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Kodak Retina and Ektra Rangefinders This forum is for 35mm Kodak Retinas and Ektras rangefinders. The Retinas are known for their German engineering, relatively modest price and superb lenses. The Ektras are known as by far the finest 35mm American made rangefinder ever made.

View Poll Results: Barnack vs. Retina
Barnack 171 56.81%
Retina 130 43.19%
Voters: 301. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-11-2016   #81
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I recently cleaned the VF and RF patch of my IIIC. Gaining access was pretty easy:

Remove the screw to the right of the meter, and the two under the left rewind knob (pull the knob up to access them). The top plate will pull up, then rotate it 90 degrees to the body, so it sits on top of the camera. This gives you access to the VF and RF optics without having to remove the rewind knob/shaft.

Careful cleaning with optical grade swabs left my camera's VF much cleaner, and the RF patch brighter.

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Old 07-03-2017   #82
mich rassena
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I bought an absolute gem of a Retina IIIc the other day. It's almost too nice to use, and cost me less than $100. I think it's unlikely I can find a Barnack Leica with a lens in such condition without a lot of luck.

As long as you only use the 50mm lens, the Retina has a lot to recommend it over the Leica, including flash sync at all speeds and the integrated viewfinder/rangefinder.

Something about the Retinas makes me smile. They seem so cute and fun.
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Old 07-03-2017   #83
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I've only had my Retina II (type 014) for a few weeks but instantly it felt great in the hand. The lens is dead sharp of course. I wouldn't be able to chose between it and my Leotax F. Different beasts for different occasions. The Retina wins on size and combined viewfinder/,rangefinder.

Even with a modestly dirty viewfinder it's exceptionally easy to use.
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Old 10-18-2017   #84
Keith S
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Very high quality durable body designs and manufacturing

Great lenses

Easy to repair and maintain

Those are reasons I began to collect and use them - - -

Retina IIa, Retina IIIc, and the terrific (often ridiculed) and fun to use little Signet 35

. . . on to finding more for the collection . . .
"My film died of exposure!"
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Old 10-18-2017   #85
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Since I got the M2 I sold the Leica IIIc.
I am shooting the first roll in a near mint Retina IIa.
I'm keeping my Leica Standard and the M2.
Depending on how the first roll turns out on the IIa, I'm either keeping it or gifting it to a friend.
Confused? Yes I am.

I don't know why this thread popped back up, but since it did, I can report that I wish I had not gifted the Retina to the friend, it was fun to shoot, and the lens was super.
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Old 03-13-2019   #86
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retina all the way-shared vf/rf window is great advantage...
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Old 03-13-2019   #87
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This is a little out of place, but I had two Schneider-Kreuznach lenses (Xenon 50/1.9 and Curtagon 35/2.8) without the rangefinder cams, bought a Retina Reflex IV to mount and use them (in addition to adapting to other cameras). I love the optics, plus as @mich_rassena mentioned, the prospect of flash sync at all speeds is great for especially outdoor flash photography. In theory the Retina IV is my default 35mm outdoor flash camera; though I have not needed to use it for that purpose since I got it.
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Old 03-13-2019   #88
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I have a hard time voting. I have two IIIfs and enjoy shooting with them.

However, just this past week, as I was browsing around, I picked up a IIa w/f2 Xenon and case in good condition at a consignment shop for $35. This is my 1st Retina Rangefinder.

Amazing heft for such a small camera. I'm enjoying shooting my first roll so far. Definitely a nice little walk around camera.
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Old 12-14-2019   #89
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The two cameras are too different for me to compare. I suppose I like them both equally.

Only thing I worry about with folders is the integrity of the bellows over time.
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Old 12-14-2019   #90
Doug A
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Sometimes it's the little things. One way I keep my GAS under control is to confine myself to bulk loaded short rolls of film, typically 12-exposures. The LTM Leica (and Nikon S or F) cassettes are relatively affordable, and so much nicer than the new plastic or sheet metal ones, that they are the only cameras I use.
That said, I certainly admire the design and workmanship of the Retinas.
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