The Kodak Retina II C - A Family Heirloom


I was given this beautiful piece of German craftsmanship by my grandfather for my birthday this year. After using it for awhile, I can safely say it is one of the best fully manual rangefinders I've ever seen, and I'm so lucky to have one! Thanks, Granddad!

I have the habit of asking any of the older people I know if they have cameras they don’t want anymore, my grandparents being the most bothered. My grandfather insisted that he didn’t have any left, but he was obviously lying so that he could surprise me for my birthday, which was perfectly fine with me. He bought it in Germany in 1954, and it had served for a long, long time, but was still perfect when he gave it to me. It took awhile to get used to lining up the “focus diamond” in the viewfinder to make sure subjects are in focus, but after getting used to that, it’s been a breeze to use, though I recommend using a light meter with it if you can get one. Additionally, I found that you can double expose in-camera by holding down the rewind button while advancing the film. While awkward, it’s a great technique and a wonderful feature, and is also why you should always read the manual for the camera. If you’re looking for a good vintage camera, the Kodak Retina II C is highly recommended.

The specs, for those who want to know:
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon C 50mm f2.8 lens
Viewfinder: Rangefinder with focus diamond
Shutter Speed: 1 – 1/500th of a second, Bulb
Aperture: f2.8 – f22
Double Exposure: Yes
Flash: PC with accessory (cold) shoe
Focus: ~2.5 – Infinity
Tripod Mount: Yes

written by nation_of_pomation on 2010-12-20 in #reviews #kodak-retina-kodak-retina-ii-c-35mm-rangefinder-german-xenon-schneider-kreuznach-f2-8-50mm


  1. bulletofmine
    bulletofmine ·

    love the mx skill!

  2. zark
    zark ·

    Beautiful gallery! Those Retinas sure are gems!

  3. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    it's a 35mm or 120 film camera? :) the camera looks great and cool gallery

  4. eremigi
    eremigi ·

    I have one too - also left to an aunt by another aunt and eventually to me; and I agree: it is a fantastic camera. But more importantly: amazing lens (Schneider-Kreuznach). Also: have you noticed the mechanic (!) timer for self portraits? Do you actually know that this camera was manufactured with 3 optics? yes: the 50 mm is the standard, but there is also a wide angle and a tele. To take off the lens, you need to unscrew it - very simple.
    This camera is a true jewel !!!

  5. stouf
    stouf ·

    Awesome !

  6. dogma
    dogma ·

    great camera, i was hunting for one :)

  7. beni
    beni ·

    nice gallery!

  8. bass_clarinet_2000
    bass_clarinet_2000 ·

    I have to admit I'm a little jealous. I have my grandfather's Kodak Retina IIIc and the darn thing chews up film when I try to rewind it. I love it though.

  9. stonerfairy
    stonerfairy ·

    I totally like the MX shot :)
    Love the quality too!

  10. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    @superlighter It's a 35mm camera.

  11. goomba
    goomba ·

    Amazing! I have a Kodak Retinette, a cheaper version of the Retina without bellows, and I can vouch for the amazing results of the Schneider-Kreuznach lens.

More Interesting Articles