KONICA AUTO S2
Made in 1965, this is in my opinion the best "made" camera to come out of Japan at this time period. I'm a big Canon fan and I have a QL17 that also came out in 1965 and I think the Konica is by far better in it's construction. The rangefinder / viewfinder is crystal clear even when filthy, the focus spot is unmatched in clarity and the parallax correction lines not only move across the viewfinder, they grow and shrink in size for "exact correction" according to the manual. The Minolta Hi-Matic 7s that came out in 1966 doesn't compare (but is an outstanding camera) and even the famed Yashica G series, aside from it's fabulous 45mm 1:1.7 lens seems shoddy in construction in comparison.
Don't get me wrong I love all my cameras and haven't even shot a roll of film with the Konica yet but I was just blown away at it's heft and sexy styling and crystal clear, easy to use viewfinder. Also, I love Auto cameras that also work in manual mode. The Auto S2 has a Hexanon 45mm 1:1.8 lens, shutter priority auto with a needle pointing to the selected aperture. When the light is either too high or too low the shutter won't fire (only in auto). This is done with mechanics, not like today's modern digitals. The needle of the light meter, visible on the top of the camera and in the viewfinder via a mirror is what locks another mechanism from passing a certain point, causing it to block the shutter release button rod.
I mentioned it has manual override and a plus, the meter works in manual mode! I was trying it out and when I needed to compensate exposure, instead of fiddling with the ASA setting I just moved the aperture to what I wanted. Hard to do on a camera with just over-under lights or no meter reading of the aperture. Only drawback so far is you need a lens cap as there is no way to turn off the meter. some cameras you can switch off auto, turning off the meter. Luckily I had a lens cap that fit.
The lens has an awesome slide-out built in lens hood. Very simple but effective design, I'm surprised not all cameras of this type come with one.
I removed the top plate and cleaned the rangefinder optics. Unlike most rangefinders of this era, there is one screw under the rewind knob and another that requires a spanner wrench after taking off the film advance lever. the light/dust shield is metal held down with a single screw (novel idea, not black construction paper and glue) there is a little rotted foam strip above the rear eye sight to replace.
The light seals are as easy as it gets, use cotton crochet yarn in the door grooves and a foam or felt strip at the hinge and one foam strip at the door latch area.
The battery compartment was clean, no problems there. You do however, need some type of metal battery adapter like the one from here or a Wein Cell, as the battery cap is plastic and a make-shift rubber O-ring will not work because of the Negative contact position. I had to slide the adapter ring down to almost falling off to make contact. It scared the hell out of me too because it worked fine when I first tested it but when I went out for a test roll, I put in both types mentioned above and zilch. I put in an alkaline battery that was the same size as the former mercury and it worked (but wrong voltage) so I experimented with the metal ring-like adaptors on the Zinc-Air.
Here is a photo taken with this camera
MANUAL: Konica Auto S2 owners manual
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