Cosina Hi-Lite DL

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The Cosina Hi-Lite DL is a manual focus 35mm SLR from Cosina from c.1970[1] It revises the earlier Hi-Lite (no suffix) by moving the shutter speed dial to the more conventional position atop the camera. Some examples of the DL have more ornate lettering engraved across the front. This model and ones labeled Hi-Lite DLR seem functionally identical.

The DL accepts M42 type lenses and so predictably, uses stop down metering. The camera usually came with a Auto Cosina 50mm lens with f/1.4 (5 group, 7 element), f/1.8 (4 group, 6 element) or f/2.8 (3 group, 4 element).

It has an metal focal-plane shutter with speeds from 1s to 1/1000 with B. There are two terminals for flash sync. One for M for flash bulb and X for electronic sync which is at 1/125 a sec. A self-timer feature is also available and has a delay of approx 8 sec.

The built-in exposure meter uses a stopped down TTL match-needle, center weighted metering system using a CdS cell. The ASA film speed setting can be set on the shutter knob window, to speeds from 25 to 1600 ASA. The metering is done via a needle on the right side of the viewfinder display. Choosing the proper shutter and aperture combinations will result in correct exposure with the needle aligned between the + and −. It is powered by a 1.35v mercury battery.

The focus is done manually on the lens. The viewfinder screen features a central focusing spot to ease focusing. The film transport uses a single stroke film advance lever with a automatic reset film counter and double exposure prevention. The rewind crank is also surrounded by film reminder collar with choices of panchro, color and reversal.


  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).