Full-frame or Half-frame? Why not both?

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by bushpig, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. bushpig

    bushpig TPF Noob!

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    I've been lurking this board for a while and finally decided to join. And my first post is going to be me complaining. Probably a bad first impression, but I promise, I'm usually a happy, optimist!

    Anyways, a camera I've been obsessing over recently is the Konica Auto-Reflex. Yet I never see people talking about them on forums. I can find information on web pages, but nobody mentions them on forums.

    I finally decided to break down and snatch one up when it turned up on ebay. It's costing me just under $200 after shipping, but I'm hoping it's worth it. I'm excited to use it.

    You would think more people would be interested in a unique camera such as this. Who doesn't want the option of switching between full and half-frame any time they want?

    I was also wondering if anyone who owns one could give me any advice to using it and what to expect.

    Even if you don't own one, feel free to chime in and discuss the Konica Auto-Reflex. This doesn't include the full frame Autoreflex (without the hypen).

    Here's a link with some facts and some great photos. Images and words are ©2006-2010 by Marc Rochkind http://basepath.com/Photography/KonicaAutoReflex.php

    Edit: This is not mine. I'll post photos of mine when I get it. I'll also upload the rest of my collection.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  2. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's a beauty and a very unique camera!
     
  3. IanG

    IanG TPF Noob!

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    I remember them when I was at school, but never saw a half frame camera until years later. Then I used them :D

    Konica cameras where not that common at all, but OK & well made. There were an awful lot of excellent camears at that time and many names just disappear, are never really mentioned. The Konica's the Fujica's the Topcon's, Nikkorex, Edixa, Pentacon Super, the amazing Praktifkex's (the fore runner of the Pentacon Super)


    Ian
     
  4. bushpig

    bushpig TPF Noob!

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    It certainly is. I'm super excited for it.

    Yeah. I've noticed that a lot of people don't give Konica the love and respect they deserve. Their camera bodies are nice, and their lenses are actually fantastic. Their sort of a hidden gem in the world of photography. I guess other's loss is my gain. Their lack of popularity is keeping the prices down. If this particular camera was made by Canon or Nikon or, God forbid, Leica, it would probably cost a fortune.

    My first 'serious' camera was a Konica (the FP-1. Fully automatic, but a great introduction to SLRs and capable of great photos). I swear by them and they're probably my favorite manufacturer (RIP).
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    The Konica Auto-Reflex was an interesting Jekyll/Hyde beastie.

    On the Dr. Jekyll side, it was bleeding edge technology. It was the first auto-exposure SLR with interchangeable lenses and a focal plane shutter. The only earlier auto-exposure SLRs with interchangeable lenses used leaf shutters which severely limited lens options. It is the progenitor of the modern auto-exposure SLR.

    On the Mr. Hyde side it was a solution to a problem that no longer existed. Half-frame 35mm, originally referred to as "single-frame", was the original 35mm format. The double-frame format, now considered "full-frame", was a later development. Double-frame offered better quality and became the standard as 35mm cameras achieved wide acceptance as a result of the Nagel Kamera Werke's standard cassette for factory loaded 35mm film in the early 1930's (Eastman Kodak bought them shortly afterwards to acquire the cassette design and used the factory for their Retina camera line). Single-frame/Half-frame quickly fell from favor.

    In Japan, after WWII, film was extremely expensive. This fueled the development of many sub-miniature formats, most based on 16mm movie stock, and a rebirth of half-fame. Half-frame had a good run, mostly in Japan, from the mid-'50s until the late '60s. By the early '60s the cost advantage of half-frame faded. Half-frame coasted for the next few years solely because of the smaller camera size. When the Auto-Reflex was introduced, there was no significant cost advantage to half-frame (printing was the larger factor in the cost of shooting and half-frame didn't save there). Its large size, larger than many popular 35mm SLRs of the day (e.g. Pentax Spotmatic) certainly didn't appeal to half-frame users.

