Chris's camera pages
Kodak Retina IIc (type 020)
This stylish folding 35mm rangefinder camera was manufactured from 1954 to 1958. It was available with either a Rodenstock or a Schneider interchangeable 50mm f/2.8 lens. Eastman Kodak apparently only imported Schneider-equipped cameras into the USA, so in the States Retina IIc cameras with the Rodenstock Heligon lens are few and far between.
The lens system is the same as that used for the Retina IIIc,
and this camera can use the wide range of accessories made by Kodak for the Retina cameras.
Accessories included the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, and accessory finders to suit, a close-up rangefinder and lenses kit, a prism-type splitter for taking stereoscopic pictures, a microscope adapter, copying stand, hoods, filters and a curious ground-glass adapter.
These two examples here are from earlier production and show polished alloy body edges, the one above has a Schneider Xenon lens, the one below has the Rodenstock Heligon.
Later production IIc cameras have chrome trims at the top and bottom of the main body casting and the edges either side of front "door" are in a black finish.
The Retina IIc is a very popular model with users. It fits comfortably to the hand, and it is slightly smaller than the IIIc, since the top cover does not have to enclose an exposure meter.
The lack of an exposure meter obviously does not bother photographers much, and it is only fair to say, that the tiny meters on the Retina IIIc are unlikely to measure up well against a good-quality hand-held meter if you are shooting slide film.
Like all leaf-shutter cameras the shutter action is very quiet, which can come as a surprise to photographers who have grown up with SLR cameras. Some years ago a wedding photographer I met told me that he used the Retina for all of his inside-the-church photos for just that reason, although he used a Nikon F SLR outside.
I've also got this black and tan model that I put together from leftovers.