I asked a lot of my Konica C35 Automatic — probably too much, shooting it mostly at and beyond dusk as I did. Late afternoon sun was the best light I gave it. That’s what happens when you shoot mostly after work in late autumn. Given that this autoexposure camera forces wide apertures and slow shutter speeds in dim light, I risked softness and camera shake nearly every time I pressed the shutter button.
Let’s look first at a couple late-afternoon photos. This lens has a character that, to my eye, enhances the film’s grain. It’s a pleasing effect, but it does rob images of a little sharpness.
But as I said, it’s quite pleasant. It could be put to excellent use for the right subject.
The C35 struggled with reflected light. The late-afternoon sun cast this black fence with a delicious glow. I’d admired it for several days on my drive home from work, and this day with the C35 in my pocket I stopped to photograph it. This isn’t a bad shot, especially after I toned down the highlights in Photoshop. It just doesn’t capture the scene’s warmth. I own cameras that could have captured that glow. Of course, those cameras are large, heavy, and complicated compared to the C35.
I made this photo in downtown Fishers on a cloudy afternoon. I focused on the front bench. Shooting Fujicolor 200 in this light, the camera chose a wider aperture and softened the background just a bit, to a pleasing degree.
I was lucky to pick up this little rangefinder camera for about 30 bucks a few years ago, as they routinely go for up to $100 in online auctions. While this camera is pleasant enough to use, I couldn’t remotely justify trading a C-note for one.
I gave the C35 some challenging assignments, such as this light sculpture inside the lobby of the office building where I work. I made a similar shot here with my Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 on Tri-X earlier this year. I like it better. See it here.
I was downtown for a work-related event and had the C35 in my coat pocket. The event wrapped late. I wondered if the spotlight illuminating this sign provided enough light for a photograph. It did.
Of course, it’s hard to focus a rangefinder camera in the dark. I love how the C35 rendered the light within the bells of this clock tower, but man, I wish I hadn’t muffed focus.
If you’d like to see more photos from this camera, check out my Konica C35 Automatic gallery here.
My experience shooting this camera was pleasant enough. It’s certainly a breeze to use: in Auto mode it is a focus-and-shoot camera. But as I shot it, I couldn’t shake a strong feeling that if I kept it, I’d probably never shoot it again. I own other capable compacts that I just like better.
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Last updated on 1 July 2020 by Jim Grey