Cosina CSL

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By the mid-1970s, the advantages of bayonet lens mounts with open-aperture metering were clear; and even Pentax had moved on from the M42 screw mount. The Cosina CSL and its siblings the CSR and CSM from Cosina circa 1977[1] were interesting late attempts to keep screw-mount SLRs viable.

A half-press on the shutter release stops down the lens for metering,[2] with over/correct/under indicated with LEDs at the top of the viewfinder. The lens can be reopened to its brightest aperture again with a button on the camera front.

The CSL has an electronically-timed shutter ranging from 1/1000 to 4 seconds, but without power from a pair of 1.5 volt silver-oxide batteries only the mechanical "M" setting of 1/50th second will operate. (The lighting of the exposure LEDs is the only available check that battery voltage is sufficient.) Flash sync is at 1/60th of a second or below.The rewind release button is tucked alongside the wind lever rather than on the baseplate of the camera. The camera has a small LED on its front which winks during exposure and while the electronic self-timer counts down.

The CSL was sold only in silver unlike its black near-twin the Cosina CSM. The Cosina CSR is a very similiar model, but offering a spot-metering option.

Above the conventional X sync PC socket is one marked A, intended for communication with Cosina's clunky AEC adapter which physically twists the shutter-speed dial with its own motor, enabling aperture-priority autoexposure.


  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).
  2. This scheme was used in the innovative Cosina Hi-Lite EC from 1972.