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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Retina IIC (Big C)

    I quite like the look and design of this camera and am thinking about getting one. Can anyone give me some advice about the good or bad points of this camera?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2

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    Good points: incredible optics, lots of accessories available, compact and quiet... almost silent.

    Bad points: accessory lenses incredibly difficult to use, winding rack can be a weak link.

    While the "big C" is gnerally considered the best, consider a "small C" if you want to pay a erasonable price. Also consider a III and get a meter too.

  3. #3

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    p.s. The "count down" exposure counter and the interlocks can take a little getting-used-to but isn't really a practical problem.
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 10-29-2012 at 04:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    eddie's Avatar
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    My Uncle gave me a IIIc, a few years ago. I love it. No issues, even after sitting since the 60's. I don't shoot 35mm often, but this camera is always staring at me...

  5. #5
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    I had one and traded it away a few years ago. I now wish that I hadn't done that. These are wonderful cameras. The usual complaints about Retina are the fiddly character of the film advance and the fact that the front element of the lens is what changes if you want to use on a different focal length. The cost and trouble of finding someone to work on them is significant, so I wouldn't get one that is nice looking but has problems. The lenses for the Retina Reflex (just the Reflex, not the later versions with numbers after the name) will fit, but you can't close the camera with anything but the original 50 MM. The f2 lens is very sharp, and I haven't really seen much difference, other than that extra half-stop of speed, in the f2.8.

    Sometimes you find Retinas in antique shops that are supposedly broken, when all they need is to have the film counter reset, but that doesn't happen as much anymore. The cost and trouble of finding someone to work on them is significant, so I wouldn't get one that is nice looking but has problems. They were very expensive cameras in their day, and sometimes have been well cared for and then put away as part of an estate, but the fact that the shutter is so intricately connected within the body makes them a nightmare to clean and lubricate unless you are very well versed in how they work.

  6. #6
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    Retinas are great cameras. If you decide to get one and it needs a cla (most do) Chris Sherlock http://retinarescue.com is the man. Nice guy and great service.

  7. #7
    Alan W's Avatar
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    The viewfinder is dim if you're used to a modern rangefinder(I can only compare it to the finder in the bessa r).Both my retinas had murky viewfinders,but that was the only downside for me.The folding,extremely sharp 50mm lens I found perfect for any occasion,and it's small enough to fit in a jeans pocket.

  8. #8

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    As noted, they are great cameras, but the shutter cocking and release mechanism can be troublesome. If the seller can't prove a recent CLA, I'd plan on having that done before you try to use it (and factor that into what you budget).

  9. #9
    Pumalite's Avatar
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    I've have a Retina IIIc for years and love it. Small, extremely sharp lens. No problems.
    " A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The "Big C" Retinas have viewfinders that are considerably bigger and brighter than the "little c" Retinas.

    And are correspondingly more expensive when you find one.

    By the way, the IIC (or IIc) and IIIC or (IIIc) Retinas are, IMHO, some of the best looking cameras around.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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