In some ways it has no peer, justifying its "cult" camera status as the ideal stealth street camera. High points include a fast sharp lens combined with incredibly quiet and fast operation -- quieter and faster in operation than a Leica M6!! It would be great for film sets or courtrooms. Major Features With its autofocus combined with Aperture or Programmed exposure modes, the Hexar AF offers considerably faster operation than any classic manual focus rangefinder, including the Leica M series. Active infrared from 2 feet to infinity in steps.
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But not really. The first time I ever saw one was on the streets of NYC while doing a shoot. Almost directly across the street from me was Peter Lindbergh doing a shoot with Helena Christensen. While I could see he was using a Nikon F5 for the shoot, during stylist or lighting breaks, he was snapping away with another little camera. So I thought I should check it out.
But sharpness and contrast? Holy mackerel! Except it allows you to control its biasing to aperture or shutter speed. Which is even better than Nikon or Canon cameras. So you even have control in Program mode. The top LCD tells you if your aperture or shutter speed are beyond light conditions! This way of keeping the photographer informed while minimizing display clutter works well. Weird Program Mode Note that in P mode the Hexar will not use a shutter speed slower than the user-set minimum, even if it is required for proper exposure, but still takes the picture.
While this prevents blur, it can lead to underexposure. The camera warns you of this by flashing the underexposure warning light in the finder and the LCD display on the top deck. The other exposure modes give you back full control when you want it. Exposure Shutter speed is as long as 30 seconds, and is even usable in P mode.
Red plus and minus signs in the viewfinder is a very accurate exposure meter. In A and P mode, exposure lock can be accomplished with just a partial press on shutter release. No buttons or menus to navigate. Totally user controllable. The minus sign flashes if there is not enough light. There are 2 made by Konica for this camera. Flash is controlled at the flash,…not the camera. For the Konica flashes, there is a second recycle. At least it has an accessory hot shoe.
I think Konica was confused as to whether this would be a point and shoot or true rangefinder. And no redeye reduction. Autofocus Autofocus? The manual focus version of this camera serves up no advantage. Unless you just like manual focusing. Like me. You can focus to within 2 feet.
And easily back to AF again. However, manual focusing is no Leica. But then I never liked it on my Contax G either. The viewfinder is clear and accurate. And those same frame lines correct for parallax. Can you see my confusion in figuring out what category this camera fits in?
Autoload and rewind are smooth, as is the almost silent film advance. The quality of the camera is obvious in just film advance alone. Well Built The body is very well built and just feels good. And the lens is easily in the same stratosphere as Zeiss, Leica, and others. Shutter lag?
5 Frames with a Konica Hexar AF – By James Nguyen
This is a camera that is easy to get spoilt by. It is small, quick, exposes perfectly, is sharp and is silent. No wonder I have come to enjoy it! But… would you believe it! When I grabbed the Hexar for a walk the other day it refused to work! It did not react to anything! At all!
Konica Hexar AF – Under the Radar
But not really. The first time I ever saw one was on the streets of NYC while doing a shoot. Almost directly across the street from me was Peter Lindbergh doing a shoot with Helena Christensen. While I could see he was using a Nikon F5 for the shoot, during stylist or lighting breaks, he was snapping away with another little camera. So I thought I should check it out. But sharpness and contrast? Holy mackerel!
Picking a few holes in the untouchable – A Konica Hexar review
The release of the Hexar in came as a suprise to the photography community. The Hexar was shockingly good, despite its quirky button use to set the cameras functions with. It was hailed as the viable alternative for a Leica M6, and AutoFocus too! In this digital day and era, I feel safe to say the Hexar is the best compact film camera ever produced. Full stop. This review has a HUGE list of follow-up posts from numerous users, sharing all kinds of tips an tricks on the Hexar.