010 Kodak Retina I
013 Kodak Retina I
015 Kodak Retina Ia
018 Kodak Retina Ib
019 Kodak Retina IB


Post-war viewfinder Kodak Retinas

The development of post-war viewfinder folding Kodak Retinas continued that of the pre-war models, until the body was significantly restyled with the introduction of the Kodak Retina Ib in 1954. Addition of light meters and large bright-line viewfinders led to redesigned, larger top housing of the Kodak Retina IB a few years later. That was the last viewfinder model, later folding cameras were rangefinders, but in fact the whole range was soon to be replaced with the non-folding, or rigid body, models.

Kodak Retina 010

The Kodak Retina 010 was nearly identical to the late pre-war 148, the main difference being the position of the frame counter indicator. As with the 148, quite a few small changes occurred during production. The earliest Kodak Retina 010 were the first to be built after WWII and they lacked a DOF scale at the bottom of the camera. Changes on later models included the position of the focus knob, which changed from the 7 o'clock to the 5 o'clock position (at infinity focus), the folding door flange, which changed from pointing forwards to backwards, and the top cover, which received a 'Made in Germany' engraving. In addition, the focus knob and the closing buttons on the lens base changed shape. In the end at least seven different 010 models were produced, without taking into account all different shutter (Compur and Compur-Rapid) and lens (coated and uncoated Kodak Retina-Xenar, Kodak Anastigmat Ektar, Kodak Ektar made in USA, Rodenstock Ysar) combinations. A true collector's dream/nightmare!

Kodak Retina photo

This example is one of the first Kodak Retinas build after production restarted after WWII in November 1945. These Retinas were assembled from leftover parts from when production was interupted due to WWII around 1942. They differed from later 010 production in missing a depth of focus scale at the bottom of the camera and by the top screw between frame counter and wind knob being in slightly different position. Like this example, all had Schneider Retina-Xenar 50mm f/3.5 lenses dating from around 1942 in Compur shutter. About 3 000 of this early variant were made, this example is number 97.

Kodak Retina photo Kodak Retina photo

(left) Rear inside view of Retina, which had not change much since the first model (right) Top view of the early version of the Retina 010.

Kodak Retina photo

Model with Kodak Ektar Made in USA and (missing!) focus knob at 5 o'clock. Unlike most other Ektars, which were rebranded Xenars, this one was actually made by Kodak in the U.S.A. in 1946 (based on its serial#). The only other Kodak Retina model to come with a U.S.A. made Ektar was the Kodak Retina II 011 build around the same time. I suppose this had something to do with temporary post-war import restrictions or a perhaps a lack of supply from Germany.

Kodak Retina type 010 photo Kodak Retina type 010 photo Kodak Retina type 010 photo

(left) Model with Kodak-Anastigmat Ektar and focus knob at 7 o'clock. The door flange was pointing forward on early production models like this one. (middle) Model with mush-room shaped focus knob at 5 o'clock and a backwards pointing door flange. This example also has an accessory shoe fitted. It sports a rare Rodenstock Ysar 50mm f/3.5 lens, a lens only found on type 010 Kodak Retinas. (right) Model with knurled focus knob and small triangular covers on the lens board. It has an uncoated Schneider Xenar lens with serial# 1,919,242, one of the last uncoated Xenars, as Schneider started coating its Retina-Xenar lenses from around serial# 2,000,000.

Kodak Retina 013

This was the first model with a top housing that spanned the entire width of the camera. The film reminder wheel under the rewind knob was a distinctive feature of this model. It was the last model with a wind knob, later models had wind levers. The shutter plate and focussing assembly were completely redesigned, ahead of the redesign of the body a few models later. As the depth of focus scale was visible on the shutter housing, the depth of focus wheel, which had been at the bottom of the camera since the very first Kodak Retina, disappeared. It came with either Xenar or Ektar USA lens.

