Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Classic Film RangeFinders & Other Classics > Kodak Retina and Ektra Rangefinders

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Retina II (without a letter)
Old 08-26-2011   #1
Muggins
Registered User
 
Muggins's Avatar
 
Muggins is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 996
Retina II (without a letter)

I've bought one of these recently, with the f2.0 Xenon, and it currently still has a film in which I haven''t finished... They seem to be quite uncommon, or possibly disregarded because of the knob wind, and I was wondering whether anyone here used one?

First impressions are that it's not too bad to use (though I have used Box Brownies and a Moskva, so "not too bad" is relative!), though the sloth with which the shutter release rises after you press it is slightly disconcerting. Shutter speeds look OK, certainly 1 second is spot on by my watch, and all the controls are smooth. Mind you, the veiwfinder is terrible!

The only issue so far is that the front element seems a bit hazy. Other than perhaps flaring more, is this anything to fuss about?

Adrian

PS Do I need to cover the red dot if I stick one on it?
__________________
I love pretending that I know what I'm doing.... (Pete Herbert)

If http://www.flickr.com/photos/gray1720/ are the ones I let people see, what on earth are the rest like?

Last edited by Muggins : 08-26-2011 at 09:09. Reason: Got home, checked and it is a Xenon, not a Xenar.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #2
Steve M.
Registered User
 
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,317
The Retinas are definitely overlooked cameras w/ good IQ. The II is known for offering the 47 2.0 Ektar as an option, so if you don't mind the knob wind it's a good shooter.

I've owned the IIIc, IIa, and have a Ia on it's way. These are neat cameras, but the IIa had issues w/ a dim viewfinder, and it's RF was way off. Sent it back to KEH. The IIIc is a jewel, w/ the same shutter and lens that you have. My pics look nice and sharp, but not Leica quality. Well, it costs a lot less than a Leica. I don't like the IIIc's bottom wind lever, and it's viewfinder is cloudy too. Viewfinders and rangefinders are an issue w/ these cameras, so my Ia should have the best of both worlds. It has a top wind lever and no RF, just a simple viewfinder. It also has a Kodak Ektar 50 3.5 lens that was made right here in the US, back when we made cameras. I expect it to outperform the Schneider by a good margin. We'll see.

Last edited by Steve M. : 08-26-2011 at 05:12.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #3
Mr_Flibble
Registered User
 
Mr_Flibble's Avatar
 
Mr_Flibble is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: The Lowlands
Age: 42
Posts: 4,051
I have a II (model 142) with a 50mm f/2 Xenon. Before I got my first real Leica it was my favorite compact 35.

Some images from the LPLG-weekend in 2007


__________________
Rick - In Tabulas Argenteas Refero
Loaded with film: Certo Super-Dollina

Latest Toys: Darkroom supplies
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #4
batterytypehah!
Lord of the Dings
 
batterytypehah!'s Avatar
 
batterytypehah! is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 1,794
I have the same (Retina II with f/2 Xenon) but mine is a very tired sample. RF is way off, and given the squinty finder and awkward shooting experience I figured it would be a waste to get it fixed.

I find Retinas wonderfully made, but an over-engineered pain to use. The later ones more so (that darn fumbly lock for the back comes to mind).

Still, every once in a while I should probably give that nice lens a workout.
__________________
WANTED: Fujimoto/Lucky 70M negative carrier

“Hair-splitting, of course. But hey, it's a LEICA. Probably there are those who get excited about the colour of the hairs you split.” – Roger Hicks

Contax IIa + Leica IIIf + M3 (project) + Zorki-1 (project) + Fuji GS645 + FED-2 + Vitomatic II + Revue 400SE + Olympus XA + more + still more
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #5
Muggins
Registered User
 
Muggins's Avatar
 
Muggins is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 996
Over-engineered? Suits me, I'm a masochist who likes Werras!

Like your pics, Mr Flibble - not too long ago I was talking to some ex-Glider Pilot Regiment gentlemen who had been at Arnhem and - humbling moment - they insisted on paying for my lunch. Gentlemen all!

Many years ago, I spoke to someone who said that you never filled the magazine of a Sten gun completely full because, if you did, it would go off if you dropped it. They were forcibly reminded when his Home Guard patrol were on lookout duties over the coast, someone dropped his Sten on its butt, and it discharged the entire magazine through the corrugated iron roof of their lookout post!

If the blessed weather would just let up enough to let me finish the roll, I could see how good the images are... Mine is a bit battered, but the important bits all look OK, so I'm hoping it lives up to expectations.

