The Konica Autoreflex T, introduced 1968, was the first camera with fully automatic exposure control and metering through-the-lens (TTL). Both features for themselves were available before; the fully automatic exposure control with built-in light meter with the Konica Auto-Reflex, the light metering through the lens with Topcon's RE Super / Super D and the Spotmatic series from Pentax. But the combination of both was new. Fully automatic exposure control still was a very advanced feature at this time – some other manufacturers did not provide this feature until a decade later, until the end of the 70s a fully automatic exposure control was nothing that could be taken for granted.
In Japan, the Autoreflex T was sold under the name Konica FTA. In Germany, the Autoreflex T was sold by Foto-Quelle under their own brand Revue, these cameras have the inscription Revue Autoreflex TTL on the prism housing. The Revue cameras came with a 52 mm / F1.8 standard lens that did not show a manufacturer's designation (Konishiroku or Konica) and only had a metric distance scale, no scale in feet.
Compared to the predecessor Auto-Reflex, the Autoreflex T is an almost entirely new design. An overview over the changes over the predecessor model can be found below on this page.
In the Autoreflex T, the new »AR« bayonet, that was first introduced with the Auto-Reflex, was once again revised – because the Autoreflex T metered through the lens, the meter needs to be coupled with the widest aperture of the mounted lens to get correct exposure values. The Auto-Reflex did not yet have this coupling. The early lenses that had been made for the Auto-Reflex without this coupling can only be used on other camera bodies with their built-in meter after the lenses have been reworked accordingly, otherwise the meter does not give meaningful values. Further information on this issue is in the paragraph about the AR bayonet on the lens main page.
Like all its successors from the series of the »big« Autoreflex cameras, the Autoreflex T is extremely sturdily built and takes abuse well. The Copal Square-S metal focal plane shutter works reliably and exactly even in very cold temperatures and after a long time of use. As a camera for everyday use, the Autoreflex T can only be recommended with limitations – the handling is more cumbersome and the viewfinder indications are not as informative as on later Konica SLR bodies. Additionally, from today's point of view a hot shoe for flash photography is missing, the flash operation via PC synch cable ist quite cumbersome for snapshooting – although for demanding exposures the fitting of the flash on top of the camera is usually not the best position anyway.
The Autoreflex T is a fully equipped SLR. Beside the automatic exposure control with shutter priority, it provides a depth-of-field preview lever, a bright viewfinder, and a mirror lock-up function (with the self-timer).
Like all the successing »big« Autoreflex cameras, the Autoreflex T is quite big and – especially by today's standards – quite heavy. The Copal metal focal plane shutter is quite noisy, the sound can be disturbing on some occasions.
Like many other cameras from this era, the Autoreflex T uses a mercury oxyde battery 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 1970, the Autoreflex T was superseded by the improved Autoreflex T2. The model change did not show in the inscriptions on the camera bodies, however. The Autoreflex T2 shows only the designation Autoreflex T – Therefore, both models get mixed up frequently. You can see the differences on the Autoreflex T / T2 comparison page.
Alterations over the predecessor Auto-Reflex:
The light metering in the Autoreflex T is done through-the-lens (TTL) instead of a light meter attached on the outside of the camera body, as in the Auto-Reflex. The widest aperture of the lens is therefore coupled with the light meter.
The possibility of switching to half format frames (18 x 24 mm) does no longer exist in the Autoreflex T.
Almost all operating controls have been revised: The shutter speed and film speed dial is now on the top of the camera body, no longer at the front. The frame counter is moved to the transport lever. The shutter release has a shorter travel and needs less force, so does the transport lever. The rewind crank is directly on the spool in the Autoreflex T, and is no longer driven by gears. The battery test button is no longer integrated into the on/off switch and is moved to the bottom plate.
The film speeds that can be set on the camera have been changed to ISO 25/15°-1600/33° instead of ISO 12/12°-800/30° as in the Auto-Reflex.