October 19, 2010

A few words about the Konica TC-X (with a 2014 updated bottom line)



On the down side, the Konica TC-X represented another step in the decline of the brand. It was the first Konica SLR body made by an outside manufacturer, Cosina. It sported a liberal use of plastics making it a galaxy away from the sturdy Konica Autoreflex T3.

The camera has its flaws. It has a dark viewfinder. Putting a lens with less than a maximum aperture of f2 will make it difficult for a user to focus in low-light situations. The split focusing somewhat mitigates the dim view but forget about using the common 28mm f3.5 Hexars or Hexanon lenses.

Another weakness is the sliding on/off switch for the light meter. Unlike on an Autoreflex T3, the camera will not turn on when the user cocks the shutter. Nothing will happen when you press the release unless the switch is ON. Shots can be and have been missed because of this two-step operation.

On the other hand, leaving it on takes a toll on the battery. Note, however, the battery powers only the light meter and shutter priority auto-exposure. The camera is fully manual mechanical in operation. It just that you have to turn that switch ON to use the camera.

Despite the negatives, I've decided to mount my 40mm f1.8 Hexanon (which pairs with it very nicely) and have loaded Kodak Ektar 100 colour negative film. I like the fact it only requires only one AAA battery as opposed to mercury 1.35V enviro-killing cells or the poor substitutes like Wein Cells and hearing aid batteries at 1.4V.

I actually haven't put a battery in because the last time I did I forgot to turn the camera OFF and it drained. Annoying.

The thought is if I ever need autoexposure in a pinch I'll slip in the AAA but mostly I'll carry without.

Despite the plastic feel, which no one cares about anymore because most digital bods are plasticy, the TC-X has a nice grip to it. It is light. And it is very small. Smaller than even the Autoreflex TC.

Because of the dark viewfinder I tried to put a very heavy 50mm f1.4 lens on it, but it felt very awkward to have such a huge weight difference between the body and the lens (though if my physics are correct, a heavier lens would reduce the image of mirror slap....hmmm). Even the older 50mm f1.7 feels over sized.

It originally came with a plastic 50mm f1.8 lens but it does not have the same quality optics. The 40mm, with its brilliant optics and lightness, does very well with this body. Will post results soon.

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February 12, 2014

Since writing this review, I have used the TC-X quite a bit and the bottom line is I like using it. It's a light body that lets me use a mighty fine Hexanon lens, the 40mm f1.8, and the meter works with commonly available batteries. 

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