View Full Version : Some pictures taken with a Retina IIa
While on holiday in Edinburgh, I bought a Retina IIa from a charity shop. These are some pictures from the test film.
300 bucks on a dinner? Who was that "friend", the sultan of brunei? I hope they had some real good food:) and drink!
That Xenon F2 (I assume) is quite sharp. I used my IIIc on vacation that has the same lens; but with the front element removable to mount a 35mm and 80mm lens.
I also have a IIa but use it less than the IIIc, preferring the larger finder of the latter with my glasses. If you ever decide to clean the IIa viewfinder pay close attention to the counter built into the advance lever. I finally hit on using dental floss to tie the "CLAW" back while putting the advance back onto the camera. If you do it wrong the mechanism that locks the camera at the last exposure engages and the camera cannot be advanced.
Great shots. I really liked the detail in the rocks in the shot with the round turret in the upper right. Wow.
love that archway shot.
Although the lens is sharp, the images of my fotoblog are scanned from prints. I find this quicker for pictures that are to be viewed on the web. However, I process the images with the Nik Sharpener Plug-in (a review can be foud here http://www.imaging-resource.com/SOFT/NS/NS.HTM). This improves the sharpness of the screen images. It seemed expensive when I first got it but it is quite cheap given that I have use it on nearly all the 2000+ photos on my fotoblog (http://jfbell20.fotopages.com). There are other sharpening tools available, see http://www.rogercavanagh.com/helpinfo/26_sharpex.htm.
I must go now. I just got a jupiter 12 for my Kiev camera, the sun is shining and it needs testing.
I really enjoy seeing photos taken with older cameras and yours taken with that Retina were excellent from where I sit. Really makes you wonder how far we really have come with equipment. I think that when you scan a print/neg/slide you have to always sharpen it a bit which is a result of the scanning process and not a reflection of the taking len's sharpness.
The biggest difference I have noticed is that more modern lens have better coatings that cope with flare. The other thing is the fall in price in cameras. Something I have noticed is the inability of the photographic industry to come up with the ideal pocketable camera (i.e. with a rangefinder and metered manual exposure).
Arguably, a good Point and Shoot camera meets your suggestion, but really, the closest you'll get will (pocketable w. rangefinder) will be the Olympus XA. Yes, it's aperture priority auto-exposure, but you do set the film speed manually, so you can adjust exposure that way, and also with the little +1.5ev switch.
There is aslo the Contax T which has a rangefinder and aperture priority. My ideal camera would have the lens of a contax T or Rollei S, the barn-door mechanism of the Chinon Bellami, the range finder of the Contax T and the manual controls of the Rollei.
Those Retinas were no slouches. They were German-made, and some of the models - IIa, IIc, would, if in good shape, be perfectly useable now. The IIIs had built-in meters.
I happen to have a Welta 35mm camera of very similar build. It has a Schneider Xenon f2 lens, and shots I've taken with it have come out pretty decent. Only thing noticeabley wrong is that the frame counter doesn't seem to work. But I've had it at a camera store or two and gotten comments about how close it resembles a Retina.
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