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Overall Condition: 9/10 Lens and finder are super clear, body has hardly any marks, light metre and exposure speeds are all working, focus is smooth and viewfinder is big and bright.
The first thing people remark on is the honeycomb matrix encircling the lens. The “EE” stands for “Electric Eye,” and the “Matic” indicates the automatic exposure made possible by the selenium cells behind that glass.
The matrix of convex “bubbles” directs light at the selenium cell or cells in a predictable way, both in terms of amount and direction. This ensures that the light being measured is actually coming from the direction of the subject, and helps ensure that the light being sampled is a consistent fraction of the light available so it can be accurately be measured every time.
Selenium, a key component in solar panels, is photovoltaic — meaning when it is exposed to light, “electrons are knocked loose from the atoms,” (NASA’s words, not mine) producing an electrical current. The current is tiny, but measurable, and is consistent for a given amount of light.
The EE-Matic auto-exposure system takes as input data both the light meter reading and the film speed — selectable with a dial on the top plate — and calculates an exposure utilizing both the aperture and shutter speed. It’s not well documented just how this is chosen, but it appears that it attempts to choose an appropriate shutter speed first and an aperture second, trying to keep the aperture as near the middle of its range as possible. It supports film speeds from ASA 6 to ASA 400 and the dial has DIN markings as well.
The shutter is a Seiko-LA leaf shutter similar to those in many Konica and Minolta rangefinders of the era, as well as some Olympus and Canon cameras. This version features only four shutter speeds — 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/250 second. The shutter speed selected by the auto-exposure unit is indicated by a needle in the viewfinder as the shutter release button is depressed, very much like the Olympus 35RC. If the auto-exposure system doesn’t think a reasonable exposure can be made at f/2.8 and 1/30 second, it slides up a red flag in the bright line frame in the viewfinder and the shutter refuses to fire.
- all metal, solid body, no plastic anywhere well built.
- a sharp f/2.8 Hexanon lens with a nice wide focal length of 40mm
- great depth of field when you want it.
- extremely quiet shutter
- shutter speeds from B to 1/250
- ASA (ISO) range from 12 to 400
- Manual override (with an exception)
- Unique non-battery selenium metering system.
- Coupled rangefinder