Cosina 55mm f1.2 MC
The fourth lens in my collection is no other than the famous Cosina 55mm f1.2 MC lens. The lens is sought after for its insane bokeh rendering and affordability as a f1.2 lens. This should not be confused with its predecessor lens made by Tamioka in M42 mount. The Cosina is a PK mount lens and is identical to the Vivitar, Rikenon XR and the late model Revuenon version. According to Tokitaro Akinaga a blogger from Japan, he had heard Mr. Kobayashi (President of Cosina) stating that the difference between the original M42 Tomioka designed Yashinon 55mm f1.2 (including various M42 brand versions) from the Cosina version is primarily in the design manufacturing cost. He states that the design cost was down compared to the original.
The Rikenon XR version of the lens was often paired with the Ricoh XR – 8 Super camera body and sold as a “Super Kit” package. The Revuenon was often paired with the Revue Solar 100 camera. The Vivitar VMC became part of the Series 1 line and is more elusive and hard to find than the rest.
The lens sports a 7 element – 6 group lens construction and weights around 310 grams. The lens has nine aperture blades and accepts 58mm filters. Focusing is buttery smooth and has full stop clicks only.
Wide open is usable and a bit low contrast but can be easily corrected via post process. Stopping down a bit renders fabulous sharp images. I use mine mostly at f2 and f2.8 and its sweet spot is around f4 to f5.6.
The vintage Cosina 55mm f1.2 MC is a very drool worthy versatile lens that can hold on its own with its modern counterpart. Don’t hesitate to acquire this lens when you spot one in good condition. I bought mine brand new right off ebay as a lone bidder in 2013 for US $300. Current price would be around $300 to $400 for a second-hand copy.