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Mismatched Retina IIIc lens
Old 01-11-2019   #1
carbo73
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Mismatched Retina IIIc lens

Hi, I've just bought a Retina IIIc (small c), which has the interchangeable frontal piece of the lens. In a few websites it says that it's important to buy a 50mm lens with both parts (frontal and rear-attached to the camera) with matching serial numbers. So I did that, in the pictures of the camera the serial numbers matched.


But now that has arrived I found that the frontal part has a different serial number. Is that really a huge problem? Because the rest of the camera looks beautiful, and was on the cheaper part of the Retinas IIIc arround the web. The seller says he can't explain how this happened.


On the other side, if you swap this frontal part for the supplementary lenses of 35mm and 80mm, they obviously don't have a matching serial number, right? So if the Kodak AG tolerances were correct (which I'm sure they were) theoretically should be no problem. After all this is not an early soviet FED from the 30's...


Now I'm going to put some film in it to see it does it's job (although I've the proper lens to compare, obviously), to see what to do.


Any ideas?
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Old 01-11-2019   #2
Sumarongi
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I guess that there's a misunderstanding, a hoax —— probably it did exist already in times before the internet, but the simple fact is, AFAIK:

Does the camera in question have the bayonet for Rodenstock front element lenses, then you have to use Rodenstock. Does it have the bayonet for Schneider front element lenses, then you have to use Schneider.
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Old 01-11-2019   #3
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Yes, it's a Schneider. After all, in all SLR, for example, you change lens constantly and without problems...
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Old 01-11-2019   #4
Steve M.
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Yes, you change lenses on cameras easily, but not front elements. Like you, I read in the manual that you should always use the front lens w/ matching serial numbers, and there MAY be some truth to that if the factory matched the lenses together w/ shims for correct infinity focus, but you should be OK.

Did you buy it based on auction pics that showed both elements w/ matching numbers? If so, how is it that the seller sent it to you w/ different elements and claims to know nothing?
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Old 08-16-2019   #5
robbiechad
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I have a IIc with a strange lens, IIc usually came with a 2.8 lens, but mine has an f2.0 front element and also a f2.0 rear element, when lens aperture ring is set to max 2.8 the rear element clearly shows that the blades are not fully open and are in the position of 2.8 on an f2.0 lens.The serial numbers on rear element and shutter Housing match but the front element has a different set number. Not withstanding this the camera is mint and takes superb pictures, I am wondering if it was an end of production run and they just used up spare lens parts not bothering about correct matching.
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Old 08-17-2019   #6
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The IIc actually has the same f2 lens as the IIIc but limited to f2.8 - don't ask me why!

There is a rivet/pin in the aperture-ring that limits the aperture. When I had mine apart I was thinking how easy it would be to drill it out, but I decided to leave it as standard.

I can only think perhaps Kodak felt they ought to have a 'better' lens on the top of the range model. Both models take superb pictures as you said. A few months ago I tried the IIc I had repaired, and a test shot at f2.8 was sharper than I would have believed.
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Matched lens numbers?
Old 08-17-2019   #7
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Matched lens numbers?

Are you are sure that the two serial numbers on your 50mm lens matched in the advertising, but are not matched in the unit received? I'm familiar with the rule that they must match, and I cannot answer your question re "what if they do not match". I advise return of the camera rather than stalling and testing it. My reason: your seller's response that he has no idea how that could have happened is ridiculous on its face. He is suspect and unreliable. Ditch the camera and the seller. If innocent, then he mixed up the front elements of two cameras, and you both now hold cameras which are vastly reduced in resale value.
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