Adrian
__________________
I love pretending that I know what I'm doing.... (Pete Herbert)

If http://www.flickr.com/photos/gray1720/ are the ones I let people see, what on earth are the rest like?
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #6
Mr_Flibble
Registered User
 
Mr_Flibble's Avatar
 
Mr_Flibble is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: The Lowlands
Age: 42
Posts: 4,051
I've also heard many tales of the STEN-dance and the PPSH-dance when these guns were dropped on their butts. A veteran of the Politional Actions in Indonesia told me they'd drill a hole straight through the housing and the bolt and secure it with a nail!


I've replaced the halfmirror on my Retina II a year or so ago. And sometimes the frame lock / double exposure prevention is a little iffy. But I really should go out and shoot with it again one of these days.
__________________
Rick - In Tabulas Argenteas Refero
Loaded with film: Certo Super-Dollina

Latest Toys: Darkroom supplies
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #7
Steve M.
Registered User
 
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,317
I'm going to amend my low estimate of the Xenar lens on these Retinas. You might be in for some fun. After my post I realized that I had only shot one roll of film through my IIIc. The camera had simply been purchased on fleabay, and I never even checked it's rangefinder or shutter accuracy. The film was just C41 B&W with Walgreens scans. No hood, and shot in blazing 100 degree midday New Mexico sun (I found some shade where the cat was smart enough to move to).

Ideally the negs would be scanned w/ a good film scanner, but since I sold mine all I could do was go back to the files from the CD and make some adjustments on levels and whatnot. They look very good now. I like it. With a good scan, Tri-X and a hood, who knows?





  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #8
RichL
Registered User
 
RichL is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 435
Steve Love the shot of the lady. The pose and look can be anything from "What's that crazy dog doing now, to what'm I going to get up for supper to remembering a dusty childhood schoolyard. It's one of those pictures whose meaning is totally and unambiguously up to the mood of the viewer.
__________________
ting
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-26-2011   #9
Jamie Pillers
Skeptic
 
Jamie Pillers's Avatar
 
Jamie Pillers is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 4,013
Steve,
I'd love to hear your impressions of the Kodak Ektar lens when you've had some time to use it.
__________________
Talk to a stranger today!

Fuji X-H1; X-Pro1; XF10; Polaroid 250 (waiting for an 'art' project)

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-28-2011   #10
Muggins
Registered User
 
Muggins's Avatar
 
Muggins is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 996
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear oh dear!



Light leaks from Hades (it is light, as where I wound on with it open there's a smear between frames).

I think I need to drop Chris Sherlock a line!

Adrian
__________________
I love pretending that I know what I'm doing.... (Pete Herbert)

If http://www.flickr.com/photos/gray1720/ are the ones I let people see, what on earth are the rest like?
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-03-2011   #11
joeswe
Registered User
 
joeswe is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 404
Hello Adrian,

sorry to hear about the light leaks. If it's the bellows it should be easy to verify the source of the light leaks with a flashlight. The good news is that the Retina II with the Xenon lens is a very nice camera that is well worth repairing (or having repaired). I picked up mine (Retina II, model 014) a couple of weeks ago at a flea market dirt cheap. I could only check that the shutter was running and the lens was clear. At home I had to sort out some problems (stiff focussing helical, sticky aperture blades, dirty viewfinder, rangefinder adjustment), but with the help of Chris' website I got it working now and already took a couple of pics with it. I think the Retina II is a nice compromise between size/weight and features. It feels solid without being too heavy. I doesn't have the lever film wind of the IIa, so film winding is bit more clumsy, but this kind of eliminates one of the weak points of the IIa and gives the handling of the camera a nice retro touch Apart from that the camera is easy to handle. You can use a accessory viewfinder (nothing beats the Leitz SBOOI!) if you don't like the small finder. The Schneider lens is excellent in IMO.

Good luck with the repair and keep us informed!
John


RETINA004small von eames68 auf Flickr


RETINA002small von eames68 auf Flickr


RETINA001small von eames68 auf Flickr


  Reply With Quote

Old 09-06-2011   #12
mconnealy
Registered User
 
mconnealy's Avatar
 
mconnealy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 155
I had a similar problem with my Retina II. It turned out that the bellows was detached at the rear end. A bit of glue fixed the problem.
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-16-2011   #13
Muggins
Registered User
 
Muggins's Avatar
 
Muggins is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 996
Yes, mine are detached at the rear as well. Chris Sherlock has given me some instructions for the job, but by the time I buy the lens wrench from the USA and pay VAT plus courier fee (for removing the packet from the postal service and putting it back again) it will cost me almost as sending it to Chris... which I really can't afford.

