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Konica S2 Auto and Victor Blackman

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by Guitarist, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Guitarist

    Guitarist Well-Known Member

    I recently re-read an article in an old AP by the late Victor Blackman extolling the virtues of the Konica S2 Auto. I have recently acquired one of these cameras and it has proved to be every bit as good as he said. But does anyone know what happened to Victor Blackman? As far as I can remember, one minute he was one of my all-time favourite AP columnists and the next he was 'the late VB'.
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    It is a long time ago now, I also used to enjoy the VB column in the magazine. So far as I recall, he suffered a fatal heart attack. He did also write a couple of books, My Way with a Camersa and Naff Off!. The latter apparently so titled after a remark by Princess Anne to press photographers.
  3. Guitarist

    Guitarist Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that - I thought as much.
  4. The Konica S2 Auto was typical of the period in that it was a solid large non-groundbreaking design.

    The Fujica Compact De luxe, on the other hand was equally well constructed, but more compact and had that wonderfully easy to use rear focus wheel. I think that few`other cameras of the period were as well built or designed.

  5. johnriley1uk

    johnriley1uk Well-Known Member

    I owned a Konica Auto S2 once and it was OK, but to be honest not a patch on the Pentax SP1000 that I replaced it with.

    The Konica lens was only adequate and the contruction quality OK but nothing special.

    The Konica Auto S3 that replaced it was smaller, had a shutter speed range that stopped at 1/8 sec and was alo a bit of a disappointment.

    Still, the S2 served to launch me on my photographic way!
  6. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera In the Stop Bath

    This could really be a very old thread but I have just come across it while researching a name, Victor Blackman, I remember his column in AP quite well, it was always a good read, there was also a documentry on tv about this newspaper photographer, that was really embarrassing.....live on tv he was doing a story and a shoot and while in a rush he accidently dropped the film into the fixer first.....he was so embarrassed about it........another great name in AP was Reggie Mason who I met once at a photography show at the NEC Birmingham, he always had time for a chat!
  7. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Both books are still available at Amazon - Naff off apparently new and the other S/H
  8. filmlover

    filmlover Well-Known Member

    Konica were the "dark horses" in the quality area. Their Hexanon lenses were regarded as being of excellent quality, on a level with the best.

    What, I think, let them down a bit was their SLR bodies, whilst being well made, lacked that final bit of refinement and were always a bit "clunky".
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  9. Mike24

    Mike24 New Member

    [SIZE=+1]To come up with several items of interest to fill a column every week for a number of years was a great achievement. To me, AP was Victor Blackman because he was so readable. In the 70s, I made a beeline for WH Smith on the day the mag was published. While very outdated now, his book My Way With a Camera was also interesting.
  10. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    To be fair, they were capable of some amazing designs, such as the original Auto-Reflex, which could switch from full frame to half frame and back again on the same film and was the first focal plane shutter, auto exposure SLR (albeit with an external meter sensor); later came the (in my opinion) very handsome Autoreflex T: the first TTL, auto exposure, focal plane shuttered SLR.
  11. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Agreed. His output was incredible because he was doing that column while holding down a demanding job and making award winning movies!

    Thing I liked from VB was that he gave insights into pro press photography but would find lessons that amateurs, almost from the beginning, could apply to their photography whether it was around the gear or the pictures or some other practicality.
  12. Guiri

    Guiri Member

    I remember Victor Blacman writing an article about pushing film with Promicrol. From what i remember of the article, it could have been one of the early references to stand development. I seem to recall shots of an indoor swimming pool rater than the usual HMS Belfast.
  13. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    From http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/AP.html
    ... he passed away on my birthday a few years back now...

    Victor Blackman died on Friday 4th December 2009, aged 92.

    IIRC was it not he who said something along the lines of some of his colleagues could not wait to retire so that they could put their cameras down for ever whereas he could not wait so that he could go out and photograph what he wanted to.... the difference between working because you had to, and working because you enjoyed it

    He was one of my favourite "reads" in AP when I was in my youth
  14. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I think you mean the HQS Wellington that was the AP lens test subject for a very long time. They're easy to tell apart - the Belfast has guns sticking out in all directions and the Wellington has none.
  15. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Or, to put it another way, aimed at Scratchwood service station. :eek:

    Well, the forward facing ones anyway.
  16. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Villains: "We've taken control of HMS Belfast - give us a million pounds or we blast Scratchwood off the map!" Theresa May: "Err, yes. Tell you what: suppose we give you two million pounds and you take out Queen's Walk as well?"
  17. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Well, there's a thing! I've managed to get this far through life without ever being aware (as far as I can remember) that the test pictures weren't of HMS Belfast!

    Thanks you very much indeed for pointing this out.

    Cheers, Jeff

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