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Retina III C

First Impressions

My wife does not even make a comment when a new old camera arrives. I guess she simply accepted my passion for it. And although "meeting" a new camera is like meeting a new person. They are all different. Some seem overrated, other are what you expected and some turn aout surprisingly outstanding. The Retina III c definetly belongs to the last group as I found out after I shot the first role of film with it.

Photos of my Kodak Retina III c


She is heavy for her size and not realy self explaining. I prefer cameras with a light meter and that was one of the reasons I went for the III c instead of the Retina I b. But I had to read the manual to understand how to use it. You set the LV at the bottom of the lense. Shutter and exposure time are moved together once you did. I am used to work with this system from my Hasselblad 503 CM and can´t tell if it is irritating for somebody who is not used to it.

Despite the fact that Kodak mostly sold rather inexpensive (not to say cheap) cameras, this camera is an exception to the rule. The camera is heavy and well built. The film gets advanced from the bottom of the camera. What makes it a bit more complicated but you get used to it after a while.

There is one special little thing about the film counter. You have to adjust the film counter after you loaded your film. It counts backwords. And if you don´t set it to the start mark but on "1", as I did first - you will get only one shot and the film will not get transported any further.


I was very much surprised about the photos I got out of this little camera. Camera and selenium light meter are more than 50 years old but this does definetly not show. Light meter and camera did an excellent job, in difficult light situation. The results a nice, sharp and contrasty. It cost me 59 EUR on ebay and I would say the photos the III c produces definetly are just as good as from my Leica M6.


  • Production Time: November 1957 to 1960

  • Film: 35mm

  • Lens: f/2 50mm Schneider-Kreuznach

  • Interchangeable front component

  • Alternative lenses: f/4 80mm, f/4 35mm, f/5.6 35mm

  • Uncoupled exposure meter reading in Light Values (LV)

  • Coupled rangefinder

  • Viewfinder: bright-line, with outlines for 35mm, 50mm & 80mm lenses and parallax correction marks

  • Dimensions: width - 122mm; height - 85mm; depth - 90mm (open), 47mm (closed)

  • Price I payed: EUR 59,00 (camera and lens)

Manuals (PDF)

Interesting Links

Helpful videos

#RangefinderCamera #AnalogueCamera #RetinaIIIc

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