View Full Version : Don't know what I have here...

11-05-2009, 09:39
Hi folks from a newbie. I was rummaging through some old stuff in the attic including a lot of my late Dad's belongings and came across a Kodak Retina. The lens is an Anastigmat Ektar f3.5=5cm, the shutter release is on the lens itself (nowhere else) and the shutter is a Compur-Rapid. To be honest (and I hesitate to say this in these hallowed forums filled with enthusiasts - this is my cue to duck below the parapet and await incoming fire...) I was thinking of selling it and was going to try to glean some idea from the internet of what it's worth, but I'm not even sure which model it is. Inside the back of the camera is what I take to be a serial number, 52350K, if that helps.

Any ideas?

Pictures at www.photobucket.com/grayarea744


11-05-2009, 11:47
Looks like a Retina I Type 126, Gray:


but can't relate your serial number to Chris Sherlock's lists.

11-05-2009, 12:03
not a clue on the camera, but welcome to the forum!

Brian Sweeney
11-05-2009, 13:22
The older Retina's are scale focus, simpler cameras. I paid $30 for one similar to this one. They sold for a fair bit when new, and are quite good cameras. One not too different from this one went up Mt Everest.

But for the amount of money that it will bring, it's a good place to start a small collection of cameras, or at least keep it in the family as it belonged to your Dad.

11-05-2009, 13:57
Retina prices, I am told, are a bit of a lottery as there are some variants made in particular factories that collectors go bats for, whilst others aren't worth a huge amount (can anyone confirm or refute that?). So you could have a goldmine there, or a huge disappointment. Odds on the latter, I'm afraid - Brian's price is probably fair.

It looks as though your Dad used it well, which will obviously lower the price. Given that Retinas - even this old - will take a standard 35mm film cartridge ( If I recall correctly, Kodak inherited the design when they bought Nagel in the mid a930s, who had just invented the lightproof 35mm cartridge), I'd find out how it works and run a roll of black-and-white through it before you do anything else. You might love it...


11-14-2009, 01:28
Do you know, I think I will put a roll in and see what happens...

Thanks very much for all the good info folks.

11-14-2009, 02:23
ํYou'll love this nice little camera.
I alway carry my Retina every day.
Welcome to RFF.

11-14-2009, 08:23
Do you know, I think I will put a roll in and see what happens...

Thanks very much for all the good info folks.

The Dark Side claims another victim! If you aren't sure what you are doing, there's probably a manual over at www.butkus.org, and no doubt lots of help here. If you are - good luck and enjoy yourself!


11-14-2009, 09:37
The one on the Mt. Everest was the Retina 118 the second model. Hillary bought it used and had the incredibly luck to get one with a Tessar lens (As much as I recall only 10% of those had one).
Your Dad's is a Retina I as at that time there was already a Retina II with an RF

11-15-2009, 17:03
Your late Dad's Retina I camera Serial number 52350K. with the Kodak-Anastigmat Ekter f:3,5 F=5cm lens and COMPUR-RAPID shutter is a Typ 126 Retina I. I was manufactured in 1937.

It is from a serial number series of Typ 126 cameras that has been identified from 50004K. to 65079K.

If the lens is engraved with EKTAR in all capitals and the focus scale is in feet and "Made in Germany" is engraved on the tripod mount, then the camera was specifically made for export to Eastman Kodak Co. for sail in the USA and Canada.

11-15-2009, 17:09
I have just reviewed the pictures - It is definitely a Typ 126 and it has a metric focus scale with a circular depth of field scale in German. It was meant for the European market.

11-15-2009, 17:20
Nice little piece. I think it has a small depression in the back, which would lower its value.

Prices of Retinas can be a bit variable. I would place its value at about $25.

11-21-2009, 05:17
Thanks very much for all the trouble you've all gone to folks, it really is much appreciated. A roll of B&W has gone in this very day and my 13 year-old son and I are having fun experimenting!

06-10-2010, 17:25
I have a Retina Automatic III with a Retina-Xenar 2.8/45 lens and a Compur shutter of some sort. It appears to have been made in the not too distant past. Can anyone tell me more about this variant please?

06-11-2010, 06:56
Hi fitzy and welcome to the forum too!

There's a nice article over Automatic Retinas at: http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Kodak_Retina_Automatic_I_II_III

I would like to add to the article that the Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm/2.8 is a superb lens. I like the -60's James Bond-style retro look of the camera too.

06-13-2010, 20:46
:) Thanks for the pointer Mablo, much appreciated. I agree that the Xenar is a first class lens, along with the Voigtlander Color-Skopar