View Full Version : Retina IIa and Retina IIIc given to me

12-28-2007, 07:59
Hi Folks,

I was recently given a couple of Retina cameras. I was referred to Essex repair in Jersey to have them cleaned and repaired.

Several issues with both..IIa has a linkage issue with shutter release..i can release it using my finger directly on the release tab on the lens...buton has no effect.

IIIc has a very stubborn focus ring and a very sticky shutter...takes about a day to fully close after a slow motion firing.

the lenses on both look fairly clear..the IIIC might be more clear with the IIa being just barely slightly hazy...this might be a nice effect though is what I'm thinking.

I'm sort of fascinated by the idea of shooting with these cameras. They've been in my family from the beginning and we have lots of family pics in our albums that were shot with these two cams.

I'm considering Essex but I'd also love to find a resource for do it yourself repiar...a guide for taking these apart, cleaning, lube, etc.

I'm also looking for extensive galleries with lots of Retina images.

Any other tips info etc. would be great to hear.



12-28-2007, 10:38
Here's a good place to start: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~Srawhiti/index.html

12-28-2007, 10:46
I cannot give you any advice on how to repair the Retinas but they are great cameras. My dad had one and I started my photographic hobby using hso retina (Ia I think it was). Unfortunately I lost it but one day I will get one just for fun....


Steve Bellayr
12-28-2007, 11:19
I have a Kodak Retina IIF with the Retina-Xenar lens. Essex Camera did a CLA. I took the camera to an Antique Car show...outstanding color rendition. Dare I add better than any variable focal length lens & digital...and no work witha photoshop.

Brian Sweeney
12-28-2007, 12:19
I would practice on cameras that are not as sentimentally valuable. Plenty of gummed up Retina cameras to practice on at Ebay.

I learned on some $15 cameras picked up in the "junque store". Lighter fluid in the shutter will usually free up the works. A Little bit in the helical will also "usually work". The IIa has a linkage that goes from the top of the camera to the bottom, and has to be in straight. If it gets knocked off, it will not fire.

The film counter on the IIa is very difficult to get back together, and the lever is hard to get back onto the camera. Best to practice with a $15 camera. Took me a while to learn how to tie back the clutch with dental floss.

Essex advertises $70 for the IIa and a little more for the IIIc. If they are in good cosmetic condition, the CLA will be well worth it. If they are "sentimental beaters", then $70 is not so much money to capture memories.

12-28-2007, 21:49
I'm pretty sure I'm going to send them to Essex. The more I think about it, the less I want to mess around. I'm dying to get one of these cameras around my neck and have some fun with it.

I've noticed people talking about swapping lenses on these cams...that there is a35mm lens on some Retinas...mostly cameras released in europe I gather. Is this a reality for the two cameras I have? I'm suspecting that it isn't but it sure would be great to have a slightly wider lens on one of these. Are folks figuring out ways to make these modifications?

Thanks guys, I appreciate the welcome.

Brian Sweeney
12-28-2007, 21:56
The Retina IIIc has "half" of an interchangeable lens. The front module comes out, and you can put a 35mm and 80mm lens in its place. If you have the Schneider Xenon, you need the Schneider lenses to go with it. Same for the Rodenstock lenses also used on the Retina IIIc. The latter are more often seen in Europe. The 35mm F5.6 and 35mm F4 Scheider Curtagon lenses work with you camera. They are slow in actual use, as you must focus using the RF, check the distance, and then "reset" the distance to a mark for the wide-angle lens. A different mark is used for the 80mm lens. Slow, but works. The lenses are sharp.