Konica C35 FD - Staff Review

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The Konica C35 FD is a compact, easy-to-use rangefinder camera from Japan. The C35 series inspired other Japanese cameras such as the Ricoh 500GX and Olympus 35ED.

image from camerapedia

Back in 1968, the Konica C35 series of rangefinders was introduced by Konishiroku (Konica), the oldest camera company in Japan (t closed down in 2006). It was a big hit – the cameras were lightweight, simple to operate, and had a very sharp lens. Five years later, the Konica C35 FD emerged. It was available in two colors – black, and silver, and was exclusive to Japan. In other markets, it was known as “Auto S3.”

The C35 FD has a six element, four group Hexanon 38mm f/1.8 lens, known for producing very sharp and detailed images. The viewfinder is bright and clear, the leaf shutter unobtrusive, and the controls and focusing lever are large, making it convenient to operate. Perhaps the most excellent feature is the ambient light/flash exposure system, a feature considered advanced among compact the C35 series. This allows you to conveniently balance ambient and flash exposure.

After the C35 made waves, other Japanese camera companies followed suit – Ricoh with its 500GX, Olympus with the 35ED, and Minolta with the Hi-Matic F. This is not to say that the C35 series was completely original, design-wise – it was an updated version of the Minoltina S,and Olympus Trip 35.

eazy360 chanced upon this camera in an obscure camera shop in Quiapo, Philippines.

“The solid and very compact construction caught my attention. Its small size and easy controls are strong advantages over its heftier Russian counterparts. The attractive portability of the C35 series— a quality that lead to outstanding sales worldwide— significantly influenced the design of Japanese rangefinders after 1970. And this small fellow can certainly pack a punch with versatile manual options. With an aperture that opens up to f/1.8, it’s a great camera to experiment with in creating beautiful portraits isolated by bokeh. It also has varied shutter speeds of 1/8 to 1/500 for different light conditions and scenarios, as well as a bulb (B) setting that’s perfect for low light conditions and capturing light streaks. Moreover, flash photography is a snap with a hotshoe. Paired with a Colorsplash Flash, the Konica C35 can venture indoors and take impressive party photographs and other indoor escapades.”

written by shhquiet on 2008-06-09 #gear #35mm #rangefinder #review #konica #staff

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4 Comments

  1. layout
    layout ·

    cool!!!

  2. dimitrul
    dimitrul ·

    It's a great camera!

  3. carrierodriguez
    carrierodriguez ·

    :) nice! I'm getting a Konica C35 in a few days can't wait to try it out :D

  4. flamingoid
    flamingoid ·

    The camera shown on the illustration is a standard C35, not a C35 FD. You can tell by the shorter lens, the all-metal winding lever, the lack of the "FD" label on the leatherette and the position of the ASA/ISO dial. The differences are not only cosmetic though. The lenses are of the same focal length but the Hexanon 38mm f/1.8 of the C35 FD (AKA Auto S3 in the US and Europe) is faster and a loooot sharper than the older Hexanon of the standard C35.

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