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07-24-2017, 11:00 PM   #1
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So recently i have come into possession of some old cameras...

My mother is in the process of cleaning out my grandfather's house... due to this I have come into possession of 2 rather old cameras (I could have had more and might still get another one if she finds it). The first camera is a Kodak Retina IIIs rangefinder with leather case in remarkably good condition. The selenium cell for the meter is still functioning and the viewfinder doesn't appear to be suffering from silvering, and all functions appear to work. The lens that is attached to the camera is the Snyder-Kreuznach Xenon 50mm f/1.9 in excellent condition. The second camera is an old Argus Argoflex EF which seems to have all functions working. The viewfinder and lenses are in need of a little cleaning (potential fungus or mold). Oddly enough, the argoflex was actually loaded with a roll of Kodacolor-X 620 (which I have since finished off, and now need to find a 620 roll container, so that I can send it off for developing).

The camera that I might be getting (provided it actually exists and my mother isn't imagining things) is a Leica... but who knows what it is, or if she just imagined seeing it up at his house.

With the first 2 cameras in mind, I really have to ask, what film does the retina IIIs take (if 35mm will I need to hand spool onto a cartridge, or will it accept standard 35mm pre-spooled canisters), and does anyone know where to find canisters to fit 620 roll film (and how to safely remove it from the argoflex so that I don't A.) expose the film to light, and B.) don't destroy the film trying to get it out of the camera)?

07-25-2017, 12:59 AM   #2
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Retina IIIs uses standard 135 cartridges. You can find a manual here: Kodak Retina IIIS instruction manual, user manual, PDF manual, free manuals, instruction guide. 620 rolls fit in 120/220 film canisters. To remove the film, just wind it all the way to the end before opening the camera, and take care that the protective backing paper doesn't unspool when removing the roll.
07-25-2017, 01:01 AM   #3
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From taking a quick look at the manual for the Kodak Retina, it takes 35mm film
Kodak Retina IIIs manual: Kodak Retina IIIS instruction manual, user manual, PDF manual, free manuals, instruction guide

Argus Argoflex E manual (couldn't find an EF manual, close as I could find model wise): Argus Argoflex model E, instruction manual, user manual, PDF manual, free manuals
07-25-2017, 01:02 AM   #4
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Here's a great introductory video of the camera.

There are several more videos on YouTube about loading film and using 120 film in these cameras. It looks like you simply continue advancing the film onto the spool until it is all wound on the "catch" spool and remove it. These negatives appear to be completely backed by paper, so the light exposure shouldn't be a problem.

I'm not familiar with this exact model, but I have an Argus C3 that I love. I wish you great luck with this camera!

07-25-2017, 05:17 AM   #5
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Nice find. I love the Kodak Retina cameras and while I do not own a Reflex series, I do own a IIIc, IIa and Ib. They are definitely 35mm cartridge cameras so you can easily load 35mm film cartridges and go. I also own a couple of 620 film cameras, although I haven't shot them yet, my research has found 2x options ...

1. Buy the film. B&H sells 620 rolls of film (120 film re-rolled onto 620 spools)

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/129752-REG/Kodak_TMY_620_T_Max_400.html

or

2. If you are up to it, you can re-roll 120 film yourself (assuming you have the 620 take-up spool w/ the camera)


Have fun and good luck finding the Leica!!

Last edited by ripper2860; 07-25-2017 at 02:50 PM.
07-25-2017, 05:39 AM   #6
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film photography project dot com has lots of old film. They have a t-shirt with k1000 on it too.
07-25-2017, 02:44 PM   #7
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You can email The Film Photography Store (The film photographer's best resource for vintage film and cameras. ? Film Photography Project Store) and ask if they have any 620 film canisters or know of any places that have them, though they do have 620 film spools (Products ? Tagged "620 Film Spool" ? Film Photography Project Store)
07-25-2017, 05:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I had already found out about the deckel mount, which you can bet that I will eventually buy. It's certainly going to be interesting with these cameras around. I was not keeping the other cameras though... (Argus c3 and unknown kodak 616 folding bellows camera), but if the leica exists, I'll be keeping that one due to already owning a leica 39mm rf lens. I kind of want to play around with the retina though. The argus is just interesting to me, but I wanted to get the film out of it and see if my grandfather took any pictures with it.... I don't know why he would've left film in that camera mostly unused and undeveloped. I'll have to take some pictures of them and post them here sometime.

