Cosina E1 Solar

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The E1 Solar is an SLR for 35mm film accepting K mount lenses, offered by Cosina circa 1994. Cosina manufactured many more cameras branded with other company's names than their own; most were based around the same vertically-traveling Copal shutter which offered a 1/2000 sec. top speed as well as flash sync at 1/125th.

While its shutter is entirely mechanical, The E1 Solar offered the unique feature of a metering system powered by solar cells mounted atop its pentaprism housing. After a short period of light falling onto the camera, a half-press on the shutter release activates an LCD display in the viewfinder with over/under/correct exposure marks. This requires little power to operate, and rather than a rechargeable battery, a small permanent capacitor is all that is needed to store the power collected by the solar cells. A switch beside the rewind crank also allows a fallback option to power the meter circuit directly from the solar cells, although naturally this only works in reasonably bright conditions.

Aside from this special solar function, the E1 Solar also includes a few features which were top-tier among other Cosina-built SLRs of the era: There is a self-timer, depth-of-field preview lever, and "ME" tab (allowing double/multiple exposures) alongside the film-wind lever.

This model may be better known under its rebrandings as the Ricoh XR Solar and the Revue Solar 100 from Foto-Quelle.