Cleaning Kodak Retina Ib Viewfinder

Nostalgia...I bought a Retina Ib on ebay because the model was my first 35mm camera, long ago. They are real cheap nowadays--$25. In good working order, nice case, but cloudy viewfinder. I was a bit worried that complications might ensue if I took the top plate off. They didn't. Please note that I'm not that expert at repair, and was prepared to lose my inexpensive patient on the operating table. Proceed at your own risk.


Remove three screws. Note that the white background is an 8x10 developing tray--essential to catch and retain the tiny screws etc as they come off.


Unscrew rewind knob. Prevent shaft rotation by holding screwdriver in cassette prong. Unscrew whole knob, not central snake-eye bolt. Normal (anti-clockwise) direction.


Cover lifts straight off.


The frame counter assembly is part of the top cover and won't fall apart.



Be careful not to turn the camera upside down, or the various buttons, springs etc of the shutter release and end-of-roll interlock might fall off. Reference photos, just in case.



Cover plate slides forward. I lifted out the rear frame and glass, allowing access to all glass surfaces. The cover plate clicks back in place, doesn't seem to mind the little film seals being broken. Note that my viewfinder moidule is a little different from that shown in the parts manual...no screw.

The only slightly tricky part was getting the end of roll interlock components in position. But not too hard. A little experimentation to see which buttons release the wind mechanism. There are three springed buttons...study what has to happen for the wind mechanism to be unlocked before replacing the cover.Then the cover slips back on easily.

A good reference is the Kodak Retina Ib IIc IIIc parts manual with exploded photos of all the components. It is available for $5 on Mike Butkus's great manuals site. With Mike's permission, the Ib viewfinder page is here.

An essential reference is Chris Sherlock's Retina site.