Retina identification question

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by meltronic, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. meltronic

    meltronic Member

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    Hi. I have two ID questions about this camera, and one service question.

    1. What is the broken thing projecting from the side of the shutter housing? It has some kind of spring loaded brass plunger coming out of it, and it's clear that something has broken off the top of the rod. See picture 1.

    2. What is the geneology of this model? Pictures I've seen lead me to believe it's a type 010, but there are some minor variations. Mine has a viewfinder that seems to be a separate piece, rather than integral with the entire top plate. Mine has an Ektar lens rather than the Schneider lens I see in pictures of other 010s. See picture 2.

    3. The frame counter and top shutter release plunger are unreliable. The frame counter dial doesn't always spin when the film is advanced, and the shutter release doesn't set. They seem to be connected. Anyone know how difficult this may be to repair? At the moment, I'm spooling the whole roll of film onto the take-up spool, using the rewind knob to "advance" the film (because the counter dial moves perfectly in reverse), and using the shutter release on the shutter itself rather the one on the top plate.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Matt
     

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  2. rmann

    rmann Subscriber

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    Looks like a type 149 - Retina I prewar. Not imported into US by Kodak.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    meltronic
    The post on the side of the shutter is the old locking flash connection.
     
  4. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    I have the same flash connector on my Zenobia. Anyone know where to get a cable to fit that type connector?
     
  5. meltronic

    meltronic Member

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    Okay, I've done some research, and found that it's actually a type 148. It has an Anastigmat Ektar rather than the type 149 Retina Xenar.

    There's a great list of models at the link below.


    http://www.wctatel.net/web/crye/retina.htm

    Thanks for your responses!
     
  6. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    The "broken thing" is an ASA type bayonet flash connector. Paramount will make flash sync cords that mate to this.
     
  7. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    These retinas are such beautiful cameras. I have had the pleasure of working on a few.

    I know nothing about em as a collectors item and hardly ever see em for sale. Are these Retinas worth anything or important as collectors or rare? They are such beauties, almost like Leicas some of em.
     
  8. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I have several retinas. The 3c has a six element 50/f2 xenon that is incredibly sharp. The leaf shutter is quiet, and vibration free. The 2a has the same lens and same shutter. The results from these cameras is just stunning. No mirror slap, no focal plane shutter kachunking away. Dead quiet with beautiful results. They have often been called the "poor man's leica", but in 1954, my 3c retailed for 179.95. I also have a 1b with a four element 50/f2.8 xenar with zone focusing. Its results are also outstanding. These cameras are starting to bring higher prices as collectors and photogs realize the quality fo the cameras and the images they produce.

    A friend of mine is a leicaphile. He also collects retinas. When asked what camera gives the best consistent results between his M3, M5, and Retina 3c and 2a, (all rangefinders) his answer is sure to upset a lot of leica owners.

    Did I mention that they fold up and fit in a jacket pocket?

    Note that most retinas count backwards for the film counter. They show how many frames you have LEFT, rather than how many you have taken. The film counters have to be manually reset when new film is loaded. A google search will turn up the particulars for any given model regarding any quirks each model may have.

    ps. you can buy an adapter for that bayonet flash sync for regular pc flash.
     
  9. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    If you look at the link in Meltronic's post above, you'll find there are lots of different models of Retina. Some rare, some common as mud. I believe they were a significant camera in the development of high-end hobby photography, and of course were the quality end of Kodak's 35mm camera line.

    I will second ricksplace's opinion about the 50/2 Xenon, particularly post-war coated versions: a killer lens. It never disappoints me.

    Retinas were not built to professional gear standards. They won't take the abuse that a Leica will take. The later models, the ones where the shutter is cocked by the film advance, have a famously delicate part, the "cocking rack" that causes great trouble. Getting the later ones (or the Retina reflexes) worked on nowadays can be problematic. However, there are tons of the immediate post-war model II (types 011 and 014) around for sale on eBay, they have simpler mechanism and the Xenon, and are probably the best bet for a practical shooting camera.

    And yes, they are quiet. They make a Leica sound like a gunshot. But, that's true of any camera with a Synchro Compur, you can make the same statement about a Rolleiflex.

    Jonathan
     
  10. elekm

    elekm Member

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    You could have either the Model 148 or the Model 010, which was produced after World War II using various prewar and wartime parts. Likely, it's the 148, although the 010 is nearly identical. The 148 and 010 have two lugs on the film counter dial, which yours appears to have.

    The 010 had EK before the serial number. The 148 had no such designation.

    There were so many variations of each camera that it makes it really difficult (and fun) to try to figure out which model it is. Some cameras were sold only in the U.S. Some cameras were sold only in Europe.

    The probelm with the shutter release sounds like a lubrication issue.
     
