Early Kodak Retina IIa - side wheel question-


Local time
7:21 AM
Apr 27, 2016
I have recently acquired a Kodak Retina IIa. This is an early one made in Germany between 1939 and 1941 (so the body no indicates).
It is my first Retina.
I have figured everything out but one thing baffles me.
There is a little wheel on the side of the camera, near the winding knob (this early Retina IIa has a knob, not a winding lever). This side wheel turns but does not seem to do anything.
There are many Retina IIa manuals out there but they all feature the later version, with the winder lever, which does not have this side wheel.
Can anyone help me and let me know what it is used for?
I do not want to force anything because I know forcing anything on a Retina is not a good idea.
Hope to get some help from you guys,
You're talking about a knurled wheel that sticks out from the angled front side of the top cover of the camera? I think that's to set the frame counter. If the frame counter isn't moving when you turn that wheel, then something is disconnected.
The pre-war IIa type 150 has a different layout from the Post-War Retina II, and different from the post-war Retina IIa.


Are you talking about the knurled knob in the body, under the advance knob?

The Retina II also had a film-clutch release.

ALSO: The wind Knob of the Retina II and other knob wind Kodak Retinas: reverse threaded.
Of all the film cameras it is the post war Retinas that I lust for. There is an understated elegance about them. And they are good cameras.
If it is a Type 150, the knurled knob is indeed to set the frame counter, you have to push the wheel inward and then turn it.
Hello everyone and thanks for all the answers.
Yes, mine is a pre was type 150 with the winding knob, not the lever of the post-war retinas.
Re the little wheel, YES, it operates the frame counter. I had not figured out that you need to push it in and then turn it to operate the frame counter. So thank you Mr Fibble!
I am a Leica I (conversions) collector so I must say I did not pay much attention to Retinas but was always intrigued and I must say I love this one! So nice to hold, and I was lucky the times are perfect and the lens looks good. And also being a type 150 I understand they did not make many. The serial number inside the body with a K confirms thing. It's really a lovely little thing.
Thanks again for all the responses.