This is my initial assessment of a pair of Kodak Retina Reflex cameras I bought a couple of days ago for £20. They are both non-functional, and I’m hoping that I can salvage one camera from the two, or if the worse comes to the worse use them as parts for my Retina Reflex III.
As I said above I bought both these cameras from the same seller on eBay who was absolutely clear that neither body worked although the single lens supplied seemed to be in good order. When I received the units I found that to be an accurate assessment – the lens looks good with a clean set of glass and good aperture control, but the bodies are in varying levels of disrepair.
Cosmetically there are enough parts to make a good looking camera out of the two. There is some corrosion on one unit’s top cover trim, but fortunately the other one is fine in that regard. Similarly, the cloth trim on one is poor, but the other looks good, so from that point of view I think I’m ok.
Mechanically is possibly another issue. Both cameras have problems with the film advance, and shutter. The film advance on camera one is completely locked – unable to move at all. On camera two I can move the film advance, but it doesn’t cock the shutter and there is a nasty feeling of cogs rubbing against each other when the advance is pulled back. I’m hoping that the unit which is locked means at least that the film advance mechanism is still intact and hasn’t been forced at some point.
The only piece actually missing on either camera seems to be the rewind button on camera two although I’ll only be able to fully confirm that when I get the cameras apart and have a proper look.
The exposure meter on both cameras seems to respond to light although the coupling to the lens only works on one camera – I suspect perhaps the cord has come off or broken on the unit that doesn’t work.
The really good thing is that Chris Sherlock has a complete strip down guide for this camera on his retina rescue site so I feel I’ll at least have a proper expert holding my hand as I try to fix them!