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Scans from the archives - The Pentacon System in 1990



Decades ago, I owned a Pentacon Six. In fact, I owned several other cameras in that system- the Exacta 66, and the Kiev 6 that share the same lens mount and some accessories. The Pentacon 6 wasn't the greatest camera. It's build quality was fine, but the design was quite aniquated. The Exacta 66 looked really cool, with a rubberized exterior and there were even "West German" Schneider lenses added to the P6 line along with it. But the Exacta 66 was expensive, and ultimately unreliable. The shutter in mine died, though I was able to sell it with a broken shutter for about what I paid for it. My favorite camera in this series was the Kiev 60. The build quality was not quite as good as the German cameras (either from the GDR or FRG.) But the ergonomics were better, and it came with a nice meter prism, lens, filters, and stinky leather case for about $125 from Photographer's Supply, San Francisco in the 1990's.

The scan here is from a seller, Heinz Preller in Baringhausen from the year 1990.

The left column includes the lens designs: Flektagon, Biometar, Sonnar, Prakticar. The next column is first the maxiumum aperture followed by the focal lenth. The column labeled Blende means aperture, and denotes automatic or stop down aperture. The column Linsen/Glieder is Elements/Groups. Gewicht is weight in grams. Minimum Entfernung is closest focus in meters. Minimum Blende is smallest aperture. Filtergewinde is filter size. Bildwinkel is angle of view. And perhaps most interesting is the entsprechend bei KB - or small format equivelent.

The bottom is a special lens, a category unto itself. It's a Spiegelobjektiv (Mirror Lens) focal length 1m (one meter, or 1000mm) f5.6 made of four elements and two mirrors weighing in at 14kg (ca. 35lbs!)

For those of us who's first language is English, you might notice some interesting tidbits about how photo stuff is different in German. For one, the use of commas replaces periods when used in numbers: where we'd refer to an aperture of f5.6 they call it 5,6. Another oddity is that Zeiss is written Zeiß. I was taught that whenever a word in German ended in two S's they were replaced with the SZ or Scharfes S. But I've always seen Zeiss ending in two S's.

And on the Zeiss topic- the lenses are noted as Zeiss Jena, those were made in the GDR (German Democratic Republic.) The factory was split up and there were two companies called Zeiss, one in the East (the original,) and another that was made from employees who fled the Soviet zone and founded Zeiss in Oberkochen in the west.

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