Friday, May 31, 2024

Konica Autoreflex TC

I recently purchased 3 different "as is" Konica Autoflex cameras (bodies only) from Used Photo Pro in Indianapolis. UPP has a section in the store that sells assorted cameras / lenses / equipment in "as is" condition. This means what it says. There are no guarantees and in almost every situation the equipment is in rough condition cosmetically or mechanically. Caveat Emptor! However, in my experience I've rarely purchased an as-is camera that I can't get working. 

The cameras in this section are normally sold in for $10-15 without a lens or $25 with a lens. 

The first Autoreflex I tested was the Autoreflex TC. The camera works A-OK, but you can no longer purchase the 1.35V mercury batteries needed to operate or check the light meter. You can hack the batteries, but the camera does operates without a battery. You simply need to use an external meter (which I do) or shoot sunny 16. 

I didn't have a lens for the Konica Autoreflex line so I purchased an f/3.5 28mm Konica Hexanon lens from KEH. The lens is perfect for street photography and general photography.

This is not a technical review. If you want to see the specs has a manual: Autoreflex TC

A few key features of the Autoreflex:
  • Speed from B to 1/1000
  • Light meter turns on simply by partially initiating the film transport lever and is turned off by pushing the "off" switch. These means the battery is not accidentally drained (if you do have a battery)
  • Shutter release can not be activated when the light meter is "off"
  • ISO range from 25-1600
  • Synch speed of 1/125
  • Without a battery the camera can be operated in fully manual mode (flexibility with speed and aperture).
  • Well built but lots of plastic
  • Form factor is fairly compact & a bit "slippery"

I enjoyed shooting the camera. Here are a few images from my test shoot using a roll of LuckyPan SHD400 developed with Rodinal 1:25 for 7 minutes. The film and developer creates significant grain & contrast which probably wasn't the best film for a test. However, it did show that the camera worked well.