Sunday, November 27, 2016

Konica Autoreflex TC...again.

You would think that by now I would be able to see a lonely orphaned camera in a thrift shop without bringing it home.  I guess I am not there yet, if the price is right.  Yesterday I was at the Ann Arbor Recycle/Reuse Center (where I also purchased a like-new pair of Realistic Solo-1 speakers), and saw this dirty, yet working Konica Autoreflex TC for $10.  It had the wonderful 40mm 1.8 Hexanon AR lens.  I opened it up, and the inside was clean, the shutter speeds worked, so I figured I would buy it. Over the years, I have acquired a few of these cameras, and have donated them to the Film Photography Project. A few years ago, I had a bag full of Konica SLRs, and have since divested myself of all of them.  Yet, once again, a lonely, unloved Konica TC turns up.

before cleaning

Today, I cleaned the camera up.  It was filthy on the outside, but the glass on the lens is excellent, and the insides are clean.  My cleanup kit consists of a used soft toothbrush, industrial cotton swabs (the ones on a stick), an old t-shirt, lens tissue, and a bottle of isopropyl alcohol.  That usually handles just about everything, but sometimes a bit of Windex or Naptha is needed for stubborn dirt or sticky residue.  I removed the old camera strap, which was a custom one with the name of the former owner embroidered on it.  Although the Autoreflex TC originally required 2 PX-13 1.35V mercury cells, two 625A 1.5 cells will work fine, and you may not need to compensate via the ISO wheel.   I put in the 625As, and checked the metering against my Nikon N6006, and the reading in the TC was the same at ISO 400. Note -- you do not need batteries for the TC to function, except for the auto-exposure and metering.  If the batteries fail, you can use an external meter or sunny-16, and you adjust aperture and shutter speed manually. Otherwise, just set the lens to AE and set the shutter speed, and the camera will choose the aperture.  In other words, it is a Shutter-Priority and Manual camera.

One of the things I find when rehabilitating old cameras is that the light seals and mirror-bumper  usually need replacing. In the Autoreflex TC, I cannot see the mirror bumper, as there is a thin plastic or metal shield at the top behind the lens.  The light seals on the back seemed to be good enough to at least shoot a test roll.
after cleanup!

Using the Autoreflex TC
I look at the TC as being a compact Autoreflex T, hence the TC.  It's definitely lighter than a Autoreflex T, T2, etc., and is smaller than a Pentax K1000.  Plastic components obviously keep the weight down.  While the TC has a limited range of shutter speeds from B, 1/8- 1/1000 sec., it's a good street camera.    The camera has a standard hot shoe and PC socket for flashes, with a 1/125 sec sync speed.  In other words, while it's not everything you might need in a small SLR, it has what you will need in most situations.  In fact, it's a pretty decent "student camera."  One other tip on using the camera -- do not try to pull up on the film rewind to insert a new roll of film. The bottom is cut out a bit so a roll just fits right in. The rewind knob only rotates to rewind the film, and there is no vertical movement. The meter turns on when you move the wind lever away from the body. A button below it sets the lever back against the body, locks the shutter release, and turns off the meter.  Of course, if you need a manual, our friend Butkus has one. Be sure to donate some $ to his site to keep those manuals available.

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