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Konica Hexar - Silvergrain Labs 5/20/11 2:29 PM

Konica Hexar
From Silvergrain Labs
Wanted: I'm looking for an inoperative Konica Hexar AF (any variety).

Specifically, I need this part:

Functionality and cosmetic condition of the camera is irrelevant. If you have an inoperative
Hexar (beyond economical repair) and can give it to me, pleaes let me know!! Thanks!!
Ryuji

Contents
1 Konica Hexar AF (black) (コニカ ヘキサー AF ブラック)
1.1 Hexanon 35mm f/2.0
1.2 Very accurate active AF system
2 Basic operation
2.1 Basic functions
2.2 P and A modes
2.3 Manual mode
2.4 Focus hold
2.5 Fixed focus mode
2.6 Hyperfocal distance
2.7 Exposure compensation
2.8 Film speed manual setting
2.9 Rewinding
2.10 Silent mode
2.11 Time exposure
2.12 Multiple exposure mode
2.13 Self timer
2.14 Camera-shake critical speed
2.15 Automatic infrared focus correction mode
2.16 Flash
2.16.1 Full-Auto (P) mode
2.16.2 Auto (A-M) mode
2.16.3 Manual (A-M) mode
2.16.4 Manual guide number setting
2.17 Battery
2.18 Filters

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2.19 Malfunction
3 Shutter release (erratic pre-focus) problem
3.1 Taking the top cover off
3.2 Get to the switch
3.3 Putting the stuff back
4 Sticky buttons (usually MF, Select or both)
5 Camera strap compatibility problem
5.1 Domke 1" narrow camera strap
5.2 Ricoh GR Digital strap GS-1
6 Links
7 要約

Konica Hexar AF (black) (コニカ ヘキサー AF ブラック)


Original Konica Hexar is often called "Original Hexar," "Hexar AF," or "Hexar Black" to
remove confusion with Hexar Silver (AF model) and more recent Hexar RF. Hexar Silver is a
slightly modified version of Black, with extra functionalities but the silent mode removed.
Hexar RF is a completely different camera using rangefinder (not autofocus) and
interchangeable lenses on KM-mount (or M-mount).

Hexanon 35mm f/2.0


Hexar AF models are equipped with a fixed Hexanon 35mm f/2.0 lens (7 elements in 6 groups),
derived from Xenotar. There is a speculation that Hexanon 35mm f/2.0 was a close copy of
Summicron on M mount. However, if you read the Konica technical report on this camera (see
below), it will be apparent that the design is more akin to W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 and also
Hexanon incorporated its own modifications required by the camera design. (Both Hexanon
35mm f/2 and Summicron 35mm f/2 are derived from W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 design.) The
originator of this type of design was W-NIKKOR 3.5cm f/1.8
(http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/eng/portfolio/about/history/nikkor/n03_e.htm) but this Hexanon
incorporates modification that was necessary to accomodate electrically controlled shutter and
aperture diaphragm in the lens unit.

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Hexanon 35/2

W-Nikkor 35/1.8 (from Nikon website)

The main difference between Hexanon 35/2 and W-Nikkor 35/1.8 is that the second and third
elements are separated in Hexanon. This gives greater negative power to the front group of
the Hexanon, which allowed slightly larger spacing between the front and rear groups, in
which the electronic shutter and diaphragm assembly were placed. (That is, Hexar AF needed
some extra space to pack lens shutter and electronic motors to drive the shutter and aperture
diaphragm, and this is reflected in the Hexanon lens design.)

Another difference between Hexanon and W-Nikkor is that the last surface (the rear surface of
the cemented group) is negative in W-Nikkor and positive in Hexanon. This last group is
placed behind a Xenotar-type lens to correct for coma, spherical aberration, field flatness and
other important factors as the whole system. It is very likely that Konica engineers
redistributed the balance of positive and negative powers in the rear group as well, and also
optimized for aberrations in a slightly different way. One aspect is below:

The sperical aberration of Hexanon 35mm f/2.0 is undercorrected to ensure crisp high contrast
image from f/2 wide open. This is a very unique point of this lens design. Most rangefinder
and SLR cameras fully correct or even overcorrect for sherical aberration so that the plane of

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focus does not move when the lens is stopped down. Hexar AF, on the other hand, can
calculate the focus offset for each aperture value and correct for the focusing error during
exposure.

