The Autoreflex A2 was introduced in 1971 as successor of the original Autoreflex A and as a simpler and cheaper alternative to the Autoreflex T2. The changes over the predecessor model are very moderate, probably this is because the Autoreflex A2 was never marked as such, it still carries the designation Autoreflex A.
In the early and mid-70's, full-featured SLR cameras were still very expensive, valuable devices. On the other hand, compact cameras almost exclusively had fixed lenses with fixed focal lengths, that did not provide the versatility of today's compact cameras with zoom lenses. To close the gap, many manufacturers simply offered »stripped-down« versions of their SLR camera bodies as beginner's models and cheaper alternative. So did Konica. The simplest way to make the cameras cheaper was to leave out features that were not absolutely necessary, but costly. The Autoreflex A2 is a stripped-down, reduced version of the Autoreflex T2 with a fastest shutter speed of 1/500 s.
The features of the Autoreflex A2 are substantially reduced compared to the full-featured Autoreflex T2. The following features and functions available with the Autoreflex T2 were left out on the Autoreflex A2:
- Fastest shutter speed 1/1000 s
- Depth-of-field preview lever
- Mirror lock-up (combined with the self-timer on Autoreflex T2)
- Display of set shutter speed in viewfinder
- On / off switch for light meter
- Battery test
The Autoreflex A2 was available in chrome-black only, a black version like with the full-featured »big sister« Autoreflex T2 was not being offered. Also, the optional split-image mat screen available for the Autoreflex T2 was not available for the Autoreflex A2.
As the Autoreflex A2 does not have an on / off switch, a lid should always be kept on the lens when the camera is not in use, otherwise the batteries will not last long. If this is alwas done, the battery consumption stays within acceptable limits.
Like all its predecessors and successors from the »big« Autoreflex series, the Autoreflex A2 is extremely sturdily built and takes abuse well. The Copal vertical travelling metal focal plane shutter works reliably and exactly even in very cold temperatures and after a long time of use. All in all a real workhorse, that is still usable and suitable for everyday use after 30 years.
The Autoreflex A2 is, like all the »big« Autoreflex cameras, quite big and rather heavy – especially when compared to modern cameras. The Copal metal focal plane shutter is very noisy, the sound can be disturbing occasionally.
As a camera for normal use, I would not buy an Autoreflex A2 nowadays. The Autoreflex A2 is relatively rare and because of this, it is just as expensive or sometimes even more expensive than the much better equipped Autoreflex T2. Compared to this model, the Autoreflex A2 offers no advantages, so there is no reason not to get the better features of the Autoreflex T2. The Autoreflex A2 is only interesting as a collector's item nowadays – but if you already have one, you can of course continue to use it.
Like many other cameras from this era, the Autoreflex A2 uses mercury oxyde batteries for the light meter (2x type PX675). These batteries are not manufactured any more for environmental reasons and become more and more difficult to get. The usage of silver oxyde or alkaline batteries of the same size (SR44 or LR44, respectively) causes wrong meter readings, because these batteries have different voltages. There are several possibilities to fix this problem. You can find more information on the subject of mercury oxyde batteries if you follow the link.
A detailed overview over technical data and features you'll find here.
In 1972, the Autoreflex A2 was superseded by the Autoreflex A1000, which offered a fastest shutter speed of 1/1000 s. The Autoreflex A1000 was for its part superseded by the Autoreflex A3 in 1973, which is based on the Autoreflex T3.
Changes over the predecessor model Autoreflex A:
There are only few and minor changes. Only some operating controls were slightly revised: The shutter release is smoother and its travel is shorter, so the danger of camera shake is reduced.The display of the frame counter has been changed for better legibility.