Kodak Retina IIIc Review

Kodak Retina IIIc

To see images shot with this camera, click the category link at right.

This is a great little 35mm folding rangefinder camera. Kodak is generally not known for high-quality cameras – their strategy seemed to be to get low-quality, low-priced, mass-produced cameras in the hands of millions of Americans, thus consuming a lot of Kodak film. There are some exceptions even in the American-made Kodaks, but their real standout cameras were made in Germany after Kodak purchased the Stuttgart camera maker A. Nagel. The Retina IIIc sold for $150 in 1956, the equivalent of more than $1200 in today’s dollars. This is not your typical mass-market Kodak camera. It was competing with the Leica rangefinders of the day, and though not as sought-after today as those old Leicas, it’s a very capable shooter with a fantastic lens (at a fraction of the price).

Kodak Retina IIIc

Some stats:

  • My particular camera was made in 1956 (serial #662610)
  • Made in Stuttgart Germany at Kodak AG Dr. Nagel Werk
  • 35mm film (135 cartridge)
  • Coupled rangefinder focusing
  • f:2.0/50mm Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon C lens
  • 1 sec to 1/500 sec (plus B) Compur Synchro shutter
  • Uncoupled selenium light-meter

In the early days of 35mm cameras, the film (which was re-purposed 35mm cinema film) had to be loaded into a camera in a darkroom, and later Leica (Leitz) introduced reusable cassettes that a photographer could load ahead of time in a darkroom, then load in the camera in daylight. In 1934, Kodak introduced the pre-loaded 135 daylight-loading cartridge and a new camera designed to use this new film – the Kodak Retina (though the new film also was designed to work in the existing 35mm Leicas and others). Both the new 135 film cartridge and the Retina camera were invented by Dr. August Nagel of the Kodak AG Dr. Nagel Werk company that had been purchased by Kodak in 1931.  This is the same 135 cassette still manufactured today, commonly called 35mm film.

Dr. Nagel had founded Contessa Camerawerke in 1908, and in 1926 merged with three other camera makers to form Zeiss-Ikon, before founding Nagel-Werk in 1928. One of Nagel’s earlier standout cameras was the Kodak Duo Six-20, introduced before the Retina.

From 1934 to 1960 there were 11 major models of folding Retinas produced, with many minor sub-types within each model.  In 1936 the Retina II was introduced with a rangefinder.  The Retina Ia and IIa introduced in 1951 added flash synchronization and winding levers instead of knobs. In 1954 the IIIc was introduced, which added a selenium light meter (all of the II models have rangefinders, and the III models have rangefinders and light-meters). The final models (IB, IIC and IIIC) were introduced in 1957 and the last folding Retina was made in 1960.

it’s the lens that makes this camera great, but it’s also more than that.

Using it
Retinas are known for their high-quality lenses, but I was still surprised when I got my first rolls of film developed and high-res scans made. The image quality and sharpness really surprised me. The photos are sharp edge-to-edge, corner-to-corner, and there seems to be no distortion and no vignetting (darkening at the edges or corners of the image). Ken Rockwell has a great image comparison on his site using this exact same camera and comparing the image quality to a high-end DSLR.

In use, the camera is a real joy.  Image quality is one thing, but a camera has to be somewhat easy and hopefully some fun to use. The Retina IIIc is both. The camera is built solidly and has a top-quality feel in your hands. The folding lens mechanism is great. The lens slides out on a metal frame unlike earlier models that used flexible bellows, and the lens is absolutely solid when it’s opened.

I like carrying it around in just the bottom half of it’s nice red-velvet-lined case, with the lens cover closed and the camera much more compact than an SLR, and lens solidly protected by the metal cover.  Then when I’m ready to shoot, the cover is easily opened with one finger and the lens slides right out as you open the door, ready to use faster than a digital camera from a few years ago took to start up.

The viewfinder is nice and bright, with the diamond-shaped rangefinder focus area in the center of the viewfinder easy to see and focus. Unlike some viewfinders, this one works quite well while wearing glasses – I can see the whole image area perfectly. The leaf shutter is virtually silent when you shoot.

I love the way the camera looks sitting on my desk, and how it feels in hand. The only part of the design that I don’t think looks right is the light-meter dial on top of the camera. The rest of the camera is so nicely designed, but this piece looks like it was an afterthought, designed by someone uninvolved in the rest of the camera design. It functions fine, but the look of it just doesn’t fit with the rest of the camera. Plus the one on my camera is a little loose, so it doesn’t have the precision feel of the rest of the camera. That brings me to a nice little story.  When I got the camera that light-meter dial was loose, and I thought that maybe it just needed to be tightened using that screw in the center of it.  Using my split-ring pliers, I tightened it a bit and ‘snap’, I broke the top off of the screw.  Luckily I was able to extract the screw with a sharp awl, but I didn’t think I’d be able to find another screw.  After much searching online, and contacting a couple of repair folks who work on Retinas, I figured I was going to have to buy a non-functioning IIIc just to get that screw — I watched ebay and had a hard time finding even a parts camera for less than $50.  Then I posted a message on the Classic Cameras Forum at photo.net, and within a short time a nice guy named Tim mailed me the screw from an old non-functioning IIIc he had laying around.  I was absolutely thrilled.  There really are some darn nice people out there.

I usually remove the top half of the case when I’m carrying it around so it’s quick to shoot. Notice the film-winding lever on the bottom of the camera – It seems unusual at first, but it use it’s quite convenient and easy to use. It’s the flat lever on the left in this photo, not the large knob – that knob simply holds the case onto the camera, screwed into the tripod mount (with another tripod mount in the knob so that you could mount it to a tripod with the case in place).

The lovely two-part case

The two-range light-meter flipped open for indoor use. The selenium light meter doesn’t even need batteries. Ever. I compared readings from my Gossen Luna Pro light meter and found the Retina to be pretty close. The design of this meter cover is just one example of the great design of this camera – it latches closed when flipped down, and just a touch downward on the top edge of the cover and it springs open.

The light-meter dial. Turn the outer knob so that the black needle in the glass window aligns with the red needle, and read the red exposure number around the edge of the dial (using one of two symbols depending on whether you have the light meter cover opened or closed). It seems a bit confusing at first, but once you figure it out it’s pretty simple.

Then transfer that exposure number to the indicator at the bottom of the lens, and your exposure is set.

