Konica Auto S1.6
|Konica Auto S1.6|
image by Paulo Moreira (Image rights)
The 1967 Konica Auto S1.6 is - for all practical purposes - the last of the Auto S series and an update the earlier Auto S2 offering a 1/3-stop faster f/1.6 lens. Sure, there is the Auto S3 model that will be offered in following years, but that model really has little in common with the Auto S1.6. The Auto S3 is actually the top-of-the-line model within the compact C35 series. The home-market version in Japan was named "C35 FD", instead of Auto S3.
The Auto S1.6 is fitted with a more complex 45mm f/1.6 Hexanon lens (7 elements, 5 groups), in a Copal SVA leaf shutter that provides 1s-1/500s & B. The lens has a built-in, pull-out shade and accepts 55mm filters.
It is also the last Konica rangefinder model for many, many years to offer fully manually exposure control (along with the shutter priority auto-exposure mode pioneered on the Auto S models). As a result, the Auto S1.6 can be used without any battery powering the internal meter, simply setting all exposure factors manually using a separate light meter or by eye. (Note: All subsequent Konica rangefinder models until the Hexar-series cameras in the 1990s are auto-exposure-only, making all the models that came between dependent upon a battery and a working, accurate metering system. Even the Hexar is completely battery dependent, though in that case it's because it uses an electronically controlled shutter.)
The Auto S1.6 is also one of the first Konica rangefinders to be fitted with a standard hot shoe (The other model that saw this feature added a short time earlier is the Konica Auto SE Electronic. The Konica IIIM of 1959 offered a hot shoe too, but it was non-standard and only usable with a special flash.)
Note: one of the problems addressed at the Auto S1.6 Repair link below is fairly common. The little mirror in the rangefinder comes loose. It's merely glued onto it's mount and sometimes the old glue just gives up. If you don't see the yellow double image rangefinder patch in the viewfinder and hear a slight rattle inside the top of the camera, this is very likely what happened. It actually can occur with any of the Konica rangefinder cameras that use similar viewfinder and focus, but for some reason it happens a lot more often with this particular model. Don't panic, it's a pretty easy fix! Just follow the link below, to learn how to repair it.