Konica Autoreflex

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Konica Autoreflex TC

The Auto-Reflex and Autoreflex is a series of 35mm SLR cameras made by Konica from 1965. All these models have the Konica AR bayonet.

Konica Auto-Reflex, Autorex, and Revue Auto-Reflex[edit]

The Konica Auto-Reflex of 1965 was the first focal-plane-shutter auto exposure 35mm SLR; hence the name. This model and its rarer, meterless companion the Konica Auto-Reflex P are the only models where "Auto-Reflex" is hyphenated. These are also the only two SLRs that ever offered a choice of full- or half-frame exposures, switched by a lever on top of the camera. The frame size can be changed between 24×36 landscape and 18×24 portrait in mid-roll.

Autorex is the name for the domestic Japanese market. In Germany the camera was also sold as Revue Auto-Reflex.

For the Auto-Reflex, the meter sensor is mounted on the front, right-hand side of the camera. This is not TTL metering, although it does offer a shutter-preferred, auto-exposure mode. TTL auto exposure appeared in a Konica a few years later, with the Autoreflex T (FTA in Japan).

It has the new Konica Bayonet II mount, which is also often called K/AR mount. PX675 type mercury batteries are only needed for the light meter. Shutter speeds run from 1s to 1/1000s and B.

See also: 47-100mm f3.5 Hexanon AR-H lens.

All versions of this model were available in both matte chrome and all-black finishes. All-black cameras are considerably rarer and tend to be more valuable.

Lenses offered with the Auto-Reflex/Autorex are a bit unusual, too. They originally did not have a registration notch on the rear, which was needed with latter TTL metered models but was unnecessary on this model. The notch tells the camera the lens' maximum aperture. At the time the later models were introduced, many Auto-Reflex/FTA lenses were sent in for a service upgrade to modify them for use with the TTL models. For a period of time, factory service facilities performed this service for free. The result is that un-modified original Auto-Reflex/Autorex lenses are somewhat unusual today.

Also, normal lenses sold with the Revue version of this camera were often unlabelled, fitted with a plain finish ring that did not have the Hexanon name on it.

Konishiroku apparently did not rebrand any of their K/AR mount SLR models for sale through Montgomery Ward in the United States, as they had with the FP in the earlier mount. They did continue to market a number of rebadged rangefinder cameras through Wards, however (EEMatic and Auto S models, for example).

Konica Auto-Reflex P, Autorex P, and Revue Auto-Reflex SP[edit]

Konica Auto-Reflex P w/lens and light meter

The Konica Auto-Reflex P is basically a stripped-down Auto-Reflex without light meter and therefore without auto-exposure. In Japan it was sold as Autorex P, in Germany as the Revue Auto-Reflex SP.

It is fully mechanical and therefore does not have batteries. The shutter speeds are the same: 1s to 1/1000s and B. As with the Auto-Reflex, the frame size can be switched between 24×36mm landscape and 18×24mm portrait mid-roll.

There is a special accessory light meter offered for use with the P models.

It is believed all versions of these models were only offered in matte chrome finish.

Autoreflex T, FTA, and Revue TTL[edit]

FTA

The Autoreflex T was the first focal plane shutter 35mm SLRs with auto-exposure and TTL metering combined in one body. In Japan it was sold as FTA, in Germany as Revue Autoreflex TTL.

It is fully mechanical with shutter-priority auto exposure. The batteries (two PX 675 type mercury cells) were only needed for the CdS light meter. The shutter speed range was from 1s to 1/1000s and B.

There is one rare and special version of this model, known as the Autoreflex W. This is a camera fitted with a special timing back, for use at sporting events. It imprints the time of the exposure on each frame of film. The back is similar in function to the one offered in 1963 on the Konica FS-W, an F/FS mount camera.

Autoreflex A[edit]

The Autoreflex A is a stripped-down Autoreflex T without self-timer, mirror lock-up, depth-of-field preview, on/off-switch, and battery control, and with 1/500s top shutter speed.

Autoreflex T"2" and New FTA[edit]

The Autoreflex "T2" is an improved Autoreflex T. The model name on the body still says "Autoreflex T". In Japan it was sold as "New" FTA. Both the versions of T and FTA were hugely successful and are still widely found today. These models might be considered the SLRs that truly established Konica's reputation for quality. Many of both versions continue to function well 35 or more years after they were manufactured.

The most recognizable differences between the T"1" and T"2" (and FTA and "New" FTA) is that the latter has the on/off switch as a small collar that rotates around the shutter release button. On the earlier camera, the switch was located on the back, left-hand side. Also omitted from the later camera is a small lever under the shutter speed dial labeled "Override" on the earlier camera. This change shows the improved range of the meter sensitivity, and the override capability was no longer considered necessary.

The T"2"/"New" FTA also saw a number of small, internal changes in the materials used and methods of assembly. This was largely to make the camera more easily serviced. For example, where some brass screws were used originally, these were replaced with stronger steel screws that were less inclined to strip or snap off when being removed.

