Converted lens: Rodenstock Retina 50mm/f2 for Leica M

Rodenstock Retina – Heligon 50mm f2 for Leica M

There are a number of great lenses for the Leica system, but what if you want to shoot something special that nobody else has? A special lens that was never made available for the Leica Rangefinder system, but only available for an old Kodak (Retina) film camera?

Well, here is that special lens: Rodenstock Retina – Heligon 50mm f2

This is a bit of a rare lens that came originally in a Kodak Retina Rangefinder camera. Normally, these have Schneider lenses, but there were two versions available which are quite hard to find, one of them is a Kodak Ektar 47mm/f2, and the other one is the one for sale here, a Rodenstock Retina – Heligon.

This Rodenstock lens was selected from a batch of broken Kodak Retina cameras, as the glass was in pristine condition, and thus a perfect candidate for a conversion. The shutter mechanism was removed, a new helicoid and barrel were machined from brass. Rangefinder coupling was added inside the barrel. And this barrel has been nickel coated to give it a nice vintage look and feel.

Furthermore, an extra (original for that lens) focus tab has been added, as the focus tab was at an angle, and adding another focus tab created this interesting ‘Mickey Mouse’ or ‘Panda Ears’ look to the lens, which makes it even more stand-out from the crowd.

Also, the distance indication on the lens has been properly clocked, so it can be used as a true rangefinder lens on the Leica M camera.

The lens has been calibrated to work with both film and digital versions of the Leica Rangefinders, and focusses from 0.7 meters to infinity.

All the work has been carried out by Xiaole Ju of Ruhr Lens Worx in Germany