I was looking for a 35mm pancake for my brand new SONY NEX 3 in order to complement the SEL 16 2.8 privided as a kit lens.

KONICA HEXANON 40mm F1.8 mounted on adapter ring to SONY E mount

KONICA HEXANON 40mm F1.8 mounted on adapter ring to SONY E mount

Then I remembered that the old Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8 was a very compact pancake. So I purchased a used one for 35€ with a 15$ Chinese adapter from Konica AR mount to Sony E mount.

Initially, the most compact I found was the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm F2.5 type II in M mount. It is reasonably priced, very compact when adapted to the Sony NEX 3. But after a quick try I have been disappointed by the magenta vignetting. This is a known problem on wide angle Voigtlander when used on Sony NEX. I considered this issue as a show-stopper for a new modern multi-coated prime lens.

So I went for the Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8

Konica Hexanon 40mm F1.8 with rear cap

Konica Hexanon 40mm F1.8 with rear cap

My idea was to have a compact equipment with 2 prime lenses when travelling with a wide angle and a prime between 35 and 50mm that was pocket-able.

Is it really pocket-able ?  Certainly not in slim jeans. (that will be useful to carry the second battery)

But I can have in my jacket pockets the NEX 3 mounted with the 16mm and on the other pocket the KONICA 40mm pancake with its adapter.

So I am fully satisfied considering the compactness of this equipment.

It is very compact when mounted on the Sony NEX 3. (The adapter is as big than it)

Konica AR 40 1.8 mounted with the adaper ring to E mount compared with SONY SEL 16 2.8

Konica AR 40 1.8 mounted with the adapter ring to E mount compared with SONY SEL 16 2.8

It is very easy to focus with the peaking implemented in the V4 firmware.

The image quality is very good. It just need to be stopped down to F2.8 to be very sharp. But it is very usable at F1.8

There is no magenta vignetting or colour rendition issues. The bokeh is soft in most of the conditions and I didn’t noticed any geometrical distortion.

An other thing to consider is that this lens is widely available on ebay for roundly 40€. It is because it was sold as a kit lens in the eighties.

Konica Hexanon 40mm F1.8 mounted on my SONY NEX 3

Konica Hexanon 40mm F1.8 mounted on my SONY NEX 3

I consider that it is the perfect complement with the Sony SEL 16mm F2.8 for travelling.

For portraiture and at the same price I would prefer the Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.7.