This site is dedicated to
Marian and Henry Froehlich

Welcome. This site is a much expanded version of a site that originally appeared in French. The idea of building the French site came to me in 2005 as I was searching for information on some aspect or other of Konica cameras on the Internet. One of the things that struck me as I did so was the small number of French-language web-based resources about classical cameras in general and about the Konica SLR system in particular. To help remedy this situation, I decided to create a rudimentary site devoted to a system I had been using since I was a teenager – a site of interest to amateur photographers in France and elsewhere.

 Water color by Yoshio Hayakawa - reproduction kindly provided by Ian Ross

I worked at it in my spare moments over several years and, before I knew it, the project had taken an entirely unforeseen dimension. In the spring of 2005, I prepared a few pages of general text about Konica SLR bodies and Hexanon lenses. Several weeks later, I decided to add some quotes to provide some context and a few images to improve the visual aspect of the site. Afterwards, I thought that the site wouldn't be complete without mentioning Konica accessories. The section about other Konica cameras dates from the summer of 2007 and was originally supposed to take-up 3-4 pages of text, but had over 15 by the time I completed it. The data in the sections on Konica advertising and bibliography were gathered during a December 2007 to February 2008 stay in Corvallis, Oregon, where I spent some time at the OSU library. Over 2009 and 2010 I expanded the section devoted to Hexanon lenses, by adding more in-depth descriptions, and began translating the whole into English. The translation was completed in 2011-2012. I expanded the Technical Section over 2013 and 2014 and added the section on the Hexanon database in 2015.

The information on this site comes from sources such as email exchanges, discussion forums, Konica literature, research, and personal experience. It is the product of my over 35-year-long interest in the Konica system. Additional information is available on other sites, most of which are listed in the links section. A site such as this is a work in progress. As time goes by I will be adding to it. 

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A few words about me: My name is Jean-Jacques and I’m an ordinary sort of a fellow with a wife, two children, two dogs, and a car that breaks down. I work as a translator and interpreter and when I’m not too busy, I like to take pictures. I’ve been taking pictures since 1977. That year, my friend Marco who had signed up for our school’s "photo and darkroom" class went out of his way to show me the basics of how to use a camera. My first camera was a Soviet Zenith E, with which I took a great number of quite good photos. The Zenith is a cheaply made, but super resistant SLR that stands up to weather extremes and beating like few others – a straightforward camera and an good tool for beginners who wish to learn the basics of photography the traditional way. On the other hand, it is technically quite primitive, and its capabilities are rather modest. The Zenith E has an uncoupled selenium cell mounted on the front of the prism housing for metering; exposure is determined by matching a needle while peering down a dim slot on the camera's top deck; the aperture is set manually, and its slowest shutter speed is 1/30s. Most importantly, however, as I got into "ambient light" photography, I very quickly felt constrained by the camera’s narrow and dim viewfinder. In low light conditions, focusing was truly a game of hit and miss.

Yours truly in 1980 with first Konica SLR

I ended by replacing my Zenith with a Praktica Super TL, a camera equipped with a somewhat brighter viewfinder, TTL metering, a coupled CdS cell and a full range of shutter speeds. Technically speaking, this was a big step forward. The Praktica, with its shutter release button placed on the front of the body, was also more ergonomic than the Zenith. However, its build was less sturdy and one day it jammed. It is then, in 1979, that I got myself a Konica Autoreflex T, my first "serious" camera. Over the years, I've had the opportunity to use half a dozen brands of cameras and I’ve come to really enjoy using cameras produced by makers other than the industry leaders. Some of them, like the Topcons or the wonderful Mirandas, have a very exotic flair. I have, however, grown especially fond of Konica cameras, which are simply and intelligently designed and made with attention to detail. In addition, as the years went by I became very enthusiastic about Konica’s legendary line of Hexanon lenses, which are most probably the greatest aspect of the Konica SLR system.


"A key point, to me, is the simple sophistication of the Konica camera. I always appreciated the thinking that went into providing ‘all the features you need, and none you don't.’”

Alan Myers