Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Konica Hexar

Like I said, the Konica Hexar was an usually compromise-free camera. This extends to the size: in an age where every 35mm camera was compact, the Hexar was surprisingly chunky. But it looks great and it has an outstanding lens (I read a review back in the nineties that it was at least as good as Leica's 35mm 2.0 lens, and of course the latter was more expensive and did not include camera and autofocus and autowinder.)
Mike Johnston (The Online Photographer blog) told me that the rumor was that Konica made the Hexar after Leica had declined or pulled out of a suggested cooperation.

I think I'll take it through its paces a little. So what's the 35mm film to get these days you think? (400 ISO, B/W). Is Kodak out of the picture? I heard they went down, but I haven't read up on it yet. (I'll forego the darkroom, I see that developing and scanning is surprisingly cheap these days, cheaper than 15 years ago.)


emptyspaces said...

Maybe try the Kentmere films, they're made in the UK. Ilford's good, too.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank you.

I hear Ilford XP-2 can be processed in a normal color lab and has a wide exposure latitude. (Then again I guess one doesn't get the charming film grain.)

emptyspaces said...

XP2 can only be developed in color labs (C41). Same with Kodak 400CN. I've used the Kodak before and it's definitely not too grainy, unlike many of the regular B&W films I've tried. That's not to say it's bad, though, it's pretty nice, really. Being able to drop it off at any color lab is a nice convenience.

Kodak's still making film, as far as I know...though they discontinued Plus-X recently. Tri-X should still be available. Personally, I like the Kodak and Fuji films.

Russ said...

I like Tri-X 400 because it has nice grain and it is pretty contrasty.


Load it in a camera like the Hexar that has a fast lens and you've got yourself a good Winter light setup.

Russ said...

Ooops, the URL above is wrong. Here's the right one:

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Nice shot. Good grain.
(Is KarmaGroovy you?)

I bought a couple of T-Max 400 today. I may get XP-2 later if I want less grain and more latitude.

Back in the day I used tons of HP5 and FP4 (Ilford), bought it by the 30m roll.

Russ said...

Yep, KarmaGroovy be me.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Kewl channel.
But are they all your own photos? Much variation.

Timo Lehtinen said...

What? You getting back to photography after all these years?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Trying. So much has changed. Tri-X is called "T-Max", and so on!

Ian said...

Tri-X and Tmax 400 are different films. Tri-X is a traditional type of b&w film while Tmax uses a more "engineered" type of grain called crystals. This makes the grain smoother and the image a little sharper, but the down-side is not much latitude in processing.

For pushing and extreme situations, go with Tri-x, and for controlled (studio) use Tmax. The same goes for Ilford's two equivilents: HP5 and Delta 400.


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Aha, thank you. The guy in the store pointed to the T-Max 400 and said "we also have Tri-X", so I imagined that T-Max had replaced Tri-X.

Though I do know about the different "flat" grain, I remember when they were introduced. I think they were made in an attempt to squeeze decent image out of the disastrously small negative in "Kodak Disc" film. (Man, what a flop. Even 4x5 inch prints were loudly grainy.)