View Full Version : Legacy Lenses Konica Hexanon 40mm f1.8

12-27-2005, 02:50 AM
This lens has a field of view corresponding to 80 mm on 35 mm film. Back in the film days, my favourite lens was the 85/1.8 so that gave me high hopes for this lens. And I wasn't disappointed. This is a very useful lens indeed.

Fully open, the lens is a bit soft but already at 2.8 it is wonderfully sharp. This means I can get sharp pictures with a shallow depth of field. One of the biggest advantages of this lens is it's very compact size and low weight. It is almost like walking around without a lens on the E-1. Focusing is of course manual. I find it reasonably easy to focus this lens most of the time. If the subject has sharp highlights, these start to sparkle a little when they are in focus. I suppose they interfere with the grain on the focusing screen somehow. It is very important that you set the diopter adjustment to match your eyesight exactly. Otherwise you won't see the sparkling effect.

Well, I'm not sure why, but this lens is just inspiring to use. It's not a point and shoot lens for bread and butter shots. You need to think about how you approach the subject, as you can't zoom or autofocus. It somehow brings back the "heart" of photography from the old days. At least it does for me---your mileage may vary.

- Very sharp, except fully open.
- Extremely small and lightweight.
- Useful field of view.
- Fast.

- No lens hood.
- Needs to be modified, to fit Fourthirds.

03-10-2006, 10:42 AM
The modification of these lenses are easy. Just go here: http://gfsnt.no/hexanon/
Tests I have made of lenses are here: http://www.pbase.com/rapick/morteng
I agree with Stuttaton that the best lens is the (very inexpensive) 40mm 1.8. And if you use a light baffle, it's VERY usable also at largest aperture. The fact that the lens is so tiny is a really big bonus. I've tried imagining this lens on the new Panasonic SLR, and my toes are curling with anticipation :yes:
The mod-process has been discussed to a great extent in another forum, so I will just do some remarks on the lenses from Konica I like, and why.
First of all: Do not trust the test pictures regarding sharpness. The Konica lenses are way better in "reality". Why? Well, to manually focus a lens in dim light with the E-300 is impossible. NONE of the manually pictures are spot on. With lots of light, and the new eyecup, the story is different. And the E-330 might solve the problem in Live B mode. So, the Olympus AF is very accurate, and this is the main reason the cheap kit- lens performs so well against the Konicas dead center. (It's not a bad lens, but acute focusing helps a lot:-) More in following post.

03-10-2006, 11:02 AM
The best lenses are: 40mm 1.8, 57mm 1.2, 85mm 1.8, 135mm 3.2, 300mm 4.5.
I have not tested them, but all 50mm's semes very good. The 57mm 1.2 has the worlds most beautiful bokeh. The 40mm, 85mm, 135mm & 300mm are just sharp, sharp, sharp, and with nice bokeh and large aperture. There are three different 135mm's, but the sharpest is the f.3.2. I mainly use the 2.5 though because of the shallow DOF. On all lenses there are no light fall off in corners, and practically no CA at any aperture.
Avoid the 21mm, 24mm and the two 28th's. I have converted the 28mm 3.5 to a "LensBaby", and as sutch it's very nice, mutch better than the one on sale on the internet.
As price goes, the 40- and 50mm's are a bargain ($15 on eBay). The 28mm 3.5 is just as cheap, if you need to make a LensBaby. The 85 is often $100, and the 57mm 1.2 goes for up to $250 (but worth every penny). NB! You will not have f.1.2 (more like 1.8), but you WILL get the extremely shallow DOF (this is due to the design of the sensor). ALL the mentioned lenses are on par or better than the "economy" line of Olympus/ Sigma lenses. Most are better regarding CA, and "just as sharp" at widest aperture. Cheers & happy huntin'