For the Albanian thinker Faik Konica (also known as Faik Bey Konitza) see Faik Konica
was a Japanese manufacturer of, among other products, film, film cameras, camera accessories, photographic and photo-processing equipment, photocopiers, fax machines and laser printers.
The company traces its history back to 1873 (pre-dating Kodak
in the photography business) when pharmacist
Rokusaburo Sugiura began selling photographic materials at his store in Konishiya Rokubē, the biggest pharmacy trader in Tokyo
at that time.
In 1878, Rokusaburō succeeded to his family and renamed Rokuemon VI (Rokudaime Rokuemon). He gave the original shop to his younger brother and launched a new shop, Konishi Honten (Konishi Main Shop) in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo.
In 1882, Konishi launched a project to produce photography related materials in Japan: those products were imported at that time. In 1902, Konishi began to sell the "Cherry Portable Camera" (チェリー手提用暗函), the first Japanese produced end-user oriented camera. New products were released respectively, and Konishi Main Shop became the leading camera company in Japan. In 1921, old Konishi had his elder son succeed to the family and thus company head with the name, and in this occasion Konishi Honten was turned into a company Konishiroku Honten. The name Konishiroku was taken from the abbraviation of their names, Konishi Rokuemon.
Konishiroku released their "Konica I" type camera in 1948, after which they would name their own company in 1987.
On August 5, 2003, Konica merged with Minolta to form Konica Minolta. In March 2006, the merged company closed down its photo imaging division, which produced color film, color paper, photo chemicals and digital minilab machines. Its digital SLR camera section was transferred to Sony. Dai Nippon purchased Konica's Odawara factory site and continues to produce paper under its own brand, while Seapac acquired the Konica chemical factory.
Konica was a major producer of 35mm film and related products, including film development processors and printing technology. While never equal to giants like Kodak or Fuji, Konica film was generally acknowledged to be of excellent quality. Originally Konica film and paper was sold the brand name of "Sakura".
In the mid 1980s, Konica launched its SR range of film, then SR-V (1987), SR-G (1989), Super SR (1991), Super XG (1993), VX and finally "Centuria" in 1999.
35mm Rangefinder & Viewfinder Cameras
- Rubikon (1936?) Prototype of Konica I, development stopped by WWII, a few made after war
- Rubicon (1936?) An X-ray camera that uses 35mm X-ray film, same chassis as Rubikon/Konica I
- Konica "I" (1946) Konishiroku's first 35mm camera to see full production. Several varaints (lenses, shutters, viewfinder, flash mount).
- Konica II (1950)
- Konica IIB (1955) (Variants with f3.5 and f2.8 lenses)
- Konica IIB-m (1956)
- Konica IIA (1956) First model to use the superb 48mm f2 Hexanon lens.
- Konica III (1956) Variants with Konirapid-S & Seikosha MXL shutters, most with 48/2 lens, rarer version w/48mm f2.4 Hexanon
- Konica IIIA (1958) Variants with 48/2 & 50/1.8 Hexanons
- Konica IIIM (1959) Variants with Copal MXV & Seikosha SLV shutters, all with 50/1.8 Hexanon. Built-in meter, 1st Konica w/hot shoe (non-standard)
- Konilette 35 (1959) Inexpensive 35mm with scale focus, Konitor 45/3.5 lens.
- Konica S (1959) with exposure meter. Lens variants: 45/2.8 Hexar, Hexanon 48/2, 48/1.8
- Konica L (1960) Hexar 45/2.8 lens, Seikosha L shutter, interesting fold down film door.
- Konica S II (1961) only offered with Hexanon 48/2
- Konica S III (1963) new chassis, similar to Auto S, also uses 47/1.7 Hexanon same as Auto S
- Konica EE-Matic (1963) AE only, selenium metering cell (no battery). Also sold as Wards xp500/500a.
- Konica Auto S (1963) First CdS-metered, auto exposure camera. Also sold as Wards am450/am550, Revue Auto S.
- Konica EYE (1964) Half frame camera. Also sold as Wards EYE.
- Konica Auto S2 (1965) Also sold as Wards am551.
- Konica EE-Matic S (1965) Downgrade of orig. EE-Matic, no rangefinder. Also sold as Wards xp400.
- Konica EE-Matic 260 (196?) A version of EE-Matic using 126 film. Also sold as Wards cp301 & Wards 260.
