Konica Hexanon 28 mm / F3.5 preset version

Hexanon 28 mm / F3.5
earliest preset version

Konica Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 metal version

Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5
early metal version

Konica Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 middle F16 version

Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5
middle F16 version

Konica Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 late F22 version

Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5
late F22 version

Konica Hexanon 28 mm / F3.5
Konica Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5

downLens data | downVariations | internal linkLens overview

The Hexanon 28 mm / F3.5 was one of the first lenses to be developed for the new internal linkAR bayonet – for the old internal linkF bayonet no lenses with focal lengths shorter than 35 mm were available. The first variation was a preset lens without automatic aperture, all later variations had automatic aperture and an AE setting for automatic exposure control.

The preset version has neither mechanisms for the actuation of aperture nor a largest aperture coupling between camera body and lens – with this lens, on all bodies with through-the-lens (TTL) metering, the metering must be done in stopped-down mode and the aperture has to be set manually on the lens prior to exposure.

28 mm became a very wide-spread standard focal length. These lenses were built over a long timespan in large quantities and have been developed and redesigned several times. Therefore, a lot of different downvariations of the lens do exist. Even the basic optical design has been altered several times – from originally 7 elements in 6 groups on the preset lens to 7 elements in 7 groups and finally to 5 elements in 5 groups.

The lens, most so in the later 5 element variations, is quite small and light-weight, therefore well suited for travel photography.

All lenses of this type render very sharp and contrasty images from edge to edge. Distortions are o.k. and not too obvious, the lens does not show too much vignetting either. All in all, the various Hexanon / Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 are good lenses.

Sometimes, the relatively slow lens speed is annoying. Especially when using the lens in low-light situations on older bodies with a darker viewfinder, precise focusing gets difficult.

Image quality differs a bit between the several lens variations – over the long time the lens has been built, coating technologies improved a lot. The switch-over to the 5 element design caused a slight loss in optical quality, though. The last 7 element variation is considered to be the best variation of the Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5.

The Hexanon / Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 is not very sensitive to stray light. With its big and not recessed front element, the consequent use of a lens hood is recommended in most situations to avoid loss of contrast, however. A matching rectangular metal lens hood was part of the lens kit delivered by Konica at least for some time. For later, non-preset versions, it is the same lens hood as for the other 28 mm and the 24 mm lenses. This original lens hood is quite deep and shades very well. Of course third party lens hoods can be used as well, but the original lens hood is worth it, if you can get one.

For some time, beside the Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 a lens from the Hexar series with the same focal length and speed was being sold. This lens is a 5 element construction and has a smallest aperture 16, but it is noticeably bulkier and heavier than the 5 element Hexanon lens with smallest aperture 22. The Hexar series were a series of entry-level lenses sold for a smaller price. These lenses were not manufactured by Konica themselves, rumours say they were probably made by Tamron. It is possible that the 5 element Hexanon with smallest aperture 16 is only a re-labeled Hexar. Other lenses from the Hexar series beside the internal linkHexar AR 28 mm / F3.5 are:

With the late 70's, another lens with 28 mm focal length became available, which was much faster and much more expensive, the internal linkUC Hexanon AR 28 mm / F1.8.

The Hexanon / Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 is one of the most frequently offered Konica SLR lenses. Therefore, you can get it very cheaply – for the usual prices of under 20 € the lens is an incredible bargain.

Comparison 28 mm / F3.5 lenses

The Konica 28 mm / F3.5 lenses:
Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 – 7 element, metal (left)
Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 – 5 element late F22 version (middle)
Hexar AR 28 mm / F3.5 – 5 element (right)

Variations
Lens data
Angle of view: 75
Construction: Preset, smallest aperture 22 (until approx. 1967):
7 elements in 6 groups
AE, smallest aperture 16 (until approx. 1978):
7 elements in 7 groups
AE, smallest aperture 16 (until approx. 1979):
5 elements in 5 groups
AE, smallest aperture 22 (from approx. 1980):
5 elements in 5 groups
Aperture: Preset, smallest aperture 22 (until approx. 1967)
Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 16 (until approx. 1979)
Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 22 (from approx. 1980)
Closest focusing : 0.3 m (1 ft)
Filter thread: Preset variation: 58 mm
AE variations: 55 mm
Length (at ∞): Preset variation (until approx. 1967): 49 mm
AE variation, smallest aperture 16 (until approx. 1979): 42 mm (15/8")
AE variation, smallest aperture 22 (from approx. 1980): 36 mm (13/8")
Weight: Preset variation (until approx. 1967): 270 g (91/2 oz)
AE variation, smallest aperture 16, 7 elements (until approx. 1978): 210 g (73/8 oz)
AE variation, smallest aperture 16, 5 elements (until approx. 1979): 195 g (67/8 oz)
AE variation, smallest aperture 22 (from approx. 1980): 175 g (63/16 oz)
Lens hood: Preset variation: 60 mm rectangular clamp-on
AE variations: 57 mm rectangular clamp-on
Lens diagram:
Lens diagram Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 7 element variation

earlier, 7 element variation

Lens diagram Hexanon AR 28 mm / F3.5 5 element variation

later, 5 element variation

More pages on the Konica Hexanon and Hexar lenses:

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