Konica C35 Automatic, Small and Light

Konica C35 Automatic

Konica C35 Automatic Rangefinder
If you are looking for a small and light fully automatic 35mm film rangefinder camera to get more out of your film photography skills, consider the Konica C35 Automatic as of the choices you must have a look at.

Konica C35 Automatic, Front
Introduced in 1971, the C35 Automatic supersedes the original Konica C35 which was first introduced in 1968. With the camera, exposure selection is fully automatic, the camera will select both the aperture, from f/2.8 to f/24, and the shutter speed, from 1/30 second to 1/650 second, as a combo at which the exposure is taken. The shutter speed defaults to 1/30 second and sets the aperture wide open at f/2.8 when the camera is used with a dead battery. This 'automatic' version has automatic flash synchronization which fires an attached flash in time with the shutter setting.

Konica C35 Automatic
Konica C35 Automatic, Top
Basic Camera Features
The C35 Automatic, like all its predecessors, is of all metal construction, small and light, weighs just under 380 grams (14 ounces) and stands about 4.75 inches wide, 3 inches tall, and 2 inches deep, and comes fitted with a four-element 38mm at f/2.8 Hexanon lens which focuses down to 1-meter. he camera, available in both black and chrome finish, is also B(ulb) exposure, self-timer and flash photography ready.

Being small and light, the C35 Automatic camera is easy to carry around. The protruding lens, and other bits and pieces of the design, however, makes it rather awkward to carry the camera in your pants pocket. Carry it in your coat pocket or in some other loose garment instead.


Version History

  • Konica C35, 1968, Silver, and Black, coupled rangefinder, 38mm f2.8 Hexanon lens.
  • Konica C35V, 1971, Silver, non-rangefinder, 4-click zone focusing, 38mm f2.8 Hexanon lens.
  • Konica C35 Automatic, 1972, Silver, and Black, coupled rangefinder, 38mm f2.8 Hexanon lens, advanced flash control.


Konica C35 Automatic, FIlm ASA Setting
ASA Speed Setting
The C35 Automatic is designed to work with ASA film speed from 25 to 400, which is adjusted via a knobbed ring just outside the perimeter of the lens housing. Turn this ring clockwise to increase the ASA speed setting and in the opposite direction to decrease. The ASA speed setting is displayed via a small porthole window just below the knobbed ring in front of the camera.


Battery
The other thing you have to remember is that the camera is designed to work with the PX675/MR44 1.35V mercury cell which not available anymore. I had the 1.5V LR44 installed in mine and did not bother to adjust down the ASA film speed as all my images are tweaked on the image editor before their final JPEG export.

Konica C35 Automatic, FIlm box
If need be, you will better off using the Zinc-Air A675 cells. Using 1.5V batteries can make the camera to overexpose by a few EV. This can be compensated by setting a lower ISO on the meter, but that is not always accurate. Ultimately you may want to go for an electrical cure by inserting a 0.2V drop diode in series into the circuit. Click here for more..


Viewfinder Info
Konica C35 Automatic, Viewfinder info

The viewfinder is clear and bright, the bright framing and parallax compensation marks are clearly defined, with the coupled split-image rangefinder window located centrally in the viewfinder display. A needlepoint vertical scale showing the aperture/shutter pairing that is being used for the exposure is on the right of the screen.


Using The Camera
Konica C35 Automatic, Using the camera #1

Konica C35 Automatic, Using the camera #2

The C35 Automatic is, of course, very easy to use. Once you got all the preambles properly set up, all you need is to point and frame the subject, focus, and shoot.

Konica C35 Automatic, Hyperfocal distance setting
One thing that you might tend to forget, like I do, is that this rangefinder is a manual focus camera, and you need to get the subject properly focused before you release the shutter.

If you are shooting landscapes, however, setting the camera to hyperfocal distance should do the trick. That was the setting I used for my first roll of Fujifilm Superia 200 which turned out quite well.


Sharp and Contrasty Images
My first outing with the C35 Automatic was a walk in the park. I had the LR44 1.5 V. battery installed, and did two sessions of landscape shots with different rolls of Fujifilm Superia 200, the first with the film ASA setting at 200, and the second roll with the ASA setting at 160.
Konica C35 Automatic, Small and Light, Image 01
Konica C35 Automatic, Small and Light, Image 02

Both sessions were on bright and sunny evenings and both rolls of film were sent to the lab for development and scanning at the same time. I will not comment much on the resulting images, however, as I am not technically versed to deal with these issues, but my preference is the images shot from the first roll (ASA setting at 200) as they give me a slightly better latitude to work with in post-processing.

Konica C35 Automatic, Small and Light, Image 03
Konica C35 Automatic, Small and Light, Image 04

If you are not into post-processing and only wants the images as developed and scanned for social or web posting sites, consider using the lower ASA film setting, that is, if you are using the LR44 1.5V. battery. The lab scan of these images are at 1200 dpi, and tweaks, which I did on my image editor, Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), includes Auto Tone Correction, Brightness & Contrast, Hue & Saturation, Unsharp Mask, and Noise Reduction.

Konica C35 Automatic, Small and Light, Image 05
Konica C35 Automatic, Small and Light, Image 06

What I like most about the camera is the ease of use and those beautifully sharp images ...


Konica C35 Instructions: Click here to download from www.buktus.org



Resource Links:
A Guide to Mastering Manual Focus
Hyperfocal Distance Explained


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