The Kodak Retina Cameras
Here's another iconic film camera that I was never able to own when I was young: The Kodak Retina.
Retina was the name of a long-running series of German-built Kodak cameras. They were manufactured in Stuttgart, Germany by Nagel Camerawerk, which Kodak had acquired in 1931. The cameras were sold under the Kodak nameplate. Retinas were noted for their compact size, quality, and low cost compared to their competitors and retain a strong following today. The original Retina, was introduced in 1934. The Retina line continued through the 1960s with a variety of folding and nonfolding models, including the Retina Reflex SLR.
Since I have only recently become acquainted with the Retina, I have just 4 models. But I thought they are worth sharing with you.
Kodak Retina 1a (Circa 1951)
Bear in mind that I'm not an expert on Retina cameras. Most of this information is gleaned from the Internet. This camera was made with a Schneider f3.5 Xenar and a f2.8 Xenar lens. I have both models.
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Kodak Retina 3c (Small c) 1954 -1957
This delightful folder has a Selenium exposure meter and a coupled rangefinder.
The lens is a Schneider 50mm f2 Xenon.
Kodak Retina Reflex 111-1960 -1964
Its match-needle meter instrument scale is visible in the viewfinder as well as on the top plate. The Retina Reflex III originally sold for $248.50 USD.
Approximately 116,000 were made.
The lens is a 50mm f2.8 Schneider Xenar.
Test image on negative film. Low quality scan at photo store. But it shows that this little gem can still perform well.
Retina 2a: 1951-1954
The camera was a gift to me, but it has a history. It was purchased in 1952 by a U.S. Marine at the Post Exchange in Tokyo while he was there serving in the U.S. Navy. He paid US $157.90, a princely sum that many years ago, which would equate to about $1600 in todays money. .It has the iconic Schneider f2 Xenon lens, and the entire camera was professionally serviced in 2010 in L.A. It works like a Swiss watch.
This page was last updated: February 11, 2012
Retina 3c with f2 50mm Xenon and f5.6 35mm Curtar Xenon.