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Hexar RF

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by phigmov, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Hi all,

    Anyone have one ? Any opinions good or bad ?

    I've read the CameraQuest review (largely positive) and the KenRockwell one (largely negative). Consensus appears to be - its good but not a Leica.

    Theres one going with three lenses - I suspect these days people will be eyeing up the Konica M mount lenses more than the body itself.

    Most of my film shooting to date is on second-hand OM, Bessa R, Pen FT or Nikon F3 kit. OM4Ti is my definite favorite from a form-factor and ease of use perspective. I can't justify the $$$ for Leica kit so the Hexar RF looks pretty cheap way to get into M mount gear.

    Let me know what you think.

    Cheers,
    Raj.
     
  2. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    The Hexar RF is an excellent camera--Ken Rockwell is not. Konica glass is also excellent. Konica really brought the rangefinder up to date with that camera. No, it is not a Leica, it is probably better.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    LOL ... I'm with Hikari on this one. While I actually accept and endorse much of Rockwell's philosophical and pragmatic opinions on photography, his photographic skills and expertise ... well ... as a photographer and reviewer he sucks.

    Reading the specs on the Hexar, it seems like a pretty spiffy camera. While I am not a fan of Konica (ambivalent actually), but if I was still shooting film I'd seriously take a look at this camera as a compliment to my Leicas or as a possible replacement for an older Leica.

    Gary

    PS- The question that begs to be asked is why is my opinion (the opinion of an unknown) any better than the opinion of a know entity. lol ... don't have an answer for that, other than my images are better than Rockwell's images.
    G
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    A lack of hyperbole and reasoned thought, but I might be going out on a limb there.

    The only thing in defense of my hypothesis for your comment would be Ken's Pentax 645d review, a camera he panned. The fact that he had never even seen one did not slow him down.
    :biggrin:
     
  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    hahahaha ... the defense rests ...
     
  6. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback guys - I'll be keeping a close eye on the auction and let you know if I get lucky !

    Cheers,
    Raj.
     
  7. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    Back in the film days I used the Hexar as my stealth camera it's so quiet and has a nice lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Good luck with the auction for the Hexar, Phigmov. Remember, if you need a hood for the lenses just go by your local rubbish dump because that is where Ken Rockwell has told everyone to throw theirs'.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 12, 2010
    The Hexar RF is really excellent. It's easier to shoot than a Leica (say, pre-M7) because of the accurate auto-exposure, great viewfinder, and very fast loading.

    Bear in mind that getting it serviced is no longer easy. I've been lucky, have had mine for 5 years, and it's functioned perfectly.

    Now, if only I could still afford to shoot film....
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    I almost bought one of these last week. My husband and I were talking about film cameras on the way to work, and then he got a phone call, so I wrote up an email.

    Later in the day, after writing down my thoughts, I happened to find a Leica CL + 90mm lens, so that's what I bought. I'll now have 15mm (M), 28mm (Screw) 35mm (M), 50mm (Screw), 135mm (Screw) and now will add 90mm (M).

    Here's my thoughts at the time as I was working things out:

    I was talking about the film camera issue: wanting a film camera, preferably one that would use my existing lenses, so I can take the B&W film class and have a smaller film camera than the beast of a Nikonos.

    I've narrowed it down to six possibilities.

    1&2) Get a fixed lens rangefinder. There's two here: a) Canonet QL 17: Canon QL17 GIII b) Yashica Electro 35 CC: Yashica 35 CC -- they're small. Finding one in great working shape is the hardest part.

    3) Get a third-party Leica Screw Mount body. This would be able to use three of the five lenses I have (28mm, 50mm, 135mm) but not the two M-mount lenses (15mm and 35mm). A Canon 7 is most promising: Canon 7sZ

    The above three run (in really good working order) $100-200. The first two have more advanced features as they were significantly later cameras, but of course they can only use that one lens.

    4) Get a Leica CL or Minolta CLE, both of which were manufactured by Minolta in Japan and thus generally shunned by Leica collectors, but are readily available. Street price is $450-$600, but it'll tend to hold its value. This one can use all my lenses, but I haven't found one yet.

    Leica Minolta* CL

    It's a bastard child of the M-mount family, but it's also about as small as options 1 & 2.

    5) Konica Hexar RF, the only third-party Leica-M mount camera made without Leica's approval (after Leica's patents expired). They cleverly added all kinds of things that Leica had not over the years. These are fairly common on the used market, but they have held their value pretty well. They range $600-800 on the used market.

    Konica Hexar RF

    6) And a distant outlier, the Leica M5. "Just don't buy an M5. That is the unpardonable sin." Prices for these are all over the map (though the lowest I've seen one sell for in good working condition was around $800), but they're the most expensive.

