KONICA HEXANON AR 40mm 40mm F1.8 (40 / 1.8). Review from the reader Radozhiva

Overview of the KONICA HEXANON AR 40mm 40mm F1.8 (40 / 1.8) lens, adapted for Canon EF, especially for Radozhiva, prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

KONICA HEXANON AR 40mm 40mm F1.8 (40 / 1.8)

KONICA HEXANON AR 40mm 40mm F1.8 (40 / 1.8)

Lens Specifications:
Focal Length: 40mm
Relative Hole: 1: 1.8
Optical design: 6 elements in 5 groups, Planar (see picture)
Aperture: 6 blades
MDF: 0.45 m
Filter thread: 55 mm
Mount: Konica AR, not compatible with SLR cameras
Features: catches a mirror on modern full-frame SLR cameras.

Features of adaptation and construct Konica Hexanon 40 / 1.8

Hexanon 40 / 1.8 is a standard pancake lens for Konica SLR film cameras with AR mount. Unfortunately, without adaptation with SLR cameras, it is incompatible due to the small working distance.

Alteration of this lens is most easily carried out on the Canon EF - due to the smallest working segment among the modern SLR cameras and the large diameter of the mount.
The adaptation of the lens is to maximize the drowning of the lens block, combined with the inside of the helicoid, deep into the camera; subsequent aperture control output and bayonet replacement. For more or less accurate alteration, turning work is required, and the alteration itself is generally quite difficult. Therefore, not so often the lens can be found adapted for SLR cameras.

Adaptation Procedure in the Best Way described by Igor Stratienko.

In my version, the diaphragm control ring was replaced, and the ring with the depth of field scale was saved. The result is such a pancake:

Hexanon 40 / 1.8

Hexanon 40 / 1.8

The Hexanon 40 / 1.8 is a very small lens due to its non-retrofocus optical design. The dimensions also affected the ergonomics of the lens. For example, with such dimensions, the course of the helicoid is very limited - therefore, the MDF is 0.45 m, which is not the best indicator for such a focal length. Mir-1A 37 / 2.8, for example, has MDF of only 0.24 m. The angle of rotation of the focusing ring is small - a little less than 180 degrees. However, focusing with the lens is fairly easy.

Hexanon 40 / 1.8 at infinity

Hexanon 40 / 1.8 at infinity

Hexanon 40 / 1.8 on MDF

Hexanon 40 / 1.8 on MDF

Hexanon 40 / 1.8 has nice little things like a rubberized focus ring, distance scale in feet and meters, the depth of field scale (which is of little relevance when used with digital cameras) and an IR shift mark. It's funny that such a compact lens uses seemingly large filters with a diameter of 55 mm.

The most important drawback of the lens is a protruding convex rear lens, which prevents the use of the lens on a full-frame CZK. In addition, this forces you to always keep the lens with the back cover to avoid damage to the rear lens.

Rear view of the adapted lens. The plate of the brass diaphragm drive is visible.

Rear view of the adapted lens. The plate of the brass diaphragm drive is visible.

The front lens of the lens is also not structurally protected and easily collects dust and fingerprints (the focus ring is narrow and sometimes free fingers fly onto the front of the lens), therefore it is recommended to use protective filters.

The lens has 6 blades of matte rounded diaphragms, therefore, at first, when closing, you can observe the "circular saws", and then - "nuts" from point light sources in the bokeh.

About Konica 40 / 1.8, it can be said that the lens is designed simply, reliably and almost artlessly, unlike its Japanese counterparts. However, at the same time, its alteration is an extremely difficult task.

Optical properties

Optically, the lens is quite unique - with such dimensions and a small focal length, it has a very large aperture - F / 1.8. This means that it is 2 times (and even a little more) lighter than Canon 40 / 2.8 STM or Mir-1 37 / 2.8. The extra stop of aperture is a very good advantage, which has helped me more than once when shooting with this lens. An even greater plus is the small FR, which makes the lens on crop cameras close to the standard one in terms of the angle of field of view.

F / 1.8 in Konica Hexanon 40 / 1.8 can be described as conditionally working: the lens suffers from spherical and chromatic aberrations, the sharpness is satisfactory in the center of the frame. Starting from ~ F / 2.8, the lens becomes very sharp in the center, and from F / 4, the edges in my frame are in order. Canon 600D.

The contrast of the lens is good, it has no particular tendency to catch hares (which significantly distinguishes it from retro-focus lenses). The color rendition is correct.

The bokeh lens, in my opinion, is doubtful: not having special properties at medium distances, it tends to turn into an unpleasant and sharp at small distances. The out-of-focus circle in the center of the frame has a green-yellow hue, a bright edging, at the edge of the frame their appearance changes slightly - they only become a little more “triangular” (with the base towards the center of the frame) due to a coma. Around F / 2.5, the picture maintains a nice balance between quality and artistry. I used the lens mainly in the F / 2-F / 2.8 range for shooting people, F / 5.6-F / 8 for architecture.

In general, the optical quality of Konica 40 / 1.8 is not satisfactory, with the exception of working on an open diaphragm.


Konica Hexanon 40 / 1.8 - a high-quality “wide” fast pancake for every day, an excellent “workhorse”. Adapting it for SLR cameras is quite complicated, but it is on them that its advantages are revealed. For mirrorless cameras, you can pick up more interesting options.
Thank you for your attention, Eshmakov Rodion.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 17, on the topic: KONICA HEXANON AR 40mm 40mm F1.8 (40 / 1.8). Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • Ilyas

    yes a really cool lens.

  • Oleg

    Cool review! Thanks Rodion!

  • Molchanov Yuri

    Thanks for the interesting review! I always admire people capable of such alterations of optics!

  • DmitryK

    Good pictures and glass interesting!
    Rodion, thanks, was curious to read.
    We are waiting for the promised review of Enjinho 28-70 / 2.6 from you.
    If possible, on any available ff carcass.

    • Rodion

      Sorry, but I did not promise any review of engenzhe. And there is no carcass of FF and never will be.

      • DmitryK

        Oh, oops.
        Confused you with another author who wrote a review on SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-135mm ED AL [IF] DC WR.
        I apologize :)

  • Michael

    Absolutely soapy something. Only on a well-clamped hole is more or less acceptable. Thanks for the review!

  • Carl Zeiss

    Gorgeous glass! On open draws a beautiful picture!

  • Dmitriy

    Cool lens, but Canon's 18MP sensor, cropped, does not reveal its capabilities in any way, alas ...

  • Alexey de Paris

    I really liked the photos, the bokeh is unusual and interesting! Thanks for the review.

  • Rodion

    If you are interested in purchasing this copy - write: rudzil@yandex.ru

    • Victor

      Perhaps this lens put on nikon D 7000.

  • Vadim

    The lens is really compact, when mounted on the UPC it turns out to be 50mm with an adapter. An unpleasant feature is the absence of a half-stop between 1.8 and 2.8 - the ring can be set to some intermediate position, but when reinstalling, it will no longer be possible to hit exactly the same diaphragm. Not that this is often necessary, but you should be aware of it.
    Here they talked about insufficient sharpness at 1.8, so this is not entirely true. Perhaps this is a feature of my particular specimen, but the difference between 2.8 and 1.8 is more likely in the reinforcement of HA, which greatly blur the outline.

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2018/03/konica-hexanon-ar-40mm-40mm-f1-8-401-8-obzor-ot-chitatelya-radozhivy/

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