One advantage of undercorrecting spherical aberration is that the lens can deliver quite good
image contrast wide open. The MTF at f/2 (top) for 10 lp/mm is very good for 70% of the image
area, although the performance worsens near the edge, as expected. The MTF is truly
excellent when stopped down to f/5.6 (bottom). Another advantage of undercorrection is very
soft blur in out of focus area (bokeh). The image character varies widely from wide open to f/4
range. (When stopped down to 5.6 or 8, the lens becomes just another excellent lens.)

Very accurate active AF system


Hexar uses very simple center-only AF, but it uses 3 windows for the AF system. The center
window is to emit infrared spotlight for active AF. The left and right eyes are photodiode
sensors. This placement can cancel focusing errors that occur in difficult situations, as
described in the diagram below:

Major specifications of
Hexar AF Black
Filter thread 46mm
Aperture diaphragm f/2 to f/22
Lens construction 7e 6g, very similar to W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 but with the second
and third elements separated.
Exposure Meter silicone photodiode: center weighted (15˚, EV 0-16), spot (4˚, EV
3-18)
Film speed Meter manually set from ASA 6 to 6400, and DX code from 25 to
5000.
Self timer 10 seconds (electronic)
Auto power off about 2 hours
Multiple exposure mode No. of exposure is unlimited but displayed to 9.
Autofocus Infrared active 3-eye system, 290 steps
Focusing range 60cm to infinity
Battery 2CR5 for the camera, and
CR2025 for date function
Shutter speed bulb and 30s to 1/250s
Size 137.5 x 76.5 x 67.5 mm
Weight 495g.
The MSRP 88000 yen

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Release history
Hexar (original AF black) February 1992
Hexar Gold (Classic) March 1993
Hexar Rhodium May 1994
Hexar Silver April 1997

For the detailed story of the development of Hexar, see an article written by the engineering
team (though it is written in Japanese). [1]
(http://konicaminolta.jp/about/research/technology_report/1993/pdf/8.pdf) The above figures
and drawings were taken from this document.

Basic operation
This section was contributed by Philip Jackson.

Basic functions
Pressing the shutter release button halfway down and holding it sets focus and exposure.
Avoid covering autoexposure and autofocus sensors. Autofocus is set on the spot within
viewfinder central cross hairs; center weighted metering covers the area around the central
cross hairs in A and P modes (15°), and central spot (4°) in M mode. Exposure readings are
indicated by red + and - signs in viewfinder; green dot is focussing completion mark. Effective
distance range is 0.6m to infinity. Flashing green dot indicates distances less than 0.6m. Frame
moves to automatically compensate for parallax; distance scale appears as a break in diagonal
line in top right hand corner. Infrared active autofocus system will not work through windows
and may not work with some very small, dark, reflective or light-emitting objects. Use manual
focus or focus lock to set by aiming the camera at another object of similar brightness at about
the same distance.

P and A modes
P is the basic standard mode. Program changes shutter speed to try to match set aperture for
proper exposure. If considered necessary, aperture will also be automatically changed. Under
and overexposure warnings may appear. In aperture-priority (A) mode slow shutter speeds
are selected without regard for the camera shake critical speed, although at lower speeds the
red — led will blink slowly as a warning in the finder frame.

Manual mode
(1) Set main switch to M. (2) Press select button, then up-down buttons to specify shutter
speed. (3) Set the aperture. Red + or - leds in viewfinder remain illuminated for 10 seconds
after setting to allow exposure to be checked with 4° spotmeter. When both leds are
illuminated setting is correct within 1/3 f value. To change setting while looking through
viewfinder, (1) Press shutter release halfway to reilluminate leds. (2) Rotate aperture dial to

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adjust exposure setting. Alternatively, (1) Set main switch to M and select desired aperture.
(2) Press shutter release halfway and hold to display correct shutter speed corresponding to
previously selected aperture. (3) Press up-down buttons to set speed. Shutter speed may blink
to indicate that the exposure exceeds display range (EV3-18), but camera will be properly
controlled at the specified value.

