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Konica Autoreflex TC

Max Rosenthal , Aug 27, 2006; 02:38 a.m.

I just got my hands on my dad's old Autoreflex TC with a 50mm lens, for which he also has a great old Vivitar 85-205. Both seem all right, but I want to make sure and possibly give the camera a professional once-over. Anyone know of good places in NY or DC that would be able to check it out and let me know if anything needs fixing?

Responses

John Shaeffer , Aug 27, 2006; 09:43 a.m.

If you are in NYC, take it here:

http://www.essexcamera.com/

David M , Aug 27, 2006; 03:27 p.m.

Check it out yourself by shooting a roll of film, use various shutter speeds and apertures and include a few flash pictures. If it needs an overhaul, cost is likely to be more than the camera is worth.

Vincenzo Maielli , Aug 28, 2006; 06:02 a.m.

Hi, Max. The Konica Autoreflex TC was a very simple and basic SRL 35 mm camara, but not pre-1970 (as requested by this forum). The Konica Autoreflex TC was sold in the middle of '80 years and was the last SLR made by Konishiroku. If you desire to complete the Konica SLR equipment, search the Autoreflex T3n or T4 and the excellent original Hexanon AR lenses. Ciao

Vincenzo Maielli

Matthew Currie , Aug 28, 2006; 10:30 a.m.

Do what David M suggests. I would get a roll or two of relatively cheap print film, and go out and take some shots in the real world, specifically chosen to challenge the exposure system. See how it performs. When I have doubts about a camera's accuracy, or flash performance, I will sometimes put the camera on a tripod and do a series of exposures at different settings, with very careful focusing, and include in the picture a piece of cardboard with the settings written on it in felt pen.

Peter Naylor , Aug 28, 2006; 12:29 p.m.

Hi, Max I don't have an Autoreflex TC but I do have an Autoreflex T3n, acquired in a strange set of circumstances only recently. It was bought "body only" because I already had a Hexanon AR f1.8 50mm lens which I'd been sitting on for nearly a year, waiting for either a T3 or T3n body to match it with. Finally I got lucky and got the Konica body for a real song.

However, I'm jumping the gun here a bit. After I'd got the lens, people I know through collecting classic cameras started giving me this and that Konica bit, or selling me stuff like an orginal T3n manual dead cheap. So, by the time I finally got myself a T3n body, I already had several useful items as well as the f1.8 lens, for a really low total outlay.

Like your TC, my T3n is a bit later than this Forum's Pre-1970 mandate, but the drift of my post is relevant. I've just finished my first film with the T3n and I'm VERY impressed with the results, as I was with the camera's controls and general quality "feel". It's a bit of a tank to carry around and the metal shutter is a real "clunker", but all controls are nicely situated and it gives the impression that it could go on for ever.

So, $64,000 Question Time - just what is it about Konica SLRs that the collecting fraternity seem to give them a wide berth? Why could I buy a minty f1.8 standard lens for just $1.25, including both end caps, and a T3n body (reputedly the best Autoreflex model ever) for $25, and friends bestow me with all sorts of Konica bits for nix? I guess the answer must be that we Classic Camera Collectors are a funny lot, maybe giving far too much importance to name and reputation. For example, I'd rate this Autoreflex T3n a much better "user" than the ergonomically challenging Nikkormat Ftn I once had.

If you've stayed with me this far, the punchline is that you really shouldn't be spending maybe twice what your TC is worth on a costly and probably unnecessary CLA. Give it a clean, change the batteries, but then go out and run a few films through it. You have some ancestral heirloom potential there in that it was your dad's camera, so you can also be assured that accessory Konica bits such as lenses will come pretty cheap if you decide to get serious with it. ~~PN~~

Matthew Currie , Aug 28, 2006; 09:50 p.m.

I have noticed the same thing with Konica lenses and bits. I even went to a tag sale last year, and picked up a 28 mm lens. I asked the price, and the person said someone had bought a Konica with some lenses earlier for some insanely low price, and had forgotten to take that lens. So he gave it to me.

I have a T3, too, which my wife hates, and calls "the Konica from Hell" because she once got stuck using it at a photo workshop only days after her Minolta Maxxum had barfed up some irreplaceable internal bit, and she did not get along at all well either with its admittedly woeful viewfinder or the shutter priority automation with the little note taped to the back to remind her to offset the ASA dial by 2/3 of a stop to compensate for the hearing aid batteries...etc. etc. She did me the great favor of NOT succumbing to the urge to toss the thing into Lake Champlain, but only just barely. I like it. It's old and quirky, tough and heavy and brassy and noisy.

But anyway, so it's not quite a pre-1970 classic, it's a good camera, and it's made of metal. Enjoy it.

Lance Trottier , Apr 21, 2007; 09:45 p.m.

I have one of these [Konica Autreflex TC] cameras with a 135mm zoom... I would like to get information regarding a gammut of lens that will allow me to take extreme closeup shots, to extreme distance shots... Model names, specs, sources, average costs... whatever info anyone can provide...

Thank you.

Jean-Jacques Granas , May 26, 2007; 02:51 p.m.

Hello,

Vincenzo, I am afriad you are probably mistaking the Autoreflex TC for the Konica TC-X. The latter camera was indeed sold in the middle 1980s (but it was manufctured for Konica by Cosina). The Autoreflex TC was introduced in 1976, as a fairly simple all-mechanical 'consumer' SLR of sorts. It is nevertheless a dependable camera, and probably the most common and cheapest Konica SLR available.

One more camera that wasn't suggested here is the Konica FC-1 (1983, I believe), a much underrated body which has the very bright viewfinder and very accurate auto exposure system of the later electronic models, but not the problems that occasionally surfaced with the integrated winders of the FT-1 (rarely) and especially the FS-1 (all too frequently, although its a wonderful camera otherwise).

Look here for the best source of technical info about Konica SLRs on the web: http://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/eKonicaStart.html

... and here for a Konica SLR discussion list, starring a friendly and extremely helpful bunch of Konica afficionados: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/konicaslr

Enjoy your lenses, you'll be back for more :-)

Jean-Jacques Granas Warsaw, Poland

Tim Atwater , Mar 18, 2008; 03:56 p.m.

The TC was a nice basic Konica made from about 1976 to 1982(?), but the old CDS meter seems to be nearly useless in low light, the shutter speeds stop at 1/8 second, and it's got that loud (but good) Copal shutter. I also have an FC-1, and the metering is a lot better, but the FC-1 lacks an AE lock, which is one of the nicest features of the TC! By the way, the Konica C35 also has this handy AE lock, but maybe that's for a different thread. The FC-1 seems to have been made from about 1979-1983. It has a nice feel to it, as does the TC; they're both about the same weight, but the FC-1 seems slightly more solid to me. The FC-1's shutter is a little quieter than the TC's too. Too bad I didn't get either of these cameras for under $50 as the above contributors seem to have. KEH is selling a TC body in BGN condition right now for about $70, and an FC-1 in EX shape for about $90, and Adorama's prices are a little higher, so there must be somebody who's still buying them out there! The lenses are of course one of the main reasons to get an old Konica body since they have a great reputation, and the basic focal lengths are inexpensive, although some of the rarer ones like the 28/1.8 can be very expensive. Look at www.buhla.de for the real Konica SLR scoop!

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