View Full Version : Kodak Retina - killer street machine??

Jamie Pillers
12-07-2010, 12:39
I just got my little Kodak Retina IIIc camera back from the repair guy and decided to take it out onto the streets of San Francisco to see what it can do. Well... WOW!

The camera is an excellent machine for taking pictures amongst strangers on the street. Its makes almost no noise at all... just a very faint click. Its small and antique-looking, so no one seems to notice it. And the lens is amazing. I have the version with the Rodenstock Heligon 50/2 lens. Here are some of the results:






12-07-2010, 12:46
Great little camera, quite stealthy. Enjoy it!

Brian Sweeney
12-07-2010, 12:46
A bit hard to find for the Heligon- there is a 35/5.6 front component available that I'm betting you would like for street photography. I have the Xenon lens on my IIIc, and have the 35/5.6 wide-angle component for it.

"Just a test shot", but gives an idea of the color rendition with the wide-angle lens. The Heligon is comparable in size and performance.


Jamie Pillers
12-07-2010, 13:06
Hi Brian,
I used to think I'd NEED a 35mm focal length for street stuff, but recently I've been liking 50mm just fine. Lets me feel a bit more 'anonymous'. :-)

Regarding the Heligon (and maybe the Xenon too?), I can't see any significant sharpness difference (on the computer) between it and any other rangefinder lens I've tried (mostly Voigtlanders, Canons, and older Leitz's). Hmmm...

Brian Sweeney
12-07-2010, 13:19
The Xenon lens on my IIIc and IIC is every bit as good as a Summicron.

"One Day", I'll splice the 50/2 Xenon from a jammed/parts Kodak into Leica Mount.

Jamie Pillers
12-07-2010, 13:47
You often make one of these 'ho-hum' pronouncements about some idea of doing this to a lens or that to a camera. They make me smile in amazement! I can think of creative solutions to problems involving wood. But optics, gears, metal stuff... no way!! :-)

Jamie Pillers
12-08-2010, 17:00





Architectural stuff tomorrow.

12-11-2010, 00:27
Beautiful shots! Great light!

I have two Retina IIc, with Xenon and Heligon, plus the wide and tele lenses. I like the Heligon best, and the wide lens is excellent. It's a bit combersome to use with the rangefinder, but for street shots you'll just use zone focusing anyway.