Captain Jack's Kodak Retina Rangefinder Lenses  
 

The optical firms of Schneider Kreuznach and Rodenstock München supplied lenses to Kodak for the Retina series of cameras. From the model IIIc through the IIIS, two styles of lenses were manufactured.

The first group, for the folding Retina IIc, IIC, IIIc and IIIC will be discussed and pictured first. Then, a discussion and display of the lenses produced for the Kodak Retina IIIS will follow. All of the earlier Retina rangefinder cameras had fixed, non-interchangeable lenses.

I will continue to add additional Retina lenses to this web page as they can be located and my collecting funds permit.

 

The Folding Retina Interchangeable Lenses

Normal 50mm Lenses

The Retina IIc and IIC were supplied with either a Schneider Kreuznach 50mm f2.8 Retina-Xenon C lens or a Rodenstock 50mm f2.8 Retina-Heligon C lens.

Likewise, the Retina IIIc and IIIC were supplied with either a 50mm f2.0 Retina-Xenon C or the 50mm f20 Retina-Heligon C. The cameras supplied with the Schneider lens are much more commonly encountered.

35mm Wide Angle Lenses

Two different wide angle lenses from each of the two manufacturers noted above were produced and could be utilized on any of the 4 folding Retinas with interchangeable lenses with restrictions. The wide angle and telephoto lenses manufactured by Schneider can only be used on cameras that were manufactured with normal Schneider lenses. The same is true with the Rodenstock optics; they should only be used on cameras supplied with the normal Rodenstock lenses.

The smaller lens had a maximum aperture of f5.6 and was called from Schneider, the 35mm Retina-Curtar-Xenon C or from Rodenstock, the 35mm Retina-Heligon C. The larger lens had a maximum aperture of f4.0 and were similarly named. As with the normal lenses, the Rodenstock wide angle lenses are less commonly found.

  The Schneider 35mm f5.6 Retina-Curtar-Xenon C is displayed first with it proper box and storage container.  
  The second photo shows the larger Schneider 35mm f4.0 version again with its proper box and container.  

80mm Telephoto Lenses

Schneider produced the 80mm f4.0 Retina-Longar-Xenon C and Rodenstock, the 80mm f4.0 Retina-Heligon C with the latter lens being less commonly encountered as with the normal and wide angle lenses.

 

The Schneider 80mm f4.0 Retina-Longar-Xenon C is displayed with its proper box and storage container.

 

 

The Retina IIIS Lenses

Normal 50mm Lenses

The Kodak Retina IIIS could have been purchased with any of four different normal lenses, two from Schneider and two from Rodenstock. Schneider lenses were either the 50mm f2.8 Retina-Xenar or the faster 50mm f1.9 Retina-Xenon. The Rodenstock offerings were either the 50mm f2.8 Retina-Ysarex or the 50mm f1.9 Retina-Heligon. Again, the Rodenstock lenses are much less common and command a premium in the market place.

  Both of the 50mm f1.9 lenses are displayed on the left.  
  The Schneider 50mm f2.8 Retina-Xenar is displayed. Most IIIS cameras are encountered with this lens.  

28mm Wide Angle Lens

The widest angle lens produced for the Kodak Retina IIIS was manufactured by Schneider Kreuznach, the 28mm f4.0 Retina-Curtagon. Its field of view exceeded that of the IIIs viewfinder so Kodak produced an auxiliary finder to be used with it.

  The 28mm Schneider Curtagon is displayed with its proper box and storage container in the first photo. Lens came from Kodak with a short lens hood.

 

 

The second photo shows the 28mm Auxiliary Viewfinder with its proper box.

30mm Wide Angle Lens

Rodenstock produced what is perhaps the most sought after lens for the Kodak Retina IIIS, the Rodenstock 30mm f2.8 Retina-Eurygon. Infrequently found, the 30mm Retina-Eurygon commands respectable prices on the used market. It is interesting that Schneider elected to produce two wide angle lenses, the 28mm Retina-Curtagon discussed and pictured above and the 35mm f2.8 Retina-Curtagon shown in the next paragraph. The in-between 30mm focal length of the Retina-Eurygon is a good compromise.

  The uncommon 30mm Rodenstock Retina-Eurygon is displayed.  

35mm Wide Angle Lens

The most frequently encountered wide angle lens for the Retina IIIS is the Schneider 35mm f2.8 Retina-Curtagon. It was very affordable when new and can be found quite easily on the used market today.

  The 35mm Schneider Retina-Curtagon is displayed with its proper box and storage container.

 

 

85mm Telephoto Lenses

Both Schneider and Rodenstock produced short telephoto lenses in the 85mm focal length, perfect for portraiture. Both had f/4 maximum apertures with the Rodenstock much less commonly encountered. Both lenses are very compact in size and not much bigger than the normal 50mm f2.8 lenses.

  The 85mm Schneider Retina-Tele-Arton is displayed first with its proper box and storage container.  
 

The 85mm Rodenstock Retina-Rotelar is displayed with its proper storage container only.

 

 

135mm Telephoto Lenses

Both Schneider and Rodenstock also produced 135mm telephoto lenses for the Retina IIIS. The 135mm Schneider Retina-Tele-Xenar is the most frequently encountered telephoto lens for the IIIS and the 135 Rodenstock Retina-Rotelar, although uncommon, is less uncommon than the other IIIS Rodenstock lens offerings.

  The 135mm Schneider Retina-Tele-Xenar is displayed with its proper box and storage container.  
  The 135mm Rodenstock Retina-Rotelar is shown with its storage container only.

 

 

200mm Telephoto Lens

Really designed for the Kodak Retina Reflex III and IV cameras, the Schneider 200mm f4.8 Retina-Tele-Xenar lens can be fitted to the Retina IIIS. Viewing and focusing, however, leaves much to be desired as the lens does not couple to the IIIS rangefinder and must be scale-focused. There are no 200mm frame lines in the IIIS viewfinder. The 200 Retina-Tele-Xenar can be found in both a chrome and a less frequently encountered black enamel finish.

  The uncommon 200mm f4.8 Schneider Retina-Tele-Xenar lens is displayed with its proper leather storage case and lens hood.

 

 

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