Konica FC-1

Konica FC-1

The FC-1, first introduced in 1980, is practically a internal linkFS-1 without the built-in motor.

On the FC-1, an external motor can be attached, the Konica Auto Winder F. This motor is quite large and not very fast (about 1.5 frames/second). The Auto Winder F fits the internal linkFP-1, too. The Auto Winder AR, that was made for the internal linkAutoreflex T4, does not fit the electronic cameras of the »F« series.

Like the FS-1, the FC-1 is a camera with electronically controlled shutter, too. It needs a battery for all functions, exposure is impossible without batteries with the FC-1.

The camera controls are similar to those on the FS-1. The shutter speed dial is very easy to rotate and has no limitation in turning, as it does not have to move any mechanical gears. It can endlessly be turned in any direction. From B to 1/1000 s is just one click stop. Shutter release and self timer are not mechanical either, but electric buttons. The shutter release needs only a soft touch almost without pressure, so that the danger of camera shake caused by the shutter release travel is eliminated. On the other hand, these electric buttons do mean that there is no possibility to use a normal cable release on the FC-1 (and the later models apart from the mechanical internal linkTC-X). An electric cable release from the Konica accessory program is needed, that fits into the socket on the right side of the camera body (seen from front).

The viewfinder of the FC-1 is identical to the viewfinder of the FS-1. It is very bright and clear, the mat screen is equipped with split-image focussing and microprism collar. Indication of metered aperture values is done with LEDs (light emitting diodes) on the left side of the viewfinder. The LEDs are only capable of indicating whole aperture values, but the light meter does work with intermediate values and sets these on the lens accordingly if the lens is set to auto exposure (AEC) mode. All warning indicators for over- and under-exposure, low battery, and manual exposure mode are done with LEDs as well.

The FC-1 can set a smallest aperture of 22. Obviously, to use this feature, a lens with a smallest aperture setting of 22 is necessary. After introduction of the FS-1, all Konica Hexanon lenses were altered accordingly one after the other.

The flash functions of the FC-1 are identical to the flash functions of the FS-1. With the dedicated flash unit Konica X-24, the camera automatically sets to a shutter speed of 1/100 s and to aperture 5.6 or 11, depending on the switch setting on the flash unit. Exposure is controlled by a thyristor in the flash unit, that switches off the flash when the correct amount of light for proper exposure has hit the thyristor. After exposure the camera changes to normal exposure mode until the flash signals that is is once again ready. Then the exposure control is taken over by the flash once more. For demanding flash photography this is not sophisticated enough. Here you are better off with manual flash exposure control (without dedicated flash possible anytime), as that leaves much more possibilities to influence the result. For correctly exposed snapshots on a family reunion the flash control of the FC-1 is certainly good enough. A big draw-back of the X-24 flash on a FC-1 is that it is very close to the optical axis of the lens – causing red eyes in many shots.

The new film loading system of the FC-1, that is very similar to the film loading system on the FS-1, is simply brilliant. Put the film cartridge in the camera, pull the film tip to the other side, close the back, actuate the transport lever several times until it blocks – ready. The camera takes the film tip automatically and there is no need to fire the shutter until the first frame is reached. A very simple and fast solution, without any annoying fiddling. The system is quite fool-proof, you have to deliberately try to make a mistake if you want the camera not to load the film properly.

The back of the FC-1 is interchangeable – but as far as I know, there were no alternative backs available in Konica's accessory line-up.

The FC-1 was available only in black.

Different from the mechanical predecessors, the FC-1 does no longer use mercury oxyde batteries. The power supply are four easily obtainable silver oxyde (SR44) or alkaline (LR44) batteries. These last a long time, but without or with empty batteries, a FC-1 is doing nothing at all, no photos can be taken. Therefore it is a good idea to always have a fresh set of batteries with you.

The removeable battery compartment, that takes up the for batteries, is a bit fragile. When opening it for loading or removing of batteries, you should be careful not to damage the compartment.

Beware:

The actuator for the coupling of the aperture mechanism is built differently on the electronic cameras of the »F«-series (internal linkFS-1, internal linkFC-1, internal linkFP-1, and internal linkFT-1), the mechanically stressed parts are weaker than those in the mechanical bodies of the »Autoreflex«-series. This can lead to strong wear of the parts in the camera body together with the Adaptall-2-mounts of external linkTamron lenses and can destroy the aperture coupling mechanism in the long run.

The reason for the heavy wear seems to be the rather strong tension of the aperture springs in the Tamron adapter, there is too much stress for the new mechanism of the »F«-series. Maybe the problem became evident only after the production stop of the Konica SLR boedies, because Tamron never changed their Adaptall-2 mounts.

With only once-in-a-while use of the Tamron Adaptall-2 mounts on the camera bodies of the »F«-series quite likely nothing will happen - I have taken a lot of photos with my FS-1 and Tamron Adaptall-2 lenses without having any problems ever. But beware: with regular use you could damage your camera.

On all mechanical Konica SLR bodies, theTamron Adaptall-2 mounts can be used freely without problems.

Changes over the predecessor models Autoreflex T4 and FS-1:

Like already mentioned above, the FC-1 is practically a internal linkFS-1 without the built-in motor, but with a provision for the attachment for an external motor Auto Winder F. Apart from the transport lever, the camera controls of the FC-1 are quite similar to those of the FS-1. The biggest difference is that the film speed setting is situated at the rewind crank and is no longer integrated in the shutter speed dial. The FC-1 has no separate on/off switch – the light meter is activated with slightly pressing the shutter release button. The button for the self timer is round, not rectangular.

Compared to the motorless, mechanical predecessor model internal linkAutoreflex T4, the FC-1 has technically nothing in common with it and is looking quite differently. The FC-1 has an electronically controlled shutter, LEDs instead of needles for light meter display, slower shutter speeds up to 2 s, a smallest aperture of 22, and completely different controls. Self timer and shutter release are electronic – unfortunately without the mirror lock-up function of the mechanical ancestors. The FC-1 and all later Konica models do not have a depth-of-field preview.

Differently from most Konica SLRs (except the internal linkFP-1 and the internal linkTC-X) the back of the FC-1 opens when pulling up the rewind crank, not by a separate mechanism at the side of the camera.

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