Your favorite Konica manual focus lenses

Started Jul 14, 2022 | Discussions thread
Travis Butler
Travis Butler Senior Member • Posts: 2,076
Re: Your favorite Konica manual focus lenses

It's funny. To one degree or another, I've liked or at least thought favorably of pretty much every Konica lens I've tried - the 28/3.5, 40/1.8, 57/1.4, 55/3.5 Macro, 35-70/4, 35-70/3.5-4.5, 100/2.8, 135/3.2 and 3.5, even the 65-135/4 I recently picked up. They almost always have the vivid color/high contrast I love, and are usually quite sharp - especially for their era. Some of them have something special in the tonal rendering, like the 35-70/4.

But none of them has ever stayed in my bag for very long, which is a shame.

Part of it, I think, is the 'one more adapter' problem. I almost always run with as small/light a bag as possible, to the point where carrying one more adapter makes a difference. I almost always have an OM and Minolta SR lens with me - so if there's another OM/SR lens that will do the job, I'll carry that instead of a Hexanon.

Part of it is size/weight. A number of those Hexanons are excellent lenses, but notably larger/heavier than the competition. The 55/3.5 Macro is a great lens - but much larger/heavier than the OM 50/3.5 Macro, and not as good as the OM 50/2 Macro.

The 57/1.4 is a nice fast 50, but it's a heavily-built all-metal lens. (I recently found a 50/1.4; we'll see how that one goes.)

E-M1 II, Hexanon 57/1.4

The 35-70/4 has IQ I really like; but so does the Minolta MD 35-70/3.5 Macro, and the Minolta is smaller and lighter. (And the 35-70/4 has an odd design where the filter ring sits flush with the focus ring, making it a bit harder to get the lens cap off - at least for third-party caps, mine didn't come with the OEM cap.) The 35-70/3.5-4.5 is much smaller and lighter - but it's a heavily-plastic design with a relatively cheap feel. (That said, the size/weight is keeping it in contention as my carry-with zoom for the Sigma fp.) Even the 40/1.8 - delightfully small and light as it is - is larger and heavier than the tiny Pentax-M 40/2.8.

The 65-135 is a recent estate sale rescue. It's an interesting focal range, I like the pictures I've seen from it, and I like the mechanics/build quality.

Lumix S5, Hexanon 65-135/4

Lumix S5, Hexanon 65-135/4

Unfortunately, it's also heavy and somewhat awkward - closer to the 70-210 class in size/weight, and actually larger/heavier than my Tokina SZ-X 80-200. So I don't know how much I'll use this one, either.

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