I looked up to the man biking down the hill. As I waited for him to come down, I stood behind a row of parked cars waiting, camera in hand, finger on the shutter release. He came nearer. I put my eye to the viewfinder, lined up the shot, and… nothing. The button was locked; the camera was off. As I turned to walk up the hill, I heard someone yell behind me.

“You taking pictures?”

I pivoted. It was the biker.

“Y-yeah. I didn’t get anything this time though. The camera was off!”

“Do you want to get a picture of me? I take photos too. I have a little Fuji.”

Surprised, I took him up on his offer. I didn’t expect him to be so kind. As we walked back up the hill, I made sure the camera was on and the exposure was set properly. As he rode down the hill, I waited, this time in plain sight, and got the shot. I kept my extremely sharp Hexanon 50mm F/1.7 lens wide open because it was getting dark and I needed to compensate for the faster shutter speed.

This, in conjunction with the focus having been mistakenly set to infinity, left the biking man blurry. Nonetheless, I really like this image!

With my trusty Konica Autoreflex T3 and nifty fifty, I continued my walk through Brooklyn, passing by a Café, a lost stuffed animal, and the former Bristol-Meyers Squibb headquarters.

The camera and lens had been collecting dust in my apartment for a number of years. A few months prior to this shoot, I put two rolls of color film through this camera; this was my foray into Black and White, which I primarily use to this day.

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I still had a few more exposures on the roll when I took the camera to Montauk to visit a family friend. There, we took an excursion to the Walking Dunes Trail. Although the Dunes are walkable, the trail gets its name from the unfixed nature of them–each year, the wind moves them a number of inches, and in doing so, they cover the trees of the adjacent forest.

The extraterrestrial nature of this image reminds me of The Twilight Zone episode “The Lonely,” about a man who is incarcerated on an asteroid.

Although I have a series of automatic 35mm cameras, I will certainly be using this camera and lens more often. The satisfaction gained from manually advancing film and turning an aperture dial is unmatched!

~ Samuel

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About the author

Samuel Ullman

Samuel is a hobbyist photographer and ceramicist from New York City. He enjoys experimenting with analog imaging techniques and equipment, and strives to capture his subjects unaltered. Currently, he is...

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  1. My first 35mm was a Konica circa 1979. I lost it but still have my second which is a Konica FS-1. I shot primarily B/W, had the negs developed only and self developed the photos that moved me. Anybody else love Konica our there? Jeff in Ohio

  2. It’s a great camera. Great photos.Solid as hell and the 50mm 1.7 is a great lens. I have had a fat hexanon 57mm f1. 4 on my Fuji xm1 for months. It has an incredible minimum focus distance letting me get great bokeh on macroesque shots. It’s not a true macro but very nice. I recently picked up a 40 1.8 hexanon as well.

    1. Thanks for your kind words! It is truly a great camera, and the lens is one of Konica’s strongest (for the price, it’s a steal)! Thanks for writing about the 57mm f1.4 and the 40mm f1.8 lenses – I may have to check them out. I’m using primarily Nikon (F3) now but I am compelled to buy an adapter because Konica glass is just too good.

  3. It’s a great camera. Great photos.Solid as hell and the 50mm 1.7 is a great lens. I have had a fat hexanon 57mm f1. 4 on my Fuji xm1 for months. It has an incredible minimum focus distance letting me get great bokeh on macroesque shots. It’s not a true macro but very nice. I recently picked up a 40 1.8 hexanon as well.