Konica FT-1 Motor
A person that had been introduced to film photography in the past 30 years would take auto film advance for granted; let alone those accustomed to digital, where film winding is non-existence. In 1983 it was a novel idea. For an SLR. The Konica FT-1 does this, with other feats, in a compact and lightweight body, with no need for a bulky power handle. Using it in the current era, it feels right in place with the plethora of dials and controls spread at the top.
The body itself is about the size and weight of the Konica TC, with a noticeable bulge at the right that looks like an afterthought. Four AAA batteries fit in the bulge, which doubles as a grip making easy one-hand shooting. Another feature that seems to be an afterthought is the top cover sloping to towards the battery chamber, making the camera looking lopsided. It sort of looks like the 1995 Chevy Lumina, a car in the shape of a hand-held vacuum, high in the ugliest cars lineup. Cannot avoid also comparing it to the Fotron, another designer slip.
The camera requires a manual for first use. As mentioned, there are dials and controls galore, some are none intuitive. Think the original Autoreflex designers were fired. From left to right, holding at shooting position:
- ASA dial, 25 to 3200. This is meaningful as the camera is automatic.
- Compensation dial.
- Timer trigger.
- Auto mode lock.
- Speed selector dial.
- On / off / Auto mode lock lever, shows at the dots on the speed dial right.
- Single/multi shots selector dial.
All values are clearly marked, however confusing without a manual. Lucky that there was no touch screen at the time, would have further confused. At the back more odd indicators,
- Film advance indicator.
- End of roll indicator.
In the front:
- Self-timer indicator light.
- Electric Remote control port, neatly capped.
Film is supposed to load automatically once the back closes. It is yet to be a proper quick load. Once roll in place the advance indicator line joyfully somersaults. The trigger is mushy, halfway press activates the meter readings, full way fires the shutter.
|Style||Konica FT 1 Motor|
|AKA||Konica FT 1|
|Mode||Auto / manual, continues shoot|
|Filter size||55 mm|
|Lens mount||Konica bayonet|
|shutter||Focal plane vertical metal|
|Light meter||TTL, manual override|
|Timer||Electronic with flashing indicator|
|Battery style||AAA x 4|
|Other||Electric remote trigger, film advance indicator|