As you turn the aperture and shutter-speed rings, they’re lightly locked together by this previous exposure value setting. So in this example, I could shoot at f:8, 1/30 or turn one click to shoot at f:5.6 1/60 or another click to f;4 1/125 (which are all the exact same exposure level, of course). Once that exposure value is set, it’s almost like shooting a modern SLR in aperture-priority or shutter-priority mode. And that exposure setting doesn’t lock them together tightly, so it’s still easy to turn them independently if you want to over- or under-expose from the meter reading.  It’s ingenious, really.

The semi-circular knurled knob at the upper-right in this photo is the focusing knob (here at it’s minimum focusing distance of about 2 feet). The knob has to be moved down to infinity focus in order to close the cover of the camera.

The front element of the lens is removable, and a telephoto and wide-angle front element was offered as an option. The problem is that when either of the optional lenses was used, the camera couldn’t close. Maybe someday I’ll pick up the other lenses on ebay. The removable front element also makes it easy to access the shutter blades, which in the case of my camera were sticking open sometimes, but once cleaned with a few drops of lighter fluid they’re working great. The front element of the lens has a serial number on it that should match the serial number of the rear lens element inside the camera. I’ve read that these matching lens elements are very important, so if you’re buying a Retina you should make sure they match (some cameras have ended up with mis-matched elements if the front element got damaged and was swapped with one from another camera).

Bottom of the camera with film wind lever at the right, and tripod mount on the left. The two protrusions around the tripod mount rotate to reveal a hidden button that releases the back of the cover, to open for loading and unloading film. Nice design so that it’s not accidentally opened.  I don’t know what the black metal piece in the middle is. It looks like a tripod mount, but it’s not threaded. I’ve learned from a reader in the comments below that the black piece in the middle is used to mount a special Retina flash bracket — a screw attaches to the tripod socket, and a pin goes in the black hole to hold the flash bracket in position.

The Retina has an odd film counter that has to be reset when you load film, setting it to the number of exposures on the roll of film that you put in it. It then counts down to zero as you shoot, and once it hits zero you can’t wind or shoot the camera. If you don’t know about this, the camera will seem like it’s defective. It took me a bit to figure this out when I first got it. To reset the counter, hold down the small button on top of the camera next to the counter, and pump the button that’s on the back side of the camera with your thumb to turn the counter. It sounds odd, and it can easily trip someone up if you don’t know how to do it, but once you know how it’s very easy.




fully enclosed and protected


Read the original camera manual:  http://butkus.org/chinon/kodak/retina_iiic/retina_iiic.htm

123 Comments on “Kodak Retina IIIc Review”

  1. Amanda says:

    Very informative thank you! I didn’t realize what a nice camera I had

  2. Jorge Jimenez says:

    With out boubt, it is the nicest camera I have ever had. Mine is in mint condition and the results are superb.

  3. Jessie says:

    Where could I get film for this, I have one myself and i would love to use it.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Jessie — this uses normal 35mm film, which you can pick up lots of places. Though some people think film would hard to find these days, you can still get it at Target, Walgreens, etc.

  4. Nan says:

    Loved the article. I have a Retina (no numbers after) which belonged to my Dad and can’t get the lens to open. It has a flip lever that opens but nothing happens. Can anyone help?

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Nan,
      If there are no numbers after the name Retina, I’m guessing you might have an original 1934-1936 Retina. Does it look like this? I’d love to see one of those.
      Is it the lever on the cover with the name Kodak on it that flips out? I’m not sure if that’s the release to open the cover, or simply a stand for sitting the camera flat on a table like shown in that photo. There may be a different button to open the cover. On some older folding Kodaks that I have, the nameplate doesn’t open the cover but only serves as a stand, but there’s a small button on the top or bottom of the camera that releases the cover, and on some the button is even hidden under the leather covering, so you can feel the button but can’t see it.
      You might want to go to the Classic Camera Forum (see link in my sidebar at right), and post some photos of the camera and explain the problem you’re having, or questions you have. There will be someone there who has experience with your camera.

  5. Nan says:


    Thanks for the quick response! I was able to open the lens immediately with the button on the bottom. It took me a moment to see the mechanism to close the lens but now I know. Knowing my father and his great care for things, I’m sure the camera is still working perfectly.

    I will try to take some pictures and send them back to you since you wanted to see it.
    (I did a ‘reply’ to your email and hope you received this comment.

    I don’t see it posted here on your blog and I am not sure if I can email pictures to your email address or how to post them here.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      I’m glad to hear you were able to open it up. Hopefully you can get it all figured out and try shooting a roll of film in it.

  6. dennis says:

    i have it myself, the big C version with all three lenses and i have to say that im really proud when i use and wear it, its lovely and a diamond among all my cameras

  7. Great camera- I just got one after using a IIc. The hole is the bottom is for using the special Retina flash bracket- a pin fits in there to steady it and a screw attaches it in the tripod hole. Kodak advised against fitting a flash in the Attachment Shoe- apparently it’s not heavyweight and a blow to the flash could damage the show and the camera top.

  8. They used a special bracket because the standard bracket would hang over the winding lever

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Nicolas. Your light meter is easier than mine to use. Mine has two different ways to use it, depending on if you’re indoors or out. Yours just has a single reading, which is nice. Here’s what to do: 1) turn the inner dial using the little round bump to line up the ASA arrow with the film speed you’re using. Leave it untouched until you change film. 2) point the camera in the direction you’re going to shoot the photo, and look at the meter needle under the glass (mine is black, but might be different on your model — in that photo it looks like it might be a white needle on a black background). It should move depending on the brightness of the light (if the needle doesn’t move, then your meter doesn’t work). 3) turn the outer dial until the other pointer under the glass (mine is red) lines up with that needle. 4) See what red number the red triangle is lining up with on the outer edge of the dial. This is your ‘exposure value’. 5) On the bottom side of your lens, adjust the metal pointer to point at the same ‘exposure value’, by pulling down slightly on it, and turning it. 6) Your camera is now set at the proper exposure. It will be kind of locked in to a combination of aperture and shutter speed, and you can now turn the aperture and shutter speed dials together to get the setting you want. If you understand the correlation between aperture and shutter speed, this will be obvious, but the combinations that you get by turning both dials together will always be the same exposure. For instance, f/11 at 1/8sec is the same exposure as f/8 at 1/15 sec, or f/5.6 at 1/30 sec. I hope your meter works. Good luck, and let me know how it works out. It’s a great camera, and once you get some practice, it’s easy to use.

