Advanced Compact (AF)

Konica Hexar AF – Guest Review by Rob MacKillop

I hesitate writing a review of a camera, mainly because I do not intuitively understand technical processes or jargon – which is what a lot of reviews concern themselves with. For my photography, I don’t really care about the things other reviewers seem to obsess about. As long as it feels good in the hands, and inspires me to take the pictures I want to see, then it is a good camera. But I’ll do my best…

The Konica Hexar AF has a growing cult following, the main reason being it’s outstanding fixed f/2 lens, which some have likened to a Leica Summicron. That, plus it’s virtually quiet Stealth mode, make this a street camera par excellence. Just set the aperture to F8 in P mode and start shooting.

There are a few versions of the camera. Mine is the classic black, as per the original from 1993, and if you are looking to get one yourself, most people agree it is the best version to go for.

The viewfinder is superb – very bright, with visible frame lines (parallax corrected) and cross hairs for the centre. It has a green focus confirmation light, plus and minus warning lights for under/over exposure, a distance scale, and a warning sign for being too close to the subject.

HexTop

The downside is the LCD panel and the few buttons (all on the top of the camera) which are nothing short of baffling to most users. Search online for “The Lost Commands Of The Hexar”. I’ll leave it to others to go into the details of its operating system.

Luckily for me, all the setting s I need are very easy to find. Select P, A or M. For infinity, just press the MF button once, and you are good to go. Exposure Comp? Just press Select button once, then adjust via the up and down buttons – 2 stops available, in 1/3 gradations.  The camera in normal setting is very quiet, and I’ve felt no need to switch on the Stealth mode, but to do so requires only that you hold the MF button down while switching on.

Well, that’s all the technical talk you will get from me, so it’s on to taking photographs!

As mine was an eBay acquisition, I just put a cheap colour film through it the first time, just to check it was working. For the second I used Ilford XP2, and in a flush of wild experimentation, attached a Red Filter:

1. The Kiss, The Leer and The Blush

The Kiss and The Blush

2. The Well-Lit Gallery

Light5

3. Girl Seated and Lost

Girl Seated

4. The Birds

Birds

5. From Cramond Beach, near Edinburgh

Cramond

6. Good Neighbours

Guid Neebours

7. Woman Seated and Lost

Woman

But I did eventually take the red filter off. The following are XP2 again, this time with a yellow filter:

8. Atrium – National Museum of Scotland

Museum Atrium

9. Corridor – National Museum of Scotland

Museum Corridor

10. The Stare

Stare

In conclusion, I find the Konica Hexar to be a wonderful camera which allows me the freedom to be expressive – not every camera does that – and captures not just what I am seeing, but also what I am feeling, and few cameras manage that. Highly recommended – go find yourself one!

For another opinion about the Konica Hexar, see here for Hamish’s review

Do you enjoy reading 35mmc?

For as little as $1 a month, you can help support the upkeep of this website. The more people chuck me a small amount of cash each month, the more time I can spend building and improving upon it - simple as that!
Or, for $2 a month you can get access to my behind the scenes micro-blog over on Patreon!

Either way, want to help out, become a patron of 35mmc here:

Become a Patron!

Alternatively, if you just enjoyed this post, or like the odd post here and there, please feel free to chuck a few pennies in the tip jar via Ko fi here:


Write for 35mmc: read more here, about how you can help build upon this ever growing resource
Subscribe/Follow: click here, to discover all the ways you can follow 35mmc

Advertisement

You Might Also Like

15 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Luismi
    February 27, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Awesome machine, it´s my main 35mm camera.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Caranga
    January 14, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Excellent camera and beautiful images!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Rob MacKillop
      January 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Caranga. It’s still my No.1 camera.

  • Reply
    Experiences with Ilford SFX for 35mm Cameras - Guest post by Rob MacKillop - 35mmc
    March 17, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    […] Ilford SFX is an extended red sensitivity black and white film, which I had used once before through a medium-format camera. I liked it very much, though it proved expensive for 120 film. Recently I noticed the 35mm version, so thought I would try it with my trusty Konica Hexar AF. […]

  • Reply
    Experiences with 35mm Ilford SFX - Guest post by Rob MacKillop - 35mmc
    March 17, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    […] Ilford SFX is an extended red sensitivity black and white film, which I had used once before through a medium-format camera. I liked it very much, though it proved expensive for 120 film. Recently I noticed the 35mm version, so thought I would try it with my trusty Konica Hexar AF. […]

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Martin Hugh Henley
    December 10, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Very nice review, Rob. I, too, went for the black version – sold my house in the UK – then thought I’d really treat myself to a Rhodium version….errrr, until I discovered the ludicrous difference in price & settled on a second, identical, black version. Quite simply, if you tend to come from a medium format background and/or prefer med. format, but hanker for the extra frames 35mm offers and/or the accompanying smaller body of a 35mm camera then the Hexar AF is THE one. I’ve done a few sessions now, portraits, using my med. format Fuji GA645S & my Konica Hexar AF . . . there is VERY LITTLE difference in quality when viewing images at A4 size. OF COURSE, start to get into A3 and beyond med. format will pull ahead. Quite simply the best 35mm camera I’ve ever used, based on lens quality, ease of use, & the wonderful functionality of the minimum shutter speed option.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Rob MacKillop
      December 11, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Good post, Martin. Yes, the Rhodoim version is rhodiculous!

      • Avatar
        Reply
        Hamish Gill
        December 11, 2016 at 9:15 am

        I have the Rhodium one – I shalt tell you how little I paid for it! 😉

        • Avatar
          Reply
          Rob MacKillop
          December 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

          :-0 Well, well, well…I look forward to your review!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Martin Hugh Henley
      August 22, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Oops, I just “accidentally” bought a HAF Titanium. How can I justify this – errr, Mum, there were only 1,000 made. Mum? MUM?! 😉
      After unpacking my HAF Ti, I set about reprogramming both my black HAFs and the Ti – all 3 now have the double/multi-exposure option, and the bracketing option. Sweet! Took me all of 6 minutes to do this hack – TOTAL! These Leica-eaters just get better!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Brian moore
    January 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Bonnie foties, Rob,…and a great review!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Rob MacKillop
      January 7, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks, Brian! Not too technical, I hope?! 😉

  • Reply
    Reflecting on some analogue memories - by Rob MacKillop - 35mmc
    April 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    […] gave a review of the Hexar here which was wholly positive, and Hamish gave his more negative thoughts here. Suffice to say I still […]

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Daniel Štraub
    April 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    hey hey, Im bit newbie with hexar loaded with hp5 and with a red/yellow filter in my pockets….. I’m just wondering if I need to somehow set the iso or exp compensation while using red/yellow filter or if I just could put it on hexar and set my mind free.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Vittore Buzzi
    December 13, 2018 at 2:13 am

    This is a great camera I owned it for about 5 years. I regret that I sold it!!!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Thank you for commenting

    ...now share the post with your friends?