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REVIEW: Kodak Retina II

Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2013-06-07

Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 - 533/24

The Retina II was made between 1936-1950 so this had a very long life.
Some changes was made throughout the years and the one I have tested here is one of the older.
Which was made between 1937-1939.

These cameras can be found with three different lenses.
A f/3.5 Kodak Ektar, f/2.8 Xenon or f/2 Xenon.


Lens: Kodak Ektar 5cm f/3.5
Closest Focus: 1m (3.3ft)
Aperture: f/3.5 - f/16
Shutter: 1/500 to 1s + B (Bulb)
Copal Leaf shutter from Compur-Rapid
Light meter: None
Battery: None
Flash: PC sync.
Weight: 580g

Double-exposure prevention
Coupled Rangefinder

Takes 135 film
24×36 mm negative size.


Very simple and small viewfinder but do the job.

The viewfinder of the rangefinder is also very small and not that clear.
Have not had any problems finding focus in good light conditions.
Can however be a little hard in poor light.

Image quality

Analogue B&W film

Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II

Kodak Retina II


Kodak Retina II
Kodak Retina II

Kodak Retina II

Build quality

Very good and are all metal and
Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 - 533/24


Hard not to like a nice old gem like this.
Build quality and feel are very good which most cameras made from this time.

This camera can be found with three different lenses and I think Ektar lens that is on this is the cheaper ones.
Renders very nice with good bokeh but sharpness is not that great.
But this camera is a 70+ year old camera so I guess the image quality can very some depending how it have been stored.
Mine is a quite nice copy and the lenses look good.

Lenses made before ww2 have no coating so these are prone to flare more.
And this lens has some internal reflections from the aperture blades.
Have only seen this in extreme light conditions, like shooting directly into the sun.

Thumbs up:
Great build quality
Portable and fairly lightweight

Thumbs down:

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Technical Info
Scanner: Plustek OpticFilm 7600i
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400
Developer: Kodak D76

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