Kodak Retina IIa CLA
I just got a Retina IIa from a Craigslist poster. The camera seems to be in perfect working shape. The rangefinder seems accurate, the shutter and aperture work fine as well. The exposure counter doesn't work, and there is some dust in the lens (to be expected on both accounts).
I want to use this camera, not just keep it on a shelf. So, I want to get it serviced to make sure it's in working order. I've called a few camera shops in my area and they won't CLA because there are no parts available.
I have no idea what all is involved in a CLA, so I don't know if it's something I should risk doing myself, or if there is anyone out there that will still CLA these older rangefinders.
Please let me know if you have any advice for me. Thanks!
The best person to do a CLA on a Retina is Chris Sherlock, in New Zealand, Google Chris's camera page for details, Worth getting done as they are very nice cameras to use, producing great results, I have 3 retinas,all of which I use,I have a Retina 1, a 1b and a 11c,
I recommend Essex Camera Repair in Carlstadt, NJ (on the web); they have done excellent work on Minolta bodies and service all makes.
I got my Zeiss Ikonta 645 folder CLA'd by Mark Hansen at Classic Camera Repair ( http://www.zeissikonrolleirepair.com/ ) and could not be happier. He went the extra mile to try to fix a weird issue it had, kept me completely informed before, during and after the repairs, etc. I had seen another happy customer of his post to these forums and decided to give him a shot, and now I'm a happy customer too!
The winding/cocking mechanism and shutter are the biggest problems on that camera. I worked on one with some success. If those two work ok, you're in pretty good shape - lens cells are really easy to clean as they simply unscrew from the shutter.
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I had one CLA'd by Zack's Camera Repair in Providence RI (U.S.). Probably not very convienient for you, but they did a great job. Parcel Force mail from the UK to the US East coast is about 5 days.
I have several Retina's and while they are great cameras, idleness does them no good, the CLA before you use it is pretty much essential IMO.
Be prepared to likely spend more than you paid for the camera however.
hope this helps...i know he is far from local. he does great work.
You have already received comments recommending Chris Sherlock in New Zealand. He seems to be the best fellow for that task at this time, even though he is not conveniently located for most of us, including we who are in the US of A.
My local camera repair shop here in Latte Land did the work on my Kodak Retina IIIc, and it does seem to be working well. Doug also has a Retina IIIC that he has been encouraging me to buy. He does point out that it does have the frame lines for the 35mm and 80mm Accessory Lenses in the viewfinder already. At this time, there is an FSU viewfinder for the accessory lenses that I have been putting on the accessory shoe on top.
One point not mentioned by others, but it was stressed to me by Doug, is the self-timer. Doug says that it is a weak point in the SYNCHRO COMPUR shutter timing system, and he suggests just leaving it alone, if you insist on keeping the little lever for it intact. His actual recommendation was to remove the lever to prevent any unintentional arming of the self-timer and possible shutter problems.
Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington
When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."