5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Konica Hexar AF – By James Nguyen

August 22, 2018

My name is James Nguyen and I’m a 20 year old Vietnamese hospitality student, photography hobbyist, studying in Switzerland.

I have now sold my Konica Hexar AF, but to be honest, I regret it somehow. Although I enjoy my new Leica M4-2 very much, the Hexar AF is just a camera that helped me make the biggest step into photography and changed my photography style and perspective.

This camera is a joy to use. The 35mm f/2 lens is just gorgeous, in fact,  it is the most brilliant lens I have ever used. I will not say anything about the comparisons people make between it and the 35mm Summicron because I haven’t owned one, or even tried one. It is for the experts to judge. I was satisfied in every aspect: color rendition, sharpness, contrast, bokeh, etc…

I love how simple it is to operate this camera. Even though you can manually set the settings, I always put it on A mode, choosing my desired aperture and letting the camera do the rest. I used it without its silent mode, as it slows down the autofocus and auto winding function a little bit. Even outside it’s quiet mode I think most people would be amazed at how quiet it is.

There is one limit with this camera, and that its maximum 1/250th second shutter speed. Personally, I always put Portra 160 in it and shoot with no problem. Some may want to get an ND filter for it, I personally did not because I didn’t want to have to compensate the exposure.

All photos were shot with Portra 160

So why did I part with this beautiful gem? I just kept worrying that one day its electronic mechanisms would fail and it would die. Honestly that was the only reason that I have moved to a Leica M camera. The Konica Hexar AF has helped me find my photography style and made me love film photography/cameras even more. And I miss it everyday.

If you are interested in more photos of mine, I posts photos regularly on my Instagram!

Thanks for reading and hope you guys enjoy the post! Keep shooting film!

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  • Reply
    August 22, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    This camera is so intriguing. Working around the maximum shutter speed of 250 is not a niggle by film selection. The renderings are fantastic. I believe there is a Leica M lens from Konica that is a replica of the Hexar lens, but could be wrong….Well done and enjoy your M4….L.

  • Reply
    Martin Hugh Henley
    April 9, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for your review, James. Dare I say it? – you made a mistake in selling your Hexar AF. Sorry! I bought my first Hexar AF BEFORE I bought my first Leica (an M7). Although I later bought more Leicas (M4 and M5), I also bought more Hexar AFs. Why? Quite simply because the Hexar AF is the greatest camera ever made in terms of picture quality, ease of operation, flexibility, design and, yes, reliability. If I am in any doubt as to what camera to grab for a photo shoot, or for a critical event, it’s a Hexar AF I take not A Leica. Forget the worry about electronics – the Hexar AF is very robust and even a dead one can be saved – refer this great thread: https://jabcam.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/topic-resurrecting-konica-hexar-af-from-the-dead/ . I suggest, when you get the chance, buy another Hexar AF – soon! Thanks again for sharing you thoughts and photos. Ciao!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    These Hexar sell now for $600 on Ebay. I have to say, I don’t know why people rave sometimes about some cameras.. If you look at the pictures, you will get 3x better images with a standard Konica SLR that will cost 10 times less. It’s all the effect of internet sites that post glamorous reviews about this or that camera. Then everybody reads about it and wants to have it. Not this specific site, but most of these internet blogs upload HEAVILY post-processed images that look nowhere near the actual image, which is actually a blunt LIE about the camera performance.
    If I want really good pictures, I’ll just stick with my SLR – a little heavy but back then everybody was used to carry them anyway.

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