Camera Tales: The Konica Autoreflex T (second exposure)

Konica introduced the Autoreflex T in 1968, the company’s first fully automatic 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) camera with through-the-lens (TTL) metering. The camera is built like a tank and, when the shutter-release button is pushed, it sounds like one. Its heft might suggest it was carved out of a solid block of steel.

The camera came with a 52mm f/1.8 Hexanon lens, those days considered a not-too-wide, not-too-telephoto good standard  focal length. Its all-metal barrel gave it a weight and sense of durability to match the camera body. The bayonet mount, introduced with the Autoreflex T, allowed for quick lens changes. Indeed, my kit soon filled out with 135mm telephoto and 28mm wide angle lenses.

Around 1973, I acquired the just-introduced Konica Autoreflex T3, an updated version of my first camera. The Autoreflex T was relegated to use as a back-up body or loaded with a different film. With two camera bodies, either switching film speeds or film type during a shoot simply required a quick change of lens from one body to the other.

This photography kit would be by my side through the bulk of the 1970s. My understanding of photography would evolve over that period, alongside my design education at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture.  Continue reading

Camera Tales: The Konica Autoreflex T (first exposure)

The body of my first real camera, the Konica Autoreflex T, is all that remains of my once robust stable of Konica 35mm cameras and lenses. But that is enough. This carcass of polished metal embodies a decade of life changes, worldly explorations and career accomplishments.

It was 1970 and this was the first camera I bought for myself. Many memories surround that purchase. I remember the camera store, a small storefront in the old market building in London, Ontario. I remember the sudden death of my father just weeks earlier. I remember, weeks later, my brave, young mum, picking up the pieces of a family set adrift and moving us to Winnipeg.  Continue reading