Thursday, July 4, 2013

Skeletons From The Closet Results For June - Konica Auto S1.6 35mm Rangefinder

I've had a blast shooting my Konica Auto S1.6 this month. So much so, I'm convinced that this camera could be my one and only Japanese fixed-lens rangefinder.
 
(Click Here) to read about the camera.
 
Let me show you why I'm so impressed with this camera.
 
The Kid, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
 
The 45mm f1.6 lens on the Auto S1.6 is awesome. Sharp as a tack, it also has excellent color representation. As I've said in the past, when looking at modern fixed lens large chip cameras like the Fuji X100S, I prefer a lens closer to 50mm than 35mm if I'm going to buy a fixed lens camera. The 45mm focal length on the Konica is just about perfect for me.
 
Shenandoah Sunset, Color, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
 
 
Shenandoah Sunset, Monochrome, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
 
This camera is a little bigger than most Japanese rangefinders of its day, but not too large by any means. It's solid, quiet, fast. A minor complaint is that while the shutter is extremely quiet, the film advance is ratcheted, so it clicks rather loudly as you wind on to the next frame.
 
Stageside, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
 
Bubbles, Diptych, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
 
Friends, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
 
Mind Boggler, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
 
Can you figure out the image above? Shot inside a restaurant bar, it's a mirrored ceiling.
 
Modern Youth, Diptych, by Reed A. George
Konica Auto S1.6, 45mm f1.6 Lens
Rangefinder focusing on the S1.6 is easy and accurate. This is really one capable little camera.
 
I read online that the f1.6 lens was soft compared to the f2 lens on the later Auto S2. I simply can't believe that to be the case. Even wide open, I find the f1.6 lens to be astonishingly sharp. And I'm comparing to world-class glass from Leica, Zeiss, and others.
 
As I mentioned in my original post on this camera, I did send it off to Greg Weber for service a couple of years back, tested it, and put it away in the closet. I am happy to report that the Skeletons From The Closet effort motivated me to get it back out and shoot it. This is one little camera that won't sit idle again for a while. I'm not likely to consolidate my camera collection anytime soon, but if I did, as I said above, the Konica S1.6 could be the best and sole representative of an entire class of cameras that I love.
 
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