Konica Pop: The Colour Machine

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She comes in many bright colors, she produces great bright colors. She's iconic, pocket-sized, and functional. She's neat and eye-catching. You'll never go unnoticed with this marvel box in your hand!

Manufactured from 1982 to 1985, the original Konica Pop is a 35mm compact camera as simple as could be: it has fixed focus and only one shutter speed, the exposure is automatic — CdS-controlled. Also known as the C35 EFJ in Japan, this camera only has three ISO/ASA options: 100, 200 and 400. You have to manually advance the film through a lever and rewind it using the rewind crank placed on the bottom of the camera, but this might be a pro if you want to experiment with double exposures on this camera, as it does not allow the shutter release until you pull the advance lever, moving to the next frame.

It has a built-in flash which pops-up (hence the name, “Pop”) when you move a black button placed on the front of the camera. The flash requires 2 AA/1,5V batteries and does its job, especially with subjects within 2m even in the darkest room at night -quite useful! In 1985 a new model with a faster recharge-time flash was launched (no longer reading “Hexanon” on the lens), and then in 1988 the last version, featuring the autodate, came out.

This little style icon from the ‘80s sold 1.5 million units in different models: red, green, blue, pink and the sleek, classic black. I must confess I decided I needed one the second I saw the red one, and never regretted it. But be aware that carrying this shiny red beauty around, you will always be the centre of attention, so it’s not the right choice if you’re a shy person or into spontaneous street portraits, but this baby will definitely be THE must-have for parties -this camera’s own habitat!

This is the closest you’ll ever get to the simplicity of a disposable camera, but there’s a reason why I call it a marvel box: this camera lens, the Hexanon 36mm, with a maximum aperture of f/4, yields great contrasts and surprisingly bright, saturated colors…in any possible light condition!

This roll in particular was a Sensia 200 cross-processed, hence the dominant green hue.

Sometimes in low light conditions this camera produces soft, almost dreamy photographs that remind me of the ones I’ve taken with my Diana F+ on 35mm ISO100 film:

Don’t be fooled by the soft look of these previous photographs, this camera can produce sharp pictures too—and perfectly well-defined details!

No zoom? No problem! This camera is pretty good at close-ups too! It really is iKonic(a)!

This is not a toy camera, but I’m sure you fellow Lomographers would love to try one not only for the super-saturated colors, but also for the light leaks it often produces! Well, my own Konica Pop does not produce many, but only because I was lucky enough to find one which looks like brand new. It even came with its original black leatherette case—but here’s one of the few:

Smart, pocket-friendly, easy to use, charming, with great optics and a built-in flash—you really couldn’t ask for more. Once you’ve tried it, the Konica Pop will be your perfect analog everyday companion…that’s how it became my favorite travel-camera!

written by sidsel on 2011-07-05 in #reviews #lomography #camera-review #japanese-cameras #konica-pop #35mm #konica #film-camera #camera #konica-c35-3fj #1980s #user-review #80s-cameras

22 Comments

  1. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Lovely camera and nice fotos..<:)

  2. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    This is a great camera. You read about many cameras being a "poor man's LC-A". Most are not, but this one really comes close. The lens is a very useful focal length. Focusing with it is fast. The flash is powerful enough and the maximum aperture large enough to get good flash results with no effort. The "pop" helps prevent red-eye. You have some great color choices. Like you said, the red is a great color - and I think the most popular - but not good for candid photography. The black, however, would be a great street shooter. It would actually be a tough choice. I've liked every other color I've seen this camera in. I've had my eye on this camera for a long time, but they're harder to get in The States, and it's hard to justify getting one when I have other cameras that fill the same niche. Still, if I ever find a good deal on one, I'll probably get it. Good article. Good pix.

  3. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Thank you @wuxiong and @gvelasco, hope you'll get one yourself soon!

  4. strangelilgirl
    strangelilgirl ·

    Very thorough and well written article! Would love to pick up one of these.