      • Rick Schuster says:

        I forgot to mention, if the one in the photo is your model, that’s a IIIC (big C), instead of a IIIc (small c). The big C models are highly desired and tend to sell for a lot more than the small c models. The viewfinder/rangefinder windows are bigger and I assume brighter to look through, and it has the single-range light-meter. I believe those are the only differences. There are a few small-c models that were made late in their production that also have the single-range light meters, so it can be a little confusing. Besides looking at the IIIC or IIIc stamped in the top, you can spot the big-C models by the larger viewfinder and rangefinder rectangles on the front of the camera above the lens. On mine you’ll notice that they’re smaller.

      • Nicolas says:

        Hi Rick!
        Thanks a lot for your answer. i think my light meter don´t work. he always be on the same place. And my camera is the Retina with small c. You know the price? the conservation of the camera is very very good. you know why the light meter don´t work?

        Thank and sorry about my english.


        • Rick Schuster says:

          I guess sometimes the selenium cell that powers the light meter gets worn out, or possibly there’s a loose wire inside it. For value, you’re best looking at completed listings on ebay to see what they’ve sold for recently. The light meter not working will bring the price down a bit.

  9. Sean says:

    Mine is exactly like yours, what do i do with the inner ring on the light meter that says ASA and DIN? And after I put film in it, how do you rewind the film?

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Sean. Set the ASA dial to whatever speed film you’re using. That will make the light meter give you the correct reading. Be sure to read my section above about resetting the counter. AFter the roll is shot, just push the button on the bottom of the camera right next to the winding lever, and turn the rewind dial on top of the camera clcokwise — the dial that lists some film types on it.

  10. richardlucchesi says:


    I just purchased the Retina IIIc model but have yet to receive it in the mail. I have one questions I cannot for the life of me find the answer to on the web, so I’m asking here. Does the IIIc take batteries at all for the flash or for any other reason? If so, what type does it take and what sort of tips could you provide me.

    Thanks so much!

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Richard. No batteries at all! The light-meter is powered by a selenium cell. I guess some wear out and don’t work anymore, but most keep going. Enjoy!

  11. You can use a modern flash on your Retina as long as it has a cord to plug into the camera. Just make certain the flash setting is at X

  12. Roberto says:

    I have a IIIc and I don’t know if the meter works. when these meters fail, what are the symptoms? mine seems to be hyperactive to light. almost any level of daylight pushes it towards the end of the scale. is this normal or is it a sign of a malfunctioning meter? Thanks

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Roberto,
      I don’t know. My assumption was that a non-working meter simply wouldn’t move at all. Does your camera have the flip-up cover on the meter? My only idea is that maybe the flip-up cover is missing (which needs to be closed in daylight, and only opened in pretty low light indoors), which would make the meter very sensitive to light.

  13. andy middleton says:

    I recently got hold of a mint IIC.

    I must say I love this camera for the reasons you mention, the quality and the fun using it.
    I shoot Leica M since 10 years but this little beauty is even more fun to use and the lens sharpness and contrast is just incredible.

    A real gem of a camera indeed.

    thanks for the interesting article.


  14. Norm says:

    I also own and use a Kodak Retina IIIc, and it’s a wonderful camera. It has remarkable build quality and takes stunning pictures. I ran some old Fuji Sensia 100 slide film and went to a local park’s garden. The pictures just blew me away for their sharpness and resolution. I could even see through my loupe the fine hairs on the stems of the flowers. Keep in mind when purchasing used Kodak Retinas that you should look for condition and clarity in the viewfinder and lens, as well as mechanical condition in the shutter and film advance. There are a few technicians around to work on these and it’s highly recommended to give these Retinas a clean, lube and adjustment. I am now thinking about a Retina IIIC (large C) because it has a better light meter and larger viewfinder. This line of Kodak cameras is simply remarkable for their workmanship and picture quality.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks for the great comment, Norm. Good advice on looking at the quality of the viewfinder/rangefinder and lens. I love hearing from others who are as enamored with these cameras as I am.

  15. Norman Dong says:

    Hi, Rick
    I have just acquired a Kodak Retina IIIC in very fine condition. The film advance and shutter mechanisms are butter smooth and the lens quality is well…superb Scheider-Kreuznach. One thing I am having problems with is how to use the light meter of the IIIC effectively. While shooting outdoors in a park garden in the early afternoon, I follow the meter readings with the right ISO but about a third of my 36 shot 100 speed slide film comes out underexposed. I have been told that spurious or bright light can fool the meter into reading too much light and to shoot for the “middle gray” or 18% gray scale to get a more accurate reading. Have you heard of other, similar experiences? I have shielded the meter from direct light and rechecked my readings before snapping the picture and still get about 10 out 36 shots underexposed even though it’s bright and clear in the park garden. Do you have any suggestions?


    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Norm. Thanks for reading.
      I think the meter on mine is pretty accurate, but it can be thrown way off by light hitting it directly. Here’s what I usually do: If I’m out walking around with the camera, I’ll take a meter reading somewhere where there’s typical light and not against something really bright like a white wall or really dark like a black wall. I just try to find something that’s kind of middle tone to point toward, make sure direct sun isn’t hitting the camera, and set my camera to that meter reading. Sometimes it’s as simple as pointing down toward a gravel walking path or a gray sidewalk or something. Then I walk around and shoot without changing the meter reading unless the lighting changes dramatically. I figure that one good meter reading will cover most shots in that light. If I shoot something in brighter sun I might stop down a stop or two, and if I move into darker shade I might open up a couple stops (or maybe take another meter reading), but usually I don’t bother metering for every shot. And if you get a good understanding of the ‘sunny 16’ rule (and I also remember ‘overcast 8’) you can usually tell if your meter reading makes sense or if it seems off (Google ‘sunny 16 rule’ if you’re not familiar with it). I hope that might help you. Enjoy!

      Thanks for asking. This makes me want to get out and shoot the Retina again. It’s been a while.

    • Are you checking the Retina meter against another known-working meter? The issue may not be the meter but your shutter being out of calibration. Might be time for a CLA.

  16. Evan Foote says:

    Found my great grandfather’s IIIC the other day. I did a quick inspection and found that the the lens door’s hinge had some rust on it. I then realized that the film door might be rusted shut. Any tricks to help me open it without causing damage?

