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Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8

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This article is part of the small but growing Index of Pancake Lenses!

Specifications for the Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8
"Honorary Pancake"
Years Produced 1979 - 1989 (Discontinued)
• Discontinued, but widely available on used market
Street Price US - $59.00 (In 1979)
Lens Type Normal
Available Mounts • Konica AR
Optical Construction 6 elements in 5 groups with 1 aspherical element
• Gaussian type lens
Weather Sealing No
Aperture Blades 6
• Note that some samples of this lens have an odd 'stagger' effect to their aperture blades at f/2.8 and f/4
Focus Type Manual Focus
Image Stabilization No
Min. Focus Distance • 0.45m
• (17.72 inches)
• Maximum magnification ratio 1:7
Dimensions • 63.0 x 25.0mm
• (2.48 x 0.98 inches)
Weight • 140g
• (4.94 ounces)
Filter Size 55mm
Hood Some versions of this lens came with an integrated metal 55mm screw-in hood.

By many accounts that I have found online, this is a pretty sharp lens. It gets a bit of a bad rap sometimes, but mainly because it is being compared with its sibling- a non pancake 50mm lens, which apparently is very highly regarded and considered one of the sharpest lenses EVER made for 35mm cameras.

Unfortunately it only works with the Konica-Minolta KM mount, and that has been a bit harder to port over to other mount types without making destructive modifications.

Construction & Ergonomics

This lens is very well built. It is primarily metal, and has an excellent feel to its focus ring. I personally like heavily dampened focus rings, and the copy that I own has that in spades.


The aperture adjust ring is a bit on the narrow side however, but this is a problem that is endemic to most pancake sized lenses. The feel and action of the aperture ring is quite positive though. There’s not too much guessing about whether or not you are between f-stops or if you are totally dialed in.

The one thing that you should be aware of though is that if adapting this lens to another camera, the automatic exposure mode for the aperture setting can be a bit troublesome. There is a button on the aperture ring which normally does nothing, but if AE mode is selected, it must be pressed before the aperture ring can spin freely again. It seems like it would take a little getting used to but is really a minor ergonomic issue in the grand scale of things.

Aperture Blades – Bokeh Shape

On other copies of lenses I have seen (I have only seen 5, and most of them on eBay) it exhibits some strange bokeh at certain apertures. This is most likely due to a design issue, but without having known about these lens when initially released I can’t entirely say. The aperture blades develop an odd ‘stagger’ at certain apertures – particularly f/2.8. The problem goes away for the most part at f/4 and is extinct at f/8.

A lens with the aperture blade ‘stagger’ effect along with some sample shots can be found here:

The following pictures are of my lens, and how it appears on the equipment. I don’t have any sample shots taken through my own lens, as I have not yet adapted it to my Canon camera body.

This is the lens at f/2.8. Note the ‘staggers’ in the aperture blades.


This is the lens at f/4. Note that the ‘staggers’ drop noticeably.


Some Notes for Canon Adapters

At time of writing, there are no Konica to Canon EF adapters on the market yet which preserve infinity focus. The ones that do exist are basically extension tubes, which will NOT allow the lens to work at infinity.

I will try to make a conversion to this lens which preserves infinity focus, but this will likely require a ‘sacrificial’ Canon camera body, with a machined lens mount that has a recess to allow for the Konica mount lens to fit without any destructive modifications to it.

I don’t have anything to show for my efforts yet, but this page will be updated once something happens. The path I will take will most likely be machining a prototype out of brass- essentially converting this Canon body into a dedicated K mount camera.

Some Reference Links To Chew On

Written by Tijger Tsou

March 19th, 2009 at 11:00 am

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9 Responses to 'Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8'

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  1. Convert was able to do it – http://www.flickr.com/photos/convert1/3318982744/

    Plenty of samples too. From what I understood it needs a mirror shave.


    2 Apr 09 at 1:45 pm

  2. Thanks for showing me this… I have an old EOS 630 film camera that I am going to use as a sacrificial guinea pig for this sort of thing. I’m still gathering more info about what needs to be done… The mirror shave is a bit of a frightening prospect. I would rather endmill off the tab than mess with the mirror 😉

    Right now i’m thinking of machining an alternate mounting ring for the camera body that recesses the lens a bit. This is going to need some work. Thanks for sharing that link… Those sample shots look pretty damn good too… nice, vibrant bokeh with that lens…

    Tijger Tsou

    2 Apr 09 at 10:23 pm

  3. […] Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8 […]

  4. Hello all. Ok any news on the AR 40mm conversion? Convert1 is alittle vague about how it’s done.


    14 May 09 at 11:52 am

  5. Hi there, I don’t have any updates for the time being as I will be traveling for the next week. I’m still trying to figure out what should be done before cutting any metal. For time time being I have been shooting mostly with the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2. That’s one hell of a lens. I’m really eager to get this mounted and working for some sort of comparison.

    Tijger Tsou

    15 May 09 at 11:09 am

  6. Strictly speaking, the mount is called “Konica AR”, not Konica-Minolta KM, since this was long before the Konica-Minolta merger, at which time Konica had abandoned the SLR market.

    Iggy D

    20 Nov 09 at 11:52 am

  7. there is an exactly the same lens under Auto Chinon Multi Coated, Revuenon and other brands PK mount which can be EOS-ed. Manufacturer probably Tomioka or believe it or not Leica/not sure, mainly based on conclusions/. top quality lens distinguished by the 0 zero mark on the aperture ring. not only the glass is Top but also the construction.


    21 Feb 10 at 4:18 pm

  8. The idea of “mirror shaving” scared me and I’ll never shoot with any of my Konica bodies again so I took apart my pancake lens and grafted it onto a cheap Konica to Canon converter that I reamed out and used purely for the canon mount. Results and photos here.


  9. The Hexanon 40/1.8 was manufactured to Konica specs by Tokina, which made many other lenses for Konica (all of them made to Konica specs as well) between about 1978 and 1987, the year when Konica got out of the SLR market. It has the reputation of being one of the sharpest lenses ever made for 35mm photography by anyone.
    As someone already pointed out, the mount on this lens is the Konica AR mount (sometimes also called Konica II bayonet mount). Lenses and SLRs with this mount were made from 1965 to 1987. The KM mount dates from the time of the Konica-Minolta merger (2003-2006). It is a slight modification of Minolta’s old SLR lens mount and it was inherited by SOny when it bought KM’s photo division in 2006. Konica AR lenses will NOT mount on KM, Nikon, Canon and Pentax mounts.


    26 Jan 11 at 5:02 pm

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