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Retina IIa Type 150 - Info?
Old 05-05-2012   #1
CPDST
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Retina IIa Type 150 - Info?

Hi All,

I was wondering if anybody here would be able to contribute some information about the Kodak Retina IIa Type 150 - there isn't all that much on the web. I just picked up an example off eBay - the pictures I show here are from the listing, not by me, as I don't have the camera yet. My camera has a Rodenstock Heligon f:2/50 lens, comes with a case, and a Kodalux L meter. It has also had a PC synchronization socket added - I guess I could remove that and replace the focus dial with one from a dud Retina II. From what I have gathered, 5107 of this model (IIa Type 150, all lens variations) were produced between 1939 and 1941, and it was only sold in Germany - which seems strange, as Germany was not yet at war with the States, and this was a more advanced model than the previous Type 142. Were German Merchant ships not able to get out of the Baltic Sea? - I thought that German Merchant ships were able to go to South America until about 1942.. By the way, I have already contacted Chris Sherlock, to ask him for information, in-case anybody was going to suggest.

IIa Tp.150 #1.jpg IIa Tp.150 #2.jpg

IIa Tp.150 #3.jpg

Regards,
Craig - one very happy camera collector - It has a Heligon f:2/50 lens, for heavens sake!!
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Old 05-07-2012   #2
JPD
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The Heligon is made in 1946 according to the serial number, so it probably comes from a post-war Retina. Is it coated?
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Old 05-07-2012   #3
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Hi JPD,

No, I do not think it is coated. After hearing back from Chris Sherlock, he suggests that the Heligon lens unit may have been added at the the time that the flash synchronization switch was added. I wonder though if the camera wasn't assembled out of spare parts - a body left over from the 5107 run of IIa's, which was then assembled with a post-war lens and shutter perhaps, and then sold on by Kodak A.G.? But I am still happy with my literally one-of-a-kind IIa - though in the future, I might purchase a junk late model Retina II (Type 142) to take a an original shutter and lens from, to make the camera more original to the pre/just beginning WWII era..

Cheers,
Craig.
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Old 05-07-2012   #4
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Congratulations on your early war-time IIa,
Perhaps a GI brought it back to the US with him? Lots of German cameras came to America that way.
Or perhaps it was exported through Turkey, like many of the Zeiss Super Ikontas were to the UK.
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Old 05-19-2012   #5
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Incidentally, the camera on my avatar is a IIa, type 150, but with a 2.8/50 Xenon lens. This lens is actually a five element Xenar (Tessar-type), with the front element split in two to allow for better corrections at 2.8 A very good lens.
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Old 05-21-2012   #6
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Hi JPD, and all,

I heard from some other website about the f2.8 Xenon being a Xenar with a split front element. I wonder why they just didn't install a regular f2 Xenon limited to f2.8? With my camera, I am agonizing over whether to replace the entire lens unit/shutter with a 1938 Kodak Ektar f3.5 lens that I have from a Retina II type 142, or whether to take an f2 DoF indicator wheel (It still has the original f3.5 DoF indicator wheel) from a junk camera, replace the helical with one unmarred by a flash synchronization post, and remove the synchro post. I am currently inclined to do the latter, as it won't make the camera any less original than it is now, and doing the former option won't make it any more original either - It wouldn't have had a 1938 lens/shutter anyway. Anyway, a Heligon f2 Type 150 will be literally a one-of-a-kind camera, and I am the kind of person to like one-of-a-kind cameras. Does anybody else have an opinion on this?

Cheers,
Craig :-)
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Old 05-21-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPDST View Post
(...) Does anybody else have an opinion on this?
Just leave it as it is , with its own history, and use it! It is not 100% new in box, so it won't lose any value anyway.

PS : It has strap lugs : are they present on prewar Retinas or were they added later? Post war 014 do not have them I think.
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Old 05-21-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPDST View Post
I heard from some other website about the f2.8 Xenon being a Xenar with a split front element. I wonder why they just didn't install a regular f2 Xenon limited to f2.8?
They kind of did! The 2.0 Xenon is very much like a five element 2.8 Xenar/Xenon PLUS an extra rear element.

