Elikon-autofocus (1986)

Elikon-autofocus is the first and, it seems, the last autofocus camera made in the Soviet Union.

In addition to autofocus, the devices of this series are also unique in that built-in flash units were used for the first time in this line. The prototype from which this model was converted for Soviet power was the Japanese Konica C35 AF camera, produced in Japan since 1977.

Also, at one time, Canon released an autofocus device of the Sure Shot line.

And many other companies produced cameras that were very similar to that very conic. For example, also Hanimex with 35MAF model.

At its core, Elikon-autofocus was a software automatic without the possibility of making an exposure compensation.

In the design of the device, Soviet-made integrated circuits were used (including a phase comparison sensor in the autofocus system), a central shutter-diaphragm. The electronics were developed by the Minsk plant “Transistor”; a bunch of 1808-series microcircuits was used in the camera. To control the exposure, the KA1808HK1 microcircuit was used, the KA1808VV1 microcircuit was engaged in controlling the mechanics and monitoring the voltage of the power supplies.

The KA1808VV2 microcircuit controlled the autofocusing system, provided an indication of the exposure conditions and set the power modes for the galvanometer coupled to the exposure metering system. KA1808VV3, in fact, was a phase focusing sensor.

Perhaps Soviet consumers would have seen autofocus lenses with cameras in the future, but the well-known historical events, defined by contemporaries as the “dashing nineties”, intervened in the business. Actually, now in Russia the development is still not very good – according to some sources, Canon spends more money on scientific research than the entire Russian Federation allocates for science.)

In the mid-90s at most of the country’s enterprises, due to a lack of funds, workers were paid wages with products, which also included cameras of the dying Soviet photographic industry. Among them was the model “Elikon-autofocus”.

The device was not reliable enough, the plastic elements of mechanical assemblies often failed, for example, often even “zero” devices come across with a malfunctioning or faulty shutter.

Despite this, the device is unique in its kind.

Camera Specifications

Camera type 35mm center shutter camera with autofocus
Frame size 24 x 36 mm
Lens included Industar-95 38mm f2.8
Lens mount Non-removable
Gate Electronically controlled central aperture shutter.
Exposures from 1/8 to 1/500 sec, automatic exposure control, no manual switching.
Equipped with a shutter release button lock.
Light meter Exposure meter with cadmium sulfide (CdS) photoresistor
Viewfinder Optical, with illuminated frames for parallax correction, 0.55x magnification, exposure level display. Expo correction is possible only by changing the film speed.
1/125 sec., Built-in. There are no sync contacts and a connector for an external flash.
Loading Film The roll of film is loaded under the rear opening cover.
Frame counter Automatic reset of the counter when the cover is opened.
Film rewind Roulette type.
Dimensions and weight 134 x 80 x 57 mm, 420 g

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