Recently I have been fortunate enough to stumble upon a classic 35mm compact king ! While scouring the deep fathoms of that cruellest of seas ... eh eBay . I was hunting for the elusive Hi Matics , the rare functional Trip 35 and well pretty anything else that looked cool. There miss listed as a Hi-Matic G, was a little Konica Compact. Indeed it did look like a Minolta Hi-Matic and due to my own misunderstanding I thought it was just an earlier model so I put a bid on it. Six days later, the little Konica mostly forgotten about, the congratulations notification took me by surprise! For the princely sum of £6.50 and a most reasonable £2.80 for postage , I have accidentally found myself the proud owner of a Konica C35 Automatic and daymn if it wasn't £9.30 well spent !
This little camera is a tiny blast ! On the surface it is just another cool old compact film camera, with what is now considered retro looks and a simple point and shoot affair. Though this humble C35 packs a bit more punch than that. Fully coupled rangefinder, amazing 36mm Hexanon lens and an auto exposure meter that hits every time. All of this in a body weighing about the same as 50mm prime lens.
Thought there are plenty of small rangefinder cameras out there and I have used a fair few, this one has impressed me the most. My main point of comparison is the much loved Olympus XA and its bigger brother the Olymus 35RC. Both have beautifully sharp lenses and more manual exposure controls but consistently command a higher prices online. The Konica C35 though not as small or as featured as an Olympus XA, has a much brighter and more usable viewfinder. Both cameras have stunning lenses but being able to see the subject and focus clearly means my hit rate is that much better with the might Konica.
Please excuse the poor quality of these sample photos, I am still working on getting better scans. The quality that this small camera is capable of is something that really took me by surprise and these scans don't do it justice.
The Konica C35 at the price I was lucky enough to nab it at , has been extraordinary value! A true hidden gem and one to look out for. This Blog wasn't really that informative or useful as a review but I hope that it might bring a little more notice to a fantastic piece of gear and a camera that has found a permanent place in my Kit Bag.
Thanks for reading