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Sunday, January 09, 2011

in the neighborhood

Some color from my Kodak Retina IIa.













I have five different models from Kodak's line of Retina cameras. All are excellent shooters, but the IIa rangefinder model if my favorite because of its high-quality construction, compactness and reliability. The lens diagram below illustrates the IIa lens, the Schneider Xenon 50mm f/2.0. As shown, the lens consists of six elements in four groups, arranged symmetrically around the shutter. It was easily equal to anything in its class when introduced in 1951.

4 comments:

Julio F said...

Ohhh...that Xenon was the lens of my first serious camera, a Retina II shared with my brother.

Mike said...

I've got the Retina II as well, and it does have a terrific lens. Unfortunately, the shutter just won't cooperate with my restoration efforts. I keep thinking I'll turn up a shutter spring with more life to it, but haven't done so yet.

JE said...

A few years back I was playing with a IIa at a flea market, everything seemed to work but got cold feet at the $25 asking price. So I went home to do some internet research, when I went back to buy it, it was gone...I've been haunted since and now determined to acquire one.

I'm enjoying your photo and vintage camera blogs a lot! Found it through your Flickr site.

Thanks for sharing!

Mike said...

Twenty-five bucks would have been a real steal for a working IIa. You would probably pay twice that now on ebay, but even then it would be a bargain if you consider the quality. All the models of the Retina line are excellent image makers, as well as being helpfully compact.