The Konica Hexar, first released in 1993, is a fixed-lens, autofocus camera from Konica with a 35mm f2 lens, rather expensive when new. It appealed with its superb lens and the general high quality of its construction. It also has some unique features, such as a "stealth mode" that makes it one of the quietest of 35mm cameras despite its automatic winding. Among users, it is popularly referred to as the "Hexar AF" (for "autofocus"), in contradistinction to the interchangeable-lens, rangefinder focused Konica Hexar RF.
The Hexar AF was sold as a luxurious point and shoot with a fabulous lens (the lens is often compared to a leica summicron). It can be compared to the Nikon 35Ti, the Contax T2 or the Ricoh GR1, but the high quality construction, the fabulous lens and the price made of the Hexar an alternative to interchangeable-lens Rangefinder camera such as the Contax G.
there are 2 versions of the Hexar AF and 3 limited editions.
- The "KONICA HEXAR" is the first version. The camera is black, has the "stealth mode". It was available with or without date back. Released in february 1992.
- Released in april 1997, the "HEXAR Silver" is the second version. It has a chrome finish and a date back, the "stealth mode" dissapeared, but the camera get extra features : multiple exposures, one step exposure setting in manual mode, guide number setting, and infra red film setting.
the limited editions are :
- The "HEXAR Classic". 2000 made. chrome finish with "stealth mode" and an extra feature : Auto backeting. Released in 1993 for the 120th anniversary of Konica.
- The "HEXAR Gold" Also named "Titanium". 500 made. Gold finish with "stealth mode". Released in 1993 for the 120th anniversary of Konica.
- The "HEXAR Rhodium. This is an HEXAR Silver with a pinkish finish. Released in may 1994.
Brown leathered versions also exist, But officially these were never made.
Every features can be unlock for every version of the hexar with some kind of firmware procedure (to know this procedure search for the charles clemens' comment in the Richard Caruana's review)
- Lens: Hexar 35mm f2; six groups, seven elements; minimum aperture f22; built-in lens hood
- Autofocus: infrared active - 105 steps
- Close focus: 0.6m
- Shutter: Electromagnetic 30secs - 1/250
- Light meter: SPD - Centre-weighted (15 degrees) Spot-metering (4 degrees)
- Sensitivity: EV 0-16 at ISO 100 (centre) EV3-18 (spot)
- Modes: Programmed AE, aperture priority, metered manual
- Film speed setting: DX coding or manual (6-6400)
- Viewfinder: Reverse Galilean with bright lines, automatic parallax and angle of field correction
- Displays: LCD on top, viewfinder
- Film transport: Motor (and rewind)
- Self-timer: Electronic (approx 10 seconds; no thread for a cable release)
- Other features: focus lock, exposure compensation (1/3 stop increments); silent mode (standard with some variants, programmable with others)
- Power: 6v (2CR5 battery)
- Dimensions: Width 137.5mm, height 76.5mm, depth 64.5mm
- Weight: 495g without battery
- Matching flash: HX-14 (GN14)
- Price in Britain: £600 (August 1998)
- Konica Hexar presentation in Popular Photography issue Dec 1992 at Google Books.
- Konica Hexar AF - Sample Images
- Richard Caruana's review at photo.net (discussion includes very useful hidden function unlocking information).
- Stephen Gandy's overview at Cameraquest.
- Dante Stella's review.
- Davidde Stella's comment on durability and lens design (via Wayback, therefore slow).
- Stuart Richardson's Commentary.
- Detailed article at Silvergrain wiki.
- Matt Alofs' review.
- Wikipedia article on the Hexar.
- Hexar instruction manual in English.
- On www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand :
- Random Hexar photos from pbase.com