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  1. #1
    AltheaGarden's Avatar
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    Kodak Retina IIc: Flashes?

    Hello all,

    I just purchased a Retina IIc about a couple of weeks ago. I am currently brainstorming a photo project which will involve indoors portraiture. Here are my obstacles:
    1. It's been years since I've done portraits and I've only used continuous lighting.
    2. I know absolutely nothing about flashes.
    3. I'm on a budget for the next month or two.

    This is where I am currently:
    1. I am about to purchase a meter for both ambient and flash lighting,
    2. two stands with two flash shoe mount brackets and two silver and white umbrellas,
    3. a large softbox with a speedring

    So here is what I have been trying to figure out over the past week:
    1. What sort of flash can my camera take on it's hotshoe?
    2. How can a fire multiple (3) flashes at once? I read something about a remote receiver (or something along those lines) that can be used to trigger multiple off-camera flashes.
    3. Should a use continuous lighting in conjunction with flashes, or will flashes (no more than 3) be enough on their own?

    On top of the three questions above, would anyone be able to give me an general tips for shooting portraits with film? I sew often and I'm pretty crafty, so I figure I can make backdrops, light blockers and reflectors on my own. i appreciate any help anyone can provide. I'm anxious to start mastering lighting techniques so that I can get started on my project!

    *Photo does not belong to me
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2687-LR.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Your camera doesn't have a hotshoe, there is no electrical contact on the accesory shoe - look at it. You will have to use a synch cable connected to the flash synch contacts on the shutter, and slave triggers for the flashes on stands. Also, if the camera has not been serviced recently, you may have to do that as well.
    Butkus.org may have a PDF of the instructions for this model, as I remember the IIc has M and X synch selectable by a lever on the shutter.
    I'll let others with more experience using flash for portraits take over... I will say that for portraits I'd pick an SLR with an 85 - 105 lens over a rangefinder say a Nikkormat with a 105/2.5 Nikkor, about $125 - $150 for the set.
    But, you can certainly do it with the Retina, it will take some getting used to the viewfinder though.

    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/ Instructions

    http://www.paramountcords.com/ Synch cords
    Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 12-14-2013 at 12:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    I love the Retina but have to agree with EvH that it probably isn't the best for portraiture... unless you want to fiddle with the accessory 80mm lens, but you might still be disappointed because it is really fiddly to use. If you insist, though, try it by starting simply: Vivitar 283/285 (or the like) with some sort of light modifier to soften and a flash meter. You can really do without the flash meter and rely on the flash sensor for many applications. You could put the flash on a stand and use a long pc cord, or mount it on a handle.

  4. #4
    AltheaGarden's Avatar
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    Thank you both for the advice. I picked the Retina for lens quality and image clarity and those are the only reasons I wanted to use a rangefinder.
    Are there any recommendations for SLRs that provide similar image clarity to rangefinders?

  5. #5

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    Hasselblad with 150mm lens, or almost anything Nikon with Nikkor lens.

  6. #6
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by AltheaGarden View Post
    I picked the Retina for lens quality and image clarity and those are the only reasons I wanted to use a rangefinder.
    Are there any recommendations for SLRs that provide similar image clarity to rangefinders?
    My first camera was a Retina, but still I do not understand your concern about image clarity in the context of SLRs.
    I guess there is some misconception on your side on the qualities of rangefinder and SLR cameras.

    (Your camera is even a very special case due to its interchangable optics where a short- and long-Focus section have to part their rear section with that of standard lens.)
    Last edited by AgX; 12-14-2013 at 01:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    See the post I left on parallex for instruction manual.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AltheaGarden View Post
    Thank you both for the advice. I picked the Retina for lens quality and image clarity and those are the only reasons I wanted to use a rangefinder.
    Are there any recommendations for SLRs that provide similar image clarity to rangefinders?
    The Retina has a 50mm (or close to this focal length) lens, not what I would choose for portraits. It has an inexact (at best) viewfinder which is rather dim for studio use, and no parralax correction. The lens' optical quality, if the lens is clean and in good condition, is excellent.
    The Nikkormat I mentioned has a bright and exact viewfinder, what you see is what you get, literally - no parralax issues and it is bright and easy to focus in a studio. You can get one for $25-$40. The Nikkor 105/2.5 lens is a world-class legendary lens, an ideal focal length for portraits, you can get one for $100 - $125 with a wee bit of patience.

    Almost any decent SLR will be better than a Retina, be it Canon, Minolta, Yashica, Pentax, Nikon, etc and many of these can be had for pocket money - literally.

  9. #9

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    suggest you start again in the rangefinder sub forum...
    the simplest technique is to mount a sensor flash on the camera with a synch cord.
    other flashes can be fired remotely with simple photo cell devices

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    A Retina IIc would certainly be functional if you were using it for group portraits, although it wouldn't be my first choice. And I do have a Retina IIIc that I could choose from.

    Its leaf shutter would be good for fill flash. And it would be nice and quiet, if that matters.

    I'm not sure, but the shutter may be one of the Kodak shutters that require a special adapter to allow it to be connected to a pc cord.

    Make sure that there is enough ambient light to see what you are doing.
    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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