Cosina CT1G

When I “started” again (“born again”?) my photography in the mid-1990’s, I came out into a bewildering world of automation.  I was stuck in the early 1980’s just about the time just when Canon released the T Series and the Minolta Dynax/Maxxum was just a rumor away.  My camera then—and when I woke up from my hibernation—was my Pentax MX.  It was in need of CLA and was definitely in need of a replacement.  There was no Pentax dealer at that time and so without any prior research took a leap of faith and bought a Nikon FM10.  I figured I would grow into that system eventually upgrading into the more advanced models.

But I crashed—something was amiss—the FM10 is not the FM2 or even the older FM.  I know what they are like because they were my alternative candidate to the Pentax MX back in '80's and just like the MX, those FMs where heavy and metal.  The FM10 was…well, plasticky.

I retreated.

At the next opportune moment, I sold the FM10 and found an old Pentax P30t as the replacement (there was something "amiss" about it too, but at least I can use all my old lenses).  Now finding myself in the map, I decided to stick with Pentax, eventually upgrading to the MZ series.  In the meantime, I began reintegrating myself with the photographic world by doing two things: teaching photography and volunteering my services to my friends who were getting married.

Teaching led to some interesting discoveries: looking around for “cheap” cameras for my students led me to brands like Vivitar and even a strangely named model named “Revue.”  I know of the Revuenon in Europe but this particular camera had the name “Revue” silk screened on the prism cover and it looked like the Vivitar (both shared the Pentax K-mount).  Looking through the viewfinder was déjà vu as it reminded me of the Nikon FM10!

My hunch was confirmed when information flowed freely in the world wide web: the Vivitar 2000 and the Nikon FM10, plus the Ricoh KR-5 II Super and even the Canon T-60 (which bore uncanny similarity to the Nikon FE-10 and the Pentax P30) were basically the same camera!  They were OEMed (original equipment manufacturer—now in verb form) from a lesser known Japanese camera maker called Cosina.

A decade (or so…) later, once again teaching photography (albeit a bit more formally), I wanted to have a pool of mechanical cameras for my students to use (they all use DSLRs and have no idea how to load film…).  Whimsically, I decided to start collecting those OEMed cameras beginning with the mother of them all—the Cosina CT1G.

Don’t laugh.  One of these days, I’ll use it with my SMC Pentax FA 77/1.8 Limited…


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