The Autoreflex T4 was introduced 1978 as smaller and lighter successor of the Autoreflex T3N. It has not much in common with its predecessor, as it was designed completely from scratch. The most important changes over the predecessor model are listed below. The Autoreflex T4 looks similar to the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1 that has been introduced two years earlier and like this model, the Autoreflex T4 uses plastic parts for the body to a great extent. Just like on the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1 the black plastic for the top cover with the prism housing is very resistant, but the leatherette tends to shrink strongly. This looks quite ugly on some specimen, but is only a cosmetical problem and has no influence on proper function. On the Autoreflex T4 the base plate is again made of metal, not of plastic like on the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1.
The Autoreflex T4 was available only in black.
Differently from the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1, the Autoreflex T4 is once again a full-featured SLR. The Autoreflex T4 provides slow shutter speeds up to 1 s (and B), a depth-of-field preview, and a multiple exposure provision. It is the first Konica SLR with the possibility to attach an external motor drive, the Winder AR, which is capable to expose up to 2 frames per second.
The viewfinder of the Autoreflex T4 was improved once again over the viewfinder of the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1. It is brighter still and does not have the blueish hue of the predecessor models. Of all mechanical Konica SLRs, the Autoreflex T4 has the best and brightest viewfinder, it is just as bright and clear as those on the later electronically controlled models. It is equipped with split-image focussing and microprism collar. The viewfinder indications are almost identical to those of the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1. Sadly, Konica did not incorporate the indication of set shutter speed in the viewfinder on the Autoreflex T4.
Like all other cameras from the »Autoreflex« series, the Autoreflex T4 is a rugged camera and takes abuse well. The Copal CCS-M shutter, that was first used by Konica in the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1, works flawlessly even in very cold environment and after long useage.
The weak spot of the Autoreflex T4 is the light meter: it is quite fragile, at least compared to other Konica models. There are quite a lot of Autoreflex T4 around with non-working meters. Spare parts are nearly impossible to get, only by »cannibalizing« another specimen. The light meter parts from the Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1 are not interchangeable, the light meters of both models are different, with the light meter of the Autoreflex T4 having a broader sensitivity range.
Like many other cameras from this era, the Autoreflex T4 uses mercury oxyde batteries for the light meter (2x type PX625). 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 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.
It is certainly a matter of taste whether you prefer to take your photographs with one of the nearly indestructable but large and heavy, fully mechanical cameras from the »big« Autoreflex series or if you prefer one of the more modern, smaller and lighter successors with a brighter viewfinder. If you are looking for a fully mechanical, full-featured Konica SLR that is not as heavy and large as the »big« Autoreflex series cameras, the Autoreflex T4 is what you look for.
The Autoreflex T4 was built only for a short span of time. It was replaced by the electronically controlled FS-1 with built-in motor drive in 1979 already and is therefore not as common and more expensive as the similar-looking Autoreflex TC / ACOM-1, but it is still possible to get a decent specimen for a reasonable price.
Changes over the predecessor model Autoreflex T3N:
The Autoreflex T4 is a new design completely from scratch and looks quite different compared to the Autoreflex T3N. It is smaller and lighter, has a brighter viewfinder with split-image focussing and microprism collar and the possibility to attach an external motor drive. Compared to the Autoreflex T3N, the indication of set shutter speed in viewfinder, M synch for flash bulbs, and the built-in viewfinder shutter are missing. All camera controls have been redesigned, self timer and depth-of-field preview are separate levers and no longer combined.