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.
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
2. The Well-Lit Gallery
3. Girl Seated and Lost
4. The Birds
5. From Cramond Beach, near Edinburgh
6. Good Neighbours
7. Woman Seated and Lost
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
9. Corridor – National Museum of Scotland
10. The 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