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Konica 40mm 1.8 - have I bought a dud?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by G3user, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Nov 26, 2013
    UK
    Hello, been lurking on this forum for a while now, but finally registered! I have a G3 with the 14-42mm and 45-200mm lenses and really enjoy using them. I wanted something faster for photographing indoors, but can't afford the Panasonic 20mm 1.7. So I decided to look for a legacy lens instead and thought that the Konica 40mm looked good.

    So I bought a Konica 40mm 1.8 on eBay.co.uk, which was described as in "Excellent condition" and "No scratches or fungus, blades are snappy and free from oil residue."

    However, when I look at the lens, I think there might be a couple of problems:
    1. at wide apertures (which is why I bought the lens) the aperture blades don't make a very circular aperture (it's at F2.8 in the attached photo) - is this normal for this lens?
    2. there appear to be some wispy artefacts inside the lens - could this be fungus?

    Many thanks for any advice.

    Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Martin
    1) That aperture pattern is normal for this lens.

    2) That almost certainly looks like fungus to me.

    I have this lens and I do not consider it a great low-light performer even though it is F1.8. It is quite soft wide open and needs to be stopped down to around F4 for it to really shine. Great lens, and very sharp, but only when stopped down. This lens will not replace the 20mm Panasonic because it is a completely different focal length. It is more comparable to the Olympus 45mm F1.8, however the Oly really shines wide open, while the Konica 40mm does not.

    About the fungus issue, luckily for you, the Konica 40mm is one of the easiest lenses to take apart and clean.
     
  3. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    It looks fairly normal from that photo, an old lens.
    Aperture blades look fine too.
    If they open and close to the proper apertures, good!
    Could be a bit of fungus, but hardly anything. Clean it or leave it or ultraviolet it.
    I got the bigger Konica and had to take mine apart to get the aperture working, but these lenses fit onto 4/3rds bodies without an adapter, just some faffing about with tape, so they're a really useful tool.
    If you get tired of it sell it on : the 40mm always has a buyer.
     
  4. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Nov 26, 2013
    UK
    Thanks so much for your quick replies!

    Great to have confirmation that the aperture does look like that at F2.8.

    Good to know that the fungus isn't serious and can be treated reasonably easily.

    You're right about it not replacing the 20mm of course, as the focal length is very different. I borrowed the 20mm one weekend and was blown away buy its lower-light ability and shallow depth of field, so I knew that I wanted something with a wider aperture than my 14-42 and 45-200. The 20mm wasn't quite the right focal length for what I wanted (portraits) so I was having to take wider shots of people or crop, but I loved the weight/size of the 20mm. So the 40mm should be a better focal length for portraits. Just waiting for an adaptor to arrive!

    Thanks for the comments about its performance at wider apertures. Hopefully it'll be good enough at F2.8 or won't be a problem for portraits anyway. (I'm not looking for amazingly sharp results - just a narrower depth of field than the kit lenses at this focal length - and can probably accept a bit of softness.)

    Ulfric M Douglas, which longer Konica do you have? Is it one of the 50mm lenses?

    Thanks again :)
     
  5. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I recently opened mine up, it's amazingly simple. On the front of the lens, on the outside edge of the faceplate (that part that has the lens focal length, filter size, etc.) You'll find a couple of indents, which if you stick a jeweler's slotted screwdriver or even a ball point pen or some such into and twist counterclockwise, will remove the plate. Inside you'll find small Phillips head screws. Three of these need to be removed (not the ones that hold the filter thread part on, but the other ones... I think. If my memory is mistaken, don't worry about it and unscrew them all), then you should be able to unscrew the front lens group, which will remove as a unit. Fungus usually ends up on the exposed side of the inner glass of the front element, and you can clean it right off. Be careful not to over-wet the glass, so there isn't any risk of getting moisture inside that unit.

    This disassembly also provides access to the aperture blades (leave them open to avoid damaging them unless you need to clean them) and the inner part of the rear element. Finish with anti-dust cloth and canned air (make sure it won't spray any propellant residue first) and reassemble. Voila!
     
  6. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Nov 26, 2013
    UK
    Thanks agentlossing, great advice!
     
  7. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    No problem! I've opened a couple Hexanon lenses now and had great luck with cleaning both. Including a 135mm f3.5 with fungus that I apprehended for $15 shipping included.

    I've been using the 40mm on my Konica film body lately. It's a beautiful lens, but as noted, the consequence of adapting on a m4/3 body is softness until you stop it down. The best low light adapted option I've found is an old 55mm f1.8 Mamiya/Sekor, it sharpens up as wide as f2, and is super sharp by f2.8.

    You might look at the Hexanon 28mm f3.5 too, since you have the adapter... Again, it has to be stopped down to f5.6, but is super sharp and ~55mm equivalent length.
     
  8. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    For sharpness, my MD 45mm is great by 2.8 (45 f2). The 58 f1.4 is a bit dreamy wide open, but sharpens up quick.
     
  9. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    David
    Welcome to the forum. That's a shame... I've recieved a couple of mis-desribed lenses from ebay sellers recently. Although the issue may be minor, the desription was inaccurate. I'd ask for either a partial refund or return the item. Don't let them get away with it...
     
  10. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    I have three of the 40/1.8s. They only made one version and all mine are identical. I've even tried them all to see which was sharper and I couldn't tell a difference, which was disappointing. Now I don't know which is which except that one still has the inspection sticker on it from 30 years ago :)

    Anyway, IMO this lens is USELESS at f1.8. I mean it's really not good at all. I'd give samples but everyone pretty much knows. At f2.8 it is not good either. At f4 I've gotten some good shots but I've pretty much used the lens at f5.6 in bright light. The only time I really use this lens is when I'm out with another Hexanon like the 135/3.2 or 50/1.7 and since I already have the Konica adapter on the camera I just throw the 40 in the bag as it's so small.

