Kodak Retina IIIc

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by alfonsomartinez, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Howdy!!

    I bought me a new "used" classic camera...the fully manual Kodak Retina IIIc (Type 21). I performed dry-run shutter and aperture tests and for a 67-year old camera, it performs, sounds and looks great. The real test will be when I run some test film through it this weekend (hopefully). I cleaned the 35mm and 80mm lenses--amazingly, they look great for being so old and they were well-cared for previously. The filter kit was a pleasant surprise as well--they looked great too. It should be fun using this l'il gem.


    I probably should have it CLA'ed for good measure to ensure its longevity. Apart from the international Retina master, Mr. Sherwood in New Zealand, is there another person or camera shop in the USA that could perform great CLA work on it? I live in Texas...but I will not mind shipping it anywhere in the Lower-48.
  2. IMO, the Retina IIIc is a marvelous camera. The front element of the normal lens is radioactive! My dad shot all the family Kodachromes with a IIIc and I've got one stashed away for whenever I get back to film. Do your job right and expect ultrasharp results. The bodies are a PITA to service, but rarely need much. The shutters aren't bad if you don't break the cocking rack. Note the odd lock-up between rolls related to the film counter position.
    ] and johnfantastic like this.
  3. Nice!
    I wonder if the meter is working?

    I've got a soft spot for the folding Retinas - truly pocketable without sacrificing a rangefinder, and quiet as a mouse in operation.

    However.... they're a nightmare to work on. So if it's all clean and functioning, I would leave well alone. A repairer not used to these cameras might easily do more harm than good trying to gain access to the shutter, etc.
    And it's not as if you'll be giving it hard use and relying on it to make a living, I suspect.
    ] and johnfantastic like this.
  4. Beautiful Camera @alfonsomartinez . :) May I know how much you paid for it?
  5. It is nice.

    I have only a Retina 1, which needs a little cleaning and tender care.

    here's some original Kodak advertising on the early models. ( always love these old ads even though this leaflet is auf Deutsch*). Talk about your miracles of post-war production!

    I've always wanted to Meisterhaft knipsen
    *The Retinas were made in Stuttgart-Wangen by the Kodak AG Dr. Nagel Werk
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
    ], Jochen, Julio Fernandez and 4 others like this.
  6. Thanks for the post. I love them because they ARE auf Deutsch!
  7. I have not tested the meter yet--still familiarizing myself with the camera's features. Still reading up on setting up for a picture and seeing how thing change as I make adjustments. I will test the meter against the light meter app on my phone and see what the meter is reading vs what the light meter states. Should be interesting to check out. ;)
  8. Hello Alfonso
    I also have a IIIc and a I type 126 both made the journey to NZ for service. Both came back great and the turn around wasn't bad and the I was sent down in April-June of 2020 so there was some delays due to the covid.

    If it needs service I would strongly recommend sending it down.
  9. Mr Sherwood's web site states that he is not taking any new submission and will provide an update sometime in Feb 2021...we'll see how my testing goes first to gauge if it needs work.
    johnfantastic likes this.
  10. JDMvW, I love your old brochures, I love old brochures of any kind, and love to read them and try to understand the marketing concepts and strategies of the era. :)
  11. Be careful setting the self timer. With my 111c, the shutter needs to be cocked before the small green self timer "handle" can be pushed up into position.
  12. Yes it does...but, it is off. If using the exposure meter (closed), it is off by +1.25 EV. Hence, if the light meter states it is 9.0 EV, my Retina displays it to be 10.25 EV. If using the exposure meter (opened), it is off by +0.5 EV. It is pretty consistent--just use a light meter when shooting or remember the differences for adjustments if relying on the Retina's exposure meter. I will be testing the two scenarios soon.
  13. Perhaps testing the camera's light meter first by exposing a roll of 100asa B&W film on a sunny day would tell you if it's ok or not. From your quoted EV figures I'd say it might be ok. The light meter has been designed and factory adjusted for that camera alone, the 111c, with all variables taken into consideration. It may not read exactly the same as other meters simply because it's designed for that one camera and hand-held meters might meter for different angles. So a film test is your best bet, provided the film is developed according to the developing instructions with no "pushing" or "pulling in development of the film

    A plastic diffuser was included for the 111c meter. If your kit still has that, you could also test the meter for accuracy by using the "incident meter reading" method, again on a sunny day and by exposing a film. The light is diffused, eliminating high light and low light problems when metering.

    One thing to keep in mind .. these meters with doors for high and low light measuring, are often factory adjusted so as to give an extra one stop of exposure in low light when the meter's door is open, the film emulsion needs that extra light to perform at it's optimum in low light conditions.
    alfonsomartinez likes this.
  14. I am planning on using a roll of Kodak Gold 100 on a bright, sunny day. I will be testing different EV settings for the scenes using the light meter and shooting the same using the camera's meter for side-by-side checks for comparisons. I will first test using the stock 50mm lens; plus, I will test the 35mm and 80mm lenses as well. More come...
  15. Not the best idea. C-41 films like Kodak Gold, for that matter all negative films, have considerable exposure latitude. If you're going to pretend to test, you should use a narrow latitude reversal film. Try an ISO 100 E-6 film.
  16. Hmmm...never shot with slide film. This should be interesting. I need to order some.Kodak Ektachrome film then...more to come! Thanks for the tip!!
  17. AJG


    +1 on doing your exposure tests with slide film, especially if you are having a lab process your C-41. Any lab will try to make your prints look good and the fairly wide latitude of color negative film, especially on the over exposure side, will be easily compensated for. Slide film requires more precise exposure and will reveal discrepancies more quickly.
  18. C-41 film and processing are much cheaper. You don't make prints to do camera tests, you read the negatives, just like reading a slide. The chromes are just nicer to view.
  19. AJG


    C 41 film is certainly cheaper, as is its processing, but reading color negatives isn't easy if you aren't experienced at looking at them due to the reversed color and orange mask. Gross under or over exposure may be evident, but to recognize a 1 stop error would be difficult for most people.
  20. I agree. One stop off would be difficult for me also.

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