Chris's camera pages

How to remove the top cover on the Kodak Retina II cameras.

You first need to remove the screws at either ends of the top cover. Now you can remove the advance and rewind knobs.

On the types 011 and 014, the rewind knob has the normal right-hand thread, put a screwdriver shaft or similar through the fork on the rewind shaft, and just unscrew it with your fingers.

On the type 142, the rewind knob is constructed quite differently. On this model, lift the rewind knob, and remove the two screws visible holding the shaft to the knob. Take care not to lose the L-shaped leaf-spring held between the knob and the shaft.

The advance knob is left-hand threaded. First of all you need to hold the advance shaft firmly by the flats above the take-up spool while you unscrew the advance knob in the opposite direction to the arrow. Pliers probably won't do the job, so you might need to grind down a spanner to fit the flats.

The knob might be very tight, if it can’t be turned with your fingers then tighten a metal hose clip on the advance knob. Have a layer of leather or rubber on the inside of the hose clip so it won't mark the knob. This will give you something useful to get a grip on.

Once the knob has broken free, you can move on to the next step.

Unscrew the tip of the shutter release button. On the earliest Retina II models the whole top section of the release comes off.

The trick to actually getting the top off is that you must be able to press the shutter release all the way down. To do this first cock the shutter, loosely refit the advance knob, and then turn the film advance knob while you roll the film sprocket with your thumb until the advance locks. This makes the camera 'think' it is ready for the next exposure.

Unscrew the advance knob again, depress the shutter release as far as it will go, and you can then lift the front edge of top cover back over the shutter release shaft, and simply lift the top cover back off the advance/rewind lever.