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My Latest 'Toy' but which 'model' is it ?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:23 pm    Post subject: My Latest 'Toy' but which 'model' is it ? Reply with quote

Today I was given by a Lady who contacted my Club a 'Kodak Retina' 35mm camera in leather case. It is badly worn. There is bare metal showing all over the body and inside on the film pressure plate and film track. I will have to clean it up. I show pics 'as received' I am not sure but I think it is a 'Retina 1' from about 1934. The lens is a 'Xenar' 50mm f3.5 and shutter is a 'Compur 1-300th + B and T. The slower speeds work OK with just the 1 second being about 1.5 seconds. There is some 'haze' in the Un-Coated lens. I would b e grateful if any Forum member could tell me which Model it is -- I think it is a 'Retina 1' but all photos I have seen of Retina 1's have different layouts on the top



PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it to be the Kodak Retina (Type 118), the 2nd Retina from 1935-'36. The first Retina was the Type 117. The lens on the camera was made in either late 1934 or early 1935 judging by the serial number, which would fit. The rewind knob has been replaced at some time with a non-standard one. It should be one piece and look similar to the advance knob.

The Retina I cameras followed the Type 118, beginning in 1936 with the Type 119, Pete.

Hillary used a Type 118 on Everest, taking the famous shot of Tensing at the summit. The camera would have been 17/18 years old by then, and dealing with conditions as bad as you could imagine. So much for the Retina reputation for fragility!

Chris Sherlock is the world expert (in my opinion) and has a YouTube channel, called Chris Sherlock, that might help with cleaning it up. His stripdown and rebuilds are head and shoulders above anything else I've seen on YouTube.



Hope that helps.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Sciolist suggested, it is indeed a Retina type 118 and the only model with that specific layout of controls on the top plate, so easy enough to identify when you know. Not yet called a "Retina I" as there wasn't a Retina II (with integral rangefinder) until 1936. According to Brian Coe's "Kodak Cameras" there were only 9,144 of this model made, so not very common.

You may have noticed, there's no shutter release button on this model, the function being achieved by what was in effect a cut-down cable release fastened in the screw socket on the shutter housing! An "original" shutter release will have a stylised "K" (for Kodak) engraved on the button, but any cable release will serve the purpose Wink

The Xenar lens is a Tessar type, as you may be aware, and fully capable of the expected performance of a Tessar of that era Smile

You can find an HTML version of "The Retina Guide" that I prepared some years ago hosted here http://kodak.3106.net/index.php?p=301&cam=916 ... some of the details may help if you decide to use the camera Smile

Enjoy Smile


PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kypfer wrote:


You can find an HTML version of "The Retina Guide" that I prepared some years ago hosted here http://kodak.3106.net/index.php?p=301&cam=916 ... some of the details may help if you decide to use the camera Smile

Enjoy Smile


I've used that resource so many times myself, kypfer. Thank you.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BREAKING NEWS : I found out from Chris Sherlock the World EXPERT on Kodak Retinas it is a 'Type 118' from 1935 BUT there is a weird COIN screwed into base and the Depth of Field Scale has been MOVED to top LEFT of photo.
Kodak Retina 03 by Peter Elgar, on Flickr
Kodak Retina 04 by Peter Elgar, on Flickr


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We just said that.

Chris who?


Wink


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pentaxpete wrote:
BREAKING NEWS : I found out from Chris Sherlock the World EXPERT on Kodak Retinas it is a 'Type 118' from 1935 BUT there is a weird COIN screwed into base and the Depth of Field Scale has been MOVED to top LEFT of photo.


I thought there was something weird about the controls on the top plate, but from the original pictures I couldn't make it out! Interesting to note that the depth-of-field scale is in French so I assume the focussing scale is in metres ... the coin of course is Czechoslovakian, so the camera obviously has a bit of history Smile


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kypfer wrote:

I thought there was something weird about the controls on the top plate, but from the original pictures I couldn't make it out!


Maybe the owner was trying to keep up with the times, as the DoF scale moved to the shutter with the Type 013 of 1949, or perhaps just applying a bit of common sense in moving the scale to the top. It was a good idea.

Pete - I wonder if there is anything interesting on the round plate under the depth of field scale? And I wonder if the kind lady who donated could fill in some of the history of the camera. It looks like it's certainly been around.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sciolist wrote:
Pete - I wonder if there is anything interesting on the round plate under the depth of field scale?


Just in case the OP doesn't wish to disassemble his camera, here's a shot of mine ... it's just a plain knob with Kodak engraved on it and a direction arrow for winding the film. My DOF scale is in German. Also, a shot of the shutter housing showing the release button fitted. I may have been mistaken when I said an original button had a "K" engraved, I may have been thinking of a Kodak-original cable release for their older folding cameras.




PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kypfer wrote:
Sciolist wrote:
Pete - I wonder if there is anything interesting on the round plate under the depth of field scale?


Just in case the OP doesn't wish to disassemble his camera, here's a shot of mine ... it's just a plain knob with Kodak engraved on it and a direction arrow for winding the film.


Thanks kypfer. The reason I asked is because the knurling on the disc below the DoF scale on Pete's camera is 'non-Retina' and also the wrong depth. I just wondered if it would add to the body of knowledge on the camera. It may not, obviously.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:38 pm    Post subject: 118 RETINA --- Reply with quote

Reply from the Kind Lady who gave it to me
Dear Peter,

Oh, how interesting the camera is proving! I'm so glad you've been able to put a date on it and that the shutter is working. I'm afraid I can't fill in any details about the camera at all: it just knocked around at home and I remember Dad taking black and white pictures with it in the 1960s and 1970s (during and after which it rather fell into disuse in favour of his cine camera, disc camera,Instamatic, etc.) Dad died more than 20 years ago so I'm unable to find out more. He joined the Merchant Navy as a cadet during the Second World War and continued to sail the Seven Seas until he took a shore job in the mid-1950s, so I'm guessing the camera may be something he picked up on his travels.

I hope your presentation at the club meeting this evening goes well; sorry I can't supply more details about the camera's provenance.

Kind regards,

Kate


I took off the COIN -- underneath are just 2 Screw Holes - on reverse of Coin is a 'Lady in the Nude holding a sheaf of Wheat and the Figure '1' . I took off the D of F scale which is in FRENCH !! underneath was a washer and 2 screw holes and a flat plate with nothing on it .


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that up Pete. What a nice reply.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Details of the coin can be found here https://coinquest.com/cgi-bin/cq/coins.pl?coin=1875 ... the illustration is even from 1946, just like yours Smile You'll note the lady isn't actually nude, maybe your example has worn a bit Wink


PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:51 pm    Post subject: COIN ---- Reply with quote

Ha Ha ! Yes -- her clothes seem to have been worn OFF ! Thanks for that Research !