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Konica lenses in Leica screw mount

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See Konishiroku lenses in Leica screw mount for the screw mount lenses made by Konica's predecessor Konishiroku in the 1950s.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Konica made limited edition Hexanon lenses in Leica screw mount. Three different designs were offered, in a total of four versions. The lenses were described as "L mount type" by Konica, notably on the original boxes and user manuals;[1] "L mount" is a generic name used in Japan for the Leica screw mount, and is not actually part of the lens name. It seems that all the lenses were sold in Japan only, by the Tokyo shop Fujisawa Shōkai.

35/2 lenses Edit

Hexanon 35/2 Edit

The first of these lenses was the Hexanon 35/2, released in Spring 1996 in a limited edition of 1,000 units.[2] It was a special edition of the fixed 35mm f/2.0 Hexar lens of the Hexar camera.[2] It was distributed by Fujisawa Shōkai, which perhaps suggested the project to Konica.[3] It is said that the 1,000 units were sold in two months.[2]

The lens has seven elements in six groups; the design was described as a modified Xenotar,[2] but it is said that it was evolved from the Summicron 35mm f/2 and Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8.[4] The barrel is silver finished. The focus ring is knurled, and the distance scale is graduated both in feet and metres, down to 0.9m. The aperture ring goes from 2 to 16. The filter size is 46mm.[2] The front bezel is inscribed KONICA HEXANON LENS 1:2/35 and JAPAN, and has a three digit serial number.

The original box is light gray with black Konica diagonal stripes, and a sticker on the side describing the contents. The same style was used for the boxes of all the other lenses described in this page.[5]

UC-Hexanon 35/2 Edit

The UC-Hexanon 35/2 was a newer edition of the Hexanon, of which other 1,000 units were made. It was released in September 2001, also by Fujisawa Shōkai, and its initial price was ¥114,000.[2] The optical design remained the same, but the lens barrel was made more compact, and multi-coating was applied on all twelve air-to-glass surfaces.[2] (The "UC" prefix stands for Ultra Coating.)[2] The full set comprised the lens, a vented hood coded FL-8, a HEXANON front cap, a rear cap, and Konica pouches for the lens and hood.[6]

The lens barrel is all black. The focusing ring offers no grip, and is driven by a tab only. The minimum distance and aperture are unchanged. The filter diameter is reduced to 43mm.[2][7] The diaphragm has ten blades,[2][7] giving an almost round aperture — this was perhaps already the case of the earlier Hexanon. The front bezel is inscribed JAPAN KONICA UC–HEXANON LENS 1:2/35 and has a four-digit serial number in the form 0xxx/1000. The first example, presented to the press and in the website of Fujisawa Shōkai, has no.0000/1000.[8]

The same year 2001, Konica also released a 35mm f/2 M-Hexanon in Leica M mount for the Hexar RF. this lens has a different optical design, with eight elements in seven groups.[9]

Hexanon 50/2.4 Edit

The Hexanon 50/2.4 collapsible lens was released in spring 1997, again on special order from Fujisawa Shōkai, after the success of the 35/2.[10] Its optical design was specially created, with six elements in four groups.[10] It was available for ¥68,000, including a hood and both caps.[10] It is said that 2,000 units were made;[11] lens numbers have been observed as high as 1987,[12] making this plausible.

The lens is all chrome. It is focused by a tab, from ∞ to 0.8m, and the distance scale is engraved both in feet and metres. The aperture ring goes from 2.4 to 16. The front bezel is inscribed KONICA HEXANON LENS 1:2.4/50 and JAPAN, with a four-digit serial number. The first example, presented to the press, has no.0000.[13]

Hexanon 60/1.2 Edit

The Hexanon 60/1.2 was released in spring 1999.[14] Its focal length and aperture were certainly chosen to remind the Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 made in the 1950s. Its optical design, with seven elements in six groups, notably differs by the removal of one element in the rear portion.[15] A single edition of 800 lenses were made.

The lens barrel is black with a chrome front rim. The focus ring has no tab; it is engraved in feet and metres, down to 0.8m. The aperture ring goes from 1.2 to 16, with half stops marked from 2 to 5.6. The front bezel is inscribed KONICA HEXANON LENS 1:1.2/60 and JAPAN, and has a serial number, in the form xxx/800. The filter size is 58mm. The rangefinder coupling cam covers a portion of the lens mount only, unlike the older lens which had an all-around cam.

The full set includes a chrome-finished auxiliary finder, inscribed KONICA 60, a black vented hood, inscribed KONICA HEXANON 1.2/60 JAPAN, a black HEXANON front cap and a rear cap.

Notes Edit

  1. See for example the original box and user manual of the UC-Hexanon 35/2 at Fujisawa Shōkai.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Announce on p.131 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.61.
  3. The announce on p.131 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.61 says that the lens was "produced" by Fujisawa Shōkai and manufactured by Konica: 東京の藤澤商会がプロヂュースし、㈱コニカが製造したコニカ・ヘキサノン35mmF2.
  4. This page by Dante Stella.
  5. Hexanon and UC-Hexanon lenses sold at Westlicht auction no.17, lots no.273 to 276.
  6. Pictures in this page by Fujisawa Shōkai.
  7. 7.0 7.1 User manual of the UC-Hexanon 35/2, reproduced in this page at Fujisawa Shōkai.
  8. Example pictured on pp.130–1 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.61, and in this page by Fujisawa Shōkai.
  9. Fukui, pp.72–3 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.58.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Announce on p.137 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.41.
  11. This page at Cameraquest says about 2,000. The number of units was not specified in the announce on p.137 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.41.
  12. Lens observed for sale at a dealer.
  13. Example pictured on p.137 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.41.
  14. This page at Cameraquest.
  15. Optical design observed in a post at Rangefinderforum.com.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

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