PDA

View Full Version : Retina 1b with removable front element?


Don C.
12-03-2009, 11:24
Back in the 80's, I had a Retina 1b that was probably sold in Europe (it had the metric focusing scale and German-language film reminder dial). It had the standard 2.8 50mm Xenar lens. However, the front element would remove just like those on the IIc and IIIc. I was able to mount the 35mm wide angle lens from my IIIc. However, it never seemed to form a viable image.

Does anyone know if the removable front element was standard on the 1b or if I had some kind of oddball model or perhaps a repaired 1b that had a shutter from another model? The latter doesn't seem likely since it didn't have the wide angle and telephoto auxilliary focusing scales like the IIc and IIIc.

Sadly, I don't have the camera now, so I can't provide a serial number or any other info.

Thanks!

Brian Sweeney
12-03-2009, 12:53
Kodak re-used the shutter and lens mount from the IIc on the 1b. However: the Xenar rear group is not compatible with the Xenon rear group optically. I'm betting that you could replace the rear group of the 1b Xenar with a rear module from the Xenon and make it work. I need to buy a 1b to find out.

rpjasin
12-12-2009, 15:28
Interesting question and thread. A couple of years ago I exchanged emails with an eBay seller that had a large Retina collection he was parting with. He indicated in his ad that the aux lens components 35mm and 80mm, would fit a Ib and IB. I challeged him on that point, and he emailed me back the photo below. I have since aquired a Ib and cannot see how the front component could be changed as the standard 50mm component is not removeable, at least not without tools of some sort, and I won't try any further without fear of damaging something. I believe the camera pictured was modified somehow, but he insisted it wasn't. It's a mystery to me!

FPjohn
12-12-2009, 15:39
A look at my Ib's Xenar front element and mount reveals a tab that prevents the removal of the front element. The Xenon has a registration tab on the rim of the lens element, not the lens mount rim, in the same position.

yours
FPJ

raid
12-12-2009, 16:03
I have a Ib with a Xenar. I could take another look at it.

This camera was thrown in a river on three river trips, as my canoe would tip over with me and the Ib. Finally, the "baptized" Ib was cleaned and repaired by Eddy Smolov. It works like new again.

raid
12-12-2009, 16:36
The front of the 50mm lens is easily removed without any special tools on my Retina Ib. Now I need a 35 or 80 part to be mounted on the Ib.

FPjohn
12-12-2009, 16:44
The front of the 50mm lens is easily removed without any special tools on my Retina Ib. Now I need a 35 or 80 part to be mounted on the Ib.

Hello Raid:

So there is more than one version of the mount. IB or Ib? Is your Retina a Euro, as per the OP, or North American marketed camera?


yours
FPJ

raid
12-12-2009, 17:12
I need to check the distance scale. I am assuming that this will tell us whether it is for the European market or not? Right?

raid
12-12-2009, 17:16
It has feet on the distance scale, so it was meant for the US market.
Is there anything else you want me to inspect on this camera?

ZeissFan
12-12-2009, 17:22
As I recall, it wasn't that difficult to remove the front element of the Ib/B.

But as Brian pointed out, the Ib/B has a Xenar and the IIc/C and IIIc/C have a Xenon, which is a different lens formula.

And obviously a zone-focus 85mm lens doesn't cut it, as if using the auxiliary lenses with the rangefinder-equipped cameras isn't difficult enough already.

FPjohn
12-12-2009, 17:22
This is interesting. Perhaps the removable element was earlier and they decided to save us from ourselves. Serial no. on my Ib is 140286.

yours
FPJ

rpjasin
12-12-2009, 17:24
I just retreived my Ib from its original box and took another look at the front of the lens. Wrapping my thumb and forefinger firmly around the front lens knurling, I gave it a twist counterclockwise and bingo! It came right off.

Now, my IIC and IIIC both are Rodenstock Heligon varieties, so I only have the Rodenstock Heligon 35 and 80mm components, and could not get them to twist and lock on the Ib, but they DO fit the mount. After realizing this, I'm convinced the Xenon components would fit and lock. It would be a fun experiment to mount them up and see what happens with film. Bob

Ib serial number 167089

raid
12-12-2009, 17:32
The serial number on my Ib is 62467. It must be an earlier model.

I am very impressed by the first quality craftmanship seen in the camera built and finish. The chrome is still shining beautifully, and the engraving on the front of the lens is crisp and clear like it were a new lens.

