Cosina

Last updated

Cosina Co., Ltd.
Native name
株式会社コシナ
Romanized name
Cosina Co., Ltd.
Formerly
K.K. Nikō
Kabushiki Kaisha
IndustryHigh-end optical devices and camera manufacturer
FoundedFebruary 2, 1959;61 years ago (1959-02-02) in Japan
Headquarters,
Japan
Key people
Hirobumi Kobayashi
Number of employees
520 (2017)
Website www.cosina.co.jp

Cosina Co., Ltd. (株式会社コシナ, Kabushiki-gaisha Koshina) is a manufacturer of high-end optical glass, optical precision equipment, cameras, video and electronic related equipment, based in Nakano, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. [1] [2]

Contents

History

Cosina Hi-Lite Cosina Hi-Lite Frontansicht 01 09.jpg
Cosina Hi-Lite
Cosina 19-35 f/3.5-4.5 AF lens Cosina 19-35.jpg
Cosina 19–35 f/3.5-4.5 AF lens

Cosina is the successor to Nikō (or "Nikoh"), a company set up as a lens processing factory in February 1959, which was a pioneer in optical polishing and lens grinding in Japan. [1] In 1966, it also started to manufacture 35 mm compact cameras and 8 mm cine cameras, and a year later started the manufacture of 35mm film SLR cameras; in 1968 it started a glass melting factory. Nikō changed its name to Cosina in 1973. [2] (The first part of the name is a reference to the Koshi area within Nakano, where the founder came from; while the 'Na' represents Nakano.)

The name Cosina has previously appeared on compact and SLR cameras for 135 film. The CS-2 and CS-3 SLRs were introduced in 1978, followed in 1980 by the CT-1, CT-7 (the world's first all—push-button SLR), CT-10 and CT-20, the CT-1G in 1982 and the CT-9 in 1986. Cosina SLR cameras used either the M42 (Praktica/Pentax) lens mount or the Pentax K (bayonet) lens mount. However, Cosina is probably better known as a manufacturer of cameras and camera components for other brands. During the late 1970s, Cosina made a name for itself in 35 mm rangefinder cameras with a well-built, high quality fixed-lens camera using an aluminum body and a simple shutter-priority autoexposure system. This rangefinder camera was adopted as the basic chassis for several excellent camera models, including the Minolta 7SII, Revue 400 SE, Prinz 35 ER, and Vivitar 35 ES.

In 1982, Cosina began to manufacture lenses in a variety of SLR manufacturers' lens mounts. In 1991, it started to produce glass molded aspheric lenses, and in 1996 plastic molded aspherical lenses. Cosina began producing digital cameras in 1997.

Voigtländer brand acquisition

At about this time, plans were started to produce a new high-quality rangefinder 35 mm film camera, complete with wide and ultrawide lenses for the Leica screw mount, and also a standard 35 mm film camera for the amateur film photography sector — similar to a rangefinder camera, but without a rangefinder or viewfinder — for mounting these lenses.

In 1999, Cosina secured partial rights to the German, once Austrian, classic camera brand "Voigtländer", acquired from RINGFOTO GmbH & Co. ALFO Marketing KG in Germany, to produce the Classic Collection (high-quality lenses with both M39 screw thread and Leica M bayonet, 35mm film cameras Bessa R, Bessa L, Bessa T, and medium format cameras Bessa III). Cosina first introduced the Voigtländer 15 mm f/4.5 and 25 mm f/4 lens (neither of them rangefinder-coupled) and the Voigtländer Bessa-L standard camera body. It quickly followed with a wider range of Voigtländer cameras (starting with the Bessa-R, with viewfinder and rangefinder, and the Bessa-T, with rangefinder, but no viewfinder), and a set of lenses, including the Heliar 12 mm f/5.6 lens, which on its introduction was the widest rectilinear lens ever marketed for still photography.

On April 26, 2010, Cosina joined the Micro Four Thirds System Standard Group. [3]

2016 Cosina manufactured a Nokton 1,4/ 58 mm after 2003 a second time. For this lenses a Topcon-construction was used. [4]

Voigtländer

Wide angle lens Cosina Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 Color-Skopar SL II Aspherical VoigtlanderWideAngleLens20.jpg
Wide angle lens Cosina Voigtländer 20mm f/3.5 Color-Skopar SL II Aspherical
Nokton 1,4/ 58 mm Voigtlander Nokton f1,4 58 mm SL II lens.jpg
Nokton 1,4/ 58 mm

Cosina's "Voigtländer" products are sometimes referred to as Cosina Voigtländer .

The Cosina Voigtländer cameras and lenses have been of great personal interest to Kobayashi Hirofumi 小林博文 (b. 1953), the President of Cosina since the death in 1988 of his father Kobayashi Bunjirō (小林文治郎), the founder. The name Cosina now appears (conspicuously) on lenses for various SLR mounts, and less conspicuously on a widening range of cameras and lenses with the Voigtländer brand. Cosina manufactured the rangefinder camera Rollei 35 RF for Rollei Fototechnic, and is acknowledged to have manufactured (and to have helped design) the Epson digital rangefinder camera R-D1 as well. Its manufacture of a new Zeiss Ikon rangefinder camera with Leica M-mount, and Zeiss lenses in Leica bayonet mount, was announced in October 2004, and it is already (April 2006) producing these. All these cameras use film, showing Cosina's unique position in the market of filling the gap in demand for high quality film cameras and support for technology that is still evolving.