Is there an RFF-er in the UK with a wrench who could lend it to me, or am I going to have to try to work out how to fix it from the back (mconnealy - I might appreciate some tips if I can't get a wrench!).

Thanks,

Adrian
__________________
I love pretending that I know what I'm doing.... (Pete Herbert)

If http://www.flickr.com/photos/gray1720/ are the ones I let people see, what on earth are the rest like?
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-16-2011   #14
Brian Legge
Registered User
 
Brian Legge is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,684
My IIIc developed some very sticky oiling shutter blades. I need to take the shutter out and get it cleaned up. I've done it with a few other cameras but those were beaters; I'm still working up the courage to tackle the Retina as it is in beautiful condition.
__________________
Shooting whatever I can get my hands on.
Recent Work
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-07-2011   #15
Steve M.
Registered User
 
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,317
Thanks for the good vibes. I had asked Linda to look down for that shot so I could get her glasses to stop reflecting light.

I got my photos back on the Ektar lensed camera Jamie. My thinking now is it's one of the best lenses I'ver used in 35mm photography. Sharp as heck, and has a real 3D look. Amazing lens, but the 50 2.0 Xenon is no slouch either..
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-13-2011   #16
literiter
Registered User
 
literiter's Avatar
 
literiter is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canadian Rockies
Posts: 1,163
Ruth Orkin holding a Retina ii:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multim...leID=129523718
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-14-2011   #17
bkrystad
Registered User
 
bkrystad's Avatar
 
bkrystad is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 117
I've had a Retina II (011, Rodenstock Heligon f/2.0) in my kit for years. I usually take it backpacking -- tough as nails folded up in the pack and no chance of battery failure. Let's just say I'm not one of those ultra-lite 23-mile trail runners. I've also taken it traveling because it's easy to carry, no fuss to use with sunny-16, and takes very respectable shots, even in low light. This one is the market at Granville Island, Vancouver B.C.

__________________
Flickr photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/byronkrystad/
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-30-2011   #18
joeswe
Registered User
 
joeswe is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 404
Stopped down a bit the lens is really quite sharp, even in the close range.
I think most shots here were done around f4/f5.6
The biggest obstacle when going close is framing accurately with the tiny finder.
It does give some very basic parallax correction I think, but it is obviously not a Leica M. I will have to try out a good 50mm finder next time I take her for a walk.


image016 1024 von eames68 auf Flickr


image036 1024 von eames68 auf Flickr


image027 1024 von eames68 auf Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-03-2012   #19
chodgson45
Just a GI Joe
 
chodgson45's Avatar
 
chodgson45 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 63
I love my Type 142 (Compur-Rapid Shutter with the f2 50mm Retina-Xenon)! It was my first Rangefinder and is the staple of all my Photography - until I get my Leica or Contax that is .

Ryan by Corey.W.Hodgson, on Flickr

An Indian and an Iron Horse by Corey.W.Hodgson, on Flickr

Bad Scans from work but that really worked out for the first picture.

Only problems I have ever had were a lot of sticky parts (Shutter, Shutter Speed ring, focus, Shutter Release) but a bit of penetrating oil and running cheap roll through it about four times fixed the non delicate parts. The More delicate parts got small amounts of white lithium grease (on the gears and such) and cured all the problems I had.

It's my baby and my first.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-03-2012   #20
colyn
ישו משיח בנו של אלוהים
 
colyn's Avatar
 
colyn is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: CowTown, Texas
Age: 66
Posts: 4,463
This image was taken with the Kodak Retina IIa with 50mm f/2 Xenon lens which is the same lens on the Retina II.

I have the II, IIa, and IIIc. All are outstanding performers..

__________________
Colyn

The Lone Star State....

