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Kodak Retina II (type 011), 35mm folding camera 1946 -1949

Kodak Retina II introduced a coupled rangefinder. Production started in 1936 with the type 122 with separate viewing and rangefinder windows, produced in the Kodak AG Stuttgart plant. By 1939 the design had evolved to have the rangefinder and viewfinder combined for the type 150 Retina IIa. At the outbreak of the second world war various Kodak AG factories were seized by the Nazi regime, some being turned over to armaments. After the end of WW2 production started again with the type 010 Retina (change of numbering system) whilst the Retina II family recommenced with the 011 seen here. Construction was little changed from the pre war model, likely using the same tooling. A zinc aluminium casting forms the main body as previously, the exposed regions being polished to form the decorative piping surrounding the natural leather covering. Atop this is a crisply stamped housing to protect the rangefinder and advance mechanisms, featuring chamfered edges to give the appearance of being solid. A film counter is included, that counts up, and can be reset with a thumb wheel. The take up spool is de clutched to rewind the film back to the casette, with a small toothed lever marked R (rewind) and A (advance) on the rear right side. An accessory shoe is fitted to the top housing. The folding mechanism functions as before with two unlock buttons either side of the lensboard and the radial focus must be set to infinity before closing, otherwise it will resist. Focus is achieved using this radial lever that moves the entire shutter and lens assembly, and transmits the position to the rangefinder via a linkage. The bellows are natural leather with linen liner. Various lenses were fitted, mostly the f/2 Schneider Kreuznach Xenon in coated or uncoated forms, but also Kodak Ektar or Rodenstock Heligon were used too.

This Retina II was acquired in December 2004 as a wreck, being seized with rust and every function jammed. At sometime in the past someone had forced the poor thing closed when it was not focussed at infinity, distorting the self erecting struts. Please note that there is a lock to try and prevent you from doing this. The leather embossing restoration on this camera is the subject of Project 01 in the workshop area. During a more recent service in January 2022, a previously unseen date scratched internally into the Compur shutter was found, reading June 1946. Since these components can be changed over the years it can't be regarded as definitive, but it ties in with the Lens serial well.

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Kodak Retina II (type 011), 35mm folding camera 1946 -1949

 Sectioned image available 

Body No.126510
Shutter, Compur No.6201383, speeds B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 & 500th
Lens No.1907467, Schneider Kreuznach, coated Xenon 5cm f/2
Condition, 6F, restored

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