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Dedicated Flash For Konica FS-1 (And More)
In the February 2006 issue of Shutterbug, Jim Bigger asked you about a flash to use with a recently acquired Konica FS-1 and you gave him good advice about using it manually with virtually any non-dedicated flash. That will certainly work and is a good option. However, the FS-1 was not only the first SLR with automatic film loading and a built-in film winder, it was the first electronic Konica and so it features an early form of flash dedication that brings a few other possibilities.

Subsequent Konica FC-1, FP-1, and FT-1 models all use this same form of dedication. The flash shoe on the FS-1 has a couple of extra electrical contacts. Used with a compatible flash, the camera will automatically set the aperture and shutter. Plus an LED in the viewfinder will blink when the flash is charged and ready to use. If a photo is taken before the flash is recharged adequately, the camera reverts to Autoexposure mode automatically. The shutter speed selected automatically with a dedicated flash is 1/90 sec, which is not found on the shutter speed dial of the camera.

On electronic Konica SLRs the manually-set sync speed for use with a non-dedicated flash is 1/60 sec, but many users have found 1/125 sec to work fine. Of course Konica offered its own compatible flashes to use with the FS-1. These are the X-24 and X-36, the former being relatively small while the latter is "potato masher" style that's more powerful and has more features. Incidentally, the Guide Numbers (GN) of most Konica flashes are pretty easily determined, since the model number always refers to it in meters. Thus, the X-24 has a GN of 24 meters and the X-36 has a GN of 36 meters.

The Konica X-24 flash has an Achilles' heel: its battery door is a bit fragile and often broken. Sometimes the flash foot also gets broken. Both these items are being reproduced and can be found in online auctions and for sale elsewhere on the Internet. The
X-24 is intended to be shoe mount-only and doesn't swivel or tilt for bounce, but there are third-party extension cords made for use with the Konica system that would allow the flash to be used off-camera. There is no external power option with the X-24.

The X-36 is quite big, somewhat rare, and often relatively expensive. The X-36 can be tilted for bounce. It uses two cables to connect to the camera in such a way that it can provide a secondary/right-hand shutter release button. Other accessories, including external power supply, were offered for the X-36, but are uncommon. An alternative I like to recommend is certain Sunpak flashes that use interchangeable modules to offer the same sort of dedication. Two of these flashes I have personally used a lot are the 444D and 333D models. A separately available Sunpak KX-1D module is designed for use with the Konica FS-1, FC-1, FP-1, and FT-1. The 444D is still available new and features about the same power as the Konica X-36, although it is smaller, lighter, and is a shoe-mount design. It offers tilt and swivel for bounce.

Plus, there are a variety of other useful Sunpak accessories, such as the EXT-09 extension cord for off-camera flash. There are also other Sunpak modules available to easily convert these flashes to work with early dedication on Canon, Nikon, etc., plus a standard/non-dedicated module, so these are very versatile flashes that are particularly useful for anyone with multiple camera systems. The reason I mention off-camera flash is that the FS-1 and other Konica models (actually the preceding T4 and TC models and later TC-X model, too) all have plastic top covers and, should a heavy flash mounted on them get bumped or twisted, it can all too easily damage the camera. For that reason, I instead recommend using an L-bracket to mount any flash the size of the Sunpak 444D or Vivitar 283/285 to the side of the camera. This method of mounting will also help reduce or avoid redeye. I believe Metz also offered flashes with interchangeable modules that can be adapted for dedication to Konica FS-1, FC-1, FP-1, and FT-1. But, I haven't used these and can't provide any info.

Please let Mr. Bigger and your other readers know that we have a very active worldwide newsgroup of Konica users at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/konicaslr/. Although Konica SLRs and Hexanon lenses are our primary focus, many users are also knowledgeable and helpful about Koni-Omega, Konica rangefinders, and a wide variety of "things photographic." I am one of the moderators.
Alan Myers
San Jose, CA


Thanks for your very detailed and most helpful comments about using a flash with the Konica FS-1 camera. I defer to your expertise and experience since I have never worked with this particular camera and don't know the limitations, such as your comment about the camera's plastic top cover which can be easily damaged when using a heavy shoe-mount accessory flash. I also appreciate learning about the Konica users group as will other readers I'm sure.

Movie Camera Value?
Q. I have a Revere 8 movie camera (Model 40, serial number K23598) in good condition and I was wondering if it was worth anything.
Paul G. McAllen
via Internet

A.
Although my primary reference pricing guide, McKeown's Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras 2001-2002, does list a few movie cameras, including some 8mm models made by Revere, your Model 40 is not shown. Those that are mentioned only command prices from $1-$20. So, even in good working condition, I seriously doubt that your old movie camera has much value today. Pinkey's Photo Customers: 35mm Stereo Transparency Mounting Still Available Due to a death in the family of the owners of Pinkey's Photo, the company filed for bankruptcy and closed the business after 60 years. I worked at Pinkey's for 41/2 years and did stereo mounting at that time. I purchased all the equipment at the public auction, and I am now mounting stereos on my own. I have my own photography business, and have for 101/2 years. I fell in love with stereo photography while I worked at Pinkey's, and shoot stereos myself. I love mounting them. I have written letters to most of the customers of Pinkey's that sent stereos for mounting, letting them know that I am going to continue this service. My prices are the same as Pinkey's, as long as you can send me your 35mm transparency film already processed: 24-exp. $16, 36-exp. $20. However since Pinkey's is no longer available for processing, I will have to sub out the processing to another lab. If you are unable to send already processed film the cost will increase by $5: 24-exp. $21, 36-exp. $25. The turnaround time for processed film will be within two or three days after I receive them. If I have to send film out for processing, it will take about two weeks before I can get them mailed back to you.
Susan Blackstock
6209 W. Honeysuckle Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72206
(501) 888-5115
e-mail: sblackstock@aristotle.net


Our thanks to Richard Baillif for sending this letter he received and additional recent messages to me about Pinkey's Photo (a former stereo processing and mounting business) that recently closed its doors. Fortunately, a former employee is assuming some of the stereo business. We get frequent requests for current sources of having stereo transparency pairs mounted for viewing and/or projection so we want to pass this data on to Shutterbug readers. Having another firm to recommend is most helpful.

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