Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8 Manual Focus Lens Review and Sample Photos

I consider this lens to fall into the "legendary" class of lenses. I realize that is just an opinion, but I know lots of people agree with that. For starters, ask me what my favorite focal length is (on 35mm film or full frame digital), and I'll tell you it's a tie between 40mm and 45mm. I also love small lenses - pancakes and such. This Konica classic is considered a pancake, but honestly it's one of the bigger pancake lenses out there - bordering on not being one in my opinion, but that's the tradeoff for getting the f/1.8 aperture, which I'll take any day of the week over a slower leaner pancake lens. Many experts also think that the focal length most closely matching our vision is between 40 and 45mm, not the more common 50mm "normal" lens that donned many a classic camera in the day.

Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8 manual focus lens

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LIKES: What's not to like, or love for that matter? The Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8 lens is small, lightweight, well-made, virtually distortion-free... and, well, just damn good looking!!

DISLIKES: There's not much to dislike about this lens, but if you are familiar with my site, you already know I try to think outside the box and come up with some downside, even if it's a stretch. Well in order to come up with something, I have to leave the realm of 'what's wrong with THIS lens' and go out into the 'what's wrong with Konica mount lenses' realm. So a dislike for this lens and Konica mount lenses in general is that they are what I call a 'bastard mount' these days. Of course you can shoot film with them on Konica SLR bodies - which is definitely what I recommend - but I also like it when lenses can be used on modern DSLR bodies. With Konica lenses, your options are very limited. You can adapt them to most mirrorless camera systems, but I don't believe you can adapt them to ANY DSLR systems without a adapter that uses a correcting optic to allow infinity focus - typically a 1.4x converter as well as an adapter. So mirrorless fans are saying "what's the problem then?", and with focus peaking, it's no doubt a kick-ass solution. But I personally just haven't gone down that road yet. I tried the very lens with adapter on an Olympus Pen body, but that was a few years ago when they didn't have focus peaking yet.

Disclaimer: Just because the dislikes section above is way longer than the likes section does not mean there's more to dislike - quite the opposite! Did I mention that I LOVE this lens?


sample photo taken with Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8 lens - click for sample gallery...

Above: The contraption above is part of a fish ladder along the Royal River in Yarmouth, Maine; photo taken with a Konica FC-1 and Hexanon AR 40/1.8 using Kodak Ultramax 400 color print film.

View a gallery of photos taken with the Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8 lens

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