The Pentacon Six – wait, it’s a 120 shooter AND an SLR camera?

I recently was blessed with ownership of two new cameras for my arsenal, thanks to one of my wonderful blog readers. I was able to purchase a Nikon F2S 35mm shooter from him – it looks like it’s in great condition, and I can’t wait to start using it.

At the same time, I also received a second camera. “Here,” he said, “I haven’t found much on this system, but if you can make it work, that would be great.”

He gifted me this bad boy.

What I have here is a Pentacon Six, an SLR camera that shoots in 120 format. This brand was first manufactured in Communist East Germany in 1966, and the camera remained in production until 1992, a couple of years after East and West Germany reunified. The exposure can go from 1:2000 to 1:1, plus bulb, and the Biometar 80mm kit lens can expose from f/22 all the way down to f/2.8. Other lenses exist for this unit, and there are some Russian lenses that will work with the camera’s breech-mount system.

I examined the camera carefully. Everything seems to work well … except that, for some reason, the shutter curtain doesn’t close when the camera is at 1:125 shutter speed, essentially turning 1:125 into its own bulb feature. No. That’s not happening. Chuck doesn’t want that.

So off the camera went to CameraWorks, where my camera tech of choice, Allan Wade, gave the camera a full CLA.

Got it back on December 31st. So let’s put a roll of Kodak Ektar into this bad boy and see what comes out.

I drove up Central Avenue from Albany to Schenectady, pulled over at a few locations, and took some pictures. Then I drove around some streets in Schenectady and snapped a few more images.

I should note that the Pentacon Six is a big camera. And although there are tiny lugs on the front of the camera for a camera strap, straps with those lugs aren’t commonly available. So I just have to remember to carry this bad boy carefully AND NOT DROP IT. Although, if I did drop it, it might just bounce off my shoetop and leave some marble chunks in my shoes where my toes used to be. Just sayin’ is all…

But for now, I’ll just try it with the kit lens.

And this is what I pulled from the kit lens.

Wowie. This camera works like a champ. And even when I had to crop these photos to remove nasty things like parked cars, witches’ construction pylons and non-patterned radials, this camera still caught some very tight focus.

Chuck likes.

Now is anything here Competition Season worthy? Maybe in a stretch, I’d submit The Uniroyal Pattern, but probably not. But even so … I now have a new photo weapon in my arsenal, and that’s super-cool for me.

But yeah, welcome to the camera family, Pentacon Six.

Let’s see what you can do on a dedicated photo excursion. 😀