Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Brightening the View

I pulled the prism out of a junker Minolta XG-1 and installed it in my Retina Reflex.  Chris Sherlock's web site and his YouTube videos on servicing the Retina Reflex cameras are good guides.  It looks like he can get the top off and install the prism in under twenty minutes.  It took me longer trying to figure out the proper positioning of the shutter release components, and I also spent quite a while crawling around on the floor looking for a little coil spring. Everything did fit back together eventually, and the result is a much more usable camera.  The view is not quite as bright as some of my other slr cameras, but it is a big improvement over the cloudy image through the old desilvered prism.


I loaded some Kentmere 100 into the camera and took it down to the river to test the results of my efforts.




The Retina Reflex, Type 025 was the first slr produced by Kodak in 1957.  The design is very similar to that of the IIIc rangefinder with which it has many parts in common, including the bayonet mount for the front lens group.  I probably won't bother to get the accessory wide-angle and telephoto lenses, but I do have a Series VI adapter and a 2X close-up lens (which I used to shoot the gutted X-1).

6 comments:

Jim Grey said...

That's pretty creative, stealing the prism from a different camera. I would have assumed it wouldn't fit. Glad to see your Reflex back in action.

Mike said...

Over the years I have seen quite a few references to the possibility of using prisms from '80s era cameras, but none were very specific. I decided finally to take a risk on the XG-1 and it worked. It made me a little sad to be ripping open the Minolta to get at the prism as it seems like quite a nice little camera.

Kodachromeguy said...

Mike, these Kentmere frames are superb. The tonality is absolutely perfect; nice work, indeed. I may try some Kentmere sometime, although recently I have been appreciating the now-discontinued Fujifilm Acros 100 film. Back to the woods: the lens on your Retina Reflex gives a nice old-school look, which I prefer to super-crisp contemporary lenses. Which one is on your Retina (I probably misses some older posts on the topic)? Cheers from Mississippi.

Mike said...

I got interested in Kentmere thanks to the work done with it by Rick Drawbridge on photo.net. I initially followed his example in processing with PMK Pyro, but I find that I like the results from hc-110 about as well. I have the Xenon lens on three models of the Retina line and they all make marvelous images.

Jim Grey said...

I just sold my XG-1 with some reluctance (as I'm getting out of the Minolta SLR game) and yes, it's a very nice little camera.

Mike said...

I'm not sure what I'll do with mine. I like the handling and the viewfinder is possibly the brightest of any of my cameras. If I can find a cheap wide-angle and a telephoto, I'll probably hold onto it.