Considering how many cameras are manufactured by Cosina, this is only the second branded one I have tried. To see the cameras made by Cosina, look at this website. The last Cosina I tried didn’t actually work very well and I ended up turning it into a pinhole version.
This one didn’t rock my boat either. This is the C1, there is a C1s version with the S denoting it has a self timer. You can find some technical details for the s version here, but the non-s version has the same specs…apart from the self timer of course.
I didn’t like how it looked, I didn’t like how it felt. The body was made of a plastic material that felt slightly sticky to the touch. I cleaned it with some isopropyl alcohol and that improved it somewhat. The lens that came attached was a 35-70mm zoom, nothing amazing. The lens mount is a Pentax K so that can be swapped out quite easily. For this test, I decided to keep that lens on.
The camera is fully mechanical but 2 LR44 batteries power the TTL light meter. The readout in the viewfinder is a simple green dot for go, red +/- for ‘hold on a moment’ type system. Nothing stops the shutter from firing if the button is pressed, apart from the winder being flat against the body. This camera works much like the Nikon FM10 and Chinon CM-7 in that respect, with a stop tab.
And that is it, a very simple camera. You can find them fairly cheaply in the usual places. I loaded this one with some Lomography 400 that was gifted to me at xmas. It was still lockdown rules at the time of shooting, so I stuck to my garden and a local park…plus Elland Road the home of Leeds United, where I received my first vaccine jab.
Well, what a sharp lens and the light meter gave perfect readings for every situation.
Though this camera is no where near my top ten, it did what it said on the tin. It produced sharp, well exposed photos. If it was your only camera then it is not a bad one to have.
My camera is currently in the “home corner” of the reception class I work in. The 4/5 year olds are using it as a toy in order to get use to the school photographer coming next week. Children are use to phone cameras, but not many have seen an SLR or DSLR before. We thought this might help them relax on photo day. So far it has been quite a hit. Some children call it a proper camera, some are calling it a fake camera. Many of the children do not look through the viewfinder and stare at the back of the camera, pretending to see a display. There are a couple of students who do look and they seem to take more care how they pose their friends and subjects. For them, the trickiest part of getting it to fire is the advance lever. Their hands are quite small so using their thumb to complete the movement is tricky. So far none of the children are interested in the zoom or actually focusing it. I am loving watching them pretend to be a photographer and seeing how their confidence is growing in regards to posing or directing others….though I will not be putting a film in it at any point 😉
4 thoughts on “Cosina C1”
Many thanks for the review. Clearly “looks” don’t account to much particularly when you get such great results, as you have.
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I will have to give it another clean when I get it back…it is even stickier now 🙂
I think I might swap this out for the CT1 at school. That one doesn’t focus at infinity anyway. This one does work as you said.
“Proper Camera”… love it!
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