  11. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    Mike,

    The camera he shows has separate stampings for the viewfinder and film counter housing, which I thought makes it definitely a 148. I.e. some 148's had two stampings, some had one, but all 010's are the one-piece stamping.

    There's an obscure difference in the indicator mark next to the film counter dial that's supposed to definitively divide 148's from 010's, but I can't remember what it was. It was in an issue of Photoshopper a few years ago which I've since tossed.

    Cheers,
    Jonathan
     
  12. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    I found a few links that may be of interest to anyone collecting these beauties. I'm still interested to know what they are worth these days in working condition. I have seen a few in my repair shop but really know nothing about what makes one more valuable over another aside from these descriptions in the links.

    ANyone have any ideas?

    http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-frameset.html?KodakRetina.html~mainFrame

    http://shutterbug.com/equipmentreviews/classic_historical/0204sb_classic/

    http://www.nwmangum.com/Kodak/_menus/menu-Retinas.html
     
  13. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    To me, the value is in the usablilty of the camera. For the biggest bang for the buck, a retina 3c or 2c gets my vote. 3c has a meter (that usually doesn't work after 50 years) and a 50/f2 Xenon, the 2c has no meter, and a 50/2.8 Xenon. Both have post-war multi-coating. Both have the dreaded "cocking rack" weak point. IMHO, the cocking rack problem is not a problem if you don't want to try and approximate a motor drive with the manual film advance. Both cameras can take the 35/5.6 and 80/4.0 auxilliary lenses. The 3C (big C) has bright lines in the finder for these lenses, otherwise it's pretty much the same camera as the 3c. A 3C will probably cost you 2X the price of a 3c. Some of these cameras came with Rodenstock Heligons which don't seem to be as sharp as the Schneider Kreusnach Xenons. (somebody is probably going to flame me for that statement)

    Since these retinas are about 50 years old, the shutters usually need servicing. Often, the fast speeds are pretty close to OK, and the slow speeds are really slow. My 3c is like this. I compensate for the slow speeds by stopping down an extra stop. 1/30 and faster is OK.

    I regularily take my 3c when I go cycling since it fits folds up and fits just about anywhere.
     
  14. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I bought one (a IIa) off the nameless well-known electronic auction site a few months ago. I stripped, cleaned and lubricated it with the aid of a very good website. With patience and care, there's not much that anyone with a little practical knowledge couldn't do to a IIa. Last night I developed a film from it, which looks pretty good except for a few of my exposure guesstimations. One thing that always catches me out is when the backwards exposure counter reaches zero and won't let me wind on. That usually precipitates a few minutes of puzzlement before I turn the counter past zero and carry on.
    The IIa winds the film emulsion inwards, and I suspect it's that extra curl that makes Retina films so easy to load into developing tank spirals.

    Steve
     
  15. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    You, me, and thousands of others. Chris Sherlock devoted a whole web page to this: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~Srawhiti/retinauser.html.

    (BTW, check out the rest of his site for useful info about Retinas.)
     
  16. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    The IIIC (big C, or Type 028) is pricey because for some reason it has grabbed the interest of collectors. It was the last and highest-specification folding Retina. You can pay $350 for a nice one.

    The first Retina II, Type 122, is very pricey just because it is extremely rare. I've seen them go for $2000.

    Any of the pre-war Retina I models with a Zeiss Jena lens is 2-3x more expensive than the same model with the Schneider lens or "Kodak Ektar" (a re-badged Schneider.)

    Here's a decent write-up of some of the more exotic folder Retinas: http://www.mwclassic.com/articles/rare_retina/rare_retina.htm

    Jonathan
     
  17. JPD

    JPD Member

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    It took five years, but better late than never! :mad:

    I have two IIc, one with Xenon and one with Heligon. The Heligon is sharper than the Xenon! :whistling:

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1338/4730941041_c3ca4c6a45_b.jpg

    Both lenses are in pristine shape and focus correctly. I believe that the difference is due to sample variation. The f:2 Heligon on my now sold IIIc performed like the Xenon above, as did the f:2 Xenon on a II (011) I had for a while.

    I'm planning to buy another IIc with Xenon to test and compare.

    The f:2,8 Retina Xenar is also an excellent lens, but the Xenon and Heligon are better wide open. Stop the Xenar down to f:8 and they are equally good.

    Remember that the pre-war Xenon lenses have different constructions than the post-war versions.

    The f:2,8 Xenon was before the war actually a Xenar with an extra front element to raise the speed and give better corrections at full opening. It was called Xenar on some cameras, but Xenon on the Retina. The f:2 Xenon was also different from the one on the IIIc. Both the f:2,8 and f:2 were redesigned to be able to use the wide and tele front components. (they are the same lens except for the size of the opening)-

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