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Evan,
      I don’t have any great tips for you, but I think you’ll just have to mess around with it to see if it will open. On the bottom of the camera on the left side there should be two tabs sticking out from the round piece where the tripod socket is. Turn that to reveal the small metal button that when pushed, should release the rear door. Normally the door should pop right open when that button is pushed, but maybe you’ll have to hold the button down while pulling the door open. Good luck!

  17. Norman Dong says:

    Thanks, Rick
    I will try to shoot for that middle light reading. I was told by the person who restored my Kodak Retina IIIC that to ‘shoot for the gray’, which I assume is to shoot for the 18% gray tone that light meters are designed to use. One photographer in a camera store told me to meter off the back of my hand. I think this later model of the Retina has a more sensitive light meter than the Retina IIIc (which I also own) and therefore need to prevent spurious or bright light from falling on the meter when metering. I may point the camera towards the ground for what appears to be ‘average’ light and set my shutter and f stop. I will post later what I find out for my results. I wish more people appreciated these older, fine cameras and what a fine grain slide film can do. You would need a 25 megapixel camera to come close. Plus, when using a Kodak Carousel projector the colors and images are so vivid and alive.


    • Rick Schuster says:

      You could carry an 18% gray card with you if you want to be serious about getting an accurate reading, but I seldom get that precise. I like the back of the hand idea.

  18. Norman Dong says:

    Hi, Rick
    I took my Retina IIIC out again to the public park with Kodak Elite Chrome 100 slide film. I metered off the mid range to the greatest extent possible, including using the gravel walkway and ground cover and in some instances off the back of my hand. I did this specifically to avoid giving the Retina IIIC light meter a false reading of overly bright light and thus set my camera’s EV that would cause an underexposure. If I don’t get consistent exposures this time, I really don’t what to do. Wish me luck on the next set of slides. Take care.

  19. artsifrtsy says:

    I just purchased a Retina iiiC and should have it in my hands early next week – I’m excited to take it out. Have you tried any of the lenses available for it? I’m thinking of picking up a couple to experiment with. Glad I found your blog – good info!

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks for your comment, and enjoy the Retina.
      I’ve not tried the other lenses. It would be fun to try them, but I wouldn’t like the fact that you can’t close the camera with the other lenses on it.

      • eppaar says:

        I have both lenses and used them years ago when little else was available. While the lenses are good they are difficult to use. They do not connect to the rangefinder. You must determine the distance, and then use a table on the lens to adjust the distance. Only the IIIC (Big C) had frames for the three lenses in the viewfinder. With the IIIc (Little C) you have to use an auxiliary viewfinder. They are easier to use the Retina Reflex 025.

  20. Joe Hoyle says:

    Great info, I have a Retina IIIC (Large C). I have several vintage cameras and this one is my favorite to use.

  21. Norm Dong says:

    The Kodak Retina IIIc is one of the really unheralded gems of the camera world. It has great build quality and the lens is superb. Made by the Nagel Kamerawerke in Germany for Kodak, these cameras were meant to last and give sharp results. I have shot color slide film with my Reina IIIc in a park garden (the best way to test a lens and your skill) and the pictures were breathtakingly sharp. I also have a $1300 Nikon DSLR, and the Retina IIIc with a quality slide film will blow past my digital SLR when it comes to sharpness and resolution.

    We have to remember that film emulsion has much finer grain structure that far exceeds the hyped megapixel light sensors in a digital camera. It’s that simple. Yes, digital cameras are remarkable when it comes to special effects and convenience, but with film it really tested the photographer to get the settings and focus right. You had to learn how light fell on a subject, because you didn’t have some automatic exposure to back you up. Film takes longer to use and develop, but the results are worth the effort. I just hope enough good labs remain around the country for traditional photographers. And using black & white film is even another story of capturing mood, shading and emotion.

  22. Paul says:

    Excellent article. I can’t agree about 35mm Velvia outperforming top-of-the-range DSLRs, though (and I’ve used both). The lens is a six-element double-Gauss (aka Planar) design which is still in use today. The much sought-after 58mm Biotar is the same design. They are all very well corrected lenses.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks, Paul. Yeah, I don’t like to get into film-vs-digital debates. and things like the Ken Rockwell piece comparing two images aren’t always apple-to-apple comparisons. Digital sensors are changing so rapidly that any comparison is probably outdated by the time it’s written.
      But yes, the quality of this lens really seems fantastic. If the lens itself were analyzed it might hold up very well in comparison to some very expensive modern lenses.

  23. Steve Kilmer says:

    I have every model of Retina, including the “Large C” as well as the Retinaflex. however, my Large “C” has had its lens changed at some point, as its a 2.8 and not a 2.0. Also, the lenses should have matching serial numbers as each had matched elements and should never be mis-matched. the body numbers should match the lens numbers.


    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks, Steve. Wow, every model of Retina! Good advice about serial numbers. I don’t think I verified that before buying mine, but lucked out and got matching lens elements.

  24. Norman Dong says:

    The Kodak Retina IIIc is a real gem for daylight shooting. I have shot ISO 100 Fuji slide film and the results are incredibly sharp and full of definition. I also have the Retina IIIC, which was supposed to be an improvement with a “wider range” light meter, but found I needed to point the IIIC downwards towards the ground or neutral gray to avoid overexposure. But the Retina IIIc is a quality camera for daylight shooting and produces very sharp pictures. For indoor, available light shooting, one needs a good hand-held meter with the Retina IIIc for consistent shots.

  25. Peter Paar says:

    I received my IIIc as a Christmas present in 1954. It was my first “good” 35mm camera. It along with a 2 1/4 3 1/4 Speed Graphic were my cameras until the late 1970’s when I finally admitted that SLR’s were here to stay. I only wish that I was as in as good a shape as my Retina IIIc
    Two pieces of information that might be helpful. Selenium cells will degrade if stored in humid conditions and/or exposed continuously to strong light. Storing them in a cool place in their closed cases will extend their useful lives indefinitely. Once a selenium cell has “died” there is nothing that can be done to revive it. I have my father’s Weston meter which he bought in 1938 and it still works perfectly.
    Anyone interested in getting either or both of the extra lenses for the Retina IIIc, Retina IIIC or the Retina Reflex 025 (They all used the same lens system) should be aware that these cameras were made with two different lenses. One was a Rodenstock Heligon which was sold in Europe and the Schneider Krenznach Xenon which was sold in North America. You cannot use a Heligon lens on a Xenon camera and vice-a-versa. If fact the mounts for the two types of lenses are different. Also, while the IIIC had frame lines for all three lenses (making, to my mind, a cluttered viewfinder) the IIIc did not. Two auxiliary finders were made for the IIIc (they could be used on the IIIC as well). A “Field” viewfinder that covered the 50mm & 80mm lenses and an Optical viewfinder that covered the 35mm & 80mm lenses.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks for sharing the story of your Retina IIIc, Peter. I love the fact that you received it in 1954 (two years before my IIIc was even made) and still have it (and maybe still use it?). And great info about the selenium cells, lenses and viewfinders. Thanks!!

