Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 early variation with EE

Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7
earliest version with EE marking

Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 early variation with AE

Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7
early version with AE mark

Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 later variation

Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7
later version

Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7

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The Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 was introduced contemporarily with the internal linkAutoreflex T3 as budget normal lens – mainly sold together with the camera body. It supplanted the older internal linkHexanon AR 52 mm / F1.8. It was the first Konica standard lens in the new design with the checkered rubber inlay focusing ring instead of the older splined metal focusing ring. From the start, it had the green mark for the automatic exposure position – very early ones with EE, but most with AE.

With the new standard lens, Konica had a great success. It is much sharper than its already good predecessor – later, some magazines would praise it as one of the sharpest lenses ever built by anyone. Even today, more than 30 years after its introduction, there are not many better lenses to buy on the market.

But not only in sharpness the image quality is first class. Contrast and evenness of illumination are just as convincing as the neutral colour rendition – all in all, the Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 is absolutely a premium, first class lens.

A matching round metal screw-in lens shade was available from Konica as an accessory. In later variations, this shade was also intended for the internal linkHexanon AR 40 mm / F1.8 and the internal linkHexanon AR 85 mm / F1.8, according to the markings.

As a faster alternative, the more expensive internal linkHexanon AR 50 mm / F1.4 was offered soon – also a very good lens.

With the introduction of the internal linkAutoreflex TC, the Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 has been revised. While the optical formula and optical quality remained unchanged, the lens barrel was made slimmer, shorter, and a good deal lighter. The price for this was a longer closest focusing distance of 0.55 m (1 ft 92/3") instead of the 0.45 m (1 ft 53/4") of the earlier version. In addition, the click stops of half aperture values have been dropped – which later unfortunately has been made with other lenses as well – Konica seemed to believe that most users use their lenses in AE mode anyway, so an exact aperture setting was not as crucial as it used to be. But even on the lenses without click stops for half apertures it is still possible to set intermediate aperture values, just a bit more feeling is required.

The size-reduced version of the Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 was sold as standard lens together with the camera bodies for some time. With the introduction of the internal linkFS-1, it was superseded by the new internal linkHexanon AR 40 mm / F1.8 pancake lens as standard lens, but the Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1,7 was still available. Later again, the internal linkHexanon AR 50 mm / F1.8 was introduced, that does not quite reach the superb image quality of its predecessors. Despite this, production of the Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 was stopped after some time of parallel sale of both 50 mm lenses.

The Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 is a very common, if not the most common Konica SLR lens, and can be bought in both major variations very cheaply – which variation you prefer is mostly a matter of taste. In both variations it is an absolute top class lens for an incredibly good price.

Variations
Lens data
Angle of view: 46
Constructions: 6 elements in 5 groups
Aperture: Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 16
Closest focusing: 0.45 m (1 ft 53/4") (early variation)
0.55 m (1 ft 92/3") (later variation)
Filter thread: 55 mm
Length (at ∞): 45 mm (13/4") (early variation)
40 mm (11/2") (later variation)
Weight: 240 g (81/2 oz) (early variation)
210 g (73/8 oz) (later variation)
Lens hood: Metal, 55 mm round, screw-in
Lens diagram: Lens diagram Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7
More pages on the Konica Hexanon and Hexar lenses:

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