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Kodak Ektar 47mm f/2 lens

Ian Rance , Jun 25, 2011; 04:33 p.m.

Last weekend I picked up a Kodak Retina II which was fitted with an Ektar 47mm f/2 lens. I thought that this was some sort of home bodge so paid a low price but looking online I do see the Retina was fitted with that lens. A new one on me!

Well it is not in my Retina book and there is not much online about it so I was wondering if anyone here has used it? What is it like compared to the Schneider Xenon?

The camera is jammed and I am thinking about getting it fixed if the lens is good.

Thanks, Ian


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paul wheatland , Jun 25, 2011; 04:41 p.m.

Many Retina cameras have subtractive film counters and once at #1, the camera "jams". Look for a release,a lever or button to reset the counter to 14, 26 or 38. The 47mm f2 Ektar is a fine lens and was fitted to the 828 filmed William Dorwin Teague designed clamshell Special with either Compur or Supermatic shutter. Possible someone with skill, did a "swap".

Steve Levine , Jun 25, 2011; 04:43 p.m.

These are asymmetrical double-gauss formula having 6 elements in 4 groups. Below F4, mine was tack sharp. Some are even said to be sharp across the frame wide open, mine was not. I'm willing to say that it would give the Xenon a run for the money.

Michael Linn , Jun 25, 2011; 04:43 p.m.

Sounds like a Retina II type 011, made 1946-48 according to McKeown. The Ektar model was not exported to the US so it is unknown to some. The lens is a six element double Gauss Planar derivative, probably coated. If so, it should be a good performer.

Chuck Foreman , Jun 25, 2011; 07:14 p.m.

So it was a kind of home job? or were they production models? Michael L. says it's in the book with this lens s a european model right?

Michael Linn , Jun 25, 2011; 09:27 p.m.

Maybe I wasn't clear enough about the Ektar model being a production model. It was a production model.

The Retina II type 011 included these variations (all with Compur-Rapid shutter) 1946 to 1948:
1. Ektar 2/47mm coated (some marked "L" for lumenized)
2. Retina-Xenon (uncoated) 2/5cm
3. Retina-Xenon (coated) 2/5cm
4. Rodenstock-Heliogon 2/5cm
Only #3 was imported into the US. It was common for Kodak to produce slightly different models in Stuttgart for different geographic markets in this time period.

Christopher Ward , Jun 26, 2011; 12:21 a.m.

Post war Retina II with f/2 ektar is a great camera. The sprockets need to move to cock the shutter. Mine has the coated lens...very nice.Pick up some color print and give it a whirl.

Winfried Buechsenschuetz , Jun 26, 2011; 05:28 a.m.

Sometimes Kodak cameras were exported to certain countries without lens (and sometimes without shutter) to reduce customs fares and were equipped with domestic products. Some Retinas exported to France were fitted with an Angenieux lens and Atos shutter. So it is not unlikely that some were exported to US and equipped with domestic (i.e. Kodak) lenses.

Chuck Foreman , Jun 26, 2011; 02:34 p.m.

Thanks for the clarification Michael. Interesting time for Kodak Retinas as so many lens options and countries vied for market share. I have the Ektar with the L on my Graflex and I was almost convinced it wasn't coated until some (here) mentioned this " L "

Ian Rance , Jun 26, 2011; 04:55 p.m.

Thank you for the input - and I am glad to hear that it was a factory fit lens after all. 47mm sounds a nice focal length and I look forward to running a roll of film. I will share them here of course.

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