1949 Kodak Retina I, type 013, German production, not marketed in the USA, CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is the postwar Kodak Retina which featured a lovely satin chrome finish. This version was produced for only two years in Stuttgart Germany between 1949-50 and was intended for the European market. As a result, if you’re located outside of Europe this can be a difficult camera to find. This Kodak Retina featured a silky smooth chrome finish and an attractive design.
The early ‘Retina I’ cameras introduced a brand-new Kodak 35mm film, which was cleverly designed to fit Retina, Leica and Contax cameras. (Prior to this introduction, photographers had to use dark rooms to load bulk film onto special spools and holders…) This new 35mm film had a profound impact on camera design and it quickly became a standard. Ninety years later, all modern 35mm cameras still are still using this film… because of this and other reasons the early Retinas are not only historically significant, they’re also great fun to use.
This 74 year-old Retina is in lovely condition and works as if should. These cameras were often used quite intensively because of their compact size and excellent performance. It was a good choice on long trips, over long distances and rough terrain. It also had the advantage of an extremely quiet, reliable Compur shutter. Many collectors in Europe believe that these early Retinas are at as important as the Leica or Contax cameras because without the Kodak Retina and its universal used film, 35mm photography might not have developed into the major photographic force that it ultimately became.
This Retina has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works as it should. The top of the line Compur-Rapid shutter works very well. All speeds (B & 1 sec.- 1/500th) fire smoothly and appropriately.
The camera has a nice technical detail in that focusing is achieved by moving the entire lens/shutter combination back and forth. This provides better lens performance (especially up close) than the more common “front cell focus” in which only the front element is turned in or out.
It features a sharp, coated Schneider Xenar 2.8/50mm lens. It’s a four element design very similar in design and performance as the Zeiss Tessar. This lens is well respected for its excellent performance and lovely rendition. (I enjoy using classic cameras and I’ve found that Xenar lenses produce photos that are nearly identical to the 50mm Leitz Elmar.) The lens is clean and clear. There are no scratches, just some light cleaning wisps and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a some-what hard to find classic camera. Perfect for photographers with a historical interest who enjoy using their cameras. Load it with your favorite film and treat yourself to a nice long walk.