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Review – Konica C35V Small Film Rangefinder Camera

Metering display can be seen through the viewfinder using a traditional needle display. The viewfinder shows the approximate shutter speed of the camera and tells you if the lighting condition will require flash to be used. Based on the display, my guess is the C35V assumes any shutter speed below 1/30 of a second will require a flash unit as 1/30 seems to be the camera’s slowest shutter speed.

You can adjust your aperture settings from f/2.8 to f/16, but I believe that those settings are to be used as flash exposure control only, meaning the C35V will be set to its flash-sync speed only. Most of the time, you leave it on “Auto”.

Having said that, there’s no stopping you from shooting an under or over exposed shot as the shutter will trip regardless of what the lighting is.

Focus is set by selecting four preset distances, 3.5 feet, 5 feet, 10 feet, and infinity – with matching pictograms for the numerical estimates. It’s amusing to see those pictograms through a small, triangular window when you look through the viewfinder. Focusing accuracy will be a relative challenge for close distances (3.5-5ft) as the depth-of-field control is absent, but as long as you know how far 3.5ft is from the camera, chances are you’ll get a decently sharp shot.

I strongly suggest using ASA400 film in most cases due to the lack of exposure control. The C35V doesn’t have exposure lock when you half-press the shutter, so you’ll need the latitude to expose high-contrast scenes properly.

The C35V is very small, it’s about the size of one-and-a-half credit cards in length and can easily slip into your jacket’s pocket. Unlike most point-and-shoot cameras of the late 80s, you can attach an external flash unit and have a fast lens in such a compact camera. It is well built and finished with a matte silver coating (black is available as well). You have to watch the finish though, as it scratches quite easily especially the areas near the rewind knob because the lever barely scrapes the top cover if you’re not careful.

I can’t comment on the flash performance as I don’t have an X-14 flash unit yet.

The C35V is really silent. It uses a Copal leaf shutter like most rangefinders from this era. It’s a nice, discreet little camera to bring for daytime street shooting as it only emits a light “click” sound when pressed.

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