...On film cameras. During its brief, bright heyday it was an enthusiast's dream—a small company run by a true photo enthusiast with deep pockets, making a proliferating lineup of cool, interesting, unique and affordable products.
Alas, Cosina/Voigtlander (properly written either "Voigtländer" or "Voigtlaender," although we bow to convention) is hanging it up. Cosina has quietly announced that it is discontinuing all the remaining Voigtlander film cameras, plus a variety of accessories.
The move leaves Leica as the sole surviving manufacturer of 35mm film rangefinder cameras.
Stephen reports that current C/V lenses and remaining accessories are selling well.
High points of Voigtlander's second coming as a camera company (there were never any direct links to the original German firm—the name was an homage) were many, including a premium rangefinder with the Zeiss Ikon nameplate, rangefinders with 21mm framelines and others with 1:1 finders.
Who knows, though, maybe now Cosina will make another digital rangefinder camera, a great-grand-nephew to the one it made for Epson long ago.
In any event, let the collecting begin!
(Thanks to Oren Grad)
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Featured Comments from:
David W. Scott: "I too wish for a Cosina digital rangefinder. But I despair that won't happen. Years ago, a rumor made the rounds that Cosina made a gentleman's agreement with Leica to not produce another M-mount digital. Something about fearing that would kill Leica completely. Whether this story is true or not, it resonates because of Cosina's leadership being fans and devotees of cameras. Who wants to be known as the guy who killed Leica?"
Henning Wulff: "Mr. Kobayashi [President of Cosina —Ed.] does indeed not care for digital cameras, and was not overly thrilled by his experiences with Epson on the RD-1.
"Cosina is one of the larger optical manufacturers, and is a supplier to many other companies that use lenses and optical components, such as video surveillance and digital projectors, as well as camera companies of various sizes. The Voigtlander line was introduced almost as a hobby line in that Mr. Kobayashi wanted some new lenses for his Leicas and the collectors were snatching up the good used (but often quite old) items that were available. The 15mm and the 25mm were lenses in focal lengths that were never available in screw mount, and the lenses that were available in focal lengths like 50mm weren't available in modern designs like the ƒ/1.5 Nokton.
"He and a mutual friend here from Vancouver developed a strong friendship and Mr. K gradually expanded the camera and lens line to suit both their interests. A couple of lens/mount combinations exist in just two or three copies.
"The Voigtlander line of cameras and lenses had to make money, but they were very much driven by Mr. K's personal interests. Cosina the company is quite healthy. Expect some new and exciting Voigtlander lenses in the not too distant future."