Leica M2 | M3 x 2 | IIIa x 2 | IIIc | IIIf black dial | Kodak Retina IIIc | Kodak Retina IIIC |


Flickr

My website

My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-07-2012   #21
freax
Registered User
 
freax's Avatar
 
freax is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Portugal
Age: 40
Posts: 88
Hi. I bought today a Retina II (type 014) with the Xenon f2 lens on it. But it has the white triangle, not the red one so it means it has a non coated version ? Grrr, I hate non coated lens as they flare a lot ...
__________________
---
Guilherme Oliveira
http://www.flickr.com/guilhermeoliveira/
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-07-2012   #22
je2a3
je
 
je2a3's Avatar
 
je2a3 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 739

Retina II (014) Xenon 50mm @ f2
TX400/Rodinal 1:100
__________________
Flickr
JE Labs
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-08-2012   #23
JPD
J. Patric Dahlén
 
JPD's Avatar
 
JPD is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Sweden
Age: 48
Posts: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by freax View Post
Hi. I bought today a Retina II (type 014) with the Xenon f2 lens on it. But it has the white triangle, not the red one so it means it has a non coated version ? Grrr, I hate non coated lens as they flare a lot ...
The triangle always stands for "coated", so yours is.
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-10-2012   #24
freax
Registered User
 
freax's Avatar
 
freax is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Portugal
Age: 40
Posts: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
The triangle always stands for "coated", so yours is.
Thanks for your help. I think this camera will be a favorite !
Today i will leave it to do a CLA and it will be like new. Maybe the guy wants to do a complete overhaul but he will decide when in his hands. Thanks again.
__________________
---
Guilherme Oliveira
http://www.flickr.com/guilhermeoliveira/
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-21-2012   #25
Mr_Flibble
Registered User
 
Mr_Flibble's Avatar
 
Mr_Flibble is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: The Lowlands
Age: 42
Posts: 4,051
Some Fuji Superia 200 (with a little fogging as the rewind wasn't engaging, fixed that now)



__________________
Rick - In Tabulas Argenteas Refero
Loaded with film: Certo Super-Dollina

Latest Toys: Darkroom supplies
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-25-2012   #26
Muggins
Registered User
 
Muggins's Avatar
 
Muggins is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 996
Just bumping this thread - it seems that whoever was selling the wrenches no longer does so (certainly there's been none on ebay for over a year).

That currently leaves me stuck with an unusable camera - any bright suggestions for fixing it without? I guess that I could Pliobond the bellows from the back, but if I can't get the stuff into every part of the loose joint then I'm stuffed, because I can't get back in to find the gaps...

Cheers,

Adrian
__________________
I love pretending that I know what I'm doing.... (Pete Herbert)

If http://www.flickr.com/photos/gray1720/ are the ones I let people see, what on earth are the rest like?
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-25-2012   #27
raid
Dad Photographer
 
raid's Avatar
 
raid is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 30,360
My Retina Ib has a Schneider 50mm lens. I fell on three occasions into a river while canoeing. It is still working well. Which Leica M camera can boast about such a thing?
__________________
- Raid

________________
Top 12 Images;

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffg...n.php?cid=7007

http://raid.smugmug.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-26-2012   #28
Pirate
Guitar playing Fotografer
 
Pirate's Avatar
 
Pirate is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Highland, Mi.
Age: 49
Posts: 1,865
I have a Retina II enroute to me. It's a fixer-upper with the Schneider-Kreutznach 50/2 lens. Can't wait for it to get here so I can start cleaning and restoring it. I have a bunch of Ilford Pan F+ 50 ISO film all ready to run through it.
__________________


Leica II IIIc M3, Mamiya C2, Nikon F, F3P, F5, Hasselblad 500C/M, SW/C, Crown Graphic 4x5, Rollei 3.5F / SLX / Baby Gray, Sinar F and P 4x5, Polaroid 100 & 450 Land, Kodak Retina II and IIa, Fuji GW690II, Graphic View II 4x5.

http://dudewithad700.deviantart.com/
http://arolloffilm.blogspot.com/
My Top 10(12) Best!



  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2013   #29
jet1944
Registered User
 
jet1944 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
I have a Retina II with a circle around the II I had to clean the rangefinder and wiewfinder ,are they a bit rare
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2013   #30
Muggins
Registered User
 
Muggins's Avatar
 
Muggins is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 996
How apt that this thread should resurface the very day I'm packing mine up for its trip to the land of the long white cloud (I'm very jealous of it!).

Never heard of a model with a circle round the II - they seem uncommon enough as it is. I guess anything is possible, though - I believe that if you go down to model number level there are all sorts of odd variations depending on the factory.

Adrian
__________________
I love pretending that I know what I'm doing.... (Pete Herbert)

If http://www.flickr.com/photos/gray1720/ are the ones I let people see, what on earth are the rest like?
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-15-2013   #31
BW400CN
Bessamatic forever!
 
BW400CN is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 371
Very nice pics around here!
Maybe I sould search for a VF retina as an daily camera which just slides in a pocket
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:24.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.