I've been having a bit of a binge on vintage stuff recently. Here's a very lovely Retinette 1b next to the Werra, as a nice contrast between West German and East German state of the art in the early 60s:
DSC03643 by SteveFE, on Flickr
Comparing the two, the Werra is heavier and feels more solidly built, virtually all solid metal, yet the Retinette is so beautifully made and smoother. Film wind is so soft and quiet it's like my F3, and the shutter release is just perfect, with the quietest, most precise "snick" you'll ever hear. The Werra sounds and feels very clockwork-ish, but still solid, with lots of springs being tensioned when you twist that oddball film-wind collar (its shutter has two sets of blinds - the rearmost one to shield the film while the front set are being positioned and tensioned - top speed is 1/750 which is achieved by some clever tensioning that I don't quite understand!)
Both have working selenium meters, but the Werra's is uncoupled and has a readout on the top plate, while the Retinette's a genuine Gossen cell and aperture-coupled to a matchneedle display in the viewfinder (which curiously, is almost invisible until you attach the Kodisk lenshood, when it becomes very clear).
Both have lovely big bright viewfinders, with the Werra displaying a floating frame in contrasting colour, which lets you see what's just outside the final framed shot. The Retinette has a triplet 45mm ƒ/2.8 Reomar lens made by either Rodenstock or Schneider, the Werra has the standard 50mm ƒ/2.8 CZJ Tessar, both very nice lenses.
Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24