Konica Kristmas: FC-1

If you have been following the Konica Kristmas, you will have read about the issues I have had with this camera. I had two working copies of this camera but only one battery pack. Yesterday a ‘for parts’ camera arrived with another pack. That should have meant I had two working FC-1s…no, one of the original bodies developed a fault. So two broken ones, one working, and two battery packs. It sounds like the 12 days of Christmas. The newly arrived camera seemed to have a mirror lock up issue. When I checked inside there was a dint on the metal plate and this was catching the mirror.

So all I had to do was bend it back a bit and voila, back to two working versions. Though I do think this arrival does need the seals changing, especially in the mirror area. I am going to leave that for the next person.

Anyway, once I finished fiddling with the battery packs and mirrors, I changed the seals on my original FC and started to test it. To be honest, I was not looking forward to it. Here is the offending camera.

The FC-1 was available from around 1979 and was a companion/sister to the FS-1, but without the motorized advance. The throw of this camera is one of the shortest I have ever encountered. So short that at first I thought the film couldn’t possibly be advancing enough. I was very interested to get the finished film back to see the results, sure they would be overlapping.

I loaded it with some expired Agfa 200 and went for a walk around Undercliffe Cemetery and Wakefield city center. I set the camera to 160asa, to give the film a tiny bit of a boost. The first few advances of the film didn’t cock the shutter. Once the counter hit ‘1’ the shutter did cock meaning there would be no chance of a half frame light leak.

The camera was simple to use. It worked in speed priority or manual. The display in the viewfinder showed the apertures and a red light to indicate the one chosen by the camera. The camera fired at the maximum aperture even when there wasn’t enough light, well one of mine did anyway.

There is a self-timer light and switch button on the front of the camera, along with a Konica accessory port.

The day at the cemetery was rainy and dull, but the day in Wakefield was the opposite. How did the film and camera cope with the two situations?

They worked perfectly. I was not expecting the cemetery photos to be so bright, it almost looks like a nice day. I missed the focusing on a couple of shots as I was wearing new glasses and struggled using the viewfinder. But other than that wow. What a super little camera. I love it goddamn it, despite the things I said in the original post. It may feel plasticky and have a stupid battery holder but it is super cheap and just works…when you get a working copy that is. I do prefer the FT-1, for the motorized advance but this one is great. Ultimately I like it for the lenses, they are amazing.

As I have two working ones I have promised one of them to a friend in Florida…she will have to change the seals though, Happy Christmas. I will attach the 28mm Tefnon lens, which I used for most of this roll. I am still working on how to make a replacement battery pack. While researching this camera I found I am not the only one who likes this camera. This person says it is one of his favorites, if not THE favourite.

And now I will end this post with a bit of a downer, sorry. Do you see the photo of the large crown and stone pillars? That is Wakefield’s old court house. What you don’t see is…on the other side of the crown, a figure is lying prone on the floor, half on the pavement half on the road. About 5 people were rushing and fusing around him/her. There was a car stopped in the middle of the street. I arrived about 20-30 seconds after the incident. I could add nothing to the help already being given. I also knew we were very close to an emergency hospital, less than five minutes away. But there I was with a camera and I suddenly felt self conscious. If I stayed would they think I wanted to take photos? Could I take a photo? Is that something within me? The answer was clearly no. I decided to move away. A few minutes later an ambulance and helicopter appeared. I found out a few days later that a 90 year old man had been hit by a car.

This incident reminded me that sometimes what you see in a photo is not all that is happening. That could also be an allegory for people really, especially now.

I hope you have enjoyed my Konica Kristmas. Now normal-ish service will resume. I am not going to do a review of 2020, but will do my favourite photos of the year. I am also not going to plan too much for 2021 and live for the moment, who knows what will happen….

Oh apart from, I got a message saying someone has sent me a Konica camera, apparently a nice one I haven’t tried. If that is true, January will be a Leica New Year hint hint 🙂

4 thoughts on “Konica Kristmas: FC-1

  1. Toby says:

    Ha, my phone browser updated and fixed my issues with wordpress login. Nice photos nice camera even if it does sound like it’s been a headache

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Osterholm says:

    I recently bought a Konica FC-1 with a missing battery holder. Any clues to where I might find one?


    1. Peggy says:

      Sorry no, I still have a body without one. Unless someone can 3D print one the only option is to buy another broken one and confirm there is one. That’s what I ended up doing


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