West-Germany: KODAK RETINA: 1957-1967:

In 1932 George Eastman, owner of Kodak, purchased the Nagel Kamerawerke in Stuttgart, Germany. Kodak Retina Reflex entered the marked in 1957 and sold lots of cameras before they ended production of 135mm PP SLRs in 1967, not able to follow the Japanese (and East-German) competition.

The Kodak Retina Reflex featured a Syncro Compur leaf shutter, like most West-German PP SLRs of the time. Likewise, it had a non coupled selenium meter, as seen in upper right front of the camera. This first model, called 025-series, was produced till 1959. Sn. 85260.
Synchro-Compur leaf shutter in the lens, not uncommon in West-German cameras from this period. The lens itself was a Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon C 50/2. The C-lenses followed this first Retina Reflex series. Next series had S-series lenses. Sn. 5116235.
ASA/DIN setting on the dial to the right , together with an EV scale from 2 to 18. Reading of values(from selenium meter in the front) in a window along the dial where two arrows will meet when you turn the EV dial. Read the given number and adjust the EV ring on the lens accordingly. Then the given mix of aperture/shutter speed can be chosen. Simple? No. One can understand why other camera makers found other solutions.

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26.03 | 20:19

Yes, their first PPSLR was introduced in 1960. I will add that that was Kowa(flex). Then the Kowa(flex) E in 1961, introducing auto metering. Thanks!

25.03 | 23:47

Kowa made one even earlier than this Kowa H, there seems to be one from 1959 (?) called Kowaflex. There is one on ebay now.

23.02 | 00:17

The Konica Autoreflex of 1968 was the first automatic system to measure light through the lens, TTL. I will rewrite things to make this more clear. Thank you!

23.02 | 00:14

Savoyflex was first, but not regarded as a very useful system. Then Kowa H in 1963. Then Kiev Avtomat in '64. But Konica got all the credit from 1965.....

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