The Autoreflex T3 was introduced to the market in 1973 as successor of the Autoreflex T2 (called FTA 2 in Japan). There are a lot of changes over the predecessor. As first Konica SLR it has an accessory shoe with a flash contact (»hot shoe«). This hot shoe is not built in, but mounted on the viewfinder and was available as an accessory – certainly the most important improvement for everyday photography.
The Autoreflex T3 was available in chrome-black and in black, the chrome-black version being much more common than the black one.
1976 Konica released a limited edition of the Autoreflex T3 commemorating the 100th anniversary of camera making with Konica – 1,500 cameras with consecutive serial numbers, the Konica Hexanon 50mm / 1:1.4 lens and a small badge on the front of the camera body with the inscription "100th Anniversary". At this time, the successor model Autoreflex T3N was already available.
The Autoreflex T3 is a full-featured SLR that did not leave open any wishes at its time. Automatic exposure control, depth-of-field preview, a provision for multiple exposures, a very informative and quite bright viewfinder, and a mirror lock-up function (with the self timer) was something not many cameras could boast with.
Like all its predecessors and successors from the »big« Autoreflex series, the Autoreflex T3 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 T3 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. If you can live with this, you will get an almost indestructable classic with the Autoreflex T3, that is still good for everyday photography.
Like many other cameras from this era, the Autoreflex T3 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.
The Autoreflex T3 was replaced 1975 by the modified and improved Autoreflex T3N. The model change did not show in the designation on the camera bodies, the Autoreflex T3N also has the inscription Autoreflex T3 – therefore, both models get mixed up frequently. You can see the differences on the Autoreflex T3 / T3N comparison page.
Alterations over the predecessor Autoreflex T2:
Almost all camera controls have been modified: The shutter release needs much less force and has significantly shorter travel, thus reducing the danger of camera shake. The self timer lever now serves as a combined depth-of-field preview lever. The Transport lever has a big and smooth plastic tip on the Autoreflex T3, the on/off switch for the light meter is automatically turned to on when the transport lever is actuated. The window of the frame counter magnifies, the figures have improved readability.
Konica integrated into the Autoreflex T3 a very comfortable multi-exposure provision – a small lever at the shutter speed dial. There is a holder for a film cardboard box lid on the camera back to indicate the film in use.
The PC sockets for M and X flash synch have been relocated from the front to the left shoulder, beneath the rewind crank. The film speeds that can be set on the camera have been expanded to both sides and reach from ISO 12/12° up to ISO 3200/36° – a range that no other Konica SLR apart from the Autoreflex T3 and the following model Autoreflex T3N had.