Focus hold
(1) Place autofocus frame on subject (2) Press shutter release halfway and hold (3) Reframe
and slowly press shutter release fully.

Fixed focus mode


Focus lock: (1) While half pressing shutter release (2) Press MF. (3) Reframe composition and
fully depress shutter release. For focus lock with alternative exposure reading: (1) Half press
and hold shutter release. (2) Press MF. (3) Release shutter and depress again with automatic
exposure frame positioned to set correct exposure. (4) Reframe composition and fully depress
shutter release. For Infinity lock: Press MF: "999" (infinity) will be fixed. Manual focus: (1)
While pressing MF (2) set with up-down button. * Turn off to cancel. Depth-of-field scale
roughly shows range at f/8.0 (white marks) and f/16.0 (full focus indicator window). Holding
MF for more than one second recalls last manual setting. Zone focus or hyperfocal distance can
be preset.

Hyperfocal distance
Aperture f 2 2.8 4.0 5.6 8 11 16 22 Manual setting m 20 20 10 7 5 3.5 2.4 1.7 Sharp to infinity m
10 10 5 3.5 2.5 1.75 1.2 0.85 (Rounded out from calculations for 35 mm lens with circle of
diffusion of 0.033 mm; range should be reduced for more critical work or larger scale
enlargements).

Exposure compensation
(1) Set main switch to P or A. (2) Press select button. (3) Change value with up-down button.
Range is ± 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. * Press select again to display frame counter; exposure
compensation mark remains displayed. Turn off to cancel.

Film speed manual setting


(1) Set main switch to A. (2) Press select button and hold more than a second. ISO speed will
be displayed. (3) Press up-down button to specify speed from 6 to 6400. Last two digits are
abbreviated to H; e.g. 3200 = 32H. Film speed defaults to previous manual setting when a new
non-DX film is loaded. To avoid manually resetting each new DX coded film, cover DX code
with tape. Film speed, then frame number are displayed immediately after loading. (DX films
automatically advance to first frame when camera is switched on after loading; depress
shutter release to advance non-DX films.) To cancel manual setting, load a new DX film or
reset.

Rewinding
R button starts early manual rewind. To stop automatic rewind (at end of roll) turn main

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switch off; then on again to resume. Pressing MF while turning on invokes silent rewind mode.
If frame counter blinks and rewinding stops halfway, press shutter release halfway or rewind
button to restore ordinary rewinding. Just before rewind is completed, motor pauses for a
second, and [—], then [0] flashes. Open back or switch camera off at this point to retrieve film
canister with film tip protruding, otherwise film will be completely rewound.

Silent mode
(1) Press and hold MF. (2) Turn on main switch. L is displayed in frame counter. * Turn off to
cancel. To further reduce sound use fixed focus and manually preset aperture using A or M
mode. Avoid switching camera off and on again. Film advance can be delayed by keeping
shutter release pressed (release after pointing camera away from subject, place camera under
cloth to muffle the noise, or wait until sound will be camouflaged by other ambient noise).
Rewind may be delayed in silent mode—check frame counter to determine when last frame is
exposed. Turn camera off and on again holding MF to resume rewind in silent mode. Silent
mode may be cancelled with certain films or when battery voltage is low.

Time exposure
(1) Set main switch to M. (2) Press down button to set shutter speed to T. (3) Press shutter
release to commence exposure. T appears on display panel for duration. (4) Press shutter
release again to close shutter.

Multiple exposure mode


(1) While pressing self button (2) turn main switch on. Number of exposures taken appears in
parentheses in display panel. Indicator only advances to 9, but the number of times a frame
can be exposed without being advanced is unlimited. * To cancel and advance film, turn main
switch off.

