Konica Auto S

Konica Auto S



Same size as the subsequent Auto S2, with a noticeably smaller and slightly slower 1.9 Hexanon instead of 1.8. Hi-Lo switch for meter sensitivity. Builtin popup lens hood like S2. Large viewfinder, coupled parallax correction. Nice size, feels very good in the hands. Well-made. According to Konica, the Auto S was the ‘world’s first automatic exposure (AE) 35mm camera with CdS exposure’.

A reader sent me the specs on the hi-lo meter switch, quoting from the manual: Two ranges are provided for the CdS exposure meter… position H (high brightness) is used when the subject matter is bright, as in the case of outdoor photography. When the range shift lever is at H, the EV range with ASA 100 film is from EV 10 to EV 17. Position L (low brightness) is for subjects reflecting light at low intensity. At L, the EV range for accurate coupling of the exposure meter with ASA 100 film is from EV 3 to EV 10. EV 10 is the equivalent of 1/60 second shutter speed at f/4 for ASA 100 film, the condition presented by a dark subject on a dull overcast day.


Loose lens barrel and the wind lever just keeps winding with no engagement of shutter cocking mechanism. Battery cap (they’re plastic on the Auto S and Auto S2) is chewed up and required a spanner to remove. Looked under the top cap to find that the last owner wound on hard enough to shear a screw in the wind mechanism, probably also rocking the lens barrel loose. Never do this, people. This is my fourth camera broken because someone tried to force wind past the end of film.

Tips & Tricks

Looks like a good camera if you can get a working model in good condition cheap, otherwise you’re probably better off looking for a nice Auto S2, which is really a world-class camera.

Replacements for obsolete batteries such as the once-common PX625 (this one), PX675, and the PX640 can be got at www.photobattery.com. Or try Radio Shack, they have the Alkaline version of a 625 (though it’s 1.5v not 1.35v) for $2.79. Not that it’s essential in this case anyway. I’ts strictly for the meter.

Truth in Advertising

I sold this camera for parts. I couldn’t fix it the way it was, and besides, I have my nice S2! I hear they’re good shooters though.

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