I wanted to try one for some time too. I got it from Collectible Cameras during their recent 20% off everything in the store sale. It cost me $148.00. I was really surprised that the meter worked and was accurate. I carried a Gossen Lunapro with me just in case but found both meters read exactly the same.
That's a nice IIa Larry. These Retina's seem to be very well made and robust. The lenses are top notch and the shutter's are the best. I found the built in rangefinder to be extremely accurate. It's hard to go wrong with one, especially if you like to try something a little different. And yes it is fun.
Thanks! I am instantly inspired to do more with my Diax cameras. Same vintage as your Retina and also fine examples of German quality cameras.
The Diax IIa was my first camera, complete with 35mm, 50mm, 90mm and 135mm Schneider lenses. I had an accessory-shoe range-finder that didn't work but I learned how to estimate distances and use hyperfocal settings with the wide lens. Metering was done with a Western Master II. Alas, all now lost in time.
50 years later I have gradually collected almost a complete replacement set, plus a spare IIb body (with thumb advance), genuine camera bag, a full set of original filters, lens hoods and a few other bibs and bobs. Only a working Weston Meter to go!
It's off to the camera tech place in Melbourne next week for a clean and calibration before getting back to what I know. I won't miss digital for a few weeks of fun
Wow! Sitting here right next to my computer is my very own Retina IIIc w/ a 50mm f2 Retina-Heligon (Rodenstock) Lens. It is all original with the leather case (Minus the leather straps which deteriorated). The frontal appearance is somewhat different. When I get a chance I'll post a photo of mine.
I bought mine new in the summer of 1958 for $175.00 onboard U.S.S. Manley (DD940). I either shot ASA10 or ASA12 Kodachrome. From that summer, I entered 5 prints (very expensive on a College Students Budget) in a photo contest. When I got the prints, I wasn’t very happy with the color. I decided to enter them anyway and won the top 4 prizes. While on display, they were stolen. The judges did not believe a college student had taken those photos, and came to my room to see the originals. My roommate showed them to the judges, which were all cropped slides.
The big prize was being invited to join the camera club. To qualify for keys to the dark room, I had to prove I could develop film. That was easy since I was already dodging & burning prints (Black & White). Not having a car, a locked darkroom wasn’t all that bad.
Nice story Charlie. Mine also came with a nice brown leather case and minus the strap and one of the lugs. Whoever had the camera, before me, made notches at the top of the bottom half of the case so the strap attached to the body could be used when the case was used. It works.