Kodak Retina II
Recently, my grandparents were cleaning out one of their many (junk filled) closets. In one of them, was a Kodak Retina IIa that my grandfather bought while in Germany in 1946.
I believe it is 35mm. It has an original leather case, the camera itself is in great condition. it comes with a grab-bag of different filters and stepup rings. It also has a camera mounted flash on it. I don't think it attaches to a hotshoe, it doesn't look like a coldshoe either. The flash itself is a long cylindrical flash with the flash on one side of it. The flashbulbs are blue.
He wanted to keep the camera and accessories, but asked me if I could do a little more research on it.
A couple questions came to mind while looking at the camera.
1. Would something like this be worth much?
2. Does anybody know what quality of pictures this takes?
The lens and camera body are in great condition.
Any information on this neat find, would be helpful! Thank you!
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They go for $50-$100 on Ebay. They are great cams and yes they take great pictures.
There may be several versions with different optics; mine is a Schneider Kreuznach Retina-Xenon 50mm f2 with a red delta mark, making it one of the best optics that the Retina series ever had, I believe.
The Retinas have quite a following, and can take very good pictures as they have pretty decent Schneider or Rodenstock lenses. The usual f/2 lens is pretty fast too, for the times they were made.
Retina II's and III's have coupled rangefinders. They are worth $50.00 - 100 USD depending on condition and the exact model, though sometimes you can find them for a good bit less.
I have found that they don't take non-use too well, so I'd recommend a CLA before trying to use it seriously. The bad news is that the CLA will likely cost more than the camera's low resale value, but it will be a good an reliable user afterward, and will add to the camera's value
An excellent source of information about them is Chris Sherlock's site at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~Srawhiti/index.html
I recently had one of my II's CLA'd at Zack's camera repair in Providence RI. They did a fantastic job.
First, can you clarify whether it's a Retina II (as the title indicates) or a Retina IIa (as the text indicates)?
Next, is this the model with lever wind? If so, then it's a IIa. Prices on the IIa had been reasonably high several years ago (About $100), but have fallen as of late (about $50). However, I haven't looked at them in the past month or so, so it's possible they are back up again.
The flash attachment has almost no value. If the filters are Kodak-branded filters or Walz-branded filters, they have some value -- maybe $5-$10 each. If they are Series V, then they have minimal value (less than $5).
Next, if the camera has been sitting for decades, it likely would need to be serviced. While cosmetic condition tells a bit, what is equally important is whether the shutter fires at all speeds; whether the viewfinder is clear or cloudy, whether the camera focuses smoothly and whether the rangefinder is accurate.
A Retina IIa was my first camera, first class German construction. Great lens (for it's time). Rangefinder image a little dim (45 years ago, I put a piece of yellow wratten filter over the rf window). John
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a - read the manual and exercise the lens a bit (http://rawhiti.tripod.com/retina2typ...ionmanual.html)
b - take some pictures of your grandparents with it, the pictures will have special value and they may be pleasantly surprised with the quality of that camera
They'll love you for it (well, love you even more for it).
I still use my Retina II and Retina III.
I've got both of the IIa versions - they came with different lenses for the US and European markets.
As far as I can tell, there's no discernible difference between the two lenses - they're both superb. I love using them, and get great results.
I have the same one. I did not know that there were any differences in lens quality.
Originally Posted by rawhead
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There's another IIa (type 150) made between 1939-41 with knob wind. If it really is a IIa, and his grandfather bought it in 1946, it must be it. Only 5107 examples of this model was made.
Originally Posted by elekm
It was sold with f:3,5 Ektar, f:2,8 Xenon and f:2 Xenon.
The Xenon lenses differed from the post-war versions. The 2,8 Xenon is actually a Xenar with an extra element (the front element "split" in two).
I have a Retina 118 and Retina IIa and love them both but don't shoot them often.
I have read that some users actually prefer the F3.5 lens over the F2 version (mines an F2...)