Hexanon AR lenses - any gems ?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by 3dpan, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. 3dpan

    3dpan Mu-43 Veteran

    263
    Mar 11, 2017
    Far North, New Zealand
    Alec
    I notice there are a few Konica Hexanon AR lens owners in this forum, and I am interested in their opinions on that lens lineup, especially as regards to using on m4/3.

    I did a brief search on eBay and found a vast array of prices, even for the same lens.

    I have also looked at the buhla.de website, which seems to have a lot of useful information
    www.buhla.de - Overview Konica SLR Hexanon and Hexar lenses

    But the opinions of m4/3 owners are my primary interest.
    Are there (affordable) hidden gems ?
    Are they worth collecting/using (given manual focus only) ?
     
  2. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    225
    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Martin
    I own many of the Konica prime lenses. I would say the 135mm F3.2 is a hidden gem. Very affordable and not too large but sharp. The fan favorite 40mm F1.8 pancake fits quite well on m4/3 cameras even with the adapter. It's not too sharp wide open but sharpness improves dramatically stopped down. Any 50-57mm lens will be good as well. Honestly you cannot really find a bad prime lens in the set. Not too sure about their zooms.
     
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  3. twigboy

    twigboy Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Sep 10, 2016
    Virginia
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  4. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    My only experience with Hexanon on my camera is the 50/1.7 which was simply ok. But then I have found the regular "kit" nifty-50s that came with most cameras to all be more or less the same (Oly OM 50/1.8, Canon FDn 50/1.8 are two others I have played with). I do have a third party Hexanon zoom lens which I haven't bothered to try and also another third party Hexanon mount 28/2.8 which was also ok.

    In general I would avoid all old legacy zoom lenses, at least the common ones that tend to be less than $100. For the most part none of them are special and are easily outperformed by even our cheapest kit lenses that come with many of our Pannys and Olys. The ones worth getting generally cost many hundreds of dollars, the kind of thing that if you don't know of them then you are not ready for them.

    Primes are the way to go. My personal opinion is I find the longer primes easier to work with since you get a bit better separation of your subject from your background and therefore much easier to manual focus. 135mm is one of the more common primes. 100mm, 85mm, and other under-135 focal length tend to be the more interesting ones of the affordable ones. Anything longer than 135 tend to be slow f4 type apertures and again like the zooms, they are usually easily outperformed by our "digital" versions. Also best to try and get something that doesn't really match anything you already have in your AF lenses. For example, if you have the 45/1.8 then a 50mm f1.8 may not be all that interesting to you. On the other hand an 85/1.8 might be very different than anything you currently have.

    And of course have fun. While we all have our opinions about legacy lenses, most of us shoot with them from time to time simply for the challenge and fun of it. So if you want to buy a cheap $20 zoom, go for it. Only YOU can really decide what you want to try out even if someone like me poo poos some choices. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  5. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Like @verbatimium@verbatimium I have most of the Konica primes. Konica's were my gateway drug to my manual focus enthusiasm back in 2010-11. Affordable hidden gems are getting much rarer unfortunately. Lots more people are searching the usual haunts. Forums like this one and mflenses.com have tended to share out the knowledge of the 'hidden gems' for a while now. Then you get 'fashion' considerations too... Konica's are apparently popular in Germany, but does this affect prices in Oceanic region? And how is the Konica 100mm f2.8 vs Tamron 105 f2.5? $AU120'ish vs $AU35 for recent ebay sales. Although the Konica copy was mint with case and original hood ;)

    For hidden gems... the Tamron 28mm, the 105mm and the Tamron 35-80mm zoom, one of the few zooms that are still kicking a punch after all this time. Just bide your time ofcause. Don't pay silly BIN prices... unless they are silly cheap :)

    However today I would probably not recommend looking at any SLR lenses for m43, because of two reasons; size and the Chinese. The Chinese are outputting some nice lenses for decent amount of money. One of the benefits of the m43 is the size of the bodies. Seems to be weird to put full sized SLR lenses on these bodies when folk like 7Artisans are rebadging c-mount lenses to get a better manual focus experience - 7Artisans Unveils Four New Affordable Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras - 25mm f1.8 for $70... would the Konica 24mm f2.8 be better on a m43 sensor? I'm leaning towards unlikely. On a full frame sensor it would be a different matter.

