View Full Version : Retina IIa focus problem

02-17-2010, 13:28
Hi folks, I got a nice Retina IIa recently. Seemed fine until I ran some film though it. The problem seems to be one of focus.
The rangefinder patch seems ok - it lines up at all distances. The thing is the focus is way off. It is slightly better at infinity but multiple shots of the same subject showed inconsistent focus. Even though the same point was focused on. Could this be a rangefinder issue or a lens issue? Maybe it just needs a good old CLA?
Any ideas would be gratefully received.

02-17-2010, 13:47
The rangefinder mechanism uses a moving arm that sometimes is slowed by sticky old grease. The lens moves normally, but the rangefinder is slow to follow. If it's a nice IIa, a cla would be worthwhile.

Here's Chris Sherlock's page about this problem: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/%7ESrawhiti/retina2arfadjust.html

Brian Sweeney
02-17-2010, 13:51
Check the Distance Scale against the rangefinder. The two should agree at infinity and close-focus. If they do not agree- that is the problem.

If the Distance scale and RF agree, the lens is too blame. The front element can be unscrewed, and there is a shim in use.

02-17-2010, 14:03
If you Google the problem, I think you'll be surprised at the number of hits. This is a common problem on that model, and it involves a piece that breaks, called the focus rack, AIR. I also believe their is a replacement part that is/has been manufactured by a 3rd party.

Any repair person who works on these will be able to advise you on parts availability, and give you the bad/happy news on cost.

I own and occasionally use a II that I've owned since it was new, and it never developed any similar problem.

Good luck, it's a fine and fun camera to use.


02-17-2010, 14:09
Thanks for the response guys. I'm a little less worried now. It appears to be a rangefinder thing. Focus distance does not correspond with the R/F. It is definitely worth some TLC as I think it's in good condition - just old.


02-23-2010, 05:03
Looks like a beautiful Camera! I got mine CLA's by Chris and it became wonderful to use... my favorite RF.