Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Konica Autoreflex TC

Produced: 1976-1982
Lens: Konica bayonet mount Hexanon AR 40mm f1.8 (6 elements in 5 groups) 
Shutter speeds: B, 1/8-1/1000
Viewfinder: Split image and microprism 
Exposure meter: Center-weighted battery-operated TTL dual CdS metering with aperture indicator needle




 The Konica TC was one of the lighter SLRs that you could get back in the 70's. It was one of the first to replace some metal parts with plastic although it still had a metal frame.  The one here was made in 1979 or later.  I know that because it has the 40mm f/1.8 "pancake" lens instead of the 50 f/1.7 lens that was the standard lens before 1979.  Both lens are have a good reputation for sharpness.  The 40mm f/1.8 is just a faction over 1 inch in length.  When combined with the lightweight TC body it makes for a fairly discreet looking SLR.
















I don't know much about how the meter or the auto exposure works on the TC.  This feature used mercury batteries which are no longer made and so far I haven't made the effort to find a replacement.  I find it works okay for me just to use a handheld meter with these battery challenged cameras. Fortunately the rest of the TC works fine without a battery. The viewfinder in the TC is bright and easy to focus.  Now that my eyesight isn't what it once was I find the split-image rangefinder very helpful.

The Konica Autoreflex TC sold in good numbers and there are a lot available today for very little money.  The camera has proved to be durable so it is likely that you can find one that works well. While the functions of the TC are very basic the camera is probably worth a look just for its lenses.  The 50mm f/1.7 and the 40mm f/1.8 are regarded as two of the best lenses ever made for 35mm.

When I was bidding on this camera I noticed that also for sale were some 40mm f/1.8 lenses without a camera.  Strangely, to me at least, I noticed that people were bidding more for the lens by itself then for the lens with a camera.  And not just a little more but sometimes twice as much. I am not sure what accounts for this, however I have noticed the same thing for some other lenses. 

More info on the Konica Autoreflex TC:
From Matt's Classic Cameras
From buhla.de

My Konica Autoreflex TC Gallery