07-25-2017, 05:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
I was not keeping the other cameras though... (Argus c3 and unknown kodak 616 folding bellows camera)
Depending on version of the Kodak Six-16, I may be willing to take it off your hands to add to my small Kodak collection . PM me if and when you consider parting with it.
07-25-2017, 10:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Thanks for the input. I had already found out about the deckel mount, which you can bet that I will eventually buy. It's certainly going to be interesting with these cameras around. I was not keeping the other cameras though... (Argus c3 and unknown kodak 616 folding bellows camera), but if the leica exists, I'll be keeping that one due to already owning a leica 39mm rf lens. I kind of want to play around with the retina though. The argus is just interesting to me, but I wanted to get the film out of it and see if my grandfather took any pictures with it.... I don't know why he would've left film in that camera mostly unused and undeveloped. I'll have to take some pictures of them and post them here sometime.
Let me know if you want to get rid of that Argus C3. I'm interested.
07-27-2017, 05:59 AM   #11
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All of the Kodak Retina cameras of that era were made in Suttgart, Germany by Kodak AG. They are wonderful cameras. Great glass too.
08-30-2017, 06:33 PM   #12
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Anyone have information on this? (Also, offers to "take it off your hands" and such are not appreciated, nor welcomed).
08-30-2017, 07:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Anyone have information on this? (Also, offers to "take it off your hands" and such are not appreciated, nor welcomed).
Auzzie --

My apologies if my offer to 'take it off your hands' (buy it) offended you. It was certainly not my intent and I certainly can see how my post could certainly come across as highly insensitive given the circumstances.

The camera pictured is a lovely camera. It looks like a variation of the Kodak Vigilant Six-16/20 cameras which were quite popular in the late 30's to mid 40's. It appears to be a decedent of the Stuttgart Kodak Duo 620, which was a highly regarded camera in its time (mid 1930's) with the Duo II being touted as Emila Earnhardt's favorite camera. Your camera was obviously cherished and well cared for. Cosmetically it looks wonderful for its age and the bellows appear to be supple and in nice condition. The fact that the manual and case are with it and also in such wonderful condition, further validates that it was a treasured piece of equipment. Information on the SPECIAL is a bit sparse, but hopefully someone can provide more info.

Good luck!
08-30-2017, 11:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripper2860 Quote
Auzzie --

My apologies if my offer to 'take it off your hands' (buy it) offended you. It was certainly not my intent and I certainly can see how my post could certainly come across as highly insensitive given the circumstances.

The camera pictured is a lovely camera. It looks like a variation of the Kodak Vigilant Six-16/20 cameras which were quite popular in the late 30's to mid 40's. It appears to be a decedent of the Stuttgart Kodak Duo 620, which was a highly regarded camera in its time (mid 1930's) with the Duo II being touted as Emila Earnhardt's favorite camera. Your camera was obviously cherished and well cared for. Cosmetically it looks wonderful for its age and the bellows appear to be supple and in nice condition. The fact that the manual and case are with it and also in such wonderful condition, further validates that it was a treasured piece of equipment. Information on the SPECIAL is a bit sparse, but hopefully someone can provide more info.

Good luck!
Thanks for the hint on the model. My grandfather had quite a few cameras over his life, and apparently kept them all. At the time of my initial posting, he was still alive, however he passed about 2 weeks following. We're just now starting to find out things about him that he had never talked about. We know now that he had the argoflex when he served in WWII, and we think he may have used this kodak as well. The retina and the argus came later after he had been discharged from service. Each of those cameras had to be set up for left hand use, as he had a stroke early on after his service that left him without the use of his right hand. We figure the retina had become too burdensome to use given his disability.

To date this is what we've found camera wise:

1.) Kodak Retina IIIs
2.) Unknown Kodak 616 model pictured in my previous post.
3.) Argus C3
4.) Kodak Brownie (great grandmother's and in poor shape)
5.) Argus Argoflex EF
6.) Yashica super 8 electronic
7.) Bell + Howell super 8 non-electric

The leica officially does not exist, my mother is just bad at remembering names (it was the yashica she was thinking of). Finding information about all of his different cameras is interesting, to say the least. The biggest part of this is it gives us a window into his past. There are parts that my mother remembers because she was there for them, but others predate her and he never talked about things. My mother only found out recently by reviewing his records that he had earned 6 bronze stars during his service. He never talked about his service history at all. Partly because one of his strokes had made communicating difficult, but I'm sure that his service history was hard for him to think about let alone to discuss with others. Other history happened after the stroke, but he still never really talked about anything, so any information we dig up is both usually useful and insightful.
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