Kodak Retina: The Cicle of (Photo)Life


Build between 1948 and 1950 the Retina I is a masterpiece of german craftsmanship

image taken here

Right after war my granddad bought this little gem. It was his first camera after his Leica was taken away from him when he became a prisoner of war.
For years I couldn´t really relate with my granddad, he always was that serious man behind the newspaper. After I started taking photos and regularly showed them to him we realized we shared a passion.
Now, after sixty years this camera is starting to take pictures again.

The Retina has a full metal body, weighting almost half a kilo. I couldnt find any plastic part beside the takeup spool. Due to the foldup mechanism, which by the way works like on the day the Retina was produced, its almost a pocket camera, just a bit smaller than your average L-ca.
The shutter times are a bit weired with 1, 2, 5, 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500.
The shutter has to be cocked separately, winding works with an knob.
Aperture settings are from 3,5 to 16.
The lens on my Retina I is a Schneider-Kreunznach Retina-Xenar, producing really sharp images.

The Retina I, Retina II and Retina III series was produced by the Nagel Camera Works in Germany unlike other Retinas like the Reflex series. The quality of lenses and housing are as well known and superb in this era of german cameras.

I can only suggest that you ask your grandparents about their photographic past too. You could be presented such a gem like a Retina or Leica. Maybe you get a priceless story about the past as well.

written by zark on 2008-12-22 #gear #review #retina-i-kodak-german


  1. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    what a beautiful example of vintage camera and great story with your granddad and also cool gallery!

  2. weechonghooi
    weechonghooi ·

    this is a wonderland camera... i had never seen it b4...

  3. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Beautiful oldie... :)))

  4. dogma
    dogma ·

    Impressive mashine!

More Interesting Articles