Got a new old camera and lenses

My grandfather was interested in photography when he lived, and ever since my interest for photography started growing (5-6 years ago) I have thought about what happened to the photography equipment that he owned while he was living.

I did ask my family about the equipment a few times earlier, but everyone said that it had most probably been thrown away after he died. I, ofcourse, couldn’t understand that someone actually throws away camera gear – especially that belonged to someone in the family, so I asked about the gear again when I was visiting this weekend.

After looking around in a closet we found some of it, but apparently some equipment (the really old, and, ironically – most special and rare cameras probably) had been thrown away. There was a tripod left, some lamps and an old reel film camera and player in a few boxes.

What was left of photography equipment though was this kit:

Camera body: Konica Autoreflex TC SLR (35mm slide film)
Mounted lens: Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8
Tele lens: Konica Hexanon AR 135mm F3.5
Original Konica leather bag, camera strap and leather lens pouch for the tele lens
There was also a Metz 25 B1 flash in the bag

My grandmother gave it to me. Everything is in mint condition. Even the QC (Quality Control) stickers are on the camera body and both lenses still – after all these years. The camera body seems to work perfectly.

The Konica Autoreflex TC SLR was manufactured between 1976-1982 by Konica in Japan, and the 40mm F1.8 lens was considered to be one of the best and sharpest lenses of that time. The lenses are ofcourse manual focus and the aperture adjustments are on the lenses.

The camera uses 1.35V Mercury based batteries for the light meter which are not manufactured any more. But luckily I found some replacements on eBay which should work on this camera which I have now ordered. They are Wein Cell 1.35V MRB625 PX13’s, and are not made of Mercury (which is not legal any more), so I hope they’ll work.

I spent some time to read about the different films that are available, and after some research I decided to order one of each of these films so that I can test them and see which film type I prefer:

Colour:
Fujifilm Provia 100F
Fujifilm Provia 400X
Fujifilm Velvia 50

Black and White:
Kodak Tri-X 400
Ilford HP5+ 400
Kodak B&W 400

If you have advice on other films that I should try – please let me know!

I have also purchased a Kipon Konica AR-mount to Fujifilm X-mount adapter so that I can use the lenses on my Fujifilm X-Pro1, which I am really looking forward to test!

I can’t wait till I can start taking some pictures with this camera!

  • I think you have made an excellent choise of films, all of them is really good ones!
    The Provia can also be developed in C41 chemicals, if you want to try it yourself!
    Feel free to check this http://shimmeringgrains.com/2012/07/01/from-a-stroll-in-the-woods-6/ or this http://shimmeringgrains.com/2012/07/21/in-the-mood-for-holga-macros/ Most of the photos are taken with Provia 100F and homedeveloped in C41 chemicals. Develop in 30 degrees C, much easier than 38C.
    Black and white development is even easier.
    Stick with a couple of films at first, so you learn how they work. Your choise is excellent. Good luck!

    • Thanks 🙂 I’ll definitely try to develop some B&W film myself in the future!
      Can I also ask how you manage to scan your negatives and get decent quality?

      • Well, there is no easy answer I’m afraid…. You have to be either really determined to do it, or as me, I did not have a clue what I was giving me into. And from there taking step for step….
        It is a long, pretty hard way to go, but at the same time so very rewarding!!
        Do you have a scanner yet? I bought an Epson Perfection V750 Pro though I’m working with different negative sizes, and Silver Fast scanning software. A bit pricy, but very very nice to work with, and with the Epson came also different frames for different sizes, from 35mm up to 8×10, and also a frame for mounted slides.
        It is a bit of hard work, but it is very funny at the same time. 🙂
        If you are a bit analog, or/and have images on film that you want to digitize, go for it!
        It is a step of the process you gotta learn. 🙂
        Marie

  • jj

    Hi Børge, so how is your photography coming along. It’s been a couple of years since you inherited your grandfather’s camera. Did yo get any other lenses/cameras? Are you developing film yourself? Cheers. jj