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View Full Version : Is the built quality of Retina III series much better than Retina IIa?


bitfeng
01-29-2013, 09:37
By browsing the listing pictures on the bay, I just noticed that almost all Retina IIa and earlier models have rusty bodies, while most Retina III series are shiny like new - is there any significant quality improvement from IIa to III? Wondering if I should get an IIa, but it feels so flimsy when compared to my Vito II, which is truely a gem. Thanks.

raid
01-29-2013, 10:05
My IIb looks great, even after being dropped three times into a small stream.

edit: It is actually a Ib.

bitfeng
01-29-2013, 10:55
good to know
My IIb looks great, even after being dropped three times into a small stream.

bitfeng
01-29-2013, 10:58
I saw many early Retinas have greenish copper rust. All three of my Voigtlanders - Vitessa, Vitomatic IIa and Vito II look shiny like new. So just want to know if models after IIa would get better.:p
I found that my IB had something wrong with the chrome on the top plate that made it look rusty. Apparently this is quite common. Whether that afflicts the earlier models I don't know.

I'd say that, apart from the cosmetics, it seemed as well made as the Vitos I've used.

jet1944
01-29-2013, 11:49
I have a retina II the one with the circle around the II ,no rust ,a bit rough .black paint missing but works o.k

raid
01-31-2013, 06:34
I am still amazed at the built quality of the Retina Ib. It is not IIb as I first said above.
Which camera will function after three soaking in a river (in three different years)?
In the end, I had it CLA'd.

Tom Harrell
02-01-2013, 03:14
I have a IIa. I enjoy shooting with it and it takes really good photo's. I wish it had parallax correction though for shooting close up.

RichL
02-01-2013, 18:16
I have used both the IIa and the III. In my opinion the IIa is, hands down, the higher quality of the two.

I think the III's are generally speaking, in better shape than the II's because (a) they were used less and (b) they were typically kept in their e.r.c.

Perhaps Chris or another repair person will weigh in with a more definitive answer.

tonyj
03-03-2013, 14:55
Keep searching! There are good IIa's still out there waiting to be found.

ZeissFan
03-03-2013, 15:07
I think it has to do with the process for the satin chrome finish.

I've seen a number of Retinas that have pitting in the finish.

You don't see as much pitting in the later non-folding models, including the IIIS, IIS and later Retina Reflexes.

I think the earlier models used a different process, and the satin chrome finish on those models is different visually from that of later cameras.

hausen
03-03-2013, 15:26
I have both and think I prefer IIa. Build quality to me seems to be the same. Never use meter on my IIIc and IIa is just so tiny that I generally use that.

bitfeng
03-03-2013, 17:19
Thank you all gents. You guys are awesome. One day I even saw a $50 Heliogon Retina IIa but passed because of the cosmetic imperfection.

colyn
03-03-2013, 18:27
One of the reasons for pitting in older Retinas was the shortage of nickel used in the plating process. With later Retinas nickel was widely available therefore less problems with pitting..

Quality wise all Retinas employeed the highest standards of quality control..

bitfeng
03-11-2013, 11:01
Just got a IIa with Heligon for $17 shipped. Yes it seems to me the nickel layer is too thin - so I got quite some copper green to clean up. And a few Zeiss bumps on the back. Otherwise ok although too many sharp edges to catch a pouch. In terms of portability, Voigtlander II wins hands down.

One of the reasons for pitting in older Retinas was the shortage of nickel used in the plating process. With later Retinas nickel was widely available therefore less problems with pitting..

Quality wise all Retinas employeed the highest standards of quality control..

mikemc_photo
06-29-2013, 04:19
I will put my IIIC up against any Vito around. Interchangeable lens, Synchro Compur MXV shutter , and a folding cover to protect the front. I restored these for years, and with the cocking rack the "weak"link these are solid cameras. The rack will strip if the advance is forced (counter blocked) or the shutter gums up. The SC mxv is the same shutter that Rollei and Hasselblad have used for years