Konica Auto S

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The Konica Auto S is a 35mm coupled rangefinder camera of fairly conventional fixed-lens design made by Konishiroku in 1963. It is the first from Konishiroku to offer auto exposure (shutter preferred) and to have a CdS cell metering system. As such, it requires a battery to operate this type of meter. A single 625 1.3 volt or 1.35 volt mercury battery was originally used. A modern 675 Zinc Air or 303/SR44 size silver oxide type battery fitted with a rubber o-ring as a spacer can be substituted, but will skew the meter due to higher voltage. (Alkaline batteries are not recommended, due to steep power curve and lack of voltage stabilizer in this camera's circuitry).

Like all Konishiroku's rangefinder cameras in the series starting with the Konica S, the framelines in the viewfinder adjust not only for parallax but also for field of view. It has a dual-range CdS meter rather than the selenium meter of its predecessor, the Konica S III. Another feature offered is a "pull-out" lens hood, which was sold separately as an accessory and is removable. A different slip on lens cap (57mm internal diameter) was provided when the lens hood is fitted.

A small cap was originally provided to cover the meter sensor, too, and is more important than one might think at first. There is no switch on the camera to turn the metering system on and off. It simply turns itself off below a certain light level, such as when the sensor is covered. If not capped and left exposed to moderate levels of light, the meter will continue to draw power and drain the battery. Alternatively, remove the battery.

The Auto S was succeeded by the Auto S2.

The Auto S was also rebranded as Wards am450 and am550 in the US, and in Europe as Revue Auto S.

Konica Auto S Specification

  • f1.9 Hexanon 47mm 5 element in 5 group lens
  • Copal SVA ten-speed shutter - 1–1/500, B
  • Coupled rangefinder
  • Bright line viewfinder with parallax correction
  • Dual range CdS meter (selector lever underneath front cell) Measurement range: L: 3 to 10 EV; H: 10 to 17 EV (ISO 100)
  • Film Speed: 10, 25, 32, 50, 64, 100, 160, 200, 250, 400 ASA.
  • Self timer
  • Shutter-priority auto or manual exposure
  • Aperture scale visible at top of viewfinder
  • "Stippled" covering material similar to that of East German cameras
  • Flash shoe (no contact)
  • Advance lever: single stroke
  • Pull-out lens hood
  • Lens filter: 49mm
  • Power: 1.3v PX13 mercury battery
  • Width 142mm - Depth 73mm - Height 85mm
  • Weight: 740g

Price in Britain: £49.15.8 (June 1965)

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