I picked up a Retina IIIC (big C) with 35mm wide and 80mm tele lenses. It wasn't cheap, but didn't break the bank either. Anyway, the camera focus scale is in meters and both lenses use an imperial (feet) focus scale. In practical use, it isn't a problem, just set proper exposure and focus with the rangefinder and release the shutter. Well, the frustrating part is knowing the depth of field. Since the camera body is using meters scale and the lenses are using feet scale, you must do some mental gymnastics to figure the DOF. This situation could also be totally reversed, with the camera using imperial units and the lenses using metric.
Why didn't Kodak just stick to one standard??? Now I have to look for lenses using meters or a cheap parts camera with imperial focus scale I could swap out. Ughhhhh!!!
I understand your frustration, but you shouldn't blame Kodak for different length standards in the world... Being from Holland and a Zeiss Ikon collector we are all metric here, the feet scales are only on the 'export' versions:-) As I also have a IIIC with Longar and Curtar, it is really a cool camera, don't let the DOF issue stop you from shooting!
No blame toward Kodak for different length standards as they don't control that, just wish they would have stuck to one standard. But now that I think about it, that only means that there is more to collect and enjoy from the Retina series. The DOF issue is just a minor annoyance... I will enjoy this camera!!... I will... I will... I really will...
I think it's because me (and fellow Yanks) don't really know or understand the metric system, despite the best efforts of the U.S. education system to teach us otherwise. Immediately upon graduation, nearly all knowledge of the metric system is wiped away from our brains.
We photographers are a bit of an odd bunch, because we do deal with metric when measuring our non-U.S. chemicals. And of course, our lenses are marked in centimeters, but we like to judge our distances in feet.
And the film we use is 35mm, 120mm, 6cm x 6cm and such.
Of course, all of our road signs are miles per hour, and our American football fields are 100 yards long, and our baseball fields are measured in feet.
Our car tires are a bit of a mix-and-match: 225/50 on a 16-inch rim.
To take advantage of the interchangeable front elements I got with the IIIC, I managed to pickup a Kodak Retina Reflex. Although the Retina Reflex is not as versatile as the later Retina SLRs, I'm glad to be able to put the 35mm and 80mm front lens elements to good use.