Cosina CS-3

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The Cosina CS-3 is a 35mm SLR introduced by Cosina in 1978,[1] as the most full-featured model alongside the CS-1 and CS-2. It accepts K mount lenses. This model offers either manual or auto-exposure, and unusually, features a direct-view window in the viewfinder showing the aperture-ring setting.

The "CS" cameras are based around a horizontally-traveling cloth focal plane shutter with speeds electronically timed from 8s to 1/1000 plus B. This limits flash sync speed to 1/60 second (unlike the similar followup model the Cosina CT-4 which reaches 1/100 second).

Sixteen LEDs along the left edge of the viewfinder display the shutter speed after a half-press of the shutter release—in manual mode, the currently-set speed is lit steadily, while the meter-recommended speed (if different) blinks. This requires power from two 1.5v silver oxide batteries. There is a button alongside the lens mount to freeze exposure readings; and a collar around the shutter speed dial offering +/- 2 stops of exposure compensation. The rewind release button is right alongside this, making the top-plate controls a bit crowded.

The self-timer is electronic with a 10 sec delay and front-facing countdown LED. The view finder has is a fixed pentaprism with a magnification of 0.9 (f/50mm) and a field of view: 93%. Within the finder is a central located horizontally split-image rangefinder, surrounded by a microprism to aid in focusing.

The CS cameras all have coupling through their baseplate for an accessory power winder. An extra contact in the hot shoe will allow dedicated Cosina flash units to force the camera to its 1/60th second X-flash sync speed, and the normal viewfinder LEDs will wink out when the flash is fully charged.


  1. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover).