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View Full Version : Kodak Retina IIa with Ultron 50/2 lens, is that true?


papaki
07-26-2016, 22:42
Just saw this Kodak Retina IIa with an Ultron 50/2 lens on it. Is this a real, or a fake? Is it yet another franken camera with the front element of another non Kodak camera?
If it is a real one is there any information online for retinas with such rare lenses?

Kodak Retina IIa with Ultron on ebay (http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Kodak-Retina-IIa-mit-Voigtlander-Ultron-2-50mm-aus-Sammlung-TOP-ZUSTAND-/222197091202?hash=item33bbfa8b82:g:DYMAAOSwmtJXVAk W)

johnf04
07-26-2016, 22:52
Nothing in McKeown's Guide, 2001-2002. A fake?

papaki
07-26-2016, 23:18
That is what I have been thinking. I have found no information about Retinas with such lenses. It could be just the front element from another camera. From a Voigtlander Vitessa perhaps?

citizen99
07-27-2016, 00:14
The Seller does say that he has tested the shutter and the film transport, but not himself taken any photographs with the camera.

Hmmm ... so would it focus anwhere near the film plane ? Some thoughts:-

An Ultron intended for a Voigtlander Bessamatic (but that's not on its list in Camera-wiki, although there might have been another after-market offering ?) or similar ?
But the Retina body shown is a folding model, and has the final lens element behind the shutter, as expected.
I leave it to people with more specialist knowledge to judge what would be the values of a Retina body and an Ultron as separate items ...

Sarcophilus Harrisii
07-27-2016, 00:33
The equivalent Bessamatic lens is the 50mm f/2 Septon. An Ultron was never offered for it, at least, not officially.
Cheers
Brett

peebee13
11-22-2016, 10:19
Hi everyone, this is going to be a bit of a story but in the end I'll tell you a secret how to gain and use the best vintage camera you could possibly own today i.m.h.o: A Retina IIa with a Ultron lens in my opinion of course was never a regular combo as it simply hasn't ever been marketed like that. But: If you just read Mark Hansens comments about his expieriences with repairing those extremely complicated Voigtlander Vitessas - a fact I couldn't agree more to as well - one can easily imagine that someone who has seen the extraordinary results possible with an Ultron lens only once, its not surprising that someone who was fed up with fiddling had simply tried to put it on to a far more reliable body (today!) as the Kodak Retina for sure is! At least after I'd seen this one off camera offered on Ebay I immediately thought 'Wow, that's it!' and you guess it: I looked at my Kodak Retina II (Type 011) carrying a Schneider Xenon lens in a Compur Rapid shutter that's got lots of deep scratches by a cleaning maniac who owned my camera prior to me. I also knew that the very first Vitessas had a Compur Rapid Shutter also with an Ultron 2/ 50 mm lens in it. So what I did was simply to screw off BOTH elements of the Schneider lens, i.e. the front and the back lens and replace it with the font and back elements of my Vitessa A (!) This is not a cheap solution to come by if you must buy both cameras in the first place but its extremely rewarding in the end... just view my attached 'flowerchopper' foto....

xayraa33
11-22-2016, 11:15
Hi everyone, this is going to be a bit of a story but in the end I'll tell you a secret how to gain and use the best vintage camera you could possibly own today i.m.h.o: A Retina IIa with a Ultron lens in my opinion of course was never a regular combo as it simply hasn't ever been marketed like that. But: If you just read Mark Hansens comments about his expieriences with repairing those extremely complicated Voigtlander Vitessas - a fact I couldn't agree more to as well - one can easily imagine that someone who has seen the extraordinary results possible with an Ultron lens only once, its not surprising that someone who was fed up with fiddling had simply tried to put it on to a far more reliable body (today!) as the Kodak Retina for sure is! At least after I'd seen this one off camera offered on Ebay I immediately thought 'Wow, that's it!' and you guess it: I looked at my Kodak Retina II (Type 011) carrying a Schneider Xenon lens in a Compur Rapid shutter that's got lots of deep scratches by a cleaning maniac who owned my camera prior to me. I also knew that the very first Vitessas had a Compur Rapid Shutter also with an Ultron 2/ 50 mm lens in it. So what I did was simply to screw off BOTH elements of the Schneider lens, i.e. the front and the back lens and replace it with the font and back elements of my Vitessa A (!) This is not a cheap solution to come by if you must buy both cameras in the first place but its extremely rewarding in the end... just view my attached 'flowerchopper' foto....

In the grand scheme of things, I would not consider a Kodak Retina II the epitome of reliability, but I suppose everything is relative in this world.

FrankS
11-22-2016, 11:37
I have a IIIc with Heligon lens. :)

Sid836
11-22-2016, 11:45
This is just a Retina with the front element of the Ultron lens of a Voigtlander screwed on in. There has never been a Retina with an Ultron lens.

Gregm61
11-22-2016, 14:01
I wouldn't be surprised if he was cooking up some nice "gold" Leica's for us next.

peebee13
11-23-2016, 03:55
It's neither a matter of cooking up things nor trying to rival the holy grail of Leicas etc. but to anyone who has gained sound knowledge in restoring cameras it doesn't come as a surprise that the earliest Vitessa A and the first Retina II made after the War used exactly the same shutter type, the 'Compur Rapid' with identical threads for both lenses, the Xenon 2/50 and the Ultron 2/50. In addition and for reasons of diversification both companies also had differently priced lenses in their range, the Retinas had the Xenar 2,8/50 at the lower end and the Heligon 2/50 at the upper end while the Vitessas had the Skopar 2/50 at the lower end and the Ultron 2/50 at the upper end all fitting into the same standard thread. So why not take the best lens ever made and put it in a camera body that simply works more reliable than a Vitessa that still blocks film transport due to a hopelessly worn guide of the plunger despite total restoration...? Nothing more and nothing less as far as a useable hint I intended to share with others as I'm very happy with the result, so just take it or leave it...!

Sarcophilus Harrisii
11-23-2016, 04:02
The Vitessa is a lovely camera, I am quite happy using an Ultron lens attached to one. They're an unusual design, but all the better for it I think.

Steve M.
11-23-2016, 04:17
"In the grand scheme of things, I would not consider a Kodak Retina II the epitome of reliability."

Well, there it is in a nut shell isn't it? The Kodak Ektars on the Ia Retinas were as good or better than the Ultrons anyway. Not as fast, but better IQ, and had a 3-D way of imaging like a Leica lens. Very, very sharp. The Xenon lenses are very good too. More for people shots, not as razor sharp as the Ektars. Some of my best Retina photos came from the bottom line Xenars.

Sumarongi
10-09-2018, 08:19
Hmmm, there's another one -- at least, the German seller has a different moniker:

eBay item number: 173576510085

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kodak-Retina-IIa-mit-Voigtlander-Ultron-2-50-funktioniert/173576510085?hash=item2869f75a85:g:ujIAAOSwHt1bukX j:rk:1:pf:0

Steve M.
10-09-2018, 09:13
How about this?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cinegon/43512525581

You know, the IIa was available with a 6 element 50 2 Xenon. I can't imagine that an Ultron would be that much better, but I have never tested either.

Steve M.
10-09-2018, 09:18
This shows a IIa w/ a Heligon

https://www.shutterbug.com/content/classic-camerasbrretina-iia

and this site lists the IIa w/ both the Xenon and Heligon 50 2 lenses available

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kodak_Retina_IIa

Solinar
10-09-2018, 09:42
If everything on that IIa is working as it should be - that combo should outperform 99% compact 35mm RF from the 1970'ies with fixed lens.

With regards to the lens swap, neither the Heligon, nor the Xenon are slouch lenses. Whoever did the conversion must of had a dead Vitessa and wanted bump it up a notch on the Retina IIa.

I wonder how much shim adjustment was necessary - which is how the infinity focus was calibrated at the factory.

In the grand scheme of things, I would not consider a Kodak Retina II the epitome of reliability, but I suppose everything is relative in this world.

There's some distinctions between the Retina II and IIa - which from afar look similar. As opposed to the IIa and later cameras, the Retina II doesn't have wind lever or a cocking rack for the shutter.

Unless a novice DIY repair person has buggered the frame counter & winder mechanism, the II is pretty reliable. - (The Retina II uses a winding knob to advance the film - and - a cocking lever located on the shutter that needs to be manually set before each exposure.) - It's a bit fiddly to shoot multiple exposures.

Solinar
10-09-2018, 10:08
This shows a IIa w/ a Heligon

https://www.shutterbug.com/content/classic-camerasbrretina-iia

and this site lists the IIa w/ both the Xenon and Heligon 50 2 lenses available

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kodak_Retina_IIa

I've shot with both lenses on Retinas. All I know is that the Heligon and Xenon are wonderful lenses.

The Heligons were mainly for the German market. The distance markings on the shutter assembly are in meters.

Roger Hicks
10-09-2018, 11:18
As long as the overall lens thickness is the same (use a micrometer), there's do reason why it shouldn't. Well, in theory the two lenses might be of different focal lengths but I'd be surprised if it affected the coupling (though not very surprised).

From http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20how%20re-shutter.html

Changing the thickness of the shutter

On the Copal-Press illustrated on the left there are 12 notches or scallops on the ring concentric with the front cell mount. Undo the screw, and the scalloped ring can be unscrewed somewhat. It is not clear whether this is a deliberate feature to allow fine-tuning of the thickness, from a minimum of 20mm up to a maximum of more than 20.5mm, or a by-product of the design.

Cheers,

R.

shawn
10-09-2018, 12:45
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4769/25340338167_a29241dbd8_z.jpg

I converted one of mine too. The lens groups just screw in, you don't even need to swap shutters. Focus was fine but the shutter was acting up so I haven't shot with it much.

I prefer shooting this folding Ultron...

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4675/38553525000_593684500c_z.jpg

Camera feels more solid than the Retina's and you don't have to reset focus to close it. Shutter has to be cocked manually but that avoids the troubles on the Retinas.

Shawn

Solinar
10-09-2018, 13:10
Camera feels more solid than the Retina's and you don't have to reset focus to close it. Shutter has to be cocked manually but that avoids the troubles on the Retinas.

Shawn

With regards to your shutter troubles. Chris Sherlock, a.k.a. RetinaRescue in New Zealand can sort out any problems with that IIa.