    You mentioned you want something that does well in low-light. The 20/1.7 is a bit pricey, for sure, and the 45/1.8 isn't much cheaper. The Sigma 19 and 30 are both very sharp, around $150 new, and both f2.8s. However, unlike the adapted lenses, all of the above can be shot wide-open and stay sharp. Now, the Konica 50/1.7 is very sharp. Problem is that the next stop after 1.7 is 2.8 unless if you modify it. Plus it's not sharp at 1.7; and the focal length is too long for indoors; and you need a shutter speed of 1/60 or better. Finally, a very good lens is the Vivitar 28/2. I have two in Canon FD mount which I haven't got to use yet because I don't have the Canon FD adapter. I also have one in Olympus OM mount. These go for $200 on Ebay. I'll be listing two of mine when I get around to it.
     
  11. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I've actually started using my 40mm on the Konica film body I recently bought, on that camera it's a dream, really a phenomenally nice "kit lens" for the FS-1 body.

    If you want to see the 40mm Hexanon perform, just get a cheap Konica body on eBay. It's quite fun experimenting.
     
  12. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Heh, I got my Konica AR lens from a cheap Konica body : a very dead one!
     
  13. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Nov 26, 2013
    UK
    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    On closer inspection (with a torch) I could see that the fungus/mould is worse than I first thought. The seller offered a full refund or discount, but as it looks like it's not just on the back of the front element, but further inside the lens, I've sent it back.

    k40mm_fungus.

    I've bought a different copy, described as in 'mint' condition and it really is. I will see how I get on with it - I don't mind a bit of softness for portraits, but hope it's usable at F2.8. I was tempted by a 50mm F1.7, but think that might be a bit long and it is physically much bigger than the 'pancake' 40mm.

    I'll let you know how I get on (when I get my adaptor)!

    Thanks again for your help :¬)
     
  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Wow : what a difference a day makes!
    Clearly nasty fungus from that picture ... hey now you know how to find the stuff :)

    Yes the pancake 40mm is popular because of its size and focal length and decent sharpness, all things in one.
     
  15. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    All in all, it's good to make the seller live up to their descriptions!
     
  16. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    David
    Good that you got your money back. Hope the second copy is better.
     
  17. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    Hi there, if you look at my equipment list you'll see I'm a big fan of Hexanons. They are wonderful lenses and a real bargain. However they are not fast.........well not fast to focus and it takes practice to use them effectively. Will your subjects stay still long enough for you to get the image you want and even then the focus could be a little off. Plus as said you lose some lens speed because of the adapter. I'm not trying to put you off using an adapted lens, I'm a big fan of them,but they require practice and patients.

    If your budget will not stretch to the P20/1.7 or O45/1.8 have a look at the Sigma 19, 30 0r 60mm all 2.8 decent lenses and a real bargain for the price and native to your body so no adapter required.Plus you are buying a brand new lens with a warranty. Don't forget the P14/2.5, can be a reasonable price used and is a good budget trinity lens. (Trinity lens are 3 lenses that compliment each other i.e popular choice is. P14/2.5, P20/1.7 & O45/1.8) If you want to shoot portraits go longer for interiors go wider.

    Sigma 19mm https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=25135&highlight=sigma+19mm+image

    Sigma 30mm https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=26303&highlight=sigma+19mm

    Sigma 60mm https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=44462&highlight=sigma+19mm

    60mm review.......looks sharp wide open http://www.ephotozine.com/article/sigma-60mm-f-2-8-dn-a-lens-review-22333
     
  18. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Martin
    Good call on returning the lens. A lot of people do not realize that that for fungus to grow and survive, they still need to "eat". And when they are growing on the surface of an inner glass element like that, the only "food" that is being provided to them is the lens coating (they really love it). So even if you can clean the fungus off of the glass, the lens coating is usually damaged. Sometimes you can see this damage by discoloration in the coating, and sometimes the damage is completely invisible.
     
  19. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    You need to write a small (or long :wink:) guide to shooting with film for us MFT's fans of legacy lenses. Oftened wondered how hard/easy it is to use a simple b/w setup with some old gear.

    Just a thought :wink: :wink:
     
  20. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Martin

    I just recently shot a role of film with my Konica T3N and the vast Konica lens set I have. It was a blast. The only issue was that the T3N requires 1.35V mercury batteries, but the closest I could get was 1.4V hearing aid batteries. This threw the metering off by 1 1/3 stop which you can easily compensate for by adjusting the ASA dial on the camera. So if you are shooting ASA 400 film, set the dial to as if you were shooting ASA 260 film and the metering is spot on.

    Here are a few samples I got from my recent shot:

    Konica Autoreflex T3N + Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.4 (1/500, F4)
    10955769943_453b3730f2_b.
    KonicaT3NFilm-8 by MartinK's Photography, on Flickr

    Konica Autoreflex T3N + Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.4 (1/500, F2.8)
    10955572745_c712600fb1_b.
    KonicaT3NFilm-16 by MartinK's Photography, on Flickr

    Konica Autoreflex T3N + Konica Hexanon AR 85mm F1.8 (1/500, F1.8)
    10955598825_30d3ce368f_b.
    KonicaT3NFilm-22 by MartinK's Photography, on Flickr

    Konica Autoreflex T3N + Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.4 (1/1000, F8)
    10955495875_cdf8572ec3_b.
    KonicaT3NFilm-1 by MartinK's Photography, on Flickr