5 frames with...

5 Frames with Konica Hexar AF – by Louis Sousa

This is my second dabble with this camera. The first was an auction site purchase advertised as “top mint” from Japan. I received the camera and it was in never touched condition. While it looked like the pretty girl at the dance, it had no such mojo. The film would not load. So after a return, this beauty entered my hands, a “refurbished model” working perfectly.

I won’t bother with the terrible menus, suffice to day everybody is spot on there.  My first roll was populated with 18 9 2018, a date stamp reminder of a bad day of photography.  After figuring that niggle out, I took the Hexar on the photowalk from the Kelby site that I volunteered to lead. 

The patrons of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport RI were kind enough to permit access to photograph the restoration of The Coronet, a turn of the century sailing yacht.  I was on my boat in Newport Harbor many years ago, witnessing her voyage into the City for restoration.  The vessel has been stripped back to its origins by the superb shipwrights at the IYRS.  IYRS is a unique training facility, teaching mostly youngish men and women the lost art of wooden boatbuilding.  The Coronet is a glorious vessel. 

The imagery shows the massive endeavor.  Hull planking consists of 2 layers of wood, each 2 inches thick, steamed to conform to the ribbing with offset seams in the layers.  Since my last visit in the Spring, substantial progress has been made. 

On to the Hexar AF.  The camera feels great in the hand.  The lens lives up to its reputation – these images do all the talking for me.  At times (not in these shots), it falls short of the Summicron it imitates, showing a more vertical distortion. 

The film used was Ilford FP4.  I have not used this emulsion often, but after this roll I will.  These images are as shot, developed using Diafine the lazy man’s soup along with several other rolls of varying speeds.  Scanned with an Epson V8oo.

{Sorry for the horrible picture of the Hexar!}

Thank you for taking the time for this post.  You can view my other smatterings here:  https://victoriaslight.blog

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  • Daniel Castelli
    Daniel Castelli
    December 4, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Hi Louis!
    I just saw a piece on the IYRS broadcast on our local PBS station here in CT. What a cool place. You produced a great set of pics that do justice to that organization. Well done.
    The Konica was the style of camera Leica should have produced after their (film) CL went out of production. A semi-pro level compact camera. I like my (film) CL, but there are times…
    I was a die hard HP-5 user for decades. My wife & I took a trip to Ireland recently. I packed Delta 400 rather than my usual HP-5. When we got back, I processed the film in ID-11 [1:1] and was blown away by the results. I’ve since switched to the Delta.

    • Avatar
      December 4, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you. Film was FP4 as I have mea culpaed a few times. It is a wonderful little box

    • Avatar
      December 5, 2018 at 12:06 am

      It is a fantastic organization. Beetle Catboats in various states of repair are everywhere. I just shot a roll of Delta 100 and it was lacking in contrast compared to what I am used to, but that could be from a number of different factors including how and with what I shot the film and of course, the light! I will have to try ID 11, Diafine is easy and quick but may not be right for all film stocks.

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    think you have a typo, ilford HP5+ or FP4, there’s no such thing as HP4+ though 🙂

    Nice contrast in the frames, lens living up to the hype

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    I was once temped by a used Hexar AF (1995/6?) It was alot of money then. Your images do proud justice to the craftmen and women rebuilding the ship.
    I love these images.

    • Avatar
      Louis A. Sousa
      December 5, 2018 at 12:09 am

      Thank you so much. The image of the Hexar on the other hand, not my best.

  • Avatar
    Brett Soul
    December 4, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    I have always fancied this camera, love the single ( fixed ) lens philosophy, the addition of the whisper quiet operation makes this a must for any stealth street photography endeavour, one day perhaps it’ll rival my M6 for my affection.

  • Avatar
    Louis Sousa
    December 4, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Sorry for the typo on “HP4” of course it is FP4…My bad.

  • Avatar
    Dominique Pierre-Nina
    December 4, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Hi, great photos very clean look .

  • Avatar
    JR Smith
    December 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Nice series! A camera I have always wanted to try.

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