Konica Zoom-Hexanon AR 70-150 mm / F4
The Zoom-Hexanon AR 70-150 mm / F4 is a one-touch zoom with a combined ring for focal length adjustment and focusing. It was introduced in the early 80s, during the era of the FC-1, and offered until the SLR line was abandoned. It superseded the older Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4, which had been taken off the lens line-up some years before. The barrel of the lens is still completely made out of metal.
Different from the predecessor, the lens does not change its overall length when the focal length is changed. As on almost every Konica zoom lens, the front element rotates when focus is shifted, making the use with polarizers and gradated filters a bit cumbersome.
As the Zoom-Hexanon AR 70-150 mm / F4 was, like most Konica zoom lenses, built only for a few years, no changes were applied to this lens. There is only one variation. All these lenses are of the later year's style with metal lens barrel, the focusing ring with checkered rubber inlay, a smallest aperture 22 and the green AE mark with the rectangular AE lock button.
Until the mid-80s there were only very few zoom lenses with decent optical quality that had a focal length range greater than double or triple – independent of who the manufacturer was. Even with the double or triple zoom lenses that are easier to master, many lenses from the 60s and 70s have optical quality inferior to the fixed focal length lenses. This affects mainly sharpness and contrast, but some zoom lenses from this era also have problems with distortions and especially in the wide-angle range many show strong vignetting. Most of the Konica zoom lenses belong to the better ones for their time, but still many of them cannot keep up to their contemporary, first-class fixed focal length lenses, nor to modern zoom lenses from the upper quality range.
The Zoom-Hexanon AR 70-150 mm / F4 has decent image quality for its time. Images are sharp, quite contrasty and free from visible distorions, there is no visible vignetting. Because of the relatively slow speed, the viewfinder image ist a bit dark and precise focusing is often difficult due to darkened split-image or microprism. Like most zoom lenses, it is a bit prone to contrast loss caused by stray light, so that the built-in lens hood should be used consequently. Sharpness and contrast are a bit inferior compared to the predecessor Zoom-Hexanon AR 65-135 mm / F4. On the plus side is a much smaller weight and size, a smallest aperture 22, the built-in lens shade and a much closer minimal focusing distance.
Despite being a late addiction to the line-up, the Zoom-Hexanon AR 70-150 mm / F4 is a rare lens, its focal lengths range was not as popular as the one from 80 to 200 mm, for which a wide variety of lenses are available. It fetches prices in the middle range, it is neither very cheap nor a very expensive collector's item. If you are looking for a zoom lens that covers the typical focal lengths for portrait photography from short to medium telephoto with a good image quality, you are well off with this lens.
|Angle of view:||34°-16°|
|Construction:||15 elements in 12 groups|
|Aperture:||Fully automatic AE, smallest aperture 22|
|Closest focusing:||0.8 m (2 ft 71/2")|
|Filter thread:||55 mm|
|Length (at ∞):||102 mm (4")|
|Weight:||500 g (1 lb 15/8 oz)|