Konica Auto-Reflex, Autorex and Revue Auto-Reflex
Picture by Mech for I. (Image rights)
The Konica Auto-Reflex of 1965 was the world's first focal-plane-shutter auto exposure 35mm SLR; hence the name. This model and its rarer, meterless companion the Konica Auto-Reflex P are the only models where "Auto-Reflex" is hyphenated. These are also the only two SLRs that ever offered a choice of full- or half-frame exposures, switched by a lever on top of the camera. The frame size can be changed between 24×36 landscape and 18×24 portrait in mid-roll.
Autorex is the name for the domestic Japanese market. In Germany the camera was also sold as Revue Auto-Reflex.
For the Auto-Reflex, the meter sensor is mounted on the front, right-hand side of the camera. This is not TTL metering, although it does offer a shutter-preferred, auto-exposure mode. TTL auto exposure was also pioneered in a Konica a few years later, with the Autoreflex T (FTA in Japan).
It has the new Konica Bayonet II mount, which is also often called K/AR mount. PX675 type mercury batteries are only needed for the light meter. Shutter speeds run from 1s to 1/1000s and B.
See also: 47-100mm f3.5 Hexanon AR-H lens.
All versions of this model were available in both matte chrome and all-black finishes. All-black cameras are considerably rarer and tend to be more valuable.
Lenses offered with the Auto-Reflex/Autorex are a bit unusual, too. They originally did not have a registration notch on the rear, which was needed with latter TTL metered models but was unnecessary on this model. The notch tells the camera the lens' maximum aperture. At the time the later models were introduced, many Auto-Reflex/FTA lenses were sent in for a service upgrade to modify them for use with the TTL models. For a period of time, factory service facilities performed this service for free. The result is that un-modified original Auto-Reflex/Autorex lenses are somewhat unusual today.
Also, some normal lenses sold with the Revue version of this camera were unlabelled, fitted with a plain finish ring that did not have the Hexanon name on it.
Konishiroku apparently did not rebrand any of their K/AR mount SLR models for sale through Montgomery Ward in the United States, as they had with the FP in the earlier mount. They did continue to market a number of rebadged rangefinder cameras through Wards, however (EEMatic and Auto S models, for example).
Konica Auto-Reflex P, Konica Autorex P and Revue SP
The Konica Auto-Reflex P is basically a stripped-down Auto-Reflex without light meter and therefore without auto-exposure. In Japan it was sold as Autorex P, and in Germany as the Revue SP.
It is fully mechanical and therefore does not have batteries. The shutter speeds are the same: 1s to 1/1000s and B. As with the Auto-Reflex, the frame size can be switched between 24×36mm landscape and 18×24mm portrait mid-roll.
There is a special accessory light meter offered for use with the P models.
It is exceptionally rare to find the Auto-Reflex P combined with the Konica Hexanon 1.4 57mm lens and the Konica Light Meter III as an entire unit.
It is believed all versions of these models were only offered in matte chrome finish.
Autoreflex T, FTA and Revue TTL
Picture by Clicks_1000. (Image rights)
The Autoreflex T was the first 35mm SLR with auto-exposure and TTL metering combined in one body. In Japan it was sold as FTA, in Germany as Revue Autoreflex TTL.
It is fully mechanical with shutter-priority auto exposure. The batteries (two PX 675 type mercury cells) were only needed for the CdS light meter. The shutter speed range was from 1s to 1/1000s and B.
There is one rare and special version of this model, known as the Autorelfex W. This is a camera fitted with a special timing back, for use at sporting events. It imprints the time of the exposure on each frame of film. The back is similar in function to the one offered in 1963 on the Konica FS-W, an F/FS mount camera.
Picture by Clicks_1000. (Image rights)
Autoreflex T"2" and New FTA
The Autoreflex "T2" is an improved Autoreflex T. The model name on the body still says "Autoreflex T". In Japan it was sold as "New" FTA. Both the versions of T and FTA were hugely successful and are still widely found today. These models might be considered the SLRs that truly established Konica's reputation for quality. Many of both versions continue to function well 35 or more years after they were manufactured.
Picture by Bcostin. (Image rights)
The most recognizable differences between the T"1" and T"2" (and FTA and "New" FTA)is that the latter has the on/off switch as a small collar that rotates around the shutter release button. On the earlier camera, the switch was located on the back, lefthand side. Also omitted from the later camera is a small lever under the shutter speed dial labeled "Override" on the earlier camera. This change shows the improved range of the meter sensitivity, and the override capability was no longer considered necessary.
The T"2"/"New" FTA also saw a number of small, internal changes in the materials used and methods of assembly. This was largerly to make the camera more easily serviced. For example, where some brass screws were used originally, these were replaced with stronger steel screws that were less inclined to strip or snap off when being removed.
