135compact.com       35mm ultra compact cameras       Konica Lexio 70

Konica made several ultra compacts in different lines. The non-zoom optics are all moderate wide angles of 35mm focal length. Only the Big Mini F opens up to F2.8. As it is also the smallest of the Konicas, it's the most expensive. The A4 is much cheaper, so it's a good alternative. And then there is the Lexio 70. It goes from 28 to 70mm and it has impressing data at the wide end: F3.4. So it's as good as the other 28mm premium ultra compacts which all open up to F3.5. It's tempting to have a zoom in case of without carrying a bigger camera. When it was first released in 2000, compacts were already moving towards digital. The Konica Lexio 70 got some mixed to bad reviews which I cannot confirm. I have put several rolls through it. It's was not very expensive for its impressing data on paper a few years ago, but prices are rising and sometimes ridiculous. It seems as if more people discovered the quality of this camera. There is a date version.
Its main features are:

28-70mm F3.4-7.9 Konica lens, 6 elements in 6 groups, autofocus with focus lock, min. focus 0,7m, 0,35-0,7m in close focus mode
Electronic shutter, 1.7-1/500
Size 108.5x59.5x34,  Weight 180 gr. without battery
50-3200 ISO, automatic DX coding, self-timer, automatic film advance, exposure correction +1.5EV

Camera front closed and bottom. Tripod socket. Takes a CR2 battery. Remote control.

Camera back. On top: Viewer and eye correction wheel. Mode button, 2nd setting button, mid roll rewind. Wide/Tele button. Film window and camera opening button.

Camera front open. Sliding the cover switches the camera on/off.
The lens only moves out a little to wide position.

Lens moved out to tele position.

View from above. S
hutter release. LCD screen (flash off). Camera sets auto flash as default, but remembers the last custom setting. So one push on the mode button brings your setting back (flash off in my case). Flash guide number ~18 (!) (m/ISO 100).

This is a date version of the Lexio 70.

Date off setting of the date version and backlight setting, also good to compensate outdated film.

An origial soft case.

This is another version, according to the numbering, an earlier one. It's marked "70 W".

An earlier and a later model. Technically there is no difference.

Back open. 
The film leader is safely engaged when you close the back.

Film compartment.

This camera is easy to use, silde the cover open and it's ready. Autofocus is responsive and works well. Putting a film is easy as well, you drop the film
, tear the film leader up to the mark and that's it. The camera winds it automatically. It has some manual settings if needed, the menu is very easy to access on a big clear LCD screen. Even the annoying feature of auto flash setting at start, which is the case with most ultra compacts, has a better solution: the camera remembers your last custom setting. So one push on the mode button brings your setting back (flash off in my case). In comparison to the other ultra compacts, the camera has an impressingly powerful flash. The adjustable viewer seems better to me than most of the others.

It's a very good point and shoot camera with a wide angle zoom lens, good picture quality, nice high quality finish in a very small and light pocketable body. A nice find. I gave mine away to a friend, but I quickly regretted it. It's not easy to find it again at a reasonable price without faults. It took me 5 purchases to have a good one again. 2 of them re-spooled the film erratically in the middle of the roll when sliding them open, 2 others did not always move the lens out as they should. I suspect the sliding door giving false contacts to the system.

Anyway, I have a good one again and I will not give it away again. For me it's the best all-purpose compact camera, very compact, very light, an eassy and wide choice of settings and even a zoom lens.