Kodak Retina type 013 photo

Kodak Retina I type 013 with Schneider Kodak Retina-Xenar lens in Compur-Rapid shutter. Note the new lens markings with a red triangle, indicating the lens was coated, and focal length in mm instead of cm. Some late type 010 Kodak Retinas already had coated Xenars, whereas some type 013 with uncoated Xenars can also be found.
The black ring around the lens was there to leave space for f/2.8 lenses, which were also available for this model and had a larger diameter (see below).

Kodak Retina type 013 photo

Top view of the Kodak Retina I type 013, the last model with wind knob, the first with a film reminder, here present under the rewind knob.

Kodak Retina type 013 photo

Kodak Retina I type 013 with faster f/2.8 Xenar lens. This is the earliest such f/2.8 lens I have seen, with serial# 2168541, so from around mid 1949.

Kodak Retina Ia (type 015)

This was the first model with a wind lever, which was located on top of the camera on this model, like on the Kodak Retina IIa (type 016). It moved to the bottom of the camera on all later Kodak Retinas. The wind lever also had an integrated frame counter.
It was also the first model with a self-cocking shutter. This resulted in considerable redesign of the internals of the camera as well as the shutter release mechanism. Other firsts were the name of the camera engraved in the top housing, the redesigned rewind knob with integrated film reminder (on later production) and the addition of strap lugs to the body. It was during production of this model that the shutters changed from Compur-Rapid to Synchro-Compur.

Kodak Retina Ia photo

A Kodak Retina Ia with Xenar lens in Synchro-Compur shutter. It was visually similar to the previous model but had lots of new features under the cover.

Kodak Retina photo

Kodak Retina Ia with its original box.

Kodak Retina Ia photo

Early version of the Kodak Retina Ia, which still had the same rewind knob and Compur-Rapid shutter as the previous 013 model.

Kodak Retina Ib (type 018)

This model featured a complete redesign of the strut mechanism, so one could no longer see the bellows, and the body received a rounder and much sleeker look. The viewfinder was larger and now showed a projected frame when looking through it. The winder moved to the bottom.
The front lens had a little tab which allowed the front assembly group to be easily removed. This would allow mounting of the interchangeable 'c' lenses, although this does not seem to have been advertised at the time.
On this model Kodak also introduced the much-dreaded end-of-film locking mechanism, which made it impossible to wind the film after the frame counter had reached 1. However, an easy fix is to push down the button next to the frame counter and push the large button at the back in the direction of the arrow. This will move the frame counter and release the lock.

Kodak Retina Ib photo

Kodak Retina Ib type 018 with chrome trim around the lens doors. Later production models, like the one below, had black trim.

Kodak Retina Ib photo

Late Kodak Retina Ib type 018 with black trim around the lens door. Another difference from the one above are aperture markings on top of the shutter and a larger aperture lever.

Kodak Retina Ib photo

Kodak Retina Ib type 018 with interchangeable Schneider Longar 80mm f/4 lens. Although on several internet sites the mounting of the 'c' lenses on the Kodak Retina viewfinder cameras is called impossible, the lenses do in fact fit. The lack of a rangefinder is not that much of a problem, as with an external rangefinder the correct focus could easily be determined and especially the 35mm f/4 and f/5.6 lenses have large depth of field. However, I have not yet checked if this lens-camera combination results in acceptable photographs, it is on my to-do list.

Kodak Retina IB (type 019 I and 019 II)

With this model Kodak introduced light meters on its Kodak Retina range. Two different were made, the first version featured the smaller viewfinder of the Kodak Retina Ib but with an enlarged top housing to accommodate the light meter, the second version introduced the larger bright frame viewfinder which had an extra window. This was the last viewfinder folding Kodak Retina and in my opinion, one of the nicest looking cameras Kodak produced.

Kodak Retina IB photo

Kodak Retina IB Type 019 I. It is often called 'rare' but the Historical Society for Kodak Retina Cameras found that close to 20,000 were made, so not so rare after all. On the other hand, it is not nearly as ubiquitous as most other post-war models.

Kodak Retina IB photo

Kodak Retina IB Type 019 II, which looks quite similar to the Kodak Retina IIIC but the two viewfinder windows are closer together on the IB than the rangefinder windows on the IIIC.