Although the names T"2" or "New" FTA never actually appeared on the outside of the camera, there were references to the model designation in Konishiroku memos and literature at the time. Service bulletins, for example, distinguished the later cameras from the earlier by reference to these model designations. Also, note that the next model offered was known as the Autoreflex T3.
One small flaw found in Autoreflex T is the battery compartment. It appears the wrong type of flux was used when soldering the wire connections. This makes the wire an solder more vulnerable to any battery leakage, more prone to corrosion. The fix is simple, though. Perhaps 9 out of 10 times an Autoreflex T with a non-responsive meter can be easily repaired with a little cleaning and soldering.
Both the Autoreflex T"2" and "New" FTA can be found in both matte chrome and all black finishes. The black versions are rarer and more valuable.
There was also an optional split image focus assist screen available on a few of this model. Up to now, the Konica K/AR cameras all had matte focus screens with a micro-diaprism dot in the center to help with focus. The split focus assist feature is not interchangeable by the user (the way some camera's focus screens are), and is pretty rare. (Note: In the earlier F/FS mount, Konica has similar screens with matte field and a central micro-diaprism dot, except for the highly valued and rare Konica F which not only had an interchangeable pentaprism, but also had the split image focus assist feature.)
The Autoreflex A2 is an improved Autoreflex A or stripped-down Autoreflex T2 without self-timer, mirror lock-up, depth-of-field preview, on/off-switch, and battery control, and with 1/500s top shutter speed. The engravings still say Autoreflex A.
The Autoreflex A1000 is an improved Autoreflex A2 or stripped-down Autoreflex T2, with a top shutter speed of 1/1000s, but without self-timer, on/off switch, depth-of-field preview, and mirror lock-up. It was sold only in the USA.
Autoreflex T3 and T3N
Picture by Source. (Image rights)
The Autoreflex T3 is an improved Autoreflex T2, now providing stop-down (depth-of-field) preview, double-exposure possibility as well as a wider range of film speed (ISO 12–3200). Both the meter scale (apertures) and shutter speed setting are visible in the viewfinder, which has improved brightness compared to earlier models.
The Autoreflex T3"N" or "New" is an improved version of the T3 with a fixed hot shoe and a viewfinder shutter, while the earlier T3 has a detachable accessory shoe. The prism housing is also shaped differently than the earlier Autoreflexes. The model name on the body still says "Autoreflex T3", though the model designation is in common and wide use.
Picture by eNez. (Image rights)
If the Autoreflex T/FTA and T"2"/"New" FTA established Konica SLR as a major and important brand, the T3 and T3"N" took this to a higher level. It is a completely redesigned camera with a number of improvements. The T3/T3"N" are described as "buttery smooth" in operation by many fans. It is also the last of the all-metal, full-size Konica. Highly durable, many remain in use today despite having little or no service attention over 30 or more years use.
Both T3 and T3"N" can be found in matte chrome and all black finishes, with the black version being rarer and more valuable.
The optional split image focus assist screen feature was increasingly available. In the final year or two of production, another version of the screen became available that featured the split image dot in the center and a "donut" of micro-diaprisms around that, both of which were in the center of the matte focus screen. Models fitted with the special screen feature had a small silver tag stuck on the back with "S.I." printed on it. The final version of focus screen became the standard on all subsequent Konica models (TC, T4, FT-1, etc.)
The "Autoreflex A3" is a stripped-down Autoreflex T3 without self-timer, depth-of-field preview, mirror lock-up, multi-exposure provision, on/off switch, battery control, M flash synch, and hot shoe. It replaced the A"2" and A1000 as an entry level model, but now built on a chassis shared with the T3.
The Autoreflex T4 looks similar to the simpler Autoreflex TC. Both are smaller than the earlier Autoreflex bodies, use plastic top plate, but retain a metal frame.
It is still a full-featured, fully mechanical SLR with a CdS TTL light meter and shutter-priority auto-exposure. The shutter speed range is 1s to 1/1000s and B, and the batteries (two PX625 mercury cells) are only needed for the light meter.
Autoreflex TC and Acom-1
Picture by Howard Somerville. (Image rights)
The Autoreflex TC is a simpler version of the Autoreflex T4. The shutter speeds run from 1/8 to 1/1000s and B. In Japan it was sold as the Acom-1.
- Alan Myers' Konica Pages (page gone since AOL killed its users's homepages)
- www.buhla.de: Konica SLR system, with detailed pages about every model in the Auto-Reflex/Autoreflex range, for example
- konica.awardspace.com, French language site devoted to the Konica SLR system
- Konica Autoreflex T and T2 at Silvergrain
- Autoreflex T4 by Davidde Stella (via Wayback, therefore slow)
- Lionel's Konica Autoreflex T overview at 35mm-compact.com
- On www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand
- Konica Auto-Reflex, Autoreflex T and Autoreflex T3 at The Camera Site by Reijo Lauro
- Revue Auto-Reflex at Kurt Tauber's