View Full Version : IIa

11-05-2012, 13:35
I have both a Xenar and a Heligon. Need to sell one to pay for the other.

Is the Heligon priced about double because it produces twice the image quality or because it is twice as collectable? Is the Heligon image quality even marginally better than the Xenar?

Humble opinions accepted!

11-05-2012, 13:50
Both are the same quality.. Just different names.

11-05-2012, 14:05
Heligon is price higher due to collectibility.

11-08-2012, 04:16
The IIa wasn't sold with the Xenar. Are you sure it isn't a Xenon? Heligon and Xenon should be on par, as member "PAN F" says, but there is some sample variation, so try them both and compare.

The Xenar was only made as f:3,5 and f:2,8 lenses for the Retina I and Ia models. It should be very sharp stopped down.

11-08-2012, 05:02
Sorry for the discrepancy. It is a "Retina-Xenon f:2/50mm red triangle Schneider-Kreuznach". Marked in feet.

I ask because I understand the Xenon is first rate little lens. But I never hear about the Heligon.

I suppose I should put the camera to the test. It seems difficult to use and hard to hold when compared to a full sized SLR in my big, arthritic hands. It's not even five inches wide!

11-08-2012, 10:53
I'd consider two things to make that kind of decision:

1. How much money is needed to support tje habit. If lots, then sell the Heligon. If less, then sell the Xenon. Rationale: IQ is the same (great) for both and if money is less of an issue than the rarer version might be mroe fun in terms of bragging-rights.

2. How many accessories lenses are desired. If not, then use issue 1 to decide. If some accessory lenses are of interest then consider the fact that Xenon accessory lenses are easier to find (in the US and on ebay, at least). Rationale: the mounts are slightly different an Xenon/Heligon are not interchangable between the two.

11-09-2012, 05:32
I've had and sold several Retinas including the IIIc with a number of accessories. Couldn't stand the bottom wind. Sold it and an extensive Retina collection to a true Retina collector. I currently have three IIa cameras. Two Xenons and the Heligon. The IIa is the apogee of the Retina line.

I once had a Rollei with a Xenar/Xenon and it was stunningly sharp. Sold it for a month's worth of groceries. Kept the more collectable Tessar Automat w/accessories. It is as good as the other but worth more.

My heirs will only end up giving my cameras to Goodwill, including my Dad's cameras, when they put me in assisted living. It's happening to my 83-year-old mother next week.

The idea is to trim it all down to a few keepers and spend the money on myself. The keepers have to be good users/classics.

Consensus seems to be "keep the Heligon" but bragging rights aren't what they used to be. I think I'll flog the Heligon and keep the best Xenon.

11-09-2012, 07:44
The Retina IIA doesn't have interchangeable lens options it is a fixed 50mm Xenon.
The retina "c and C" series were the interchangeable types.

Oops. Saw IIA and thought IIc/C. Thansk for the correction. My apologies.