Konica Performance Tests

Why test lenses? Assuming I am a master of composition, which certainly I am not, the next most important component of taking quality photographs is ensuring that when you need a subject to be sharp, it is sharp. Quality optics in front of the film is what immediately comes to mind when we ask ourselves what makes sharp pictures. Of course, we all use tripods, focus extremely carefully, and take advantage of mirror lockup. Well, maybe not all the time.

First, I want to say that I have no personal experience as to how my Hexanon lenses stack up against other manufacturer's lenses of the time or against modern lenses. My last camera, after all, was a Canon SureShot! For such comparisons, all I have are the reviews of other users who say the Hexanon's hold their own versus lenses of the past and present.

But, then I started collecting lenses, some of the same focal length and decided to see if the reviews of other users are right. So, I took my 28/3.5 (16 AE), 28/3.5 (22 AE), 40/1.8, 50/1.4 (16 AE), 50/1.7 (16 AE), 135/3.2, 135/3.5 Hexar, and 200/4 out for a test run. The goal was to evaluate them under different loupe magnifications (4X, 10X, 30X) to get a feeling for differences.

I went outside on a cloudy mid-afternoon, set my T3n on a heavy tripod, loaded Sensia II 100 slide film, and took appropriately exposed shots with mirror-lockup for all lenses at f/4, f/5.6, f/8, and f/11. The subject was an old brick building with lots of architectural detail (the main building of the local VA Hospital). The preliminary results, quite frankly, surprised me.

For additional "reviews" and comparisons, please see the following: Wulff Photography's reviews of almost all Hexanon lenses, and some of the posts at the Konica SLR User's Pages.