    In the end though, you can make great images with any lens, but even the Konica 24mm f2.8, as good as it is, only gets you 50mm'ish. The Tamron 17mm f3.5 gets me to 35mm, but thats an awkward chunky piece of glass for just getting to a 35mm effective view on m43. A larger sensor might be recommended to get the most out of SLR lenses... Sony A7... or Fujifilm + focal reducer :)
     
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  6. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    225
    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Martin
    Just a forewarning. The main issue with zooms is that for each focal length you are at, you need to manually set the IBIS focal length if you want proper stabilization. This is also why primes are so popular, since you set the IBIS for that focal length once and forget about it.
     
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  7. ibd

    ibd Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Jun 5, 2016
    The Konica Hexanon AR lenses I have used on micro four thirds are:
    I have never paid more than about 30 bucks for any of these lenses, including the rare 28mm f/1.8 which is supposedly worth over USD 700!! Currently I still have the 28mm, the 40mm and the 135mm.
    The only lens I would consider a "hidden gem" is the 135mm f/3.2. It's well made, but relatively lightweight. It's very sharp even wide open with minimal "glow". It's great to operate, with a very smooth focus ring. Has an included metal lens hood.
    The 50mm f/1.4 is a bit soft wide open (and heavy!), that's why I replaced it with the 50mm f/1.7. I then replaced that with an Olympus OM 50mm f/1.4 as it was better still.
    The zooms are decent; I have seen much worse from other legacy zooms. The 35-70mm is very lightweight, too!
    I might sell the 28mm soon.
    I have kept the 40mm for its tiny size. Images are a bit disappointing wide open, but after stopping down a single click to f/2.8, it becomes rather nice. Pleasant colors!
     
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  8. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    @ibd@ibd - very very jealous with your Konica 28mm f1.8 UC - what a great buy you made there! :D
     
  9. ibd

    ibd Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Jun 5, 2016
    Quite a crazy occurrence TBH! I was in this tiny thrift shop crammed to the ceiling with stuff when I found a box with camera-related gear. Back then I had no idea how much these lenses would be worth. I picked out the 50mm f/1.4 and the 28mm and offered the guy there $40 for it. Apparently he had no clue either and was like "You can have the whole box for 50", which I gladly took! Additionally, it contained a few filters, (broken) lenses, the two Konica zooms mentioned above, 2 Konica cameras, and a teleconverter. To give everything a strange twist, the male seller seemed to be flirting with me and tried to invite me for a coffee even though I told him I'm straight and I don't like coffee. I think I'll never get a deal like that again in my life, but I'll keep looking! :D

    Edit: To write something related to the thread, I think the 28mm f/1.8 is actually not a great fit for m4/3. Being an old wide angle lens, it doesn't perform great optically wide open, so you don't really benefit from the speed. There's also no focal reducer (that I know of) for Konica AR. And there are some great lenses around that FL for m4/3 (20mm f/1.7, different 25mm lenses...) already. My conclusion is that it deserves to be put on a full frame camera such as one from the Sony series.
     
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  10. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    A while back I picked up a pristine 24/2.8 but never had the time to buy an adapter for it; then some weeks ago I decided to clean up my closet of most of my film-era legacy stuff, so I put up the Konica for sale. It was bought that very same day at what I believed was an indecent price, four times what I had paid for it (did a little survey before trying my luck). The gentleman was delighted, and so was I. He intended to use it on a Sony a6500, which honestly makes a lot more sense than fidgeting with this kind on glass on :mu43:. My point being, with the current native offering for our mount, of incredible range and quality, and the pressure on prices created by other mirrorless owners who don't have the same luck, there's little point in wasting time and money on legacy glass.

    Cheers,
    M.
     
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  11. twigboy

    twigboy Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Sep 10, 2016
    Virginia
    Probably. Mostly. But sometimes its the little things in life

    But I’d say it is mostly the money.
     
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  12. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I agree. I'm not saying it's always been like that. I used a lot of legacy OM lens when I got into :mu43:; but now legacy glass prices is sky high and native offering is about complete. I think it's time to offload the old lens to people with incomplete systems who need them and use the cash to buy into new native lens. Now, of course there are corner cases where using legacy still makes sense, economical or practical.

    Cheers,
    M.
     
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