Main -> Photography -> Classic Cameras -> Range Finder -> Kodak Retina 2C [sitemap]

Created 25 September 2005 ... Updated 26 May 2007

Kodak Retina 2C Kodak Retina 2C
model 029
Instead of an expensive Leica, I decided on buying a Kodak Retina. Not a hard decision which one to buy: the early series are just like any folding camera but then in 35mm format. The 3C and 3S are way overpriced so it had to be a 2, who needs the often non-functional light meter anyway? :o)
So a "2C" (the not so common "Big C") it was.

There is a reason why this was the only Kodak camera series with an excellent reputation. Produced by Nettel in Germany when "made in Germany" still meant something good, the mechanics still work as smoothly as when the camera left the factory some 50 years ago. It handles great and became my favourite classic 35mm camera soon. The original price level was actually quite similar to that of the Leica of that time.

hints 'n' tips
  • As with most Compur shutters, set the shutter speed first before you set cock the shutter. When you change the shutter speed afterwards, the system locks up. I had this happen to me once and the shutter blades stuck in an half-open position and there was no way to get them unstuck. Well, after a while and carefully moving the various knobs it got unstuck. Fortunately it misfired a few times before working correctly again.

  • There were two lens manufacturers for the Retina series, Schneider Kreuznach and Rodenstock. Although the camera lenses are interchangable, only lenses from the same manufacturer will fit so make sure you buy the correct lens.

  • Talking about lenses, the newer S-lenses don't fit on the older Retinas. The older Retinas, like mine, can have 35mm, 50mm and 80mm lenses. The would-be-very-useful 135mm S-lens is not supported and simply won't fit.

  • Opening the camera is not too difficult but closing might be hard to figure out. In order to close you have to set the focus to infinite, press the two buttons on top and bottom of the lens and the lens will collapse.
Kodak Retina 2C

Type  :  Rangefinder
Manufactured  :  1954-1957 (type 029)
Serial Numbers : 759812 - 761362, 76653 - 767011, 50001 - 63324
Lens  :  Changable
my camera came with the coated Scheider Xenon 2,8/50
Range Finder  :  coupled
Shutter  :  Compur SYN-CVS 1-500, Bulb
Film Type  :  135 rollfilm
Negative Size  :  24 x 36 mm
Material  :  metal with black leatherette covering
Made in  :  Germany
Original List Price  :  USD 135, DM 350 which was then comparable to the price of a Leica.

links Kodak Retina web links
links The Retina Guide
links On my Kodak Website you can find an electronic copy of the 1965 Focal Press Retina Guide.
links All models and many accessoiries are described. A PDF version for printing is also provided.

links Chris Sherlock
links Everything you have ever wanted to know about the Kodak Retina
links series cameras, including models, serial numbers and repair instructions.

links Forum
links Here's a link to a message on the forum. The question was which lens fits
links which Retina camera. A very confusing topic.

All photos copyright of M. Koning 1997 - 2007

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