    Its no surprise that Mr. Hyde (the FF/HF switch) vanished from all subsequent models in the line. Dr. Jekyll, on the other hand, now rules the world, though Konica as dissolved, first into Minolta followed by Konica/Minolta dissolving into the massive Sony empire.

    Konica was never known for great cameras. They made decent, competent bodies, relying on other peoples shutters (Seiko and Copal in both the early leaf shutters and later focal plane shutters). Where Konica excelled was in their lenses. This reached its peak in the low production rangefinder line, the Hexar RF camera and its lenses c.1999-2003, which easily match the Leicas they competed with. The LTM Hexanons from the '50s were also excellent and compared well to the Nikkor and Leica lenses of the day.
     
  6. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    I have it and it's the slr i use with my film work. :) w/ a Hexanon 50mm 1.7, I got both together for 45$ from a woman on craigslist. The drive from Miami to West Palm Beach was worth it. [:
     
  7. bushpig

    bushpig TPF Noob!

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    ...I don't use smilies very often and this is why. Because I don't know one for jealousy. My girlfriend probably wouldn't be pissed if I only paid $45 as opposed to $200.

    What do you do for batteries? Do you use an adapter?

    Look at it this way: Have you ever been out with a 35mm camera shooting artsy-fartsy photos, then seen something you just want a couple snapshots of? Why waste whole frames of film when you can save a little bit of space on your roll by flipping a switch? This is one of the biggest reasons I bought this.

    I never said the bodies were amazing, but I like them. They're solid as hell. They'll withstand pretty much anything. My old FP-1 has been through a lot and the only problem it's ever had was the battery dying. I've never heard of people having real trouble with Konica bodies. I get the feeling that many of them didn't have to get sent in for repair.

    But we ARE fully on agreement on something. Damn, the hexanon lenses are great! Even with my mediocre camera, I was able to get great shots back in the day.
     
  8. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    Hehemmm, I take my artsy fartsy pics with my Konica ;P
    Umm, batteries, I forgot the ones cuz if you don't already know about the mercury batteries it used to use you have to use others instead. Mm, I can't remember but I bought them in Radioshack and they're the ones recommended as replacements. They're hearing aid batteries I believe. -_- Ugh, now this is going to bug me for a long time. I'll try and find out the exact name.

    Which AR do you have by the way?
     
  9. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Actually, a lot of people don't give film the love and respect it deserves.
     
  10. bushpig

    bushpig TPF Noob!

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    Yeah. I've read that the hearing aid batteries are a good replacement. I don't know brands or anything. I've also found some called Wein Cells that are made for photographers. This is the one for the camera I have:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Wein-PX625-PX13-Battery-Volts/dp/B00009VQJ7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275813726&sr=8-1]Amazon.com: Wein Cell PX625/PX13 Battery 1.35 Volts: Electronics[/ame]

    And I don't technically have it yet. Paypal takes forever to clear payment if you use your bank account instead of a card, so the camera was actually just mailed out yesterday. Should be here in about a week or so. It's the first Auto-Reflex. The one that lets you shoot half-frame (hence the topic). Not the rarer one without a meter, but the first one. See the link in my first post.

    Yeah, but there are enough of us out there. Sort of like vinyl records, it's a market that's taken advantage of by collectors and people who appreciate quality over convenience.
     
  11. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    Yeah the Weincell's good. [: And I got mine from the Miami Craigslist, you should've tried that first.
     
  12. bushpig

    bushpig TPF Noob!

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    I looked for it on craigslist. And several other sites and sources. Trust me. But it's not a common camera. There's not even always one on ebay. At the time I bought mine, there was only one other one on ebay. It's a rare camera that doesn't come up for sale all the time, so I had to take what I could get. As great as it would be to find one on craigslist for cheap, I wasn't going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. If you ever manage to find an Auto-Reflex or Autorex camera on craigslist for less than $200, let me know. Tell them to hold it for me!
     

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