Konica TC-X

Konica TC-X

The TC-X is the last SLR model under the Konica brand name before Konica discontinued the SLR line. It was produced by Cosina for Konica, not by Konica themselves.

This is probably the reason, why the TC-X has not too much in common with other Konica SLR models, all camera controls look and feel quite different.

The TC-X was the first SLR camera in the world that had a body and frame completely made of plastic. Today this is normal, but 1983 is was not clear if the market would accept such a camera – there were big doubts concerning ruggedness and longevity. In this respect the concept was quite daring and revolutionary. Only the ring of the lens mount and the tripod socket were made of metal.

Even more, the TC-X was the first camera to use the automatic film speed setting via DX coding on the film cartridge. This system, nowadays well established, has been developped by a consortium of manufacturers, Konica being one of them.

Due to the full-plastic construction, the TC-X is very light – it is the lightest and at the same time the smallest Konica SLR. Thus, it is well suited as a camera for the pocket, it can easily be taken anywhere.

It is a matter of taste, whether you like the plastic construction of the TC-X for its weight savings or not. To me, the TC-X is not appealing, it makes more the impression of a toy. To me, it looks and feels cheap. Certainly this is not very fair towards the TC-X, it can take pictures as good as the other Konica SLRs and is quite rugged, but it is simply not my taste...

The smallest aperture the TC-X can set is 22. Obviously for this a matching lens with a smallest aperture setting of 22 is necessary. After introduction of the internal linkFS-1, that was the first Konica to provide a smallest aperture setting of 22, the Konica Hexanon lenses have been adapted to this one after the other.

The TC-X does not provide the system flash controls of the electronic models, it only has a normal accessory hot shoe for manual flash operation.

The film loading too is a step back to the pre-electronic times. With the TC-X, the film tip has to be threaded in a slot on the take-up spool.

The back of the TC-X has a window for the film cartridge, so that the film in use can be seen from the outside. The back is opened by pulling the rewind crank, like on the internal linkFC-1 and the internal linkFP-1.

The TC-X was available only in black.

The TC-X uses an easily obtainable 1.5 V alkaline manganese battery, either of type AA or AAA, depending on camera version. All camera functions other than metering are completely mechanically controlled, the battery is only necessary for the light meter. Because of the protruding battery case, one has a good grip on the TC-X, although it is very small and light. The plastic battery case lid is quite fiddly and gets damaged easily, so be careful when changing batteries!

Changes over the predecessor models:

The TC-X has more similarity to the internal linkAutoreflex TC than to any one of the later, electronic predecessor models. Like the Autoreflex TC, the TC-X is completely mechanical and has no slow shutter speeds longer than 1/8 s.

But the TC-X is not an improved version of the Autoreflex TC, it is a completely new design, entirely made of cast plastic.

The shutter speeds are set with a dial that is made as a collar around the transport lever. The film speed setting is set on a collar around the rewind crank or automatically by DX coding on the film cartridge. The on/off switch acts as a shutter release lock, the shutter release can only be pressed when the switch is set to »on«.

Aperture indication in the viewfinder is done with a needle, which is shaped very differently from the meter indication of the older mechanical cameras of the »Autoreflex« series. It is situated on the left side of the viewfinder, like the LED indicators of the electronically controlled models of the »F« series. The viewfinder is much darker than those in the electronic models or the internal linkAutoreflex T4.

Like on the electronically controlled Konica SLR models, the self timer does not provide a mirror lock-up function.

Different to most of the Konica SLRs (except the internal linkFC-1 and the internal linkFP-1), the camera back opens on the TC-X when pulling the rewind crank, not through a separate mechnism on the side of the camera body.

More pages on the TC-X:

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