      Those of us lucky enough to have one with a working light meter can thank the previous owners for storing it in its case or in the dark.

      • Peter Paar says:

        Yes I still have the IIIc with both extra lenses and both viewfinders. I haven’t used it in few years since health issues forced me out of the dark room. Getting film processed (especially B&W) has become a pain the butt. But who knows, I may try again.

  26. Chet says:

    I have the identical camera and case.

    The camera and case are in great shape, just wondering what it’s worth?

    • Rick Schuster says:

      You can search ebay for completed sales to see what they’ve sold for lately. Don’t go by what people are trying to sell them by, only by the prices they’ve actually sold for. It seems like good ones probably go for about $50 to $100.

      • eppaar says:

        A lot depends on the condition especially the meter. If the meter is working and all else is functional they can go for $100-$125.

        • connorchet@hotmail.com says:

          Everything working.

          • People are often surprised to hear that many common vintage cameras like the Retina series are not worth much money. And they are also often surprised when someone who actually knows vintage cameras, evaluates theirs and finds that their “mint and fully functional” camera is actually neither as this is very uncommon, arguably, factually impossible even for a well-built camera like the Retina.

            There is very little to be gained from these cameras as sales objects. Often they only sell for $100 or less and often need $60-$150 worth of work to get them ACTUALLY working 100%. In monetary terms, they often aren’t even worth what people buy them for!

            “What is the point then?” you may ask. Well, the real VALUE in acquiring cameras like the Kodak Retina is in USING them. Good photographs are priceless. And when using a fine vintage camera to take them, a photographer is often inspired to shoot differently and of different subjects than one would with an easier to use modern camera, which, in many cases, would often cost more anyway!

  27. Chet says:


    I have several 35mm SLR cameras and the wife wanted to learn how to use them and set up a dark room but after a couple of lessons learning how to load the film, set the speed, work the manual, or automatic flash, she decided to stick with the digital point and shoot. I do miss the dark room and may get back into it myself.

  28. Norm D. says:

    Kodak Retina IIIc cameras can be purchased on eBay, but buyers should know that given its age, one should know its condition and whether it has been properly serviced. Lubricants become dry, rangefinders need adjustment, lenses can be clouded and the cord connection between shutter & meter could be frayed. Have purchased two Retinas from one dealer on eBay, Jacques DeCooman in Lillois, Belgium. He completely restores these cameras and they are very clean and reliable. One can find a wide range in prices on eBay, but the Retina’s condition and knowing it has been properly serviced are very important.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Very good advice! I got lucky with my Retina, but I’ve bought cameras on ebay that needed a lot of work, too. Many sellers don’t even know if a camera is really in working condition or not. If the price is good enough, I’ll often take a chance, as I’m willing to try to fix things, but to get one that you know is in good working condition you need to find a reputable seller who knows what they’re selling.

      • Tim says:

        The nice thing about ebay is that some people don’t know how to take pictures of the item they are selling. I just won an almost mint condition KR3c for $56. The pictures of the camera were so bad I think most people just passed it up. I got the camera and it’s in almost mind condition. Sure it has the typical yellowing and needed a little clean up but for $56 I think I got a great deal.

        It’s ironic that people selling a camera can’t capture a decent image of it. haha

    • Fully agreed! Great advice! I tend only buy “curiousity” cameras and products from eBay, nothing that I expect to use regularly. The Retina is something that certainly can be used regularly though and I was luck enough to find one at my local camera repair shop. If one does buy from eBay, it’s good to factor the CLA cost into your bid!

  29. peter klein says:

    What would the value be a Retina IIIC – Big C – with an ASA of 3200 and the original leather case and strap? Camera is in excellent condition and nothing is broken.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Peter – you could get a good idea of value by searching ebay for completed sales (go to the advanced search) and seeing what they’ve sold for recently. Don’t go by the asking prices because there are often way overpriced ‘buy now’ offers on ebay.

  30. Norman says:

    Technically, the market value of the Retina IIIC would be higher than the Retina IIIc, simply because of the different rangefinder (a bit larger view) and a wider light range selenium light meter that does not require a flap door. However, the exact dollar value is hard to estimate easily since it depends on the camera’s condition.

    Old mineral-based lubricants dry and freeze. Old internal cords and springs get stretched or broken. A properly cleaned and lubricated camera (synthetic lubricants) with replaced Kodak parts would enhance its value. eBay lists some rebuilt units (somewhat rare because few people can do it) but rebuilt units sell for $375 to $425. I own both the IIIC and IIIc, both rebuilt.

    I prefer the IIIc because I found the light meter on the IIIC to be a little sensitive (with the IIIC you are encouraged to meter off photo gray or mid range) to prevent overexposure in daylight shooting. The IIIc also has a rangefinder spot that is easier to see and focus than the IIIC. With practice, the IIIc can give you amazingly sharp results, especially since color slide films are so much better than they were 50 years ago. Same for panchromatic films. Few appreciate what fine films can do for a picture.

    Thus, value can’t be determined entirely on model number but condition and functionality. If you had a choice between the cleaned and lubed IIIc and an old IIIC with unknown history, I would opt for the IIIc since you know it will not freeze and shutter speeds are accurate. There are still a few old-school technicians who have the parts and skill to repair
    these cameras, but you have to look. The Retina is worth that effort.

  31. Tim says:

    I’ve got the Retina 3c. I’m having trouble setting the asa. I’ve got 400 asa film, but there doesn’t see to be a “400” in the asa window. Any advice?


    • Rick Schuster says:

      Set it just a little above the 320 mark. It doesn’t have to be exact.

      • Eric Denham says:

        I just received a newly purchased Retina IIIc and was trying to find an ASA 400 on the ASA window and could not. I set it at 27 DIN hoping all would be satisfactory. Many thanks for your answer/explanation above, I shall now proceed.

