Obtained Kodak Retina IIa. Recommendations

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by jgs123, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. jgs123

    jgs123 TPF Noob!

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    Hello. I am new to this forum. I have obtained a Kodak Retina IIa from my grandparents. A very old camera from the late 50's/early 60's. My goal is to use this camera to take photos with that similar look and feel as how my grandparents did. Basically want that similar old/aged look. I was wondering if you could offer any recommendations on how to go about this.

    What film should I buy. I cannot imagine the best course of action being going on ebay and buying new Kodak color film. I assume i need similar film to what was used in during this time period. Any ideas as to what to buy?

    Also, I presume the other factor that ties into what I want is the processing. Should i go to an ordinary walgreens and asked them to process this film? What are your recommendations for how i get this film processed and transferred to pictures?


     
  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The "look" you're referring to was much more a function of the film your grandparents used rather than the camera. Your Retina IIa is fitted with an excellent coated lens that will perform similarly to a modern film camera using modern film. So you're assumption is correct that a modern Kodak color film, or any modern color film, isn't coming with your grandparents film "look."

    Also how do you know what that "look" was? You weren't alive then to see it. Many people mistakenly believe that "look" is what they see now in their grandparents 60 year old photos that have faded rather dramatically and don't at all look like the "look" they had before you were born. You might be able to get that faded "look" by using a modern color film and then waiting 60 years. It'll depend on how the colors in your modern film photos fade over time -- keep us posted.

    Most people who try now to get the "look" of color photos that are damaged from decades of color fading simulate that using software like Photoshop.

    Enjoy the Retina. I still have mine. It's one of the only film cameras that I've saved -- still too attached to it to say goodbye. Some decades ago I scanned much of the color film that came from that camera and used software like Photoshop to restore the images as best I could to their original "look."

    Joe
     
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  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here's a scan of a Kodachrome slide taken with one of my Kodak Retinas -- a little newer -- IIc. The Retina I still have is a IIC. This photo was taken in the mid 1970s. It had about 20 years to fade before I was able to scan it in the mid 1990s.

    Joe

    kodachrome_retina.jpg
     
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  4. jgs123

    jgs123 TPF Noob!

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    That is a beautiful photograph
     
  5. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is a common question. Film newbies see old photographic prints of their parents or grandparents and assume that is the way the prints looked when first printed but it's usually not the case. The aged look you see is the effect of aging of the printing paper (or slide) that was used at that time.

    It's true that using old expired film today may give a color shift something like that of those old prints but if you have the images printed at a lab they will most likely correct for that when the print is made (or the negative is scanned).

    There are some films that do give something of a color shift that is somewhat like what you're after. One of them is called RetroChrome but it is a slide film. It can be processed as a negative however.

    Some info here: 35mm Chrome - FPP RetroChrome 160 (1 Roll) | Film Photography Project
     
  6. jgs123

    jgs123 TPF Noob!

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    All great information. It's good to know there are people like me who value photographs like this. I'll look into this type of film. It is unfortunate we live in a digital world now and rarely print. I might have to start doing printing again.

    I'll also look into this type of film. I hope it works in a camera like the one i mentioned.
     
  7. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Easy there. The digital world doesn't force you not to make prints -- you control your behavior. I print all the time. And the digital color prints I make now are between 2 to 4 times more fade resistant than the color prints I made 30 years ago that have all rotted away now. I also have better image quality in the prints I make now because I use a digital camera. I'm nostalgic enough about the past that I keep a couple of my old film cameras. It's a worthwhile experience to use them and lots of fun, but it's not a better way to take better photos. Your Retina is a beautiful machine and I encourage you to use it and enjoy the experience. At the same time, if I had a job to shoot today that required me to take the best possible photos I'm not grabbing my old Retina on the way out the door.

    Joe

     
  8. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I agree.. They are fun to use. I have several film cameras for specific uses and I enjoy them all. From taking to developing is just a joy. For me, it helps me think more when I go to my digital, great learning tool.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
  9. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most film in the 1950s and early 60s was monochrome. I suggest Adox film (CHS film) or perhaps Foma film. These companies are still using the old technology to produce their film as all manufactures did back in the day so tonal quality and grain structure will be much the same, particularly if you use old developers - ID 11 or Rodinol.

    www.johns-old-cameras.blogspot.co.uk
     
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  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Take a look on Flickr for examples of Cine still if shot right it will give you a cinematic look

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  11. timor

    timor Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    FOMA with Rodinal it's a good combo.
    The latest shot from Gary:
    Old Stable Door
     
  12. jgs123

    jgs123 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of the information. unfortunately, I am not an expert and do not have my own lab so I am going to need to resort to the common photo processing locations to develop the photographs. I will definitely look into the film options provided to me and see how things turn out.
     

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