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Retina IB

Retina IB

Style, film format Folding fixed-lens zone-focus 35mm with noncoupled single-range selenium meter

Lens, shutter Coated 50mm f/2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenar, Synchro-Compur

 Photo quality Very good to excellent

 Ergonomics Lacks a rangefinder

Much like the Retina Ib, its later sibling, the Retina IB (Big B) lacked a rangefinder, so its f/2.8 lens requires accurate focusing, especially for closeups.

The Big B model used an uncoupled single-range selenium meter that is accurate and easy to use, once you understand the nonintuitive Exposure Value system.

The camera shown has a Domke neck strap attached. Like the other Retinas of this era, the camera is solidly constructed, and the chrome finish is excellent. Visually, this camera resembles the IIIC, although the far right window is used only to provide additional illumination for the viewfinder framelines.

Like the Ib, the viewfinder is located directly above the lens, so there is no need to correct horizontally for closeups.

The Retina IB, like the Retina Ib, has a Xenar lens, rather than the more expensive Xenon lens. Don't worry. The Xenar is an excellent lens with a long history of proven performance.

To sum it up, the Retina IB is a pleasant camera. Just make sure you focus accurately.