Konica Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5
In the mid-1970's, Konica offered a series of inexpensive budget lenses alongside the standard Hexanons for their SLR system. These lenses were called Hexar AR. There were three different Hexar AR lenses with popular focal lengths of 28, 135, and 200 mm:
All these Hexar AR lenses were built less complex than their contemporary Hexanon counterparts. They were not made by Konica themselves, rumours say they were probably manufactured by Tamron.
The Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5 consists of 4 elements in 4 groups, the contemporary Hexanon AR 135 mm / F3.2 consists of 5 elements in 4 groups. The non-contemporary Hexanon AR 135 mm / F3.5 are 4-element lenses like the Hexar, but have an optical formula which is quite different.
Just like the Hexanon lenses, the Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5 was supplied with a leather case. The lens cap was made of plastic, different from the contemporary Hexanon lenses of same focal length, which had metal caps.
The Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5 renders sharp, contrasty images from edge to edge without any visible distortions. In general, it is a good lens, but the image quality, especially the sharpness, is a little inferior to the similar Hexanon lenses, the Hexanon / Hexanon AR 135 mm / F3.5 and the contemporary Hexaon AR 135 mm / F3.2.
Like with most telephoto lenses and their big and not recessed front elements, the consequent use of a lens hood is recommended for the Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5 to avoid loss of contrast due to stray light. The lens does provide a built-in lens shade, but this is a bit too shallow, not giving good protection in any case. The use of a deeper accessory lens shade gives better results in many situations.
The Hexar AR 135 / F3.5 is much heavier than the Hexanon lenses of the same focal length and similar speeds. It's also bulkier than these. The difference is particularly obvious in comparison with the very compact variation of the latest Hexanon AR 135 mm / F3,5 with smallest aperture 22.
The Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5 is quite common and often offered for sale – mostly very inexpensive. It would be a real bargain for the prices it is usually being sold for, were it not for the better, smaller, and more light-weight late version of the Hexanon AR 135 mm / F3.5 with smallest aperture 22, which can be obtained for the same small prices.
There is only one variation of the Hexar AR 135 mm / F3.5. All lenses of this type have the rubberized focusing ring, a green AE mark, the round AE lock button, a built-in lens hood, and a smallest aperture 16.
The complete, multi-lingual Hexar AR lenses leaflet will be downloaded as PDF file, if you follow the link (2 pages; English, German, French, Swedish, Italian, and Spanish; file size: 900 KB).
|Angle of view:||18°|
|Construction:||4 elements in 4 groups|
|Aperture:||Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 16|
|Closest focusing:||1,5 m (4 ft 111/4")|
|Filter thread:||55 mm|
|Length (at ∞):||96 mm (33/4")|
|Weight:||550 g (193/8 oz)|