This is a photo heavy post as I tried a few films in this camera because IT’S AN AUTO-REFLEX!!!!
After my Konica Kristmas event I received an email from a reader in America asking if I would like this camera. The light meter didn’t work but everything else did…what else could I say but…YES!!!!! Lots of !!!!!!
I couldn’t believe my luck, the first full/half frame camera for the price of customs. Thank you, thank you….Here it is. It came without a lens, but I have a few Konica mount ones around. I tried it with the Konica 50mm lens first.
As you can see, I could barely wait to take it outside. The camera arrived on the day we had a blizzard and I was sent home from work. Snow or not, I was going to use this camera and I went for a walk as soon as I got home. I should have waited though, this camera really didn’t like the cold and it seized up a little before the end of the roll. I got enough shots to see if it worked though.
Here are some of the full frame results.
And these are some of the half frame…you can switch mid roll…MID ROLL!!!
The film was a little expired and I struggled with the exposure due to the falling snow and fog. I have lived away from the UK for 20 years, in countries or places with little or no snow. That means I have very little experience using a film camera in snowy conditions. This year in the UK, it has snowed a fair bit where I live and I have gone out for walks anytime it snowed, even a sprinkle.
After the snowy weather, it stayed dull and rainy for a couple of weeks. The next time I took the camera out I used a film I was given inside a disposable camera. There were no markings on the film, but being in a disposable camera I assumed it was a 400asa. I shot it at 50asa just to be sure. It was expired, but a slow film was just what I was after. I had recently read about and consequently made a “string tripod“, this would be perfect to try now.
Plus I was asked if the Konica FP-1 worked with a tamron lens, I checked and nope, but now it was out of my box I might as well try it with the autoreflex. Yeap it did, seeing as the light meter didn’t work, a manual lens was fine. So the next photos were taken on an unknown expired film, with a stringpod, and with a tamron adaptall lens. I kept the camera on full frame throughout. These were taken just before dusk, in trees, so the exposures were around 1/10th or 1/30th, or even slower for the running water.
As you can see the stringpod was ok and the lens was ok, but neither rocked my boat. I quickly switched back to the Konica lenses, the 28mm.
I received a whole heap of colour film for xmas so I quickly put another film in this camera, told you I tried it a lot!
This time I walked into town, heading for the cathedral. Wakefield is a small place, but it is a city due to this fine building. Along the way I walked down a couple of streets I have never visited before. Simple things like that make these days more bearable, a new street to walk down, yipee.
I finished the film inside the cathedral. When I received the camera, I asked the sender if there was anywhere he would like me to photograph as part of this post. He suggested Wakefield Cathedral. I have been inside a few times, not often, but it looms over my home town. I have never taken a photo inside, so I decided to write to them via their website and ask if it was ok, was it allowed, what were the protocols, was it still ok during lockdown? Someone wrote back and said it was ok. I was not to photograph any children inside or sell any photos I take, other than that it was perfectly fine.
The colour film was 400asa and I really struggled to keep the camera steady. I took a few photos then took out the film, putting in some Kodak Tri-x 400 I intended to push to 3200…because I can. I still had trouble getting a steady shot inside, churches are always so dark. In addition I found the focusing screen hard to use. It just seemed hard to tell when it was in focus or not in the dull light.
Here are the full frame ones at 3200asa.
And some half frame shots on my walk home…
I think I gave the camera a fair go. I tried 4 films in total. At times I struggled getting it in focus, but when it hit, it hit well. Konica lenses are really great. I have a feeling the issue was my glasses, it was easier to focus once I took them off. I always worry I am focusing for my eyesight when I don’t wear them.
This is now the second half frame camera I like along with the olympus FT. I did tend to keep this one on full frame, but it was nice to have the option. When I noticed I was running out of film I switched over to half-frame.
If you want to know any technical details about this camera, I suggest reading Mike Eckman’s review. As always he has given a very detailed account with some updates as he found out new information. He wrote about the same issue with focusing, like him, I also prefer a split screen.
Focusing aside, this is a marvel of a camera and I am sure I will take it on a camping trip at some point, when the current situation allows it. After writing this post, I decided to add it to my current top ten in place of the Zenit 11 as without a light meter, this one also does not need batteries. Plus half/full frame!!!
As a side note, this is the last post in my draft folder as I have been busy with work, there is a lockdown, and the weather has been awful. I do have a couple of cameras to try out, my last two for now. But March will probably be a quiet month for this blog. I am looking forward to the easing of lockdown at the end of the month.