View Full Version : A Thing Of Beauty

08-10-2011, 10:41
I keep going back and forth on whether or not to keep my IIIC. Then I took this photo of it. Just look at it. How could I get rid of it now?

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6076/6028121468_84661881b0_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6028121468/)
Kodak Retina IIIC with Flash (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6028121468/) by br1078phot (http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr


Pickett Wilson
08-10-2011, 10:48
I have a IIIc that I just can't part with either. Great cameras and they fold up so nice! :)

08-11-2011, 02:00
If I were you I would only sell it if I found another Retina that produced better picture quality and felt better to use. :)

08-11-2011, 04:26
They are a beautiful looking camera. I have a little 1a (non rangefinder) which I have used now and then but mainly just take out and fondle.

Brian Sweeney
08-11-2011, 04:29
I have a IIIc and a IIC...

You will not find many cameras that produce better images.

Keep it.

Roger Hicks
08-11-2011, 05:00
Keep it if you use it or if you don't need the money. Is it worth more to you than what you'd get for it, after allowing for the hassle of selling it? I have a post-war IIa that is I find pretty much comparable with a contemporary Leica for image quality and build quality.

Or if you need the money, sell it.



08-11-2011, 11:05
I'll tell you the back story on this camera, and why I find it hard to part with it.

This is, of course, one of the all time faves of photogs everywhere, and I have wanted one for, oh, twenty-five years or more. Never found one in a store all that time, or even come across one at a flea market. So I kind of quit looking. And then the digital revolution took over, so that drove it even further from my thought processes.

Then, as I got back into doing film, I started noticing what cameras were highly thought of, and this was one of them. Still, it was hard to think of parting with the kind of amounts they were going for on eBay, especially if you couldn't determine the shape it was in. So I bided my time some more.

One day, I was in an antique store, the kind that is in a large former industrial building, and just packed full of stuff. Not a lot of cameras though. Oh, there was the occasional beat up Brownie, or a wind up B&H, but not much else. Then I got to just about the last corner, and there was a long-roll TLR, the kind they used when taking photos for school memory books. Big old thing, has ten inch lenses, crackle finish paint, and weighs 25 lbs. So I took it up to the desk, and asked what the price was, because there was no sticker on it. They told me the owner was out for a few minutes, but would be back shortly, so I hung around.

The owner shows up, gives me a decent price on the camera, then asked if I was interested in looking at some he had back in storage. Of course I said 'Yes', so we proceeded to the rear of the building where he pulled out a wooden box, and a camera bag. In the bag was a Nikkormat FT, with an extra lens, and other accessories. I thought, 'Hey, I've always wanted to replace my Nikkormat from years ago', and figured I had really lucked out. Then he says look in the box. I originally thought it was just in the way, by the way he pulled it out from the storage. So I open it, and it was green felt lined. This was a good sign. There was a cheapo Kodak movie camera on top, the kind you can't give away online. Then a couple of other doo-dads in busted boxes. Then I came across another lens for the Nikkormat, along with the hoods for all of them. But at the very bottom, in it's leather ERC, was this Retina. IIIC. And, the wide-angle auxillary lens in the plastic case and cardboard box. I figured no way was I going to be able to afford to get this stuff. After all, I was in an antique store. Well, barn really.

But anyway, the owner asked me what I thought they were worth, as he didn't really deal in photography stuff that much. I told him the Nikkormat with the two extra lenses and hoods, in the shape it was in (needs seals badly), would probably go for $125-175, and that the Retina was worth at least $175-200, plus whatever he could get for the bag, box, and various accessories. He gave me a look that I though he figured I was kidding him, like he had an amount twice that high in mind (which most antique dealers do). Then he said, "Would you give me $200 for the bunch?". I did a quick calculation in my head of my credit card balance, and said "Yes".

So I now had my dream camera, but as I found out later, the shutter was a bit sticky. 'Great, now I'll have to send it off for repairs' I thought. Well, it looked so nice, I was just going to put it on display. But a few months later, after reading about another photgraphers adventures with his Retina, I decided to get it out of the repairables box, and give it another look. Surprise! The shutter was working again! So I ran a roll of film through it, and since it was a fairly cool day, I lost two exposures from the shutter not firing, but it has not stuck since.

I still think it is a bit tedious to use. I don't care for the EV lock on the aperture/shutter. And I've had to come up with a different way of holding it so it is easier to focus. But that shutter has such a wonderful sound, and the focusing is very smooth. It has a nice weight, and the body design (when closed) is superb. I only wish the meter worked, but I have one that clips into the accessory shoe. And, I've been practicing the 'Sunny-16' method.

I really only thought of selling it because I have a plethora of cameras, and It doesn't get the use it should. But then I figured, that's just me, not the camera's fault. And after I took the photo for use in a posting here in the Classifieds, I decided to keep it. And use it more often.

So thanks for the encouragements everyone.