Konica X-14 Flash

Konica X-14


This tiny flash is the perfect choice for compact rangefinders like the Konica C35 for which it was made. I’ve happily used it on that, the Vivitar 35ES, Yashica GSN and others. It’s small, it’s light, and it has a scale on the back for the Flashmatic ISO ranges. And not being one to refrain from referring to a piece of electronics as adorable, I can freely admit that when this little guy is atop a C35 it’s so cute I can hardly stand it. I don’t know when compact flashes went from vertical to horizontal, but I’ve had nothing but good results from this and the Canonlite D flash that I had for a while. It’s a lot of fun to use and its size makes it both pocketable and keeps your tiny cameras from becoming top-heavy. It’s about the size of a couple of film canisters. The picture above is near actual size on an 800×600 screen.


I’ll explain it in the context of a Flashmatic camera like the C35. The flashmatic system was a nearly foolproof way of taking flash pictures by mechanically limiting the focus range to the flash range. Cameras like the Hi-Matics took advantage of this system and so should you if you have these cameras, you’ll get great flash pictures. On the back of the X-14 is the ASA/GN/Distance range table that corresponds to the settings you’ll see on the lens barrel of a camera like the C35 or Hi-Matic E. For instance if your film speed is 200 your GN becomes 64 on the scale, your range in feet is 4-23. Set the lens barrel to the corresponding GN/focus range. Now the camera will only focus in that range, resulting in perfectly exposed pictures as long as your subject is in that range and in focus!

Special Notes

My only complaint about this flash is that there’s no ‘test’ button to discharge it when your scene changes and you don’t want to take a flash picture but don’t have time to remove the flash from the camera. You can turn it off and it will still discharge on the next picture if it has any charge left in its capacitors.

Also, this is old school circuitry, some newer electronic-flash capable cameras can’t fire it due to trigger voltage difference. It’s best on similar-era cameras. In fact it may possibly damage the circuitry on electronic shutter cameras so cuidado.

Related Links

  • The peripherally related C35 manual at the great butkus.org site