Konica C35 EF
Scale Focus

Konica C35 EF aka ‘Pikkari’ Mini-Review – Compact Fun Shooting – By Meifei Tang

April 27, 2021

I picked up a Konica C35 EF in early in 2018 from eBay Japan. It cost me US$17 and it arrived with some issues such as a missing glass panel and the film rewind knob. I took it for repair at my trusty guy in the electronics market and it was transformed to as good as new for another US$20.

I bought the camera out of curiosity. I was reading a book in a friend’s gallery about Andy Warhol and his Studio 54 days and lo and behold, the Konica C35 was one of his favorites. I got curious and so I got one. Again, for the price I got it for, I thought it should be interesting to see what it comes up with.

One of the buildings in the Huaqiangbei Electronics Market, Fomapan200

The Konica C35 EF is also known as Pikkari in Japan, but the C35 EF name gives away its features. The C stands for compact, 35 for 35mm film, and EF for electronic flash. Obviously, it is a 35mm compact camera with electronic flash. It was introduced in 1975 and was the first compact camera with a built-in flash. It has a 38mm f/2.8 Hexanon lens and is focused via preset distances on the rotating lens barrel.

I loaded the camera with a 1.35V battery for power and 2AA batteries for the flash and first tried it as Andy Warhol used it – during the night. During one of our cross-border trips, I packed it in my son’s diaper bag and started shooting.

Chinglish at the Shenzhen Bay Border with Hong Kong

Pre-COVID times waiting outside the Mainland border

I shot a roll of Kodak Colorplus 200 in the Konica C35 EF and found that the colors really pop out. That flash is strong too and details are not bad as well. Now I understand why Warhol liked it a lot. It’s compact, easy to use and just delivers.

Subway security on the Shenzhen Metro with Fomapan200

Delivery guy behind my apartment complex, Kodak Tmax400

Since the first roll, the Konica C35 EF has always been a go-to camera when I’m out on my bicycle around my border town neighborhood.

Here are more images of my neighborhood with the C35:

China Merchants Building, Fuji C200 and Fomapan200

Shekou Design Center steps taken with Fomapan200, Fuji C200, and Kodak Color Plus200

Konica C35 EF

Shekou Fishing Port, Fuji C200

Konica C35 EF

Huaqiangbei Electronics Market, Kodak Tmax400

Konica C35 EF

My neighborhod, Shekou, Shenzhen on Kodak Tri-X400

I didn’t realize how much I had shot the Konica C35 EF until I was organizing files and saw how many folders of scans I have from rolls of film I have shot with it. I like the black body, it’s easy to use, and again, it delivers pretty good images. What more could I want? I now fondly call it my “Andy Warhol Camera”.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Scott Gitlin
    May 2, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    A nice set of captures – congratulations on your camera acquisition.

  • Reply
    shawn granton
    May 11, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Nice review, Meifei! I had a C 35 EF last year and loved the shots I got out of it. I just found another one for cheap (seems like you can always find one for cheap) and need to put a test roll through it. The first one I owned had a broken rewind lever as well, seems like a common issue. The new one’s lever is intact, but with its thin sheet-metal construction I can see why they break!

    I don’t know if you know about the exposure trick, but half-pressing the shutter release will lock the aperture displayed in the viewfinder. I used that trick quite a bit with my first one, calling it “pseudo aperture priority”!

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