Sunday, October 21, 2018

Konica Auto S2 - A Handful of Fun

The Konica Auto S2 is a Japanese 35mm fixed-lens rangefinder camera that was produced in 1965 and differs from the earlier Konica Auto S by having a Hexanon 45mm f/1.8 lens and with its CdS meter cell re-located to the ring in the front of the lens. This relocation of the sensor has a couple advantages. One is that the lens cap now covers the sensor as well,  turning off the metering system and preserving battery power. Another is that metering will be correct when a filter is fitted, since the sensor is now located behind the filter. The pull-out hood reduces glare.

Basic Features -
Lens: Hexanon f/1.8, f=45mm 6 elements in 4 groups, 55mm filter
Shutter: Copal SVA (B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500)
Meter: Cds, powered by 1.3v mercury, with battery test  (using a 1.5v cell is fine)
Dimensions: 138mm (width) x 82.2mm (height) x 73.5mm (thickness)
Flash - PC sync socket, coldshoe on top.
Meter scale visible on top deck
True rangefinder focusing
Weight: 750 grams

I owned one of these about a decade ago, and sold it, which I later regretted.  My current camera came from Becky Ramatowski in NM, aka Astrobeck on Flickr and Facebook.  I have a standard 1.5v cell in it, and so far, my shots from it have been perfect.   It’s a shutter-priority camera when in auto mode, but you can also shoot it manually and without a battery.  It takes 55mm filters, and of course, the meter works great with filters.  The slip-out lens hood is a nice touch.  The camera’s ISO settings range from 12-400, and with the fast lens, is great for most photography.   The rangefinder patch is easy to see.

It certainly isn't a tiny rangefinder camera, and in size and appearance, looks much like a Minolta Hi-matic 7.    I have had it on several trips now, and found it to be a pleasure to shoot with, and switching from Shutter-Priority Auto to full manual is not a problem.  Overall, it's a keeper, and that wide aperture makes it great for shooting indoors and people close-up. 

You can find these on ebay from 25-60 bucks. One in good working order is a wonderful camera to have, and you'll be happy with the results!

Here are some examples from the camera. All were taken on the same roll of Ultrafine Xtreme 400 film.

As you can see, these represent a wide range of lighting situations, and the camera worked as I had hoped.  

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