This post features a snapshot camera which was made in huge quantities from the year it was first made in 1982. The model was extremely popular with many families because it was an inexpensive way to get some good quality photos on your holiday. The camera in question is the Konica Pop.
Photos of the Konica Pop in black
My Konica Pop camera
To be honest I can’t remember when I got my Konica Pop. I’m sure I know where I got it from which is eBay, because that’s where I get the vast majority of my camera collection from, but I can’t actually remember buying this one at all.
It’s probable that I bought it as a non working unit with the intention of fixing it, because when I re-discovered it a few days ago I found that the trigger was stuck in the down position and everytime the film advance was wound, the shutter would fire as the advance moved back. I fixed that quite easily by removing the front cover and freeing up the shutter release with a little lighter fuel to dissolve some old grease.
My particular copy of the camera is in a bad state however – the battery terminals are completely corroded and even after a good clean there is no power on the camera. The interminals terminals which indicate if the flash is raised or not are completely furred over with green corrosion, so I suspect that batteries have leaked into quite a bit of the inner electronics which probably makes the camera irreparable.
The case however is in nice condition, so I might keep my eye out on eBay for a good but tatty unit to see if I can make a good one with the two.
Konica Pop Description
I described the pop as a snapshot camera1 above and that is basically what they were sold for.
I guess the most noteworthy feature of the Pop was the fact that they were available in a variety of different colours.
A quick look through eBay shows me that they are available at the moment in Black, Yellow, Red, Blue and Silver. I’m sure if I looked again if a few days time I’d find other colours as well.
It’s also interesting to see the sort of prices that are being asked for them. If you bear in mind that this is a snapshot camera, yes it’s capable of good results I know, but it’s not worth nearly £100 which some are being offered for in my opinion.
Although sold as a cheap snapshot camera, Konica were a quality manufacturer and couldn’t bring themselves to make a poor quality unit, so the actual build quality of the Pop is pretty good. The case feels solid and although made of hard plastic looks like it could take some knocks. The flash pops up with a nice click and most of the mechanical parts of the camera feel good.
The camera has only one shutter speed of 1/125 sec and a few aperture settings which the camera controls by way of the light meter fitted above the lens mount. The aperture has settings of f/4 to f/16 but some of this range is used to offset the film speed because as the ASA dial on the front of the lens is adjusted I can see the aperture change.
In many ways the camera was only possible as a design concept because of the huge exposure latitude of colour negative film. Although I’m sure people did shoot colour slide film with the Pop, I’d hazard a guess that there were a fair percentage of dud shots in every reel.
The film rewind crank is fitted to the bottom of the camera and has a novel way of moving away from the camera when the back film door is opened. With the door shut, the rewind crank stays in place and keeps the film tight inside the film chamber, but when it’s opened the crank frees up allowing the film to be removed.
Konica Pop Specifications
The basic specs of the Pop are listed below.
- Konica Pop 35mm Snapshot camera
- Available in many different colours
- Hexanon 36mm lens
- Single shutter speed of 1/125 sec
- ASA 100 to 400 film
- Automatic exposure control
- Low Light warning LED next to viewfinder
- Max Aperture f/4
- Two AA batteries
- Flash for low light and indoor snapshots
- Tripod Bush
- Serial No: 2934744
- Manual available online here.