In a couple of recent posts I stated:
Have created images I am happy with using film cameras costing less than a memory card.
When I said this I had the Pentax *ist in mind, below paired with the FA 50mm f/1.4.
But I was later reminded that there is another. Someone liked a photo of mine on Flickr recently…
…and my first reaction was… cool. My second reaction was, geez that is sharp. What camera was I… wait film? Then I opened the photo and zoomed in. Sheesh, that is sharp. Without zooming in I had assumed that this was a digital shot.
Once I thought about the camera I was no longer surprised. This is not the first time I had mistaken a shot taken with this camera as a digital shot. This shot here…
…floored me on the first test roll. I mean… Look at it! Even when zooming in there are none of the telltale signs of a film photo. Chalk up the lack of grain to great lighting and the film, but the sharpness is unbelievable. Kudos also to the perfect exposure. And this is no fluke, but repeatable shot after shot. With one of the least expensive cameras I have ever purchased. The Konica C35 AF2.
I would put this camera up against any camera regardless of price point. It has exactly one legitimate downside in my opinion.
- An utter lack of control.
There is no manual anything.
Want it in focus? Center of frame.
Want it exposed properly? Center of frame.
There will be no focus and recompose, exposure compensation, manual focusing, etc. But in trade once you hand off the controls it will reward you greatly in return.
- Very affordable. I bought a clean copy at my local camera shop for $50 years ago at Dennis’ suggestion.
- Durable. Dropped mine onto concrete from waist height day one. It bounced and other than some minor scratches on the bottom it is just fine.
- Has a built-in flash that I usually forget to use. But when I do fill flash works very well. To deploy just hit the release for it to pop up and push it back down when you are done.
- AF is very accurate. What good is a sharp lens if there are focus issues? I do not mind handing off control so much when the camera is this competent.
- Very sharp lens. I have not used a compact camera with a sharper lens ever, including the Contax T2 I once had.
- Easily fits in a jacket pocket.
- Manual load, wind, rewind, and advance means fewer things to break. May pack it in one day but at least there are fewer electronic things to break.
- Loading, winding, and rewinding are very simple.
- Humble livery. With the diminutive Contax T2 even folks who knew nothing about cameras would take notice, but this camera? You can snap away and no one pays you any mind.
- Rather quiet. All you hear on shutter release is a light pong that brings no attention.
- Easy use means easy stealth. Since there is nothing to control if you are fairly confident with your framing snap away and let the camera handle the rest. Used this on the first sample shots below.
- Did I mention that a clean copy only cost me $50?
And there is a beauty to this simplicity. Like the recently released Kodak Ektar H35, it is a camera that lets you just concentrate on framing and pressing the shutter button. A nice break when you just want to shoot and be confident that you are getting a great result. That last sentence cannot be said for the H35. You get what you get since there is nothing that changes since all the controls, focus, aperture, and shutter speed, are all fixed. With the C35 it will do its best to accommodate the given situation by adjusting accordingly on its own. I am not surprised. I have had a good run with Konica. The I still have it, so weird only a Mom could love it Konica AiBORG,…
…only had it for a minute Konica Hexar AF,…
…and the excellent Konica Hexar RF…
…are all very different cameras but all take excellent photos. With Pentax talking about making film cameras again I am wondering if anyone has Konica’s number? Can we get the band back together? I really like their older stuff. Anyhoo. Back to the task at hand.
Where I landed was locating said Konica C35 AF2 and getting a roll of film through it. The film of choice this day was the affordable favorite Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400.
…which was developed at home with Cinestill CS41.
Here are all 37 (Very Contax G1 of you Konica.) of the images taken, even a couple of iffy ones that I still like.