  5. feelux
    feelux ·

    Cool photos! Good review, would love to get my hands on one of those.

  6. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    thank you @strangelilgirl and @feelux!

  7. danmeakin
    danmeakin ·

    Nice article and cool pictures, I like the London eye reflected in the glasses :) Also rather like the Sensia cross processed pics, I've seen some really good pictures from this film...I reckon I need to get my hands on a roll or two.
    Thanks very much for the lovely comment on my article and from what I've seen you must be a super-awesome person too :)

  8. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Aww, thank you @danmeakin! ;-) You won't be disappointed by good ol' Sensia! Thanks for the follow too!

  9. giuli
    giuli ·

    Great article! I didn't even know this camera existed and now I can't take it from my mind.. gotta have it!

  10. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Thank you, Giuli!

  11. booklinn
    booklinn ·

    ******please answer my questions : i just bought 1 KONICA POP model same you post . It an old hand , How do I know that it can be use ? but LED lamp and Flash on the camera did not work.

  12. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Hi @booklin, first make sure the batteries are new and the "battery contacts" [the metal plate in the camera's battery compartment] are clean. If the flash and led still don't work, you can still use your camera in the daylight/outdoors only, which is the situation the Pop works best in, in my opinion. I know this ain't much of a big advice, but I'm not a technician. Good luck with it, anyway! :-)

  13. booklinn
    booklinn ·

    Oh thank you verymuch for you question @sidsel ,when you fix film in camera and begin press shutter ,i want to know your camera must appear some signal or not,

  14. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    @booklinn Yes, you should be able to see the red led next to the viewfinder. This guy here www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_A09PISYz4 says the red light shows up everytime he shoots, I am not so sure it always does, at least I can't remember if it always shows, I think it should only happen when there isn't enough light and the picture might be underexposed. Anyway, the led should definitely turn red if you test your camera indoors [even with no film in it].

  15. booklinn
    booklinn ·

    Thank you so much sidsel for a lot of your advice ( and link ) . I'm glad to see you using the same camera too. :)

  16. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    No problem, hope it helps! :-)

  17. pcrlaban
    pcrlaban ·

    Lovely article and lovely camera! I just shot my first roll of film through my recently purchased black Pop, and I was really happy with the colorful results, high contrasts and light leaks. And, given the size of the camera, I also think this beauty will have a good chance to become my No. 1 travel camera :)

  18. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Thank you, @pcrlaban ! I'm just going through your POP album - you got great results indeed! Even using a color negative film! I definitely think this will be your travel camera of choice: I own an Olympus XA and an LC-A+, and yet I always end up with a Pop in my bag. It just feels more of a "don't think, just shoot" camera... No settings + flash + nice saturation and contrast = pure awesomeness, to me! The only cons in my opinion, as you mentioned in the album description, is that you can't do multiple exposures with it, but I can deal with it. Have fun with your Pop! :-)

  19. cole-westie
    cole-westie ·

    I bought one for 4 dollars at value village, I've shot five rolls on it and I can't wait to get them processed.

  20. trip35snapper
    trip35snapper ·

    I have a red pop to, I got it from eBay for a bargain price of £5. Up to now I have not used it, you're article has prompted me to load it with film and get it used! Thank You.

  21. iamtheju
    iamtheju ·

    I have had the Pop for ages but only put a couple of films through it. I just wish it had a close up focus option, as anything closer than about 5 feet is way too soft. Aiming with the viewfinder is not an easy task but I do enjoy this camera.

  22. lorenzo1910
    lorenzo1910 ·

    Sorry but this camera has nothing "automatic" (Cds?Where?) It has a single shutter speed and 3 diaphragm aperture (that are set by the iso switch)...Ok,no problem...use a 400 iso film and set the iso to 400 in bright light or 200/100 when in shade. The red light is there only as reminder for the flash (when lit it means "use the flash")...my Pop (as many others) has a faulty flash hence I use it only in daylight and it works GREAT!

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