    • Some 400 ISO films are actually 320 ISO but have been rounded up for simplicity. You can set the ISO on the Retina for marks between the listed ISO/ASA numbers also. For print film, the slight difference between 320 and 400 is not going to be noticeable. If you’re shooting slide film, you may want to dial it in tighter but then again, if pin point accurate exposure below half a stop is important to you, you should be using a handheld meter with your Retina, not the built-in selenium meter which should be viewed more of a guide than an absolute. Happy shooting!

      • Eric Denham says:

        Dear Johnny,

        Thank you for the info. Rick also provided a helpful response so I am now ready to proceed.

  32. Tim says:

    Thanks Rick! Also, does anyone know a good source for vintage type straps for these? I’ve checked ebay and etsy. People seem to want upwards of $30 for anything retro looking, but even then they are all a little bit wrong. I have the leather case but the strap was missing when I bought it. Plus I like to just have the camera out without the case on.

    Thanks, and great blog. I’m loving the whole site.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      That’s a great question. I wish I had an answer. I’m using the original leather strap that came with mine, but I’m very nervous about it breaking. These straps are not very wide, and leather this old could break at any time. I need a solution to that. I think I need to find someone who does leather work to make a custom one. The original for this camera is a very simple straight leather strap with an adjustment buckle. I could forego the adjustment, and just have it a single length, and re-use the hardware that holds the strap onto the camera. Or I could try cutting a strip from a leather belt to make my own.

      • Rick Schuster says:

        p.s. – you can see part of the strap in a couple of the photos above. It’s simply straight just like what you can see in those photos, the whole length with no ornamentation or anything. It’s about 5/16-inch wide.

        • Tim says:

          Yeah. I like that strap. I ended up stopping by the Used Camera Store in Costa Mesa CA today and picked up a simple black nylon strap today. They have a big bin of used straps they sell for $1 each. It’s pretty great. Not sure if they do online sales or not but if you’re in the area it’s a great resource. Cheers.

  33. Norman says:

    It’s fairly hard to find a vintage, leather neck strap for Kodak Retina IIIc or IIIIC. I had one that came with my Retina IIIC and it just snapped from age. I usually go to a camera store and find a narrow, woven strap for about $25. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s the closest I have found to keeping the camera vintage looking. These Retinas came with leather straps.

    You can always go to eBay which I did for a Pentax Spotmatic II that bought and had overhauled. They are usually made in China and very cheap, but they definitely won’t look vintage for the Kodak Retina. I am enjoying my Pentax too.

    The Kodak Retina is a tremendous jewel of a camera with a sharp lens. I have both the IIIc and IIIC, though the latter’s light meter is a bit more sensitive to light and I have been fooled into underexposing my slides. I have been told to meter off 18% gray board and back of my hand for those bright situations. Every time I get updates from all of you, I am reminded of how great film shooting still is and should never be abandoned.

  34. Norman says:

    Yes, we sometimes find a good buy for cameras on eBay. But we should look at details because of the age of these cameras. I try to look at pictures carefully and ask a lot of questions about the shutter speed, light meter and rangefinder accuracy. You can also tell from just the surface condition of the item.

    The thing with older cameras is to have a back up plan or qualified service technician in your area to do a clean, lube and adjust. Some of the lube on older shutters, gears and film advance have dried and connecting cords to the light meter have frayed. A simple investment in a clean, lube and adjust are worth doing if you have any doubts about the mechanical condition and considering today’s lubricants are synthetic based, the work will last quite a while. Always fun to share notes on these vintage cameras.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      I agree, Norman, but I often do the opposite. I’ll take a chance on a camera if the price is low enough, not knowing anything about how it functions, and figure it’s likely going to be a project to work on. Sometimes I get lucky and the camera is better than I expected; sometimes it needs a lot of work. If I haven’t spent much money on it, then I’m willing to tear it apart myself and try to get it working. I’ve never had a professional CLA done by anyone, but for most people that would probably be the way to go. For me, trying to do it myself if part of the fun.

  35. Norman says:

    You are right, Rick. If the buy is good enough and you can do the work yourself, it is half the
    fun and a good experience too. However, I myself do not have the tools, instructions and only too much middle age eyesight to do this work. Hence, I have to find a pro for a CLA on a camera. It’s pricey, I know. But with my poor eyesight and lack of the right tools and experience, I have little choice. Both options work. But I am truly glad there are many people still enjoy the wonder of film photography. Film photographs are the original “RAW” file that digital enthusiasts so often praise.

  36. Merchi says:

    Hi Rick, thank u so much for this post it was very helpful. I just discovered my late grandpa’s Kodak Retina IIIc serial #556729 with 2 other lenses in what seems a great shape, I haven’t tried it out yet. I was wondering if you know what the little green flicker thingy at the lower right quarter of the lense does. Whenever I push it up it sounds like something is unwinding. I was also wondering if there is a way to find out in what year it was made with the serial number (I googled it and nothing came up). And one last question, I’m not sure I got this right… The camera doesn’t use batteries? Thanks again!

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi. Thanks for reading my blog! The green lever sets the flash synchronization and sets the self-timer. If it’s set to V then the self-timer will run. It’s best to not do this because at this age the self timer might not wind all the way down and could result in the shutter not firing and getting stuck. Best to leave it on M or X and not touch it. I think when I first got mine I made the mistake of setting it to V and I had to dismantle part of the front of the shutter and manually wind down the self-timer to get it working. Hopefully this hasn’t happened to yours. I’d try setting it to M or X and seeing if the shutter will fire. For more info about using the camera you can read the original manual here: http://butkus.org/chinon/kodak/retina_iiic/retina_iiic.htm

      I don’t remember where I found the serial number list that told me that mine was made in 1956. I’ll see if I can find it. But since my serial number is higher than yours, and the IIIc was made from 1954-1957, I’d guess that yours was made in 1954 or 1955.

  37. Norman says:

    One suggestion on use of these older Retina cameras. If you can find an experienced tech
    to clean, lube & adjust the shutter and film advance, it will work better and more accurately. Old lubricants get dry and hang up. This depends on how much one is willing to invest, but the lenses on these cams are so sharp, it is worth the investment. Just a thought.

