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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.

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Retina IB
Old 05-17-2018   #1
cassel
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Retina IB

Recently picked up a clean looking Retina IB for $25 and advertised as "not working". I was able to inspect it in person and it seemed OK to me, dry fired just fine, so I took a chance on it.
This is the late, no rangefinder model but with the nice big brightline finder and the f2.8 lens. Shot a quick roll of Fuji Superia and everything seems fine - even the meter works and is accurate
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Old 05-17-2018   #2
Timmyjoe
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Great find, Congrats. I love when that happens.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 05-18-2018   #3
thawkins
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I started flight training in September 1967. A few weeks later I purchased for about $100 a Retina 1a. Throughout the next fifty years the 1a has seen countless rolls of film while documenting my career. It still has a place in my flight bag. Through the following years a Retina 11a, an M3 a couple of FSU cameras and a QL17 have joined my RF fleet. SLRs and DSLRs have come and gone but the 1a remains a favorite. The lens on the two Retinas are the best in the house......far better than the DSLR Nikon, analog Minoltas and equal to the 50mm DR Summicron on the M3.
Chris Sherlock CLAed both Retinas last year so they should be good for another fifty years!!
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Old 05-18-2018   #4
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These Retina cameras really are something!
I had a IIIc years ago - it was pretty beat-up BUT was always sharp and dependable.

I've been skeptical of the models with no rangefinder - but this IB (Big B) has the luminous frameline viewfinder and it was no problem to guess the focus and/or use depth of field to get my shots in focus...

Love the folding door and the jewel-like precision of construction on these German-made cameras.... Seems like a "high-water" mark of Kodak cameras.
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Old 08-13-2018   #5
JPD
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You don't need an accessory rangefinder if you are good at guessing the distance. I have the Retina Ib and IB and the finders are great in both, easy to use with eyeglasses. I never use a rangefinder with them.
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Old 01-18-2019   #6
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Last batch of results to share this week - this time it's Tri-X from the Retina IB. (not sure why all of my previous images disappeared)













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Old 01-18-2019   #7
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Your Tri-X (400TX?) pics look real nice, composition and technical. How did you expose (EI) and process them?
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Old 01-19-2019   #8
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Yep - TriX 400 - exposed at 400 and developed w/ d76
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Old 04-08-2019   #9
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@cassel I like those, especially 1,3 & 4. Nicely done !

Impressed with your focussing on a viewfinder camera (and how sharp the Ib is), are you zone/guess focusing or using an external rangefinder ?
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Old 04-08-2019   #10
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Great images! I have a couple of Schneider-Kreuznach lenses (DKL mount). They have beautiful rendering.
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Old 04-09-2019   #11
cassel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste_S View Post
@cassel I like those, especially 1,3 & 4. Nicely done !

Impressed with your focussing on a viewfinder camera (and how sharp the Ib is), are you zone/guess focusing or using an external rangefinder ?
Thanks! I used to worry about a camera without a rf but guessing focus works pretty well (plus zone help with the depth of field on the barrel).

The solid feel of the camera plus a working meter and a good lens- lots to love!
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Old 04-09-2019   #12
BernardL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Yep - TriX 400 - exposed at 400 and developed w/ d76
Full strength, not 1:1? That would maybe explain why so little grain. Anyway, well done, technically and picture-wise.
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Old 04-11-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Thanks! I used to worry about a camera without a rf but guessing focus works pretty well (plus zone help with the depth of field on the barrel).

The solid feel of the camera plus a working meter and a good lens- lots to love!
I'm used to using a Zeiss Ikon Nettar - pushing the film if needed to still shoot at f8-f11 minimum to get good depth of field. However that's for distance where i'm shooting at roughly 12ft to infinity. Takes skill to get it at close distance as you have though.

Got a Voigtlander Vito II today as a present, looking forward to trying it out and perhaps being a bit more adventurous with my guess/zone focusing
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Old 04-11-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Last batch of results to share this week - this time it's Tri-X from the Retina IB. (not sure why all of my previous images disappeared)



























I'm trying a Retina IB type 019 right now in Austria. It's one in mint condition, all shutter speeds exactly (!! yesss ex act ly) +1/3 stop. Light meter spot on...
Your pictures look very promising! Nice work.
I'm using Delta 100, which I will develop in Pyrocat HD.

Grtz,
Tom

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Old 04-11-2019   #15
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I remember reading an Ivor Matanle book in which he said that the Retina 1B had an upgraded lens that was unusual for the Retina range, and was of very high quality. The book in question is packed away at the moment.
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Old 04-11-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdpid View Post
I'm trying a Retina IB type 019 right now in Austria. It's one in mint condition, all shutter speeds exactly (!! yesss ex act ly) +1/3 stop. Light meter spot on...
Your pictures look very promising! Nice work.
I'm using Delta 100, which I will develop in Pyrocat HD.

Grtz,
Tom

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Is the lens you are shooting this with a modified triplet of some sort? To me it has that lovely crisp and contrasty image that I expect from those nice old 4 element three group Schneider designs.
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Old 04-11-2019   #17
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Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Is the lens you are shooting this with a modified triplet of some sort? To me it has that lovely crisp and contrasty image that I expect from those nice old 4 element three group Schneider designs.
It says: Retina-Xenar f:2.8/50 mm Schneider-Kreuznach 5392421

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Old 04-11-2019   #18
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The Retina Ib and IB were both equipped with the f2.8 Xenar.
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Old 04-11-2019   #19
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All the Retina lenses that I can think of were very good. Even Kodak Ektars on some of them.
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Old 04-14-2019   #20
rumbliegeos
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This is what Ivor Matanle said about what I expect was the last model of Retina B:

"Looking very much like a Retina IIIC is this Retina IB (Stuttgart Type 019), introduced in 1957. This has a five-element 50mm f / 2.8 Retina-Xenar lens of very high quality in a Synchro Compur shutter, but no rangefinder. The exposure meter is similar to that in a Retina IIIC."

As a fan of four element Tessar and Xenar lenses I was always curious about this five element lens and Retina 1Bs, but have never bought one.
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Old 04-14-2019   #21
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Well, I would definitely recommend the 1B - great quality and view without much investment! The IIIC gets all of the attention.
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Retina and also 1941 Kodak Ektra
Old 04-14-2019   #22
huffmalw
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Retina and also 1941 Kodak Ektra

Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Last batch of results to share this week - this time it's Tri-X from the Retina IB. (not sure why all of my previous images disappeared)













impressive resolution in each image!

I continue to be impressed with the Kodak Ektra. Each lens was coated or multi coated in 1941. Nikon, for example did not make its first single coated lens until 1946 (as documented in my site www.canonrangefinder.org )
The Retina with tri-X film could not be surpassed.
Larry Huffman

Last edited by huffmalw : 04-14-2019 at 19:39. Reason: address
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Old 04-14-2019   #23
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Old 04-18-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumbliegeos View Post
This is what Ivor Matanle said about what I expect was the last model of Retina B:

"Looking very much like a Retina IIIC is this Retina IB (Stuttgart Type 019), introduced in 1957. This has a five-element 50mm f / 2.8 Retina-Xenar lens of very high quality in a Synchro Compur shutter, but no rangefinder. The exposure meter is similar to that in a Retina IIIC."

As a fan of four element Tessar and Xenar lenses I was always curious about this five element lens and Retina 1Bs, but have never bought one.

All Xenar lenses on the Retinas have four elements. The pre-war 2,8/50 Xenon has five elements and is a "Xenar" with an extra element.
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