Konica Hexanon Teleconverter AR 2x
The Konica Hexanon Teleconverter AR 2x is inserted between lens and camera body. It doubles the focal length of the lens used, so a standard lens with 50 mm focal length behaves like a moderate telephoto lens with 100 mm focal length. The distance setting on the lens is not changed by the teleconverter.
The telekonverter projects and enlarges a part of the image rendered by the lens onto the film. The price is a light loss of 2 full aperture stops, because only a part of the image and thus only a part of the light that passes the lens reaches the film. Sharpness of the image is also reduced, because the image faults of the lens are also enlarged and projected.
This is one of the reasons why a teleconverter is not recommended for use with wide-angle lenses. Wide-angle lenses for SLRs are mostly of the retrofocus-type design, to achieve a sufficient distance from the back to the film plane for the movement of the mirror – with such retrofocus lenses, a projection of the image is done inside the wide-angle lens, degrading image quality somewhat. The further quality loss caused by a second image enlargement in a teleconverter would affect sharpness even more, so that the loss of sharpness could become inacceptable. Hence Konica recommended the use of the teleconverter only with lenses of focal lengths of 40 mm and longer.
The Konica Hexanon Teleconverter AR 2x couples the automatic aperture functions of the camera body, allowing for the use of AE lenses in fully automatic AE exposure mode on cameras with through-the-lens (TTL) metering. TTL meters compensate automatically for the light loss caused by the teleconverter, for handheld or external light meters like in the Auto-Reflex, the exposure compensation of 2 aperture stops has to be set manually.
As far as I know, the Hexanon Teleconverter AR 2x was a rather late addiction to the Konica lens line-up – the earliest mention is in the manual of the Autoreflex TC with the lower-case logo. In the older manual of the Autoreflex TC with upper-case logo, the teleconverter is not yet listed, so it was probably introduced during the very early 80's. According to my manuals and lens lists it was being offered until the SLR line was abandoned altogether.
The look and finish is somewhat different from the Hexanon lenses. The leatherette of the teleconverter is similar to that of the electronic F series camera bodies and not like the rubber inlay with the checkered pattern of the contemporary Hexanon AR lenses. As far as I know, there is only one variation of the teleconverter.
The Konica Hexanon Teleconverter AR 2x is doubtlessly one of the best teleconverters available for the Konica SLR system. The loss of image quality is very moderate, the resulting images still have acceptable sharpness and contrast, if a good lens is used with it. For the light travel kit it is just as good an alternative as for achieving these very long focal lengths you do not need frequently with your existing longer telephoto lenses.
The genuine Konica teleconverter is quite rare and, due to its quality, quite sought-after – this results in high prices. For a specimen in good condition you will have to pay quite a lot, so in many cases you will be off just as well with a high-quality third-party teleconverter which can be bought for much less – or simply with an inexpensive telephoto lens like the Hexanon AR 135 mm / F3.5, but this is of course not as versatile.
|Angle of view:||– (depending on the lens used with the teleconverter)|
|Construction:||6 elements in 5 groups|
|Aperture:||– (reduces speed by 2 aperture stops)|
|Closest focusing:||– (like the lens used with the teleconverter)|
|Length:||43.5 mm (111/16")|
|Weight:||230 g (81/8 oz)|