Konica C35 AF
The Konica C35 AF (nicknamed "Jasupin") is a milestone camera in that it was the world's first production autofocus camera. Launched in November 1977, it used the "Visitronic" AF system developed and produced by Honeywell (see below for description). This was a "passive" rather than the subsequently more popular "active" system (which Canon utilized in the AF35M eighteen months after the C35 AF). Konica is said to have sold one million units. In 1980, the C35 AF was superseded by the C35 AF2 with some cosmetic differences.
Some years after the launch of these Konicas, the Russian Belomo factory in Minsk output an autofocus camera that owed a huge debt to them. It was called the Elikon Autofocus, but has only been seen with Cyrillic lettering.
|image by Vagn Sloth-Madsen (Image rights)|
- 35mm Autofocus & Auto exposure compact camera
- Lens: Hexanon 38mm f/2.8, 4 elements in 3 groups
- Shutter: Programmed Leaf shutter with 3 speeds - 1/60s, 1/125s & 1/250s
- Exposure: Fully automatic - 25 ~ 400ASA
- Meter: CdS
- Sensitivity: EV 9 ~ EV 17 with 100 asa film
- Viewfinder: Bright Line 0.41 Magnification
- Indication: Underexposure warning light, Parallax Correction Mark, Focus measuring square
- Flash: GN14 - Exposure determined by range measured by autofocus
- Film Winding: Manual - Lever wind + rewind crank
- Features: Lens cap obscures viewfinder to prevent errors!
- Dimensions: 132 x 76 x 54mm
- Weight: 375 grams
The Honeywell AF system
"Designed by Honeywell for 35 mm cameras (visible light), uses a separate set of detectors and charge coupled devices along with a microprocessor to effect automatic focus. A correlation is performed between sets of detectors utilizing two different, widely separated small areas of the aperture. The technique is based, as in optical rangefinders, on the angular difference between separate receivers in superimposing the same scene. This technique effectively determines not only whether the system is out of focus, but the amount and direction of lens movement required to achieve optimum focus."
"Electronic Focus for Cameras", by N. Stauffer and D. Wilwerding March, Scientific Honeyweller, Volume 3, No. 1 March 1982
- JJ's French language page on the Konica C35 AF
- Konica C35 AF and Konica C35 AF2 on www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand (in French)
- C35 AF on Wikipedia
- Konica C35 AF Instruciton manaul - various languages from OrphanCameras.com
- Konica C35 AF listed at number 9 in Jason Sneider's Top 20 Cameras Of All-Time on Shutterbug.