Konica C35 AF
Manufactured in 1978 by Konica Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. As McKeown put’s it: “A milestone in camera history.” It was originally shown at Photokina 1976 as a prototype, but in the spring 1978 it became the first production autofocus 35mm camera. It has a Hexanon f/2.8 38mm lens, a CdS meter supporting speeds of 25-400 “ASA”, programmed automatic exposure control, a “Bright Line” viewfinder and a pop up flash.
It used the Honeywell Visitronic module for focusing (based on a “Method of and apparatus for detecting range using multiple range readings” United States Patent #4470681). In principle, it’s an electronic rangefinder replacing the human eye with some CCD devices and chips (don’t think CCD like we find in modern digital cameras—we’re talking only a few “pixels” and it sees only in monochromatic contrast). Look at the two windows on each side of the “Konica C35” logo. If you fire the camera while you stare at the window on the right (next to the viewfinder) you’ll actually see the mirror in that chamber move just like an optical rangefinder does.