out of 5
With a 50mm f/2.0 Schneider Xenon lens and a coupled rangefinder, the Retina IIa folder is a fantastic "keep it in your pocket" compact 35. The all metal construction of the Retina makes it a bit heavy by "modern" standards, but it's compact size (not much larger than a pack of cigarettes) more than makes up for the weight. The Retina IIa has a Compur-Rapid shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500 sec plus "B". The big plus of this shutter is that it will sync electronic flash at any speed making daylight fill flash very easy. The Retina IIa uses screw-on filters in 29.5mm which are a pain to find, so I use a push-on 32mm series VI filter holder and hood.
The Retina IIa (also known among Retina fans as the model 016) was produced from 1951 to 1954 in Stuttgart, Germany. IMHO, the Retina IIa is the best of the manual focus, manual exposure, compact 35's. I bought mine about 15 years ago at a flea market for about $15.00!