I put the film into the camera, closed the back and started to advance the film. Somehow it didn’t seem as smooth as with other similar cameras I’ve used. However, I pressed on and as I took shot after shot the film seemed to be advancing well albeit with a little roughness. When I got to the end of the roll and started to rewind it seemed much harder than usual. Had I done something wrong? Maybe I hadn’t put the film in properly? Maybe the film had not advance properly and was ruined? So it was with some trepidation that awaited the return of the scans from the lab. Maybe I’d get nothing usable back?
I seemed that I worried over nothing. The scans came back with 38 pictures. Unfortunately a good number of them were badly underexposed. At first I thought this might have been because of the battery I was using. However, as you’ll see from the pictures below not all of the pictures were underexposed. When the lighting was fairly even the camera exposed well.
It was quite a gloomy day and the underexposed pictures tended to have dark foregrounds and a bright sky. Could it be that the meter could not handle such a large dynamic range and underexposed because of the bright sky. Any of course because you can’t change any of the settings there’s not much that you can do to compensate.
The Rangefinder patch was relatively clear and I had no difficulty focusing.
All things considered it was pleasant to use. Not too much to worry about so you could focus on composing the shot. However, I suspect that I was expecting too much of the camera. I think it’s probably best for use outdoors on a bright, sunny day: a classic point and shoot camera with easy focus and, in the right conditions, accurate exposure.
When I first started collecting cameras around 2011 my focus was on compact rangefinder cameras like my Minolta Hi-Matic 7sii, my first serious camera. This Konica C35 was one of my first acquisitions. However, for some reason I never tried to use it. This may have been because although it’s a rangefinder camera it’s also fully automatic and the user has no control over either aperture or shutter speed. My Hi-Matic was shutter priority, but it also had the ability to manually set both aperture and shutter speed. Anyway for what ever reason I put the camera away and didn’t think any more about it until I recently bumped into it while cleaning.
A few specifications:
- Aperture Range: f/2.8-14 (auto only)
- Batteries: PX625 mercury (Now banned but can use zinc-air 675 hearing aid battery instead)
- Exposure Control: Automatic
- Film Advance: Manual
- Film Rewind: Manual
- Filter Size: 46mm
- Flash: hotshoe with PC sync connector
- Flash Sync: 1/25th sec.
- Focus: Manual
- ISO / ASA Range: 25-400, manually set. Includes some intermediate speeds such as 32, 64, and 320.
- Lens: fixed 38mm Konica Hexanon 1:2.8
- Manual Exposure Modes: No
- Made In: Japan
- Metering / Exposure: CdS / Automatic
- Minimum Focus Distance: 1 meter
- Self-Timer: Yes
- Shutter Speeds: Bulb; 1/30th to 1/650th sec.
- Viewfinder: Coupled rangefinder
- Weatherproofing: No
- Weight: 13 ounces
- Years of Manufacture: 1971-73
There’s really not a lot to say about the camera. It’s small, light and has a decent, but not spectacular viewfinder displaying frame lines, parallax correction marks for closer shots, and a co-incident rangefinder patch. Apart from focusing the only thing you can do is put in the battery and set the ISO. From then on it’s point and shoot. The camera displays the combination of aperture/shutter speed that it’s going to select, which I suppose is marginally helpful (certainly better than many of the later point and shoots which give no indication of what exposure settings are being selected). There’s a PC synch connection on the side and a hot shoe on top. The CdS cell is on the lens so if you use filters it will automatically adjust. There’s no way to turn the camera off so it’s best to keep the lens cap on when not in use so as not to drain the batteries.
Bulb (“B”) lets you set long shutter speeds. Hold the shutter button as long as you want. Aperture is set to f/2.8. Flash Mode: metering is disabled and the flash is linked to the aperture with a manually selected guide number (this time rotating the GN ring on the lens to the proper GN given by your attached flash). Flash Sync is activated when anything is plugged into the hot shoe. The shutter speed is set at 1/25th of a second.
That’s about all there is to it.