Self timer
Press self button to activate. Light comes on for seven seconds, blinks for last three. Focus and
exposure are set when button is first depressed, so take care sensors are positioned on
subject to ensure settings are correct. * Turn main switch off to cancel. If control over actual
moment of exposure is not critical, self-timer can be used as a substitute for a cable release, or
to start exposure on T setting.

Camera-shake critical speed


Initially set to 1/30 second; possible range is 1/4 to 1/60 second. (1) Set main switch to P. (2)
Press Select for more than one second. [1/30L] appears in frame counter. (3) Change value with
up-down buttons. * Reset to change setting. Default is restored when battery is replaced.

Automatic infrared focus correction mode


(1) Set main switch to A (2) Press select for 1 second (3) Press down button until "ISO—"
appears (4) Press MF button to display wavelength values once for 750 (Konica) or twice for
850 (Kodak). Use M mode to set correct shutter and aperture values. * Setting is cancelled
when roll is finished.

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Flash
Full-Auto (P) mode

HX-14 dedicated flash is automatically activated when available light falls below threshold
value. Correct exposure is determined by flash light metering system (Flashmatic). Flash is
fired at full power, aperture is set according to autofocus distance to main subject, and shutter
speed is automatically adjusted to balance background exposure and prevent it remaining
dark. (1) Set main switch to P. (2) Set flash switch to P-FULL. When charging is completed,
aperture will be set automatically and [FL] will appear on the display panel. Flash range is 0.6
to 7 metres at ISO 100 and 1.2 to 14 metres at ISO 400. Recycling time is 0.5 to 7 seconds.
Camera or subject movement may be a problem in low light. Set wide aperture and increase
camera shake critical speed to 1/60 second to more effectively avoid blur.

Auto (A-M) mode

Flash intensity varies with subject distance (a sensor extinguishes the flash when exposure is
sufficient). (1) Set flash switch to A. (2) Set relevant aperture value for film speed (f4 for ISO
100 or f8 for ISO 400). Effective flash range is 0.6 to 3.5 metres. As slow shutter speeds may be
selected in A mode regardless of camera shake critical speed, blur may be more likely than in
P mode. Flash synch is rear curtain-type, meaning moving subjects may be blurred by the long
exposure needed to adequately expose the background. This blur should appear 'behind' the
sharp image captured by the flash, which fires just before shutter closes. Warning [—] blinks
slowly in the finder frame when the shutter speed falls below the critical level. Use a tripod, or
use M mode with faster shutter speeds to more effectively deal with subject movement. In M
mode, flash will synch at any speed up to 1/250.

Manual (A-M) mode

Aperture is adjusted as necessary for subject distance and film sensitivity. (1) Set flash switch
to P-FULL. (2) Calculate correct aperture with the formula F = GN/m (e.g. GN 14 (at ISO 100)
divided by 2 metres equals f7 [or GN 28 (at ISO 400) ÷ 2m = f14]).

Manual guide number setting

To use an more powerful flash unit with P-mode Flashmatic functionality: (1) Press the select
button while turning the main switch on. (2) While holding the select button down, press the
up-down buttons until the desired flash guide number (P 1.0 - 64) appears in the display panel.
If desired number does not match available settings, choose the next lowest setting (e.g.
select 23 instead of 24). When setting is complete [PFL] appears. Turning main switch off
cancels this mode, but the same guide number can be reset by holding down the select button
when turning the main switch back on. To re-use dedicated flash, reset initial value [PN].

Flash units produced by other manufacturers may damage the camera circuits if they have a
high voltage of over 200V passing through the synchro circuit. Multiple synchro contact points
or broad-area contact points may also cause problems.

Battery

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Timer automatically turns power off after two hours if camera is accidentally left switched on.
Lithium 2CR5 battery should last for about 200 rolls of 24-exposure film. Flashing "bc"
indicates low power; "bc" ceases flashing when battery is exhausted. Turn main switch off
before replacing battery. Manually set camera-shake critical speed, ISO speed, etc., must then
be reset.

