Retina IIF (1964-1967)
Kodak Retina IIF
The Retina IIF is together with a IIIS one of my two rigid body Retina rangefinder cameras (complementing my Retina I, IIa, IIIc and IIIC folders). Its name "F" derives from the pop-up metal shield on the top plate that reflects the light of an AG-1 flash bulb you can insert in a special slot. To fire this bulb you need a PX-13 battery located in a compartment in the bottom of the camera. In addition to this rather unique contraption the IIF features a cold shoe for electronic or other flashes that are fired via a sync socket located above the shutter release button that is located at front plate of the camera on the right side of the lens.
The selenium exposure meter (adjustable from 12 to 1250 ASA and working like a charm on my IIF) needs no battery and is coupled with the aperture and the shutter speed dial that are situated concentric to the lens barrel. When looking into the viewfinder you see a needle that has to be centered within two marks below the bright lines and the rangefinder patch in order to achieve a proper exposure.
Taking pictures with the IIF is as easy as with a modern camera in manual mode, but the build quality of the IIF lacks the solid all-metal feeling of my other Retinas. Too many parts have been either slimmed down or made of rather flimsy feeling plastic like the rewind knob that is no comparison to the massive metal wheel of the older Retinas.
The lens is a 2.8/45mm Xenar (instead of the 2.0/50mm Xenon of my Retina IIIc and IIIC) but although it is focused by turning the front lens the pictures it takes are superb.