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Cosina Co., Ltd. (Kabushiki-gaisha Koshina) is a designer and manufacturer of cameras and lenses, and a glassmaker, based in Nakano, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Cosina is the successor to Niko (or "Nikoh"), a company set up as a manufacturer of lenses in 1959. In 1966, it started to manufacture 35 mm compact cameras and 8 mm cine cameras, in 1968 it started a glassworks, and a year later started the manufacture of 35 mm film SLR cameras. Niko changed its name to Cosina in 1973. (The first part of the name is a reference to the Koshi area within Nakano, where the founder came from; while the 'Na' represents Nakano.)
The name Cosina has previously appeared on compact and SLR cameras for 135 film.
In 1982 Cosina began to manufacture lenses in a variety of SLR manufacturers' lens mounts. In 1991 it started to produce glass molded aspheric lenses, and in 1996 plastic molded aspherical lenses. It began producing digital cameras in 1997.
Having obtained the rights to the name Voigtländer from Ringfoto in Germany, Cosina introduced a Voigtländer 15 mm f/4.5 and 25 mm f/4 lens (neither of them rangefinder-coupled) and the Voigtländer Bessa L body in 1999. It quickly followed with a wider range of cameras (starting with the Bessa R, with viewfinder and rangefinder; and the Bessa T, with rangefinder but no viewfinder); and a set of lenses including the Heliar 12 mm f/5.6 lens, which on its introduction was the widest rectilinear lens ever marketed for still photography.
Cosina's "Voigtländer" products are sometimes referred to as Cosina Voigtländer.
Cosina Voigtländer refers to photographic products manufactured by Cosina under the Voigtländer name since 1999. Cosina leases rights to the Voigtländer name from Ringfoto. Cosina Voigtländer products have included 35mm film SLR and rangefinder camera bodies, and lenses for the M39 lens mount (Leica screw mount), M42 lens mount, Leica M mount, and other lens mounts.
Ringphoto Voigtländer in Germany also produces some budget-priced items under the Voigtländer name, unrelated to Cosina.
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