|Focal Length (mm)|
|Max Aperture (f)|
|Flange-Focal Distance (mm)|
Kodak Retinar 100/4
35mm slide projector lens for Kodak Carousel. Aperture unmarked (calculated at c.f3.8).
As extracted from a projector, the Retinar 100 requires an Extension of 8.5mm to hit infinity focus. However, the rear element is recessed in its housing by 47mm. Most adaptations of this lens will therefore begin by trimming excess from the barrel and fixing it to a helical/mount assembly with an Extension of around 50mm – depending on how close to glass you’re comfortable wielding a Dremel or grinder. If you don’t want to mod the housing irreversibly, attaching the Retinar 100 to a 15-30mm helical gives you a working distance of 30-100cm, but the skinnest 11-19mm helical will only take you as far as 3m, and down to around 1m – neither of which are useful.
The three-element Retinar draws much like the four-element Procolar, and likely has optics made by Isco or Schneider. Its ability to isolate a subject is compromised by its relatively slow (undeclared) f4-ish fixed aperture, and it’s not distinguished by notable sharpness or vibrant colour rendition. Bokeh is averagely uncluttered, with even specular geometry eschewing all but a hint of swirliness. Only under extreme provocation will it produce proper ‘bubble bokeh’ but there’s always a touch lurking in the background, imparting slightly edginess. The Retinar 100 will occasionally surprise with some funky ‘liquefaction’ but otherwise this is a fairly pedestrian performer. Contrast is slightly better than average, but somehow that just feeds into its relatively ‘normal’ look. A more interesting, and much more convenient, alternative is the Cabin 100/3.2.