Konica Hexar AR 28 mm / F3,5
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 28 mm / F3.5 is consisting of 5 elements in 5 groups and has a smallest aperture 16. The Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 which was offered parallelly at that time consisted of 7 elements in 6 groups, the 5-element variation was offered many years later. The Hexar is more compact than the 7-element Hexanon, but larger and a little bit heavier than the late 5-element Hexanon with smallest aperture 22. There seems to be a 5-element variation of the Hexanon with smallest aperture 16, it's possible that this variation is only a re-labeled Hexar.
Just like the Hexanon lenses, the Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5 was supplied with a leather case. It came with a standard lens cap.
The Hexar AR 28 mm / F3.5 renders overall sharp and contrasty images from edge to edge, image distortions are not too obvious, the lens does not show too much vignetting either. All in all, the Hexar AR 28 mm / F3.5 are well usable lenses.
The relatively slow lens speed is sometimes annoying. Especially when using the lens in low-light situations on older bodies with a darker viewfinder, precise focusing gets difficult.
Image quality is slightly inferior to the 7 element Hexanon AR lenses of the same focal length and speed, the images are not as sharp.
The Hexar AR 28 mm / F3.5 is not very sensitive to stray light. The consequent use of a lens hood is recommended in most situations to avoid loss of contrast, however. A matching rectangular metal lens hood was available as an accessory from Konica. It is the same lens hood as for the other 28 mm and the 24 mm lenses. This original lens hood is quite deep and shades very well. Of course third party lens hoods can be used as well, but the original lens hood is worth it, if you can get one.
The Hexar AR 28 mm / F3.5 was less expensive than the corresponding Hexanon AR lens of the same focal length and speed when new. Despite this fact, it is much rarer and therefore now frequently more expensive than the superior Hexanon AR variations. Estimates are that approx. 10% out of Konica's 28 mm lenses are Hexar AR lenses, the rest divides in the many variations of the Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 and the ultra-rare UC Hexanon AR 28 mm / F1.8.
There is only a single variation of the Hexar AR 28 mm / F3.5. All lenses of this type have the focusing ring with the rubber inlay, a smallest aperture 16, half aperture values click stops and a green AE mark.
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:||75°|
|Construction:||5 elements in 5 groups|
|Aperture:||Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 16|
|Closest focusing :||0.3 m (1 ft)|
|Filter thread:||55 mm|
|Length (at ∞):||38 mm (11/2")|
|Weight:||195 g (67/8 oz)|
|Lens hood:||57 mm rectangular clamp-on|