  38. Katrinka Bartush says:

    We just unearthed my fathers IIc in mint condition. My mother may want to sell it. Is there a market for these? It’s in a leather case w/strap and only a few mars on the case. Dad never used it! And the book is with it and an attachment that I’m not sure if it’s for a flash or???
    Any insight would be helpful. Thank you,

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Katrinka,
      That’s a nice find. There’s definitely a market for it, but it’s not worth a lot of money, unfortunately. If you search ebay for ‘completed items’ under ‘advanced search’, you’ll see that the IIc has recently been selling for about $15 to $55. In truly mint condition it might fetch more than that, but you’d probably have to ensure that it works perfectly. It’s a great camera though, so if you or anyone else in your family is interested in photography, it’d be great to keep it and use it.

      • Katrinka says:

        Thank you so much for the information. I recently started playing with an SLR, so we’ll probably keep it. It has an interesting story in that my father traded a new pair of cowboy boots for this camera while in the service. I think the story makes it worth keeping!
        Thank you again,

        • Rick Schuster says:

          Awesome! I hope you do use it. It’s a great camera. Basically the same as the IIIc that I discuss on this page, but without the light meter. You can learn to guess at the exposure settings (look up ‘sunny 16’), and get by without a meter.

          It’s even cooler that it was your dad’s camera and has a good story behind it. Enjoy!

  39. eppaar says:

    For those looking to have their Retina’s repaired I can recommend Chris Sherlock in New Zealand. While it sounds rather far to send a camera, he does superb work at a reasonable rate. It takes about month to 6 weeks to get the camera back. It costs about $150 including return postage for a IIIc. His web site is:


  40. […] Kodak Retina IIIc – weil einige Modelle ein tolles Objektiv haben und sie wunderbar kompakt ist. Die Modelle mit dem lichtstarken f/2.0-Objektiven von Schneider-Kreuznach oder Rodenstock kosten gebraucht aber gut erhalten und voll funktionsfähig um die €50 bis 70,-, manchmal sogar weniger. […]

    • Rick Schuster says:

      And a rough translation, courtesy of Google:
      “because some models have a great lens and it is wonderfully compact. The cost models with the bright f / 2.0 lenses from Schneider-Kreuznach or Rodenstock used but in good condition and fully functional to the € 50 to 70, -, sometimes even less.”

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I just read some of your blog translated to English by Google. Funny thing — in a blog post about film grain, it translated the title to “I like corn” instead of “I like grain”.

  41. Norman Dong says:

    I would agree with comments aus Deutschland that Kodak Retina IIIc or IIIC is compact and well made. Their light meters are best for daylight shooting and aren’t as sensitive for low light shooting but the picture resolution with fine grain color slide film is breathtaking. They were fine cameras in their day and make fine shooters today. Too much hype about digital, while convenient to use, neglects the many fine and historic pictures that were taken with film. Whenever we see posts of famous people and events, we need to be reminded that they were taken with film–which took a little more skill and patience to shoot. Photography then and should be now a skilled art vs. rapid shooting.

  42. William Winkelman says:

    I also love my Retina IIIc. If you take a careful look at the depth of field scale you will notice a little red dot. That is for use with infrared film. Once you have determined your subject’s distance from the film plane, you rotate the focus ring for the distance you determined to line up with the red dot. That was necessary when the camera was used with infrared film because of the longer wave length of infrared. I haven’t found any source for this interesting film.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks William. Very interesting. I did not know why that dot was there. I shot a roll or two of infrared black & white film many years ago in my Pentax K1000 but was unaware of the focusing difference. I see that B&H sells an infrared film from Rollei/Agfa.

  43. Norman says:

    Rick, can you suggest a good 35mm slide and film scanner. When i asked people
    in a camera store, they try to impress you w/ lots of tech talk. I just want an Apple
    compatible scanner that can produce around 8 megapixel of resolution or higher.
    are they hard to find or use?

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Norman,
      I wish I had good advice on film scanners. I don’t scan my own film, but I’d like to (could maybe save a lot of money). But a good film scanner is expensive, and time-consuming. I’ve heard good things about the Nikon film scanners, especially the Super Coolscan 4000 and 5000, but they’re not cheap. I have a Costco store near me that scans film really cheaply (I’m going to write about this soon on this blog), so I’m gonna start using them more for 35mm. For 120 film, I’m thinking of trying a DSLR ‘scanning’ method that I’ve read about — basically you backlight the negs and shoot a photo with a DSLR using a macro lens — faster than scanning and can be very good quality, from what I’ve read.

  44. PaulB says:

    I had this for my first serious camera. My father bought it for $75.00 in 1964 for my 15th birthday (that would be like $600.00 today!). In 1980 I used it to take great slides during my first trip to New Zealand. That was about its last hurrah, but I went through dozens of rolls during those 16 years. One thing I especially liked about it was how easy it was to use the depth of field indicators on the top of the lens/focusing mechanism. The little pointer that indicates the distance of focus has a series of brackets with the f-stop numbers on each side of the pointer. If you read down on the focus ring the two brackets will tell you the near and far limits of your depth of field for that particular f-stop. With the linked time and f-stop rings, you can easily shift to a longer exposure/narrower depth of field (or vice versa) just by moving the ring a few notches either way. It really made that feature of field composition so easy! I still have the camera, but it has developed some light leaks due to corrosion, and most of the springs have fatigued. I was sorry to see it fail — it gave me a lot of pleasure while I used it.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Thanks for sharing your story, Paul. What a great 15th birthday gift! The depth-of-field markings on lenses is something I really miss on modern lenses.

  45. Norman says:

    Must agree wholeheartedly with review of Kodak Retina IIIc. It is a remarkable camera. Some of my sharpest pictures were taken using ISO100 Fuji slide film with this camera. Hard to find technicians these days to work on these cams, but they are worth keeping because of their strong build and very sharp lens. I can remember seeing the hairs on the stems of flowers when I took color slides in a public garden. The pictures were amazing.

  46. carlo says:

    Very interesting and detailed review. Excellent job.
    I’m now in process of revitalizing this 35mm film camera and using it for B&W film as second body to my Nikon D90.
    I have a question for the other owners : also in my camera, as in that reviewed, the light-meter dial is loose. Should it stay loose ( strange feeling …) or should be tightened ? and in this case, how to do it?
    Thanks for your suggestions/recommendations

  47. eppaar says:

    I just got my IIIc back from Chris Sherlock and it looks and operates as did 60 years ago. When the weather cools I am going to take it for a spin. I also blew my collecting budget for the year (and incurred the wraith of She Who Must Be Obeyed) on the two competitors of the IIIc — the Voigtlander Vitessa L and the Zeis Ikon Contessa.