Filters
Filter thread is 46 mm. Use exposure compensation or manual film speed setting to increase
exposure by relevant filter factor. Lens performs best without skylight or UV filters; use only
when absolutely necessary for protection. Some filters may impede lens movement at close
focusing distances (0.6m.), causing an error [EEE] to appear in indicator panel. Remove filter,
and reload batteries to clear the error. A filter shim (thin metal spacing ring) can be fitted if
necessary.

Malfunction
If "EEE" appears on the indicator panel (indicating an error in the microchips), press the
shutter release. Repeat if necessary. Next try removing and reloading battery. If the "EEE"
display still does not disappear, the camera may need to be returned for repair. Functioning
temperature range is -10° to +40°C; slow reaction in display panel may indicate low
temperature; alternatively, continuous dark display may indicate high temperature. If no ISO
value or frame number is displayed when film is loaded, press select button. If [0] is flashing,
load film again or remove rewinded film. If [—] is continuously displayed, turn main switch to
M then back to P.

Shutter release (erratic pre-focus) problem


The shutter button problem seems very common. The symptom is that the half-depression
becomes erratic or intermittent and the camera can't pre-focus reliably. Sometimes, it doesn't
pre-focus, sometimes it does pre-focus but it loses the focus shortly after, making
recomposition almost impossible. In some other instances, the full-depression will not trip the
shutter reliably. This is a very frustrating problem. The repair will requires (1) to disassemble
the camera's top cover and a couple of other things, and to remove the shutter switch; (2) to
disassemble the switch to clean the contacts; and (3) to put all parts back on. The switch is a
double-action tactile switch made by Misaki Electronics (ミサキ電子工業, http://www.e-
misaki.co.jp/).

Taking the top cover off


The following photographs, instructions and other information are for your information only.
Use the information at your own risk. In general, this shouldn't be the first camera you work
on. If you have plenty of repair experience with SLRs and rangefinder cameras, you shouldn't
find this procedure difficult. It takes about one hour, including necessary breaks to take
pictures :-)

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The camera's top cover is held in place by 5 screws. Two screws are on the front side, hiding
under the rubber grip pieces. One screw is on each side of the lens on the front side.

This picture shows the underneath of the top cover. This view can be obtained by taking the
top cover off. Use all usual precautions in camera repair; remove battery (if you do operation
check before reassembling, be very careful!), record the aperture and power/mode dials, and
be very careful about fingreprints, scratches and fragile flexible boards. The hot shoe
connection is soldered on fragile flexible board via short regular leads.

This picture is the closeup of the control dial PCB that sits atop the shutter release switch.
(Note that the 3 screws that hold this PCB is slightly shorter than the 5 screws that hold the
top cover.)

Get to the switch

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The switch that needs to be replaced is shown slightly right of the center. It is a square, four-
teminal tact switch that senses halfway and full depression of the shutter release button.

This is the bottom view of the tactile switch removed from above. Note that the two boss pins
(the plastic pins off midline to uniquely determine the correct direction of the placement of the
part) that go in to the holes shown in the third picture below. The two pins nearest to the
bosses are the common contacts.

The tactile switch is held in place at two places of the metal cover (top right) along the sides
without pins. Disengage them to open the switch, very carefully, not to lose the parts or to
damage any of them. The contact failure was caused by the dirty contact, both on the base
(lower left) part and the metal contact part (lower right). The picture above was taken before
cleaning and so you can see the dirty contacts. Clean them in a suitable nonpolar solvent, such
as hexane or Goof Off, which is a blend of a few nonpolar and slightly polar solvents, such as
xylene and diethyleneglycol monomethyl ether. Electrical contact cleaner product may be
used, but not the type that leaves oily film. The cleaned contacts should be absolutely dry.

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used, but not the type that leaves oily film. The cleaned contacts should be absolutely dry.

When I took this camera apart, the halfway depression or focus lock position was almost
completely inoperative, althought he full depression was working maybe twice every three
pushes. However, I see almost no wearing of the mechanical contacts. The problem was
surface oxidation or other chemical comtamination of the contacts. Even if the metal contacts
were somewhat worn out, as you see in the picture, the part has two sets of contacts, so that
the non-worn side could be used after thorough cleaning. This double action switch has
considerably simpler structure and larger parts than any of the current double action tactile
switches manufactured by Japanese or Taiwanese switch manufacturers, due to old bulky
design!

