Point & Shoot

5 Frames with a Konica Z-up 150 VP – by Charles Higham

Having put a film through a Konica Z-up 100W compact which I reviewed here, I was tossing up whether to do the same thing for the top-of-its-range Konica Z-up 150 VP with a 38-150mm zoom lens. I found very little information about the Z-up 100W online, and not that much more about the 150 VP. The example I have seems barely used.

Konica marketed it as a ‘super compact zoom camera’, and while it does have a long 150mm lens I wouldn’t call the camera super compact. It’s actually quite big, in contrast to the roughly contemporary Olympus mju series which were able to offer zoom lenses in notably smaller bodies.

The lens is f/5 to f/13.5 and has 10 elements in 8 groups. Shutter speeds are 1 second to 1/320. It takes one CR123A battery. DX coding is from ISO25-3200 but, unlike the 100W, you have the option to alter the exposure by +1.5 EV using a mode button. As well as diopter adjustment, the Z-up 150 VP has automatic variable flash, so I’m guessing the VP stands for variable power. Giving in to curiosity, I loaded it with Kodak Portra 400 and set off for the Moreton in Marsh agricultural show.

Viewing the results, while it proved sharp at 38mm delivering quite contrasty images, once the zoom was extended beyond about 100mm they are plagued by flare in the corners. I assume it’s not a light leak because it doesn’t appear on the wide shots.

Not every zoomed exposure was affected, but enough were to be a disappointment. I’ve included this shot of a bridge which shows it nicely:

To be fair, it’s not a problem unique to this compact zoom model, but I can’t imagine customers being pleased if this was commonly experienced when using the 150 VP, as they no doubt parted with quite a lot of money in the hope of taking advantage of the long zoom. Maybe that’s why my copy has clearly spent most of its life in the box.

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1 Comment

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    Chris S.
    December 16, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Zoom sharpness seems to be good; I found my Olympus Stylus 170 to be disappointingly soft at maximum zoom. One quibble I have with zoom P&Ss is not knowing what focal length I’m at – Canon Sure Shots have markings on the lens barrel; I wish I knew of other makes that also have those.

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