    All three were around $200, less than half the cost of a Leica. I will probably shoot a roll with the Vitessa. The Contessa, although beautifully built is an ergonomic disaster area to use.

    A word on selenium light meters. They die slowly. This means that even if the needle moves the meter may not be accurate. They should be checked against either a digital cameras reading or a good silicon meter such as the Gossen Luna Pros.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Congrats on getting the Retina in like-new shape. Should probably be usable for another 60 years. I have the same Contessa, and agree with you on the usability — I love how it looks on my shelf better than actually using it. Good advice on the light meters.

  48. Jeffrey L. davis says:

    Thanks for your review

    First I have to acknowledge Chris Sherlock as he Retina master: he has repaired all my Retinas even the Reflex IV which no one else in the world will touch because of it’s complexity.
    My favorite Retinas to use are the IIa, IIc (wish I had the big C) and IIIS, the IIa is very good but I like feel and look of the IIc better, the IIS is very Leica like but has a leaf shutter which I perfer.

  49. Chris says:

    The front to my camera wont Close all the way. Tbe lens is off. I cant fugure it out

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Try moving the position of the focus lever — it needs to be focused to infinity (so the lens is in the closest position to the camera) for it to close. If that’s not the problem, I don’t know what it would be.

  50. Dave Carro says:

    Thank you so much for this information. My father, who just recently passed away at age 87, used this camera exclusively in the service in the 50s, when he was a young working man, when he had a family, when my brothers and I were growing up. I now have his camera. It is as solid and functioning as the day he purchased it… nary a scratch on it. And while I could figure some things out (and remember my father teaching me), this article helped me with those things that eluded me (like the counter reset!). I look at this camera and see and hear my dad. I need to find some film and shoot a roll… just like he did.

  51. Norman Dong says:

    The Kodak Retina is a jewel. Have the IIIC and the IIIc, both take sharp mages.
    I am amazed by the workmanship and quality. If you have memories from family,
    All the the better to keep. While i also shoot digital, there is something special
    About mastering film. The results are up to us, not a microchip.

  52. Hello Retna IIIc users. Stephen Orosz acquired this camera from Jordan Orosz in 2015. Jordan was able to capture over 200 piks wile deployed at sea on the USS Hunt, Fletcher Class Destroyer. At this writing Stephen is working to provide those piks to the U.S. Naval Records. Contact Stephen at: sostobs77@gmail.com or “Tin Can Salors” website, http://www.tincansalors.com. Thank You, Stephen Paul Orosz, (son). 2016

  53. brenda fultz says:

    Thank you for an awesome website! My Dad recently passed away and I have his circa 1955-57?, Retina IIIc camera. Serial number is 541438, if that’s the serial number, I found on top side of camera. My Dad bought the camera while in Germany while serving in United States Marine Corps. I wish I had been smart enough to ask questions when he was here, but as a kid I was never allowed to touch it!!! Would you happen to know how I could find out the monetary value of todays world? No I do not want t sell it, no no no!!!! Thank you for any info, I loved reading about the Retina IIIc in your posts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Brenda,
      Thanks for sharing the story about your dad’s Retina IIIc. I hope you get some film and try using the camera. As far as how much money it’s worth — you can do a search of Completed listings on ebay (click “Advanced” search and select “Completed listings” — the ones with prices shown in green are ones that actually sold) to see what they’ve sold for recently. It seems they’re only selling for about $30 to $100 these days, depending no condition.

  54. Donald C. says:

    I have the same camera bought in 1956 incl. the larger lens with clip on viewer (because the big lens obscured the built in viewer) plus the receipt for when it was bought. It’s been around the world three times and takes brilliant photos. If I was careful with threading the film spool I always used to get 39 photos on a 36 film. What I also liked about it was that I could get to and clean every lens surface. The timer spring has broken so if it gets stiff don’t play with it

    • Rick Schuster says:

      Hi Donald,
      Do you have the telephoto or wide-angle lens? Or both?
      Yes, I agree about the convenience of being to access all surfaces of the lens. It’s also nice that you can access the shutter blades by just popping off the front element, since those blades sometimes get sticky and need some cleaning.

      Good advice about the self-timer — I’ve gotten more than one camera stuck by starting the self-timer, only to have it stick partway through winding down. I think that happened to me with this camera actually. Right after receiving it, while messing around with it, I cocked the self-timer and it wound part-way and stopped. Kind of ruined my excitement of buying the camera. I don’t remember exactly how I fixed it, but I recall reaching in with a fine-point awl and winding a gear down a little at a time until the shutter fired — I probably had to remove some of the front case of the shutter mechanism to reach in. I don’t think I ever cocked the self-timer after that.

      • Donald C. says:

        Thanks Rick. I’m sure it’s a form of telephoto as brought images a little bit closer but not that much. Has all settings on the side dial. It’s really just a fat lens and nothing like what you get nowadays with a camera telephoto lens that looks more like a short telescope. Lens has on it Schneider – Kreuznach [serial no] Retina – Longar – Xenon C f:4/80mm. The extra clip on viewer comes in a little leather case that can attach to the camera strap. It has a finder setting on it that you adjust either for a 35mm or 80mm lens so just makes the view finder image larger or smaller plus a dial for “parallax compensation”. I think i’ll leave the timer alone, pretty sure the spring has broken and would hate to not be able to put everything back together. Cost £70.10.0 (just the camera) in 1956, converted to US dollars and adjusting to inflation that’s USD$2,320.00

  55. Steve Waterman says:

    I was looking for something today and found my dad’s IIIC. (I picked it up and clicked the shutter a few times. Truly a solid and well built cameras. My dad passed away in late 2015 just short of his 98th birthday. He worked at Kodak Park for 35 years in a darkroom coating film, and won several awards for his photos with this camera. He lent it to me for a couple years in the early 70’s and I loved it. In the 80’s we both moved on to SLR cameras. They were never as cool as the Retina! And I could never afford a lens as fast as this one. I thought I would check out its market value tonight but instead ran across your article and photos. While I have the original box and manual, I appreciated your clear description of how to use it. I have a couple rolls of film, so think you have motivated me to go out and use them. You triggered some great memories of my dad and the camera. Thank you.


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