Konica C35

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The Konica C35 of 1968 is a 35mm camera and first of a series of four cameras from Konishiroku that are dealt with in this article, the others being the C35 V (C35 E&L), C35 Automatic (C35 Flashmatic), and Auto S3 (C35FD). The Konica C35 EF is dealt with in another article.

The Konica C35 was the first of a number of compact cameras that swept the marketplace in the early seventies. Cameras from other Japanese companies introduced after 1970 show its importance and influence. Its appeal to the general public was obvious from the start: it was a compact, light and simple to use camera with an excellent lens that was distinctly wider than average for the time and that took good photographs because it could be focused accurately. It was an outstanding sales success throughout the world.

Konishiroku may at first seem a mere follower of fashion, updating the design theme of the compact Minolta Minoltina S and Olympus Trip 35, or even its own Konica Eye of 1964. However, the C35 was much more than an update: it brought together a number of other desirable design strands into one camera, not simply light weight and compact size, but a CdS meter in the lens mount (eliminating worries about filter correction factors), a rangefinder (except C35 V, C35 E&L) and most importantly of all, the simple operation of "auto only" exposure.

The standard versions

There are three versions of the modestly-priced C35:

  • Konica C35 (1968 - Silver 1969 - black)
  • The non-rangefinder Konica C35 V (1971 - silver), known in Japan as the Konica C35 E&L
  • The Konica C35 Automatic with a more advanced flash control (1971 - silver & black), known in Japan as the Konica C35 Flashmatic

The advanced Konica C35: the C35 FD (Auto S3)

The same basic chassis then had a different shutter/lens assembly incorporated and emerged as the upmarket (and considerably more expensive) shutter-priority Konica C35FD in Japan in 1973. In all other markets this camera was sold as the Konica Auto S3. A name and colour change made, obviously, to distance it from its cheaper brethren. The Auto S3 was only ever offered in black anodized finish (not paint). The C35 FD was available in silver or black and had an identical top housing to the standard C35. In addition to the the f1.8 lens, another visible change was the replacement of the "Automatic" or "Flashmatic" badge with an "FD" badge.

The interface with electronic flash differs from the earlier models too. It's especially easy to use for fill flash (such as backlit subjects). A guide number scale is seen on the top of the lens, set by rotating a ring. When a flash is mounted, a button in the hot shoe is pressed that causes a transparent green flag to appear on the scale in the viewfinder. The flag indicates the correct apearture for fill flash. It's then simply a matter of adjusting the shutter speed as needed for the mix of ambient light and fill flash you want. (Note: since the camera uses a leaf shutter, flash will sync at all shutter speeds.) With a little practice the user can learn to set up various degrees of fill flash.

The Guide Number scale on the camera accomodates flashes with Guide Numbers from 7 to 56 (in meters @ ASA 100).

In particular, the Konica X14, X20 and X20N flashes are very compact, simple flashes that match up well with the Auto S3 and C32 FD (X14 Guide No.: 14 meters @ ASA 100. X20/X20N GN: 20 meters @ ASA 100).


Specifications

Konica C35 specifications

  • Available in black or silver
  • 38mm f2.8 four-element Hexanon lens - 46mm filter thread
  • Coupled rangefinder - baseline 12mm
  • CdS meter (19-27 DIN, 25-400 ASA)
  • Self timer
  • Closest focus - 1m, 3.3ft
  • Copal B mat programmed shutter
  • Combined aperture/shutter blades
  • Speeds 1/30 to 1/650
  • Lever wind, double-exposure prevention, resetting frame counter
  • Bright line finder
  • Needle indication of shutter speed and aperture visible on right hand side of viewfinder
  • Width 112mm (actual 120mm with strap lugs) Height - claimed 70mm (actual 75mm) - Depth 52mm
  • Weight 380g (13.4 oz)

Price in Britain £42.15.0 (£42.75, in April 1970), black version £4 extra

  • In Japan, the C35 was nicknamed and advertised by Konishiroku as the Konica C35 "Journey", an ideal travel camera thanks to it's compact size.
  • Konica X-14 matching flashgun available
  • Set to 1/25 automatically for flash


Konica C35 V specifications

  • Available only in silver
  • 38mm f2.8 four-element Hexanon lens - 46mm filter thread
  • Zone focus adjustment by four click stops (with pictograms)
  • CdS meter (19-27 DIN, 25-400ASA)
  • No self timer
  • Closest focus - 1m, 3.3ft
  • Copal B mat programmed shutter
  • Combined aperture/shutter blades
  • Speeds 1/30 to 1/650
  • Lever wind, double-exposure prevention, resetting frame counter
  • Bright line finder
  • Needle indication of shutter speed and aperture visible on right hand side of viewfinder
  • Window lower right to few focus positions on lens
  • Width 112mm (actual 120mm with strap lugs) Height - claimed 70mm (actual 75mm) - Depth 52mm
  • Weight 340g (12 oz)

Price in Britain £41.48 (April 1974)

  • Konica X-14 matching flashgun available
  • Set to 1/25 automatically for flash



Konica C35 Automatic specifications

This was a later version of the C35 and had "Flashmatic control" and is identified by the "Automatic" badge. When the battery goes dead, it will still function with the shutter speed defaulting to 1/30th of a second and the aperture wide open at f/2.8.

  • Available in silver or black
  • 38mm f2.8 four-element Hexanon lens - 46mm filter thread
  • Coupled Rangefinder (device)rangefinder - baseline 12mm
  • CdS meter (19-27 DIN, 25-400 ASA)
  • Self timer
  • Closest focus - 1m, 3.3ft
  • Copal B mat programmed shutter
  • Combined aperture/shutter blades
  • Speeds 1/30 to 1/650
  • Lever wind, double exposure prevention, resetting frame counter
  • Bright line finder
  • Needle indication of shutter speed and aperture visible on right hand side of viewfinder
  • Width 112mm (actual 120mm with strap lugs) Height - claimed 70mm (actual 75mm) - Depth 52mm
  • Weight 380g (13.4 oz)

Price in Britain £49.90 (April 1974)

  • Konica X-14 matching flashgun available
  • "Auto Flashmatic system automatically activated when flashgun is mounted on Hot shoe": this was the catalogue description of a system which adjusted the aperture as the camera was focused


Konica Auto S3 and C35 FD specifications


  • Available in black (Japanese-market C35 FD version avail. in silver or black)
  • 38mm f1.8 six-element Hexanon lens - 49mm filter thread
  • Coupled rangefinder - baseline 12mm
  • CdS meter (15-30 DIN, 25-800 ASA)
  • Self timer
  • Closest Focus - 0.9m, 3ft
  • Copal seven-speed shutter
  • Shutter-priority automatic
  • Speeds - 1/8 - 1/500
  • Lever wind, double-exposure prevention, resetting frame counter
  • Bright line finder
  • Needle indication of aperture visible on right hand side of viewfinder
  • Auto Flashmatic system with indication in viewfinder
  • Width 112mm (actual 120mm with strap lugs) Height - claimed 70mm (actual 75mm) - Depth 60mm
  • Weight 410g

Price in Britain £82.90 (April 1974)



External links

Photographs at UK Cameras:

In English:

In French:


In Japanese:

Further reading

In Japanese:

  • Miyazaki Shigemoto (宮崎繁幹). Konika kamera no 50nen: Konika I-gata kara Hekisā RF e (コニカカメラの50年:コニカI型からヘキサーRFへ, Fifty years of Konica cameras: From the Konica I to the Hexar RF). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 2003. ISBN 4-257-12038-X Pp. 61–6.