Although the names T"2" or "New" FTA never actually appeared on the outside of the camera, there were references to the model designation in Konishiroku memos and literature at the time. Service bulletins, for example, distinguished the later cameras from the earlier by reference to these model designations. Also, note that the next model offered was known as the Autoreflex T3.

One small flaw found in Autoreflex T is the battery compartment. It appears the wrong type of flux was used when soldering the wire connections. This makes the wire and solder more vulnerable to any battery leakage, more prone to corrosion. The fix is simple, though. Perhaps 9 out of 10 times an Autoreflex T with a non-responsive meter can be easily repaired with a little cleaning and soldering.

Both the Autoreflex T"2" and "New" FTA can be found in both matte chrome and all black finishes. The black versions are rarer and more valuable.

There was also an optional split image focus assist screen available on a few of this model. Up to now, the Konica K/AR cameras all had matte focus screens with a micro-diaprism dot in the center to help with focus. The split focus assist feature is not interchangeable by the user (the way some camera's focus screens are), and is pretty rare. (Note: In the earlier F/FS mount, Konica has similar screens with matte field and a central micro-diaprism dot, except for the highly valued and rare Konica F which not only had an interchangeable pentaprism, but also had the split image focus assist feature.)

Autoreflex A2[edit]

The Autoreflex A2 is an improved Autoreflex A or stripped-down Autoreflex T2 without self-timer, mirror lock-up, depth-of-field preview, on/off-switch, and battery control, and with 1/500s top shutter speed. The engravings still say Autoreflex A.

Autoreflex A1000[edit]

The Autoreflex A1000 is an improved Autoreflex A2 or stripped-down Autoreflex T2, with a top shutter speed of 1/1000s, but without self-timer, on/off switch, depth-of-field preview, and mirror lock-up. It was sold only in the USA.

Autoreflex T3 and T3N[edit]

Autoreflex T3.

The Autoreflex T3 is an improved Autoreflex T2, It adds an aperture-stop-down (depth-of-field preview) function to the self-timer lever (push lever towards lens for stop-down, push button on lever-hub and turn lever counter-clockwise to set the self-timer), a Multiple Exposure (M.E.) switch integrated with the shutter-speed dial used in combination with the cocking-indicator (indicator green means shutter is cocked, red means it isn't), as well as a wider range of selectable film-speeds (ISO 12–3200). As with the T2, both the aperture and shutter speed setting are visible in the viewfinder, which has improved brightness compared to earlier models. This model has its serial-number engraved in the top-plate's rear below the wind-lever and a stamped and painted "T-3" between the rewind-lever and prism-bump on the top (note the dash here vs. no dash on the front of the camera).

The Autoreflex T3"N" or "New" introduces iterative enhancements by replacing the earlier version's accessory hot-shoe with a fixed hot-shoe, adding a viewfinder-ocular shutter, and an optional split-image focusing-screen (that feature being indicated by a round sticker with a large letter "S" and the caption "split image" below the rewind-crank next to the viewfinder ocular on the top back of the camera). The T3N's serial number is painted and moves to the top of the top-plate between the rewind-lever and prism-bump.

If the Autoreflex T/FTA and T"2"/"New" FTA established Konica SLR as a major and important brand, the T3 and T3"N" took this to a higher level. It is a completely redesigned camera with a number of improvements. The T3/T3"N" are described as "buttery smooth" in operation by many fans. It is also the last of the all-metal, full-size Konica. Highly durable, many remain in use today despite having little or no service attention over 30 or more years use.

Both T3 and T3"N" can be found in either matte chrome and black enamel finish to its top and bottom plates, with the black version being rarer and more valuable.

In the final year or two of production, another version of the optional split-image focusing-screen became available, which featured the split image dot in the center and a "donut" of micro-diaprisms around that, both of which were in the center of the matte focus screen. Models fitted with the special screen feature had a small silver tag stuck on the back with "S.I." printed on it. The final version of focus screen became the standard on all subsequent Konica models (TC, T4, FP-1, FT-1, etc.)

Autoreflex A3[edit]

The "Autoreflex A3" is a stripped-down Autoreflex T3 without self-timer, depth-of-field preview, mirror lock-up, multi-exposure provision, on/off switch, battery control, M flash synch, and hot shoe. It replaced the A"2" and A1000 as an entry level model, but now built on a chassis shared with the T3.

Autoreflex T4[edit]

The Autoreflex T4 looks similar to the simpler Autoreflex TC. Both are smaller than the earlier Autoreflex bodies, use plastic top plate, but retain a metal frame.

It is still a full-featured, fully mechanical SLR with a CdS TTL light meter and shutter-priority auto-exposure. The shutter speed range is 1s to 1/1000s and B, and the batteries (two PX625 mercury cells) are only needed for the light meter.

Autoreflex TC and Acom-1[edit]

The Autoreflex TC is a simpler version of the Autoreflex T4. The shutter speeds run from 1/8 to 1/1000s and B. In Japan it was sold as the Acom-1.

External links[edit]

General links[edit]

Repair notes[edit]

This article was originally based on "Konica Autoreflex" in Camerapedia, retrieved at an unknown date under the GNU Free Documentation License.