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Una càmera entorn un rodet / The birth of a standard cartridge | by SBA73
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Una càmera entorn un rodet / The birth of a standard cartridge

Si teniu una edat, tots coneixeu l’ubicu rodet de 35mm i 36 exposicions. Oi? Be, doncs tot s’originà amb aquesta petíta càmera. I no, no és la famossisima Leica. Efectivament la Leica I model A del 1925 fou la primera càmera que emprà amb èxit comercial la pel·licula de 35mm originaria del món del cinema (i els primers prototipus de Barnack el 1913!). Però tant la Leica com les altres que la imitaren, com la Zeiss Ikon Contax I o la americana Ansco Memo (del 1926!) carregaven la pel·licula en rodets propis que s’havien de carregar a ma en cuarto fosc.

 

Quan Kodak buscà introduir-se en el mercat de càmeres alemanes de gran qualitat, comprà la companyia Nagel de Stuttgart, reanomenant-la Kodak AG, i el 1934, aquesta presentà una càmera compacta pensada entorn un rodet standard de 35mm, habilment disenyat perque també pogués ser emprat en les Leica i Contax de la competencia. Aquesta magnifica càmera és la Kodak Retina, model 117.

De fet, el meu exemplar és just del submodel posterior, el 118, que canvia en molt poc i en canvi es pot trobar per literalment una fracció del preu (les 117 estan molt buscades pels coleccionistes precísament per el seu paper historic). És una càmera molt compacta, d’un sobri negre dominant, i amb objectiu retractil i molt ben protegit. No té telemetre ni disparador al cos principal de la càmera, el que segurament la feia més barata davant la competencia. En tot cas fou un gran exit. Les variants i subvariants continuaren després de la guerra a l’Alemania Occidental fins als anys 60. Per a molta gent se les considera les millors càmeres produides amb el nom Kodak, tot i que en esencia no son càmeres americanes en cap cas, sino alemanes.

 

Un apunt historic final: la Kodak Retina model 118, és a dir, aquesta en concret, fou la càmera que emprà Edmund Hillary en coronar l’Everest per primer cop el 1953. L’original es conserva en un museu a Nova Zelanda.

 

Aquest exemplar fou fabricat el 1935-36 i compta amb obturador Compur-Rapid i objectiu Schneider-Kreutznach Xenar f3.5 de 50mm.

 

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Unless you are a millenial, you all know the ubiquitous 35mm film cartridge, right? Then it may be of interest to know that everything originated with this petite camera. And no, it's not the famous Leica. Indeed, the Leica I model A of 1925 was the first successfully camera to use the 35 mm film already used in movies (and the first prototype of Barnack even in 1913!). But both the Leica and the others who followed, such as Zeiss Ikon Contax I or the American Ansco Memo (from 1926!), loaded the film on their own design cartridges that had to be loaded in a darkroom.

 

When Kodak sought to enter the German high-quality camera market, they bought Nagel from Stuttgart, renamed Kodak AG, and in 1934, it introduced a compact camera designed around a standard 35 mm cartridge. It was skillfully designed because also could be used in the Leicas and Contaxes, and was preloaded in the factory so it was much easier to load the camera. This magnificent camera is the Kodak Retina, model 117.

 

In fact, my camera is just the later model, the 118, which changes very little and can be found literally for a fraction of the price (117 are highly sought after by collectors for their historical role). It is a very compact and sober all-black camera, of a clamshell design that makes it even smaller and protects the lens. It has no rangefinder or release on the body of the camera, which probably made it cheaper. In any case it was a great success. The variants and subvariants continued after the war in West Germany until the 60s. For many people it is considered the best cameras produced with the Kodak name, although essentially they are not American cameras in any case, but German ones.

 

A final historical note: the Kodak Retina m.118, that is, this one model in particular, was the camera that Edmund Hillary used at the top of the Everest when it was conquered in 1953. The original machine is preserved in a museum in New Zealand.

 

This Retina was manufactured in 1935-36, has Compur-Rapid shutter and Schneider-Kreutznach Xenar f3.5 50mm lens. The film advance is not linked to the shutter, so you have to advance the film until it stops, cock and release the shutter, release the film, and advance it again.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak_Retina

 

camera-wiki.org/wiki/Kodak_Retina_I

 

retinarescue.com/retina1type118.html

 

www.flickr.com/photos/rocknvole/5660939970

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Taken on November 20, 2018