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Old 05-21-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.H. View Post
PS : It has strap lugs : are they present on prewar Retinas or were they added later? Post war 014 do not have them I think.
I think this is the only pre-war model with strap lugs.
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Old 05-22-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPDST View Post
But I am still happy with my literally one-of-a-kind IIa - though in the future, I might purchase a junk late model Retina II (Type 142) to take a an original shutter and lens from, to make the camera more original to the pre/just beginning WWII era..
I agree with S.H. Leave it as it is. It may be a good shooter. Then get a Retina II (type 142) in GOOD condition to use as a WWII era camera. The separate eyepiece for the rangefinder will give you a different "feeling".

I have another type 150 with 2/50 Xenon that I might send to Chris Sherlock. The rangefinder mechanism needs cleaning.
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Old 05-22-2012   #11
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Hi JPD,

I already have a Retina II Type 142, only it has a Kodak Ektar (Probably a re-badged S-K Xenar) f3.5 lens. I would like to get one with an f2 Xenon though!

I agree that the high magnification R/F does give a different feel, as does the uncluttered finder (No R/F patch) - both the finder and the R/F need a major cleaning though, and I am worried about dismantling the top plate myself, especially considering the Type 142 has a very strange rewind shaft, with the rotating lower section, and fixed upper section. Does anybody know what magnification Nagel/Kodak used on the type 142 R/F? I would guess about 3x or 4x..

By the way JPD, you have two Type 150's !! Considering that only 5107 were made (If the source is correct), that's a bit greedy - Maybe you should "re-distribute" some of your "wealth" . Joking of course . You must be incredibly lucky to have one with the f2.8 Xenon/Xenar and one with the f2 Xenon!!

Cheers,
Craig. :-)
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Old 05-22-2012   #12
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It was also sold in northern Italy: my grandfather had one and he lived in Milan at the time. Not surprising, since we (unfortunately) where the main German allies.
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Old 05-23-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPDST View Post
Hi JPD,

I already have a Retina II Type 142, only it has a Kodak Ektar (Probably a re-badged S-K Xenar) f3.5 lens. I would like to get one with an f2 Xenon though!
Don't pass on one with the 2.8 Xenon if you find one in good condition. The fifth element makes this lens a gem. Although it's basically a Xenar it's sharper than the coated post-war four element 2.8 Xenar.

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1115/4...454e968a_b.jpg

(I used f:4 instead of 2.8 as the largest aperture because I didn't want to overexpose. Efke KB25 doesn't like that)

Quote:
Does anybody know what magnification Nagel/Kodak used on the type 142 R/F? I would guess about 3x or 4x..
Compare a lamp post or something looking through both eyepieces. I don't have the type 142, but I doubt that the magnification is more than 1,5x.

Quote:
By the way JPD, you have two Type 150's !! Considering that only 5107 were made (If the source is correct), that's a bit greedy - Maybe you should "re-distribute" some of your "wealth" . Joking of course . You must be incredibly lucky to have one with the f2.8 Xenon/Xenar and one with the f2 Xenon!!
I'll be happier when I find the model with 3.5 Ektar to complete the Type 150 collection. It's often good when the sellers don't know which type and how rare the cameras are. I didn't pay much for my two.
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Old 08-27-2012   #14
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My IIa with Xenon f:2.0 arrived today from Chris Sherlock, the Retina repair expert and forum member, after a full overhaul. The rangefinder now works correctly and the shutter runs as new. The focusing is much smoother, and I'm amazed how clear the finder is. Good work Chris!

I will load it with film and take test shots soon. The 2.8 Xenon on my other IIa is very sharp, and while I don't think the 2.0 Xenon is as sharp, I will probably be happy with the short DOF fully open.

(These Xenons are of totally different constructions, so it's not only the aperture).
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File Type: jpg Retina_IIa_150.jpg (37.2 KB, 16 views)
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Old 11-08-2012   #15
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I keep my IIa (150) open. For some reason the rangefinder refuses to show infinity at infinity most of the time it's opened. It then shows objects at infinity as 20 meters. This time I opened it, infinity is correct, but I had to open and close the camera 25+ times.

Chris Sherlock overhauled the camera for me, and he said that there are evidence that the camera had been dropped, so maybe something is a tiny bit bent or maybe a spring is damaged. The rangefinder mechanism is a precision instrument, so it doesn't take much for it to be misadjusted.

But at leat the camera is now usable!
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