Konica Hexanon 17mm 1:16 M39 Version

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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 6,350
Konica Hexanon 17mm 1:16 M39 Version

Bought a Konica Hexanon 17mm 1:16 just out of curiosity.  This is not a very common lens but not very expansive.  Many considered this lens as a poor-men's Hologon.  Maybe.  I don't know.  So, got a copy for testing.

The following image has the lens and its viewfinder.  The front element of the lens is rather flat and  is not a Hologon nor a Hypergon for sure, because these two super wide lenses have a nearly semi-sphere like front element.

Viewfinder and Lens

The following is a sideview of the lens.  Note that this lens does not have an aperture as the only available aperture is f/16, nor a focus ring as this lens does not need one at 17mm and f/16,  This lens has a M39 thread and the rear tube goes into my Sony A7II body deeply.

Lens and Viewfinder

This is the front of the lens.  There is a M-version, though.  I do believe that the optical structures are the same, but I do not have the M version.  The surface of the front glass element is a bit too flat to be a Hologon.

This is the rear of the lens.  Obviously, the little hole serves as the stop.  This is the second evidence showing that this is not a Hologon because the Hologon should have its rear glass element exposed.  Maybe this Hexagon 17mm uses an additional stop to limit the size of its exit pupil.

A M39 to Sony E adapter is needed to mount this lens to my Sony A7II.

This looks like a pancake lens.

This is one of the first test images of this lens. It looks like rather rectilinear.  However, vignetting is very significant.  It appears from this image that the lens is not well centered because the left side shows more vignetting that the right side.  I am not sure this is a problem of the lens or from the adapter.  Please use the full size image to judge the image quality of this lens.  IMO, the center area is good but along the border of the image, in particular at the corners, image quality is not so good, much worse than my Nikon AFS 17-35mm 1:2.8.

This is the vignetting pattern shooting the uniformly illuminated blue sky.

Lens flare and ghosts are rather poor.  There is an odd irregular spot in each image.  I am not sure how this irregular spot is from.  From these images, I am sure I don't like this lens very much.  I can live with some barrel distortion with a good flare and ghosts control rather than this bad flare and ghosts.  The aperture being f/16 is another problem.  I would rather use my Nikon AFS 17-35mm 1:2.8, AF-S 16-35mm 1:4 or AF-S 14-24mm 1:2.8, because new good zoom lenses in this range are much better than this lens as it is difficult to avoid a strong light source in an image during daylight,

Now, I have to figure out why the lens is not centered by getting a new and good M39-E adapter or/and a M39-Z adapter.


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Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,602
Re: Konica Hexanon 17mm 1:16 M39 Version

The shapes are serface reflections bouncing around and passing through the aperture and the internal shapes are coming from a contaminated lens surface or coating damage, I'm sure this lens would benefit from being serviced, if it's possible.

I wonder if the waterhouse stop is in the wrong location causing the heavy vignetting...

Ahh, it's a transplanted lens from a fixed lens camera (Konica WaiWai disposable camera), so it might be half frame, plastic optics, so take care with cleaning.



I don't know what improvements are to be had, centering could be improved, it's not a lens that was designed to be perfect or even good, just acceptable @ a good price.

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ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 8,000
Re: Konica Hexanon 17mm 1:16 M39 Version

Ching-Kuang Shene wrote:

This is the vignetting pattern shooting the uniformly illuminated blue sky.

I'm seeing a world of pain here. Vignetting, color casts, flare, etc. In sum, I don't think you're gonna fix this -- either decide you can use these flaws in some positive way or forget about this lens.

BTW, the lens vignetting not being perfectly centered is very common and not really a huge problem.

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