Friday, April 5, 2013
I saw the Konair 35 on Ebay with what seemed like a cheap buy-it- now price and so I bought it. I couldn't pass up a 1950's rangefinder with a f/1.9 lens. As I found out I don't think that many people have heard of this camera. There is next to no info about it online. The only listing I could find for this specific camera model is in McKeown. It appears that the Konair 35 was made in 1956 by the Windsor Camera Company. The same camera was also sold as the Windsor Deluxe. The Windsor Camera Company was a Japanese company that was originally called Toko Photo Works.
I am not sure what the source of the Konair name is. I had no better luck with info about the Konair 35's Velex shutter. The shutter speeds are 1 to 1/400 and B. The f/1.9 Super Color Sygmar lens seems to be just as obscure as the rest of the camera. On Ebay other than the auction that I won there are no current listings or recently closed listings for the Konair 35 or for the Windsor Deluxe. There were a couple of sold listings for the Windsor 35, which seems to be the one Windsor Camera company product for which there is info available online. One sold for $61 and the other for $76. Since the Windsor 35 with its f/3.5 lens and slower shutter appears to be more common than the more fully featured Konair 35, maybe I got a good deal at $22.
In actual use the Konair 35 should satisfy any fan of the 1950's all-mechanical rangefinder. Even after nearly 60 years the operation is still smooth and the rangefinder is bright and contrasty. For a test I loaded up just 10 exposures of bulk HP5. I think the results look promising.