Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.8 EE

     Konica lenses have a strong reputation.  Their rangefinders, like the S2 and Hexar, had magnificent lenses.   They are special because of great shadow detail (micro-contrast) and a dreamy 3-D feel when shot wide open.    Konica lenses produce images similar to a medium format camera.    They are not as tack sharp as a SMC Takumar but their color rendition is superb.   I should add that the build quality of these Hexanon AR's is on par with Contax.  

     This lens has characteristics similar to Konica rangefinder lenses.   At f1.8 it produces a dreamy 3-D feel.   It is sharp enough at f1.8 to satisfy most shooters.   At f2.8 and up, it is quite sharp.  Corner to corner sharpness is excellent, better than most.    
     Bokeh at mid apertures is a bit busy for my taste.   
     Fringing is not an issue.   In extreme lighting conditions it will be viewable at 100% crop.  Color aberrations are very well controlled.   Color clipping and shifting is not an issue with this lens.   In fact, it handles extreme backlight better than most lenses.
     Flare wasn't noticeable and contrast is excellent from 2.8 up.   At f1.8 it is a tad soft.

     On the Canon M3 it handles well.    Focusing is neither difficult nor easy.    Focus throw is long and reversed from most lenses.   I kept turning the ring the wrong way during testing.   

     

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ISO 400 - f2.8

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ISO 800 - f1.8- Closest Focus

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ISO 800 - f1.8 - 100% crop - Minor fringing

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ISO 400 - f1.8 - 100% crop

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ISO 400 - f1.8 - Dreamy at 1.8

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ISO 400 - f1.8

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ISO 800 - f1.8 - 100% crop -

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Most lenses would show a strong color shift in the highlights here but the Konica handles it quite well.