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Film Camera Review, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB AF Film Camera

Film Camera Review: Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB

An autofocus all-weather impact-resistant autofocus 35mm film camera built for the construction workplace.

The Konica Genba Kantoku (Site Supervisor) 28WB is a ruggedized and weatherproof 35mm AF film camera produced by Konica, a Japanese manufacturer whose products include film, film cameras, camera accessories, and photographic and photo-processing equipment, in 1988. Targeted for use in the construction industry, the camera is from the series of 35mm AF waterproof, dust, sand proof, and anti-shock impact-resistant cameras that Konica produced from 1988 to 2001.

These cameras were normally in dark green, dark blue, or dark grey utilitarian colors, while a later ECO model was produced in orange. The model range includes bodies with 28mm and 35mm focal length lenses, 40-60mm switchable dual lenses, and a 28-56mm zoom lens.

Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB, Front right

Common to all the models are the basic operation and display modes for these cameras, which consists of a Power button (On, Off), Mode Button – Auto Flash (default mode), Flash On, Flash Off, Self Timer, Infinity Focus, and a recessed Rewind button. Late models have a +2 EV snow/backlight compensation mode.

All models are DX-coded and powered by a 6V 2CR5 battery pack.

Basic Camera Features

The Konica Genba Kantoku is actually rarely seen outside Japan, and just as well not much information about it is available on the web. It is known, however, that the camera is fitted with a sealed autofocusing 28mm F3.5 lens of 8 elements in 7 groups design. The minimum focusing distance is 0.5 meters, a shutter speed range from 1/4 to 1/280 second, and metered by a CdS sensor with a range of 5.5 to 16.5 EV (ISO 100).

Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB, Front

The chunky squarish body of the Genba Kantoku is accentuated with a bulging handgrip on the right side of the body, with the shutter release button on top of it. The handgrip is also the housing for the 2CR5 battery pack which is required to power the camera. With the battery pack loaded, the camera is still fairly light, and comfortable, and it weighs in at 385 grams.

Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB, Top

Behind the shutter release on the top plate of the camera is the Power On/Off button, and an LCD panel that displays the exposure counter, battery level, flash (auto, on, off), self-timer, and infinity focus selection. A recessed film rewind button fills up the panel.

The built-in flash has a range of up to 5m at ISO 100 and 10m with ISO 400 film. Film loading and advance are automatic with a motor drive.
Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB, Back

The film check window is on the film back. Date versions of the Genba Kantoku can record the year up to 2019 and are powered by a CR2025 battery.

Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB, Bottom

Access to the film chamber involves twisting a knob on the left-hand side of the camera body to release the camera back. The battery chamber is accessible from the bottom plate of the camera.

Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB, Film box

The film box is fairly standard as seen on most 35mm film cameras and loading the film is fairly intuitive. All you need to do is just pull the film cartridge leader to the arrow indicated in the film chamber and close the back. The film's forward wind to frame 1 is automatic.

Viewfinder Readout

The viewfinder readout is a simple single bright frame line with parallax correction indicators and the autofocus spot. There are 2 LED lights that light up just outside of the viewfinder, within the peripheral of your view, to indicate focus lock/close proximity warning and flash charging/camera shake.

Camera Mode Selection

The mode setting for the Genba Kantoku, as displayed in the LCD panel, is a cyclic selection that rotates the shooting mode from Autoflash On, Flash On, Flash Off, Self-Timer (with auto flash on), and Infinity Focus (with auto flash on), before the cycle repeats. The default mode on Power On is Autoflash On.

Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB, Front left

The tendency to accidentally set the camera to Self-Timer mode, and the bewildering wait for the shutter to fire after the shutter button has been pressed, is a possibility. You can always look back at the incident as the gaffe of the day.

Autofocus Panning

The autofocus mode of the camera is activated when the shutter button is pressed halfway. Once the distance is locked, indicated by a green LED located on the side of the viewfinder, you are free to pan the camera to reframe the subject image away from the AF spot in the viewfinder. A blinking green LED means that the camera is unable to lock onto the subject.

Early Images

The Street Scene, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB 01
The Street Scene, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB 02
The Street Scene, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB 03
The Street Scene, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB 04

Flash Recommended

The red LED indicator, located below the green AF lock indicator, lets you know that the exposure setting of the camera is set for use with the flash mode turned on.

The Street Scene, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB 05

Using The Camera

What might be of interest to you is the fact that the Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB is an automatic point-and-shoot AF camera with a street fantastic 28mm wide-angle lens and a ruggedized body that can handle rain, splash, and a couple of knocks with no harm.

On a higher level of interest is the fact that the 28mm F3.5 lens, albeit being a bit 'slow', is actually a contender for sharpness and clarity with its 8 elements in 7 groups lens, and a close focusing distance of 0.5 meters, all of which are uncommon for these types of cameras.

The Street Scene, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB 06
The Street Scene, Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB 07

Images were post-processed and cropped to a 16:9 image aspect ratio on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) and final print sharpening was done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro. 3.

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