I have two reference books that I look up old cameras in. One tells me that the first Retinette of 1952 was a folding camera (Focal Press “cameras of 1963”), the other “McKeown’s Cameras 1997/1998” states: Retinette cameras: A series of low priced 35mm cameras made in Germany by Kodak A.G. from 1939 to 1967. I am inclined to trust the latter.
The next problem I have is trying to identify which model I have. It is certainly not a folder, so my conclusion is that it is an original, first of the rigid bodies – a Retinette (Type 022)? If anyone knows any different, please let me know! It has the Compur-Rapid shutter, that seems good at all speeds. It has the Schneider Reomar f3.5 45mm lens, and it matched the illustration in the book, except that shows a PC socket to the top left of the lens (when looking at the front of the camera) mine does not have this. Does this mean it’s early in it’s production run and it was added to later ones, I think I may have read that somewhere!? To look at these illustrations in the book, it looks like a Retinette F, but that has the wrong shutter/lens combination! (Type 022/7).
Anyway whichever model it is – encouraged by the results of my massively out of date cheap colour film from 1999 used to test the Ricoh, I decided to run a roll through. As before, I was surprised by the results from the films performance and with a little help from photoshop, and some basic colour balance/levels, got a few good results.
I am not familiar with this type and age of camera, and I think that the sometimes-poor focus is down to me. It appears that I am not that good at guessing closer focus. When I was on, I was on, like the second world war memorial seat – sharp and good. The flowers had depth so I could get away with those, but other closer shots, not so good. Again, I used the sunny 16 rule, and assumed the 200 ISO film was 100.
I took a couple of distance shots on infinity and these too are more than soft – I might run another film through to see if I can improve my technique, or I might move on – time will tell!