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Cosina CSL

Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2014-01-27

Cosina CSL

Not a 100% but I think it was introduced in 1977.
And that this is the same camera as the Vivitar XC-3.

Technical info

Lens mount: M42
Shutter: 1/1000s to 4s + B
Light meter: Through the lens, center weighted (ISO 25 - 3200)
Battery: Two 1.5v SR44
Flash: Flash hot shoe + PC sync connection (sync 1/60 sec)
Weight: 540g

Mirror goes up first when the self-timer is used

Takes standard 135 film
24×36 mm negative size.

Cosina CSL


Great size and good brightness.
It works very well and the focus aid and the light meter is easy to use.

Top middle has the light meter info which is three led lights.
Two arrows at the sides and i green in the middle.

Focus aid:
Split screen and Microprism

Shutter type:

Focal plane
Horizontal traveling cloth curtain.

Electronically controlled.

Build quality:

All metal and it's good and solid!

Look, feel and sound:
Simple but I quite like the look.
It has a very nice solid and quality feel to it.
Buttons and dials also feel nice.
Shutter and mirror nois are okay, not the worst but I wouldn't call it quiet.


A camera that have aged very well and is still a very usable one today.
Everything feel to be in its right place and it is logical how you operate it.
The light meter is sensitive and takes modern batteries.


One of the better m42 SLRs.
It's small, lightweight and has a great viewfinder.
One nice plus is that the self-timer first brings up the mirror.
And a horizontal traveling cloth curtain makes very little vibrations which is great for long exposures.
Not many cameras with this type of shutter has that.

It also supports a exterior auto exposure accessory which you mount in the hot shoe.
This a very noisy and slow motor which turns the shutter dial for you.
Maybe a luxury in the late 70s but it looks quite funny with this thing on top.

I struggle to find any faults with this camera.

Thumbs up:
Great build quality and feel
Light meter
Size and weight

Thumbs down:

Cosina CSL
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