[Online adventures] #11 – Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.8

Nifty fifty of the 80’s

How did I end up with this?

I’ve been shooting around with this monstrosity that I bought a while ago – the Konica Hexanon Zoom 80-200mm F3.5 (link)

…and have gotten really good results with it!

However, with such a long focal length all portraits must be shot really far away (which is a good thing in the case of a raging fire). Also carrying this lens is a bit of a workout as it has a combined weight of a laptop > <!

So I thought, what if I had something that had a shorter focal length, smaller, lighter and took great portraits too?

Sounds like I need a nifty fifty!

Okay, I need a nifty fifty, but I also need a lower price… (living the Sony E-Mount life also means paying more for native lenses that cost more than any other ecosystem…)

So I thought, why not grab another Konica Hexanon given their reputation great image quality for its era?

Why not grab a Konica Hexanon nifty fifty?

Wow! The lens + shipping is only 24usd (~32CAD 2017), mint and no bidding required. Done, sold!

Konica Hexanon Zoom 80-200mm F3.5 (left) Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.8 (right)

We definitely solved the size and weight issue, combined weight is now less than 500g. How’s the image quality?

When shot at f 8? Excellent for a glass of this vintage, punchy colors, good sharpness. But who buys a nifty fifty to shoot stopped down at f8? Show me the f1.8 bokeh!

Here you go! f 1.8~ W.O.W for something that costs 32CAD, this image quality is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. What about corner sharpness? Something that cheap CCTV lens do very poorly in? (link)

Not tack sharp, even in this downsized image you can see a bit of “motion blur” effect on the words in the sign. However, very usable! 🙂

Final thoughts

Just like the Zoom 80-200mm, this lens is very well built, almost full-metal. In fact, I wiped out on my bicycle and landed on the camera, the lens is ok, but I took a chunk off my plastic built camera.

Many would consider the 50mm f1.8 to be the defacto first lens to own if one were to get into photography as it is very versatile and affordable. Well, affordable if you live in any other ecosystem other than Sony 😛

However, once again, because the E-mount has one of the shorter flange focal distances, it makes using third-party lenses as easy as getting a simple adapter ring. At 32CAD, this makes the affordable argument even stronger.

Verdict? If you see a Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.8 in mint condition, go for it! You’ll fall in love with the image quality just like I have.

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