FPjohn
12-12-2009, 17:34
So the higher serial no. Ib cameras had the removable front elements?

yours
FPJ

ZeissFan
12-12-2009, 17:37
It's not supposed to be removable. But if you twist sharply, you can remove it (as I recall).

I would guess that Kodak, for economy of scale, used the same mounting ring for the three models I, II and III, rather than have separate mounting rings.

raid
12-12-2009, 17:37
I don't think so; my Ib has a low number but has removable front element.

How many Ib were built?
rpjasin has 167089 and I have 62467.

FPjohn
12-12-2009, 17:37
So far, no correlation with European vs NA version or with early vs later production.

yours
FPJ

FPjohn
12-12-2009, 17:45
The serial number on my Ib is 62467. It must be an earlier model.

I am very impressed by the first quality craftmanship seen in the camera built and finish. The chrome is still shining beautifully, and the engraving on the front of the lens is crisp and clear like it were a new lens.

They are beautiful, gemlike, in some ways more appealing then a Barnack.

yours
FPJ

raid
12-12-2009, 17:51
It's not supposed to be removable. But if you twist sharply, you can remove it (as I recall).

I would guess that Kodak, for economy of scale, used the same mounting ring for the three models I, II and III, rather than have separate mounting rings.

I would agree with you that the lens element was most likely not meant to be removed.

FPjohn
12-12-2009, 18:09
Xenar has no serial nos matched with the mount. Perhaps because there is no expectation that it is to be removed.

Xenon has mount and front element with matched serial numbers. The expectation is that it can be removed and the serial nos ensure no confusion pairing lens and mount?
yours
FPJ

rpjasin
12-12-2009, 18:47
The Ib, type 018, 1954-1957, serial number ranges were 50001-199894 & 450629-460383. It was not marketed in the USA, and was only offered with the Retina-Xenar f2.8/50mm lens. (My Ib, SN 167089, is calibrated in feet rather than meters).

The IB, type 019 I, 1957-1958 SN range 462034-481599. Not marketed in the USA, only offered with a Retina-Xenar f2.8/50mm lens.

The IB, type 019 II, 1958-1960, SN range 481600-500638 & 50219-83260. Not marketed in the uSA, also only offered with the Retina Xenar f2.8/50mm lens.

I'll bet all of these have removable front elements. The above info all taken from McKeowns's 2004-2006. Bob

Brian Sweeney
12-12-2009, 18:48
I have a Retina IIC, relatively late SN, that can be opened up to F2. It is marked only to F2.8. I've put an F2 front module on it and used it with good results. I've tried this with another IIC, slightly earlier SN, only opened to F2.8.

Kodak did a lot of mixed a lot of parts between cameras, seemed to use components from the "deluxe models" on the lower-cost siblings as required.

Nothing surprises me anymore with the Retinas.

raid
12-12-2009, 20:08
Brian,

Is it the one from Robin?

Snake Charmer
03-13-2010, 08:54
Hi all, I have just purchased a Retina 1B very late model. The stamp on the manual says July 9 1960. I confess I bought it thinking it was a 111C. No matter. I had been a bit familiar with the 11C and was also confused why the lens would not easiily detach. I then noticed a preventer tab at about 4 o'clock on the lens. Bingo! if you just lift the tab with your finger nail the lens rotates off with ease. Serial No: 75412 Sold originally in Germany.http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4027/4429935468_cbc94116e4_b.jpg

hififish
12-09-2011, 14:38
The Ib, type 018, 1954-1957, serial number ranges were 50001-199894 & 450629-460383. It was not marketed in the USA, and was only offered with the Retina-Xenar f2.8/50mm lens. (My Ib, SN 167089, is calibrated in feet rather than meters).

The IB, type 019 I, 1957-1958 SN range 462034-481599. Not marketed in the USA, only offered with a Retina-Xenar f2.8/50mm lens.

The IB, type 019 II, 1958-1960, SN range 481600-500638 & 50219-83260. Not marketed in the uSA, also only offered with the Retina Xenar f2.8/50mm lens.

I'll bet all of these have removable front elements. The above info all taken from McKeowns's 2004-2006. Bob

Found a retina ib, but fron lens read serial 5101806-- does it mean somebody had replaced this with other type lens ?

batterytypehah!
12-09-2011, 16:14
^No, the lens and the body have separate serial numbers. The body number is next to the accessory shoe.

My IB (482522, German specs) only needs a hearty twist to remove the front element. The locking tab is present but either it's weak, or not engaging properly. I have the manual, too, which doesn't mention a peep about removing the front. The illustrations don't even show the red alignment dot on the mount.