- Produced 1965-6? Konishiroku Co., Japan
- Film type 135 (35mm)
- Picture size 24mm x 36mm
- Weight 25.6oz (725.8g)
- Lens Hexanon 45mm 1:1.8-16 (6 elements in 4 groups)
- Focal range .9m to infinity
- Filter size 55mm screw-in (has built-in lens hood)
- Shutter Copal SVA
- Shutter speeds B, 1-1/500 automatic with manual override
- Viewfinder coupled rangefinder w/ automatic parallax correction
- Exposure meter lens mounted CdS with viewfinder needle (aperture)
- EV range 1.7 to 17 @ ASA 100
- ASA 25-400
- Battery originally PX625 1.3v mercury (for meter)
- Accessory shoe and PC Sync
- Fast-action wind lever
I love this camera. It can be used in automatic mode or in manual mode, with the battery being used mostly for the meter. It has a fast, sharp, and contrasty 1.8 Hexanon lens with a built-in popup hood for flare reduction (very handy). The aperture settings are infinitely adjustable from f1.8 to f16. ASA settings (for the meter) are limited to 25-400 however. It’s not really a compact rangefinder; it’s larger and heavier than QL17, in fact it’s as big as the Yashica Electro and more solid to boot. There was also a later variation called the Auto S 1.6 which as the name implies had a f1.6 Hexanon. Mmmmm good.
This one is in such great shape that when I got it I just had to throw a roll of film in and start shooting immediately, something I can’t recall doing with most of the others (some of which were not working when I got them, to be sure) except maybe the TL-Super. It’s a heavy solid camera that has the heft of the K1000. Focusing is done with a lever as on the QL19. It feels like a professional camera, if you know what I mean. And it takes awesome pictures. I find myself grabbing it more and more when I’m in the mood for photos with depth and drama.
Just the usual: cleaned the cloudy rangefinder glass cleaned and replaced the gummy light seals. Other than that, this example is in excellent shape.
Tips & Tricks
I love that this camera has both manual and automatic modes. It’s one of the few semi-recent rangefinders in my collection that is fully useable without a battery. The Minolta Hi-Matic 7s is another, very similar camera. This one had an EPX13 in it, which I think is equivalent to a PX625, as did the 7s. I put in a Wein cell 625 and the meter is spot on against my Minolta VI F.
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.