Sunday, February 13, 2011

Konica Hexanon AR 35mm f2.8

I wrote a bit about this lens in my LiveJournal blog before I switched to Bloger.  Haven't used it much after that because the 4/3 to Micro 4/3 adapter was sold and the Konica lense can no longer be used on the G1.  For those who may not know, the Konica AR lenses have about the same mount/lens register as the 4/3 mount.  If you remove the aperture lever, you can mount the lens directly on 4/3 cameras, though you need to shim it to make it tight.

Again, more yard sales trying to get rid of the Konica lenses have failed, so I am stuck with a dozen or so lenses in AR mount.  Perhaps it's a sign that I should keep them, because most of them are really good lenes, including the 35mm f2.8.

Like most older lenses, this one was made entirely of metal and glass.  Needless to say, it's well made and feels great in the hand.  The coating of the front element does not seem like it's multi-coated, so a hood should really be used to minimize flare and increase contrast.  I have a matching rectangular Konica metal hood that makes this lens look gorgeous.

Image quality does not disappoint.  No, it's not a Leia-R 35mm f2, but once you stop it down to f5.6-f8, you will be hard pressed to see a difference, though the Leica has nicer colour rendition and better micro contrast.  I doubt you can tell in print though.  Let's just say that it's a good lens that produces good results.  For a manual focus lens, the feel of the lens has a lot to do with the pleasure of taking pictures.  Sure it doesn't improve the optical quality, but the process of taking pictures is at least half of the fun, so the feel of quality is important.  This is not as nice as the Takumars, but darn close. What stands out, though, is the price.  Konica lenses are still undervalued and cheap.  In most cases, for the price of a good lunch, you could get this lens in great condition, but the matching hood is much harder to find.

There are still a lot of Konica lenses out there.  Adapters for the Micro 4/3 and NEX to Konica lenses are now very cheap.  It's a good time to get your hands on some before the prices go up.

Three is a crowd -- G1 & Konica 35mm f2.8. Click to see larger.

Megan -- NEX-5 & Konica 35mm f2.8 @ f2.8.


  1. I was looking around in your blog and I must say all the information is awesome thanks for posting about lenses new and old...I wanted to know are the Hexanon lens sharp? I have a 50mm f/1.4 have been scouring the internet to see if hexanon lens are sharp in general. Thanks and have a good day!!

    1. I didn't have two many Konica lenses, but I used the 57mm f1.4 and it was a nice lens. Also the 52mm f1.8 and 55mm f1.8 are also very good. If you could find a 28mm f1.8, that is a good lens, but I have not used it.

    2. i ran into this while i was scouring the google for a good info on legacy lenses.
      u pointed out that it isn't as good as takumar? u mean compared to takumar 35mm f3.5 right?
      because i have a choice of purchasing either takumar 35mm f3.5 or hexanon 35mm f2.8

      look wise.. both are in good condition but the hexanon has that white band around which makes it look nicer. bokeh wise.. (from flickr pictures) i think hexanon looks a bit harsh?!?! and takumar is a bit smoother. am i correct? i don't mind either bokeh style just making sure i got it right. and also hows the sharpness between takumar and hexanon?