Other manufacturers

Cameras

Cosina is also well known for manufacturing 35 mm SLR cameras to the specifications of other manufacturers and distributors, such as the Canon T60, the Nikon FM10 and FE10, the Olympus OM2000, Konica TC-X, and various Vivitar models. For this models the CT-1 was used.

A Cosina design, the 1982 Cosina CX-2, was copied by the Russian optical firm LOMO as the popular Lomo LC-A.

Lenses

Cosina manufactures manual focus SLR lenses for Carl Zeiss AG with: Leica (ZM), [5] Nikon (ZF), Pentax (ZK), Canon EOS (ZE), and M42 (ZS) lens screw mounts.

Distribution

Cosina products are distributed in Japan by Kenko.

See also

Related Research Articles

Single-lens reflex camera

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Rangefinder camera

A rangefinder camera is a camera fitted with a rangefinder, typically a split-image rangefinder: a range-finding focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to measure the subject distance and take photographs that are in sharp focus. Most varieties of rangefinder show two images of the same subject, one of which moves when a calibrated wheel is turned; when the two images coincide and fuse into one, the distance can be read off the wheel. Older, non-coupled rangefinder cameras display the focusing distance and require the photographer to transfer the value to the lens focus ring; cameras without built-in rangefinders could have an external rangefinder fitted into the accessory shoe. Earlier cameras of this type had separate viewfinder and rangefinder windows; later the rangefinder was incorporated into the viewfinder. More modern designs have rangefinders coupled to the focusing mechanism so that the lens is focused correctly when the rangefinder images fuse; compare with the focusing screen in non-autofocus SLRs.

Minolta

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Digital single-lens reflex camera Digital cameras combining the parts of a single-lens reflex camera and a digital camera back

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M42 lens mount

The M42 lens mount is a screw thread mounting standard for attaching lenses to 35 mm cameras, primarily single-lens reflex models. It is more accurately known as the M42 × 1 mm standard, which means that it is a metric screw thread of 42 mm diameter and 1 mm thread pitch.

Pentax K-mount

The Pentax K-mount, sometimes referred to as the "PK-mount", is a bayonet lens mount standard for mounting interchangeable photographic lenses to 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. It was created by Pentax in 1975, and has since been used by all Pentax 35 mm and digital SLRs and also the MILC Pentax K-01. A number of other manufacturers have also produced many K-mount lenses and K-mount cameras.

History of the single-lens reflex camera

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Double-Gauss lens

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Nikon FM10

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M39 lens mount

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Lens speed

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Leica M mount

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Cosina Voigtländer refers to photographic products manufactured by Cosina under the Voigtländer name since 1999. Cosina leases rights to the Voigtländer name from RINGFOTO GmbH & Co. ALFO Marketing KG in Germany. Cosina Voigtländer products have included 35mm film SLR and rangefinder camera bodies, and lenses for the M39 lens mount, M42 lens mount, Leica M mount, and other lens mounts.

35 mm Bessa

The Bessa family of cameras is manufactured in Japan by Cosina as a revival of the Voigtländer brand name.

This article discusses the cameras – mainly 35 mm SLRs – manufactured by Pentax Ricoh Imaging Corp. and its predecessors, Pentax Corporation and Asahi Optical Co., Ltd..

Nikon S-mount 35mm lens mount

The Nikon S-mount is a type of interchangeable lens mount used by a series of Nikon 35mm rangefinder cameras. The lenses were sold under the name Nikkor.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is a digital camera with HD video recording capability that is part of the Micro Four Thirds system. Though commonly referred to as a DSLR camera, it has no mirror or optical viewfinder, but has instead both a fold-out LCD screen and a electronic viewfinder.

Leicaflex / SL / SL2

The Leicaflex was the first series of 35 mm format Single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras manufactured by Leitz Camera. The Leicaflexes were fully mechanical cameras marketed between 1964 and 1976, in response to the rapid increase in popularity and usability of SLRs during this period. Their appeal was limited by their failure to keep pace with the state of the art in SLR design, their somewhat limited selection of accessories, and their extremely high price in comparison with their Japanese competitors. They were ultimately replaced by the R series Leicas developed by Leitz with the assistance of Minolta under a cooperation agreement between the two companies.

References

  1. 1 2 "High-End Optical Technology" [High-End Optical Technology] (in Japanese). Nakano, Japan: Cosina Co., Ltd. 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Company History" [Company History] (in Japanese). Nakano, Japan: Cosina Co., Ltd. 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  3. COSINA CO., Ltd. Joins the Micro Four Thirds System Standard Group.
  4. heise.de/foto 8 November 2016, Voigtländer Nokton 1,4/ 58 mm SL II S mit Nikon-Bajonett (German), retrieved 25 Oktober 2020.
  5. Zeiss M-Mount Lenses, Luminous Landscape, January 2007, archived from the original on January 20, 2013, retrieved October 21, 2012