The History of the Pentacon Six
There are many references to the Pentacon Six on the internet, but often more questions than answers – not to mention a substantial amount of inaccurate information. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account, so that you may have an authoritative source of information.
The gathering of data for this history began before I bought my first Pentacon Six in 1977. Since then, I have visited both what were at the time East Germany (the “GDR”) and the Soviet Union, spoken with the manufacturers and with repairers, collectors and specialists in the camera in Germany and various other countries, and I have read everything that I could obtain concerning the Pentacon Six system in German or English (plus some information in some other languages). I have personally handled most of the cameras described here and have photographed most of them (credits are given in the small number of cases where photographs were not taken by me).
I hope that this history will be of
interest and will contribute to correcting some of the
errors that circulate. As always, I welcome
comments that will help me to improve this section or
any other part of the website.
A note on dates and camera models
It is impossible to be totally certain of the dates of introduction or final production of certain cameras, since even apparently well-informed and reliable sources frequently contradict each other. Furthermore, camera manufacturers frequently introduced a series of modifications to their cameras gradually over a period of time, before using a new name-plate on the camera. Thus, some of the features described as having been introduced with a certain model may in fact have appeared on later cameras bearing the previous name or model number.
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To see how the country of origin was
specified on photographic equipment and literature
produced in East Germany between 1945 and 1990, see here.
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© TRA June 2010, revised March 2016