- Konica EE-Matic Deluxe (1965) Primary upgrade, wider ASA range for meter, improved lens. Wards xp501.
- Konica EE-Matic Deluxe "New" (1965) Improved film take-up spindle, easier loading. Wards xp501a.
- Konica Auto SE (1966) Wind-up "motorized" film advance. Great lens! Wards ep504, Revue Auto SE. First Konica with a standard hot shoe.
- Konica Auto S1.6 (1967) Faster f1.6 lens. Hot shoe.
- Konica EE-Matic Deluxe 2 (1967) Sold also as Wards rf450.
- Konica Auto S 261 (1967) A 126 film version of Auto S line, CdS metered. Wards cp302, Wards 261.
- Konica C35 (chrome version) (1968) best seller compact camera. "Journey" nickname, for small size, portability.
- Konica Electron (1969)
- Konica C35 (black version) (1969)
- Konica C35 Flashmatic (Japan) (1971) "C35 Automatic" (export). Chrome & black versions.
- Konica C35 E&L (Japan) (1971) C35 economical model. No rangefinder. "C35 V" (export)
- Konica Auto S3 (export) (1975) Great little camera based upon the C35 line. Fast lens. AE only. "C35 FD" in Japan. Auto S3 produced in black only. C35 FD produced in chrome, too.
- Konica C35 EF (1976) first model with built in flash. "Pikkari"
- Konica C35 AF (1977) First autofocus camera, "Jasupin", 1,000,000 sold.
- Konica C35 EF "New" Self-timer added.
- Konica C35 EFP (1977)
- Konica C35 EF3 (1981) "Color Pikkari"
- Konica C35 AF2 (198?)
- Konica C35 EFJ (Japan) (1982) "Konica POP" (export markets)
- Konica C35 MF (1982) Auto focus. "Jasupin Super". C35 MD-D, version with date back.
- Konica C35 AF3 (1983) Auto focus. Last "C35"
- Konica MG (1983) Also MG-D variant with date back.
- Konica EFP2 (1984)
- Konica MR70 (1985)
- Konica AA-35/Recorder (1985) Half frame, various colors. Recorder: Japan. AA-35: Export markets.
- Konica MT-7, MT-9, MT-ll (1986) "Multi" 7, 8 & 9 in Japan.
- Konica EFP3
- Konica MR70 LX
- Konica Off Road/Genba Kantoku/MS-40
- Konica Z-Up 70 & Z-Up 70 VP
- Konica Z-Up 80 & Z-Up 80 RC
- Konica Tomato
- Konica Kanpai Voice actuated camera.
- Konica Big Mini
- Konica Z-Up 28W
- Konica MT-100
- Konica Jump Auto
- Konica Aiborg
- Konica Big Mini Neo
- Konica Off Road 28WB Wide & 28HG
- Konica Big Mini Nou 135
- Konica Big Mini BM S-100
- Konica Big Mini F
- Konica Z-Up 60
- Konica Z-Up 90
- Konica Z-Up 110
- Konica Z-Up 120
- Konica Z-Up 130
- Konica Z-Up 135
- Konica Z-Up 140
- Konica Z-Up 150
- Konica Hexar (1991)(autofocus)
- Konica Hexar RF (2001)
The first series of Konica single-lens reflex cameras
used the Konica F lens mount
, named after the first camera to use it. This was a bayonet mount, and is not compatible with later Konica lens mounts. The flange focal distance
of the F-mount was 40.5 mm, one of the smallest ever used for a 35 mm SLR. The diameter was 40 mm.
It is not identical with Nikon F-Mount, which has a much longer flange focal distance of 46.5 mm.
Konica's second series of SLR cameras began with 1965's Auto-Reflex. This line came to an end in 1987 when Konica abandoned the SLR market.
Konica's AR lens mount kept the same flange-film distance that the earlier Konica F lens mount had (40.5 mm), but it has a larger diameter of 47 mm.
Konica SLR interchangeable lenses were named Hexanon. The optical quality of most Hexanon lenses is regarded as truly superb, particularly the older fixed-focal length (prime) lenses. Many camera manufacturers of interchangeable lenses produce a few great lenses among their line, but Konica managed to achieve near excellent quality over a broad range of focal lengths. In lens tests conducted by several photographic publications over the years, the acutance and resolving power of Hexanon optics often surpassed many of their competitors at the time, and excellent even today (provided they haven't been abused or worn out).