Konica Autoreflex TC 35mm review

This is a review of the Konica Autoreflex TC 35mm camera which was one of the last in the Autoreflex series of cameras that Konica made.

Konica Autoreflex TC Images

My Konica Autoreflex TC Camera

I paid £7 for this camera because it was sold as not working, the reported problems being the metering circuit and some marks on the focusing screen.

The metering fault was because the battery compartment had some green corrosion caused by a leaking battery at some point and some oxidized soldered connections to the battery compartment. I think this is a general issue with Konica cameras. In my somewhat limited experience of them (I have 4 in my collection), I’ve had to deal with wiring issues in two of them.

The marks on the focusing screen are just down to dirt and the screen and viewfinder will require a good clean at some point.

Other than the faults which the seller listed, I can’t find anything else wrong with the camera and I think it will be fine after a good clean.

Konica Autoreflex TC Description

This is one of the last cameras in Konica’s Autoreflex series and is markedly different from the earlier, solid metal cameras like the T2.

For a start the construction seems to be mostly of plastic and therefore the camera has nothing like the feel of the earlier models, although I happen to like the softer covering more. The weight is also obviously affected by the level of plastic in the camera and is significantly less than the Autoreflex T2.

I get the distinct feel that this is a cut down version of the Autoreflex series because there are other changes which I suspect were introduced to make it a cheaper unit than the other models. At the time his model was produced sometime in the mid 1970’s, Konica was also producing the Autoreflex T4 model, which was similar in appearance to the TC, but still had a lot of the features of the earlier units, so I guess these changes made the TC the lower price alternative.

The biggest change I immediately noticed was the shutter speeds on offer which only cover the range 1/8sec to 1/1000. That’s actually a change that probably made sense when you want to reduce cost. It would not really affect a lot of people because most people wouldn’t own or use a tripod and therefore the slower speeds wouldn’t really be missed.

Once you get over the fact that this has the name Autoreflex, but is a cut down version, it’s actually quite a capable camera. There is still a shutter priority auto exposure system fitted with TTL metering, there is a capable viewfinder which has the advantage of a split image focusing spot in the middle as well as useful indicators for selected aperture. There is a red flag in the top corner of the viewfinder to tell the photographer when they are off the recommended ‘auto’ mode, and there is a shutter lock button integrated into the on/off switch on the back panel which reduces battery drain.

Another feature I like, although I’m not sure it would have appealed to the photographers who originally bought the camera is that it’s a fully mechanical design and only needs a battery for the light meter.

In fact, since for the majority of the time I wouldn’t shoot at less that 1/60sec hand held, and the Konica lenses are reputed to be pretty good, I may load mine with some film and give it a try.

Konica Autoreflex TC Specifications

  • Konica Autoreflex 35mm manual focus
  • Auto exposure with shutter priority
  • Manual exposure with match needle metering.
  • ISO 25 to 1600
  • Reduced shutter speeds of 1/8sec to 1/1000sec + B
  • Flash sync with hot shoe and sync socket
  • Mechanical self timer
  • Fully mechanical – battery only for the exposure system
  • Shutter button threaded for cable release
  • On/Off switch integrated with shutter lock
  • Nice soft feel camera cover
  • Split image focusing aid in viewfinder
  • Aperture scale in viewfinder
  • Aperture scale shows current lens max aperture
  • Ser No: 859483
  • Manual available here

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