were made and it is highly unlikely that they were used. Again, this is a case of if you have it, keep it.
One production sample that found its way onto the market was the Rhodium finish, which has a slightly pinkish hue (you can see it in the pictures). This camera was sometimes called the Titanium in some markets, but that label is incorrect as Rhodium and Titanium are completely different metals.
Unofficially there were a couple of models that were ‘released’ (by that I mean they were samples that found their way out of the factory). The brown leather finish black model, that you can see in these pictures was never officially made available for retail, but some pieces were passed to retailers to gauge customer response. Also the Hexar Half Frame found its way out onto the market. There was an official Half Frame RF, but never an AF, or so it is said, but I have seen one here in Japan with my very own eyes.
Now after all of this there is a downpoint to this camera, and it is a rather glaring one if you ask me…It has a maximum shutter speed of 1/250th of a second! Oooer blimey, that is pretty restrictive, but different folks like different strokes, so I am sure it makes plenty of people happy.
So that is it….Oh wait, one more thing. A lot of people think that you can no longer get this camera serviced or repaired. That is not true, not true at all. You can still get it done in Japan by Konica themselves. If you have a Hexar that is buggered, then drop me a line and we can work out how to get it back to you all shiny and working.
There you go, the Hexar, the quietest and possible most un-compact compact camera ever made.
The Konica Hexar AF Brown
Sometimes, just sometimes you find something really special when you are out hunting. I was at the camera fair yesterday when I just chanced upon this camera. The brown leather Konica Hexar AF. Now I have never seen one of these before, only heard rumors.
Just look at it, it is completely unique and very beautiful.
I am not really sure how to place this camera. Officially it should not exist, according to my research the Hexar was made in Silver, Black, Gold and Rhodium. The Rhodium version had the same brown leather as this camera. I checked with a Japanese supplier and he told me that there was an overlap in production and a very limited amount of units were produced with black body and brown leather. At first I thought this might be a custom job, but upon closer inspection of the camera it is clearly factory worked, the leather coating it perfect in every aspect.
This is a very rare camera indeed and the sort of thing a collector would love to have. I have also located a Konica Hexar half-frame, an extraordinarily rare camera. There were only 50 made, so it was pretty surprising to see it.
This camera is for sale to a discerning customer. Please contact me for details about this camera and how to buy it.
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.
The weekend is here, and its bloody pouring down. Typhoon season means more time indoors…
The more time indoors, the less time that I have to go out shooting or buying or scavenging, as a consequence of this I spend more time taking pictures of the cameras that I currently have. So not all is lost really, I mean, you get your porn and I get to mess around with some pretty nice stuff.
Anyway, less waffling and more pictures;
I decided not to label the cameras this time, you can guess what they are, which is part of the fun.
You sexy beast
That one is pretty obvious, but it looks nice. I am not really sure I would have the confidence to rock out with a gold camera, but it has a certain hipster crass bling appeal and wouldn’t look out of place in a wanky art gallery.
Just a bit of fun really
Cant get enough of these cameras, they are so easy to use and just so damned friendly. I could happily carry one around with me all day. Right then, last one, I am hungry and despite the rain I am going to have to venture out to fill my belly. There should be more stuff up in the next couple of days, including a really interesting little kit camera that I recently acquired. You can see me make a monkey out of myself as I try to build the damn thing.
This one is pretty easy….Return of the deceptecons
Keep on coming and come and see my e-bay site too, these are all up for sale.
Because I get to see stuff like this beauty, every single day. I love cameras, sometimes I think a little bit too much…
It has to be said that there is a very fine line between a passion and an obsession, and to be honest with you, sometimes I am not really sure which one is which. I love cameras, I love what they do and what they are made for. But not just that, I love they way they look, the way they feel in your hands and they way they can make you feel. Some cameras make you feel very very conspicuous, whilst with others you can feel almost invisible. They have a power over the person who holds them to change they way that they act and the way that they interact with people.
And whilst I really love cameras, I always try to keep in mind that they are a tool, a means to producing something better or greater than myself. It is all very well to be wrapped up in cameras, but you must remember to use them.
Still, it is tough when they look so damned good.
I am very lucky to live in Tokyo, there can be no place on earth that is greater for cameras and camera shops, but also it is a place that is great for taking pictures, really a win win situation. Whilst I am not a film vs digital nazi, I am afforded the opportunity to use film on a daily basis because of how cheap it is here. Don’t get me wrong, I have owned and used digital cameras for a while and have used the very best of them, but I simply prefer to use film cameras now. I am not going to get mired in a pointless debate about which is better, they both have their merits and their flaws. But, as Japancamerahunter, I am primarily searching for film cameras, or very very special modern classics, so that you lucky people can have them for yourselves.
A fridge recently, notice the absence of food
I am also lucky in that I am basically surrounded by people who share very similar ideas to me, people who are passionate about photography, or cameras, or both. This gives me a wealth of resources to fall back on, and helps me to locate the things that you cannot find everyday. And this is why I do what I do, because I love finding that next thing, that new shop or that great camera, but I also love interacting with the people that I meet everyday. The shop owners, the photographers, and the general public. I really am living what I could call my dream, and I know how lucky I am to be doing it. It may not be much, but it makes me happy.
A cool little store that I found last week, it is almost impossible to see from the street
As long as I can keep on doing this, I will, and I am always happy to hear from people who are interested in Japan or what I do. I you are in Japan or coming to Japan then drop me a line, it is always nice to meet people who share my passion. I really take pride in the idea that I may be able to find you something really special and I always love to hear when someone is happy with the camera that I have supplied for them.