Comparison of the Misaki tactile switch used in Hexar AF (left pieces) and the latest double
action tactile switch SKRN-PA manufactured by ALPS (right). Each grid is 5x5 mm. Note that
the Alps switch is much smaller and also much thinner. The Alps switch has better, firm
tactile feeling of the half-pressed stage, and it is rated for 30 000 cycles. In the worst case
when the Misaki switch completely dies, the Alps switch can be placed (glued) in the Misaki
switch, with the contacts switably wired.

This is the flexible PCB after removing the tact switch discussed above, showing the wiring
pattern. The left two contacts are common contacts, the right top is half-depression
(momentary on), and the right bottom is full-depression (momentary on). Blow up the two
pictures above and compare the connections of the contact until you get good sense out of
this...

Putting the stuff back


When putting the cover back, make sure that the power/mode dial and aperture dial engage

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correctly. You can view the aperture diaphragm from the front of the lens, and you can tell
when the dial is at f/2 position (when diaphragm opens up all the way). Also watch out for the
hot shoe connection cords, which should be in the empty space behind the viewfinder system,
not on top of it. Be patient and gentle to them.

Sticky buttons (usually MF, Select or both)


These tiny buttons may get sticky and they don't come out once pushed in. They are caused
by worn out switches. The bad news is that I haven't found a good replacement part for them.
The good news is that you have two spare parts in your camera: the rewind (R) button and self
timer button. As you see in the pictures above, those buttons use the same switches
internally. So you can unsolder switches from R, MF, Select and self, and then resolder the
good ones for middle two places (select and MF) and put the bad ones to R and self.

Camera strap compatibility problem


Hexar AF cameras have strap loop that is narrow enough not to accept most camera straps.
The easiest way is to buy a narrow nylon strip from craft stores (together with strong nylon
thread and some needles) and make custom strap end attachment.

Domke 1" narrow camera strap


This strap is said to have woven nylon ends that are narrow enough to go through the loops of
Hexar camera.

Ricoh GR Digital strap GS-1


This strap, with prominent GR Digital logo on it, can be attached to Hexar AF. The problem is
the presence of the logo. It looks like this: http://www.ricoh.co.jp/dc/option/case/gs1.html

Links
Konica Hexar AF by Stephen Gandy (http://www.cameraquest.com/konhex.htm)

Konica Hexar AF review on Photo.net (http://photo.net/photo/hexar.html)

資料室 性能表 Konica Hexar (http://www1.kiwi-


us.com/~mizusawa/penguin/CAMEdata/konica_minolta/HEXAR.html) 外観写真かここのリンク
から拝借しました。ありがとう。

要約
この記事では、ヘキサーAF(ブラック)の仕様や設計に関する一般的な情報と、よくある問題点につ
いて解説しています。

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特に、シャッターボタン不良の故障はよく発生し、典型的な症例としては、半押でのプリフォーカス
が機能しなくなったり、不安定になり、一回プリフォーカスできてもすぐリセットされてしまうとい
うものです。また、全押でシャッターが切れないという症状も起り得ます。この故障は、内部のタク
トスイッチの接点不良によるものですが、接点そのものが摩耗してしまうことは稀で、金属接点表面
の酸化あるいは化学汚染により接点不良になるもので、これは部品を基板から外し、スイッチを分解
し、適切な有溶剤(ヘキサン、キシレン等)によって洗浄し、組み直すことにより解決できます。

また、Select や MF などのボタンがへこんで、入ったまま出て来なくなるという現象も頻発しま
す。これはスイッチ自体の劣化によるもので、部品交換が原則ですが、交換部品の型名などはわかり
ません。しかし、上記写真を見てもわかるように、巻き戻し(R)とセルフタイマーのボタンも内部で
は同じスイッチを使っていますので、これを入れ替えてしまえば、とりあえず巻き戻しとセルフタイ
マーを使用しない限り、しばらくそのまま使えます。

その他の情報も随時追加していきます。

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