Konica Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4
The Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4 is a one-touch zoom with a combined ring for focal length adjustment and focusing. It was introduced in the mid-70's, during the era of the Autoreflex T3N, and was taken off the lens line-up in the late 70's already. In the early 80's, at the time of the FC-1, the Zoom-Hexanon AR 70-150mm / F4 was introduced, which is sort of a successor model. The Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4 has no direct predecessor, it was the first Konica zoom lens to cover this focal lengths range from very light to medium telephoto. The lens barrel is completely made out of metal on this model.
The lens changes its overall length when the focal length is changed – the longer the focal length, the longer the lens. As on almost every Konica zoom lens, the front element rotates when focus is shifted, making the use with polarizers and gradated filters a bit cumbersome.
As the Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4 was built only for a short timespan, few changes were applied to this lens, there are only two variations of the lens. Only the marking of automatic exposure setting changed from yellow EE to green AE over time. Apart from this, all these lenses are of the middle year's style with metal lens barrel, the focusing ring with checkered rubber inlay, a smallest aperture 16 and the round AE lock button.
Until the mid-80s there were only very few zoom lenses with decent optical quality that had a focal length range greater than double or triple – independent of who the manufacturer was. Even with the double or triple zoom lenses that are easier to master, many lenses from the 60s and 70s have optical quality inferior to the fixed focal length lenses. This affects mainly sharpness and contrast, but some zoom lenses from this era also have problems with distortions and especially in the wide-angle range many show strong vignetting. Most of the Konica zoom lenses belong to the better ones for their time, but still many of them cannot keep up to their contemporary, first-class fixed focal length lenses, nor to modern zoom lenses from the upper quality range.
The Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4 has good image quality for its time. Images are sharp, quite contrasty and free from visible distorions, there is no visible vignetting. Because of the relatively slow speed, the viewfinder image ist a bit dark and precise focusing is often difficult due to darkened split-image or microprism. Like most zoom lenses, it is a bit prone to contrast loss caused by stray light, so that the matching lens hood should be used consequently.
The lens was delivered with a matching metal lens hood that was coated with black velvet on the inner side. This hood is quite deep, provides good protection and can also be of good use on the 85, 100, and 135 mm prime lenses.
Optical quality ist a bit superior to the successor model Zoom-Hexanon AR 70-150 mm / F4. The later lens is much lighter and smaller, though.
The Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4 is not very common, its focal lengths range was not as popular as the one from 80 to 200 mm, for which a wide variety of lenses are available. It fetches prices in the middle range, it is neither very cheap nor an expensive collector's item. If you are looking for a zoom lens that covers the typical focal lengths for portrait photography from very short to medium telephoto with a good image quality, you are well off with this lens.
- (Upper image)
Yellow EE marking
- (Lower image)
Green AE marking
|Angle of view:||36°-18°|
|Construction:||13 elements in 9 groups|
|Aperture:||Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 16|
|Closest focusing:||1.5 m (4 ft 11")|
|Filter thread:||55 mm|
|Length (at ∞ and 70 mm focal length):||127 mm (5")|
|Weight:||600 g (1 lb 51/8 oz)
620 g (1 lb 57/8 oz)
|Lens hood:||Metal, 55 mm round screw-in (delivered with lens)|