    Leica M5

    I have been considering all of these, and here's my feelings:

    0) Because my M8 doesn't use Leica lenses at their intended focal lengths (long story, but essentially a 28mm lens becomes a 37mm lens and all others are also multiplied by 1.33), it'd be nice to have a body that did use them at their intended focal lengths. I'd get two different looks out of one lens (digital vs. film differences aside).

    1) I don't expect to use a lot of film, thus a higher-end film camera would likely not earn its keep.

    2) The Canon 7 can't use all my lenses and I prefer M mount lenses, so even though it's inexpensive, it's a silly idea. The M mount lenses even for the same lens style have later lens design improvements in the glass due to technological advancements in optic design.

    3) The Leica CL/Minolta CLE is small and I like small. The only downside to the size is that my 15mm lens may be difficult to keep fingers out of shots with that lens. And as it's not digital, I may not know that until the film's developed.

    4) If I were to justify the value of the M5, I might as well leap to the next generation and get the M6 TTL, so I shouldn't get either.

    So I think my choices are, in order:

    1) Leica CL/Minolta CLE if I can find one with a working meter at the right price. 2) Hexar RF 3) Either the Yashica or the Canonet 4) Fallback plan: Canon 7 5) The M-bodied Leicas should I go crazy.

    The feature lists and quirks will drive you crazy, and it's taken a fair amount of work to even get to this short list.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 12, 2010
    One thing that might not be obvious from reading about the Hexar: it is a well-crafted, solidly-build machine. It has some weight and feels like a professional device in the hand. The weight may help hand-holding long exposures. The automatic film advance is quick, smooth and accurate. I find the layout of controls simple, clear, and intuitive.
     
  12. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    >"Just don't buy an M5. That is the unpardonable sin."

    Love it :)

    For everyone elses benefit

    <object width="480" height="390"><param name="movie" value="http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/jwplayer.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><param name="flashvars"value="height=301&width=499&file=http://newvideos.xtranormal.com/web_final_lo/00f2d45e-d415-11df-b263-003048d6740d_3_web_final_lo_web_finallo-flv.flv&image=http://newvideos.xtranormal.com/iphone_final/00f2d45e-d415-11df-b263-003048d6740d_3_iphone_final_poster.jpg&link=http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7320285&searchbar=false&autostart=false"/><embed src="http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/jwplayer.swf" width="499" height="301" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="height=301&width=499&file=http://newvideos.xtranormal.com/web_final_lo/00f2d45e-d415-11df-b263-003048d6740d_3_web_final_lo_web_finallo-flv.flv&image=http://newvideos.xtranormal.com/iphone_final/00f2d45e-d415-11df-b263-003048d6740d_3_iphone_final_poster.jpg&link=http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7320285&searchbar=false&autostart=false"></embed></object><object width="480" height="390"><param name="movie" value="http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/embedded-xnl-stats.swf"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/embedded-xnl-stats.swf" width="1" height="1" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed></object>
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
  14. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    Oh, you don't want a froufrou set like that at collector prices, no. You can usually get them for $700-900 (US) on eBay or used dealers like KEH.
     
  15. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    That was great, very entertaining ... bizarre but entertaining nonetheless.

    Gary
     
  16. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I don't have a Yashica, so no opinion on this one, although I heard that 'electro' in the name has something to see with the shutter, and I wouldn't bet the farm on anything electronic from the distant 70s'. Old ICs were never intended to have such a long lifespan, and most are certainly pretty long in the teeth.

    OTOH, I have a New Canonet 17QL, which is about a GIII but made in Japan instead of another nameless asian country. This camera is very solid, well built, and pleasant to use. It's not pro-grade, so beware for abuse of the mechanical parts, but well cared for, it can last forever. More important, it can work without a battery unlike the Yashica, but caveat, the meter feeds on a now banned mercury PX625, and there's no real drop in replacement for it. Silver Oxyde doesn't meter as accurately, but difference is about more or less 1 stop for 100 ~ 400 iso film ; if you shoot b&w, you won't notice. On the other hand, you'd rather avoid slides.

    The true gem in this camera is the lens. 40mm f/1.7, sharp as the µ4:3 panasonic 20/1.7. If you like the latter, you'll be amazed by it. Same FOV, same feeling. One of the extremely small number of lenses engineered to perform better wide open than stopped down, or so it is said, and praised by many to be at least comparable to some Leica products, which in itself is quite an achievement for a consumer product, even if can't be said to best any of the german's master works.

    The Canonet has been my 'interim' camera between film and digital. I got mine for 20 € rated as 'beyond economical repair' in a shop. I just poured 1 tiny drop of WD40 to release the stuck timer mechanism, and it worked. Luck, I guess. Don't do it home, kids !

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/PtdLOqIFP6Gv45967NHlGA?feat=embedwebsite"> canonetNewQL17. "216" width="288" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">De <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/manuel.viet0/OLYMPUSEP1?feat=embedwebsite">OLYMPUS E-P1</a></td></tr></table>