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Kodak Retina IB/IIC/IIIC

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The 1958 Large Viewfinder Folding Retina RangeEdit


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Retina IIIC

In 1958, ( actually November 1957 for Typ 028 and 029) the Retina range was revised with a new larger viewfinder that transformed the usability of the camera. The Bright line finder now incorporated outlines for the 80mm & 35mm lenses. This obviated the need for a separate Multiple finder.

Other than the deeper and more streamlined viewfinder housing, differences were minor. The exposure meter no longer had a dual range "flip up" lid but neither did the last of the IIIcs. The leatherette had a slightly different, a less "pebbled" look, the meter dial was simplified and that's about it!

Towards the end (1961), sales undoubtedly slumped, due in no small part to the arrival of the two solid bodied Retinas (the IIS & IIIS) both of of which undoubtedly looked more modern. So one of the last folding 35mm cameras bowed out and then began its climb to Classic "stardom". One of the few Classic cameras to not only hold its price as the world goes digital, but actually to increase it! A mint IIIC or IIC is now worth nearly three times what the "small c" is - a sure sign that the market is driven but external appearances for there are very few technical reasons to justify the wide disparity in prices.


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The Retina IIIC and the first Retina reflex

The three component lenses (80mm & two 35mm) fit the Retina Reflex of the period. The same rules as to interchangeability apply. (for a view of the lens mount differences, see below) Only a Rodenstock mount reflex is able to accept the Heligon lenses and the same applies to the Xenon model. These "Component" must not be confused with the new range introduced for the IIIS which were wholly interchangeable (i.e. no fixed rear component) and these new lenses also fit the Retina Reflex S, III & IV.



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Retina IIIC fitted with 80mm f4 Heligon C

The 80mm lens is not the most versatile of tools. Firstly it is large and dwarfs the camera. Secondly it is dreadfully slow in action. There is a scale around the lens. First measure the distance on the rangefinder, then consult the scale, then transfer the "adjusted" value to the lens. Not designed for Sports Photography then! (Picture below)

The IIIS lenses were infinitely superior being fully coupled. Other than the Zeiss Contina III of the period, no other maker used this component system on their rangefinders. It was probably most use on the Reflex, for no scale focusing was necessary and it also had a prime advantage - a solid body. If you wished to fold the IIIC away after use, then any accessory lens has to be removed - less than convenient!


SpecificationEdit

Typ 019 Ausf. I Retina IBEdit

  • Production time: August 1957 to January 1958
  • Serial number range: 460894 to 481599
  • This model differs from the Typ 018 Retina Ib by the addition of a single range exposure meter and a new-style top housing. The viewfinder remained the same size as the Typ 019 Retina Ib.
  • Fixed Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenar f:2,8/50mm
  • Shutter: Synchro Compur (Light Value) 1 sec - 1/500
  • Level wind on base Double Exposure Prevention
  • Self Timer - X & M Flash Synchronization
  • Viewfinder: Bright Line + parallax Correction Marks
  • Filter Size 32mm
  • Dimensions: Width - 122mm Height - 85mm Depth - 90mm (open) 47mm (Closed)
  • Price:

Typ 019 Ausf. II Retina IBEdit

  • Production time: January 1958 to 1960
  • Serial number ranges: 481600 to 503638, 50001 to 83260
  • This model differs from the Typ 019 I Retina IB by a redesign of the top housing with a large viewfinder and an additional window for the bright-line projected frame. The first production models had an exposure meter range of ASA 5 to 1300. This was changed to an exposure meter range of ASA 10 to 3200 in late production.

Typ 029 Retina IICEdit

  • Production time: November 1957 to September 1958
  • Serial number ranges: 759812 to 761445, 764556 to 767975, 50001 to 63509
  • Lens: f2.8 50mm Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon C or f2.8 50mm Rodenstock Heligon C (6 element)
  • Interchangeable Front Component (bayonet)
  • Alternative lenses: f4 80mm, f4 35mm, f5.6 35mm
  • Viewfinder: Bright Line + with outlines for 35mm, 50mm & 80mm lenses - parallax Correction Marks
  • Coupled rangefinder
  • Dimensions: Width - 122mm Height - 85mm Depth - 90mm (open) 47mm (Closed)
  • Price: £52.6.3 (1960)


Typ 028 Retina IIICEdit

  • Production Time: November 1957 to 1960
  • Lens: f2 50mm Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon or f2 50mm Rodenstock Heligon C (6 element)
  • Interchangeable Front Component (bayonet)
  • Alternative lenses: f4 80mm, f4 35mm, f5.6 35mm
  • Uncoupled exposure meter reading in Light Values (LV)
  • Coupled rangefinder
  • Viewfinder: Bright Line + with outlines for 35mm, 50mm & 80mm lenses - parallax Correction Marks
  • Dimensions: Width - 122mm Height - 85mm Depth - 90mm (open) 47mm (Closed)
  • Price: £69.15.0 (1960)

Interchangeable LensesEdit


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Close up of 80mm lens and the focusing scale
  • 80mm f4 Longar-Xenon C or f4 Heligon C - 60mm filter - Min focus 2m
  • 35mm f4 Curtar-Xenon C or f4 Heligon C - 60mm filter - Min focus 0.8m
  • 35mm f5.6 Curtar-Xenon C or f5.6 Heligon C - 32mm filter - Min focus 0.8m


AcccessoriesEdit

Stereo attachment, Sports Finders, Close up attachment, Close up rangefinder, Ground Glass Focusing adaptor, Micro attachment, Kodalux L Exposure meter

Notes for CollectorsEdit

The front and back components of the lens were matched. It is important that the number engraved on the front component is identical to the number on the adjacent mount.


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Schneider-Kreuznach & Rodenstock Mount Differences

The interchangeable front component lens was designed so that the Heligon & Xenon were not interchangeable. The mounting cam was in an entirely different position.


LinksEdit

Bibliography Edit

  • Retina Manual - Edward S Bomback - Fountain Press London 1956
  • Retina Handbook - Edward S Bomback - Fountain Press London 1957
  • The Retina Manual - O R Croy - Focal Press First Edition June 1952 - Tenth Edition April 1966

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