I’m chuffed to bits that I have been able to fix my old Konica Hexar AF after it has been languishing in the cupboard for probably 10 years.
It was purchased second hand from a photo shop in Hereford for £300, which was a lot of money back in the mid 1990s. It came with a Konica flash and my wife gave me a nice leather case as a birthday present.
It was the first auto-focus camera that I had ever used, and was the first rangefinder camera that I had ever purchased. It was quite a change from the Nikon SLRs and Mamiya TLR. The 35mm lens took some getting used to as a normal lens was a 20mm for me at the time, everything was wide, I owned one telephoto lens that never got much use. As a result I guess I didn’t use the Konica Hexar as much as I could, although I did use it to photograph a friend’s wedding as I wanted something small and light that focused itself.
Anyway as time went on, and digital cameras became available, the Hexar, along with my other film cameras, was sideline and over shadowed by the new technology. Also it started to become unreliable, sometimes the shutter wouldn’t fire, and then I got an error message suggesting that the battery was flat. Having gone through a number of new batteries I realised that something was wrong. I contacted Konica, who were still operating then, to arrange a repair but I didn’t get around to sending it.
Recently I was given an old Canon Sureshot film camera that required that same battery as the Hexar. For a bit of fun I thought that I would try it out, using the newly purchased battery. But same problem, same error code. Having looked on the web for other people who had found the same problems I drew a blank, except that someone suggested that you clean the battery contacts with some electrical contact fluid with a q-tip. Having already cleaned these contacts with a file I couldn’t see how this would help.
So as I was in a store I picked up a can of contact cleaner spray, and did what I was not supposed to do, I sprayed the battery compartment! Big mistake! I didn’t expect to see the fluid appear in the LCD window on top of the camera, nor did I expect it to spew out of the top plate!
To be honest I thought that that would be the end of the camera, although there was no fluid in the lens or film compartment. So after cleaning up as much of the fluid as I could some half an hour later I tried the battery, and low and behold the camera showed some life. So I re-wound the half used film that had been in the camera for about 10 years. The auto-focus and shutter button were not functioning correctly, one in every 5 seemed to work. So I thought a partial success, however after another hour the Konica Hexar was fully back in action. So I just need to try out a test film……….