Konica Hexar AR 200 mm / F4
In the mid-1970's, Konica offered a series of inexpensive budget lenses alongside the standard Hexanons for their SLR system. These lenses were called Hexar AR. There were three different Hexar AR lenses with popular focal lengths of 28, 135, and 200 mm:
All these Hexar AR lenses were built less complex than their contemporary Hexanon counterparts. They were not made by Konica themselves, rumours say they were probably manufactured by Tamron.
The Hexar AR 200 mm / F4 is consisting of 4 elements in 4 groups, the contemporarily offered faster Hexanon AR 200 mm / F3.5 is consisting of 5 elements in 4 groups. Different from the faster Hexanon, the Hexar has a 55 mm filter thread like most other Konica SLR lenses and can therefore use the same filters. The Hexar is also smaller and a bit more lightweight than the faster Hexanon lens.
During the early 80's, both lenses were replaced by the newer Hexanon AR 200 mm / F4. The optical performance of this five-element lens is somewhere in between the two other 200 mm lenses, but it is substantially smaller and lighter than both of the earlier lenses. It also uses a 55 mm filter thread.
Just like the Hexanon lenses, the Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5 was supplied with a leather case. The lens cap was standard Konica.
The Hexar AR 200 mm / F4 renders sharp, contrasty images without visible distortions from edge to edge. All in all it is a good lens, but the optical performance, especially the sharpness, is outshined by the Hexanon lenses of the same focal length. Especially the Hexanon AR 200 mm / F3.5 is visibly sharper.
Like with most telephoto lenses and their big and not recessed front elements, the consequent use of a lens hood is recommended for the Hexar AR 200 mm / F4 to avoid loss of contrast due to stray light. The lens does provide a built-in lens shade, which is sufficient in most cases, although a deeper lens hood would have been possible with this focal length.
The Hexar AR 200 mm / F4 is only offered once in a while on the second-hand market – despite this, it is mostly quite cheap. For the usual prices, it is a real bargain.
There is only one variation of the Hexar AR 200 mm / F4 lens. All these lenses have the rubberized focusing ring, a green AE mark, the round AE lock button, a built-in lens hood, and a smallest aperture 16.
The complete, multi-lingual Hexar AR lenses leaflet will be downloaded as PDF file, if you follow the link (2 pages; English, German, French, Swedish, Italian, and Spanish; file size: 900 KB).
|Angle of view:||12°|
|Construction:||4 elements in 4 groups|
|Aperture:||Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 16|
|Closest focusing:||2,5 m (8 ft 23/8")|
|Filter thread:||55 mm|
|Length (at ∞):||151 mm (6")|
|Weight:||805 g (1 lb 123/8 oz)|