The History of the Pentacon Six
The Pentacon Six TLs & Praktisix/Pentacon Six export models
This version of the Pentacon Six TL incorporated modifications of standard Pentacon Six TL cameras.
The modification was produced for the Czechoslovak (as they were at that time) police as an ID photo camera. It was probably modified in Czechoslovakia and as such is not a variation produced by the Pentacon factory.
It produced sixteen (I believe!) vertical
images with nominal dimensions of 4 × 6 cm. The
“film advance lever” was decoupled from film advance and
only served to cock the shutter, lower the mirror and
open the lens aperture to maximum. The film was
advanced by a knob that replaced the right-hand film
spool knob (viewed from behind), and the correct spacing
was determined by using a red window in the back of the
camera. The lever wind does not block
after the 12th (and 24th) frame, as on standard Pentacon
Six cameras, but after 18 frames. However, this
number includes the initial winding and firing before
the first frame, so perhaps the actual usable number of
frames is fifteen. The lever wind block is
released by a new, smaller, unblocking lever in the same
position as the original lever (for the purpose of
winding the film fully onto the take-up spool before
opening the back).
Dual flash sockets cameras
A Praktisix/Pentacon Six collector reports
Pentacon Six TL
This version of the camera seems to be
extremely rare, and I have only ever seen the one
illustrated here and one other example. According
to other reports, the “ITALIA PENTACON ITALIA” logo was
only applied to Praktica, that is 35mm,
cameras. However, this was clearly not the
case. At the same time, a guarantee sticker was
put in the left-hand spool chamber. This sticker
enables one to see the date of sale of the camera.
As the above camera does not belong to me, I can’t
easily check if the guarantee sticker is in it.
Versions with Italian logos
Over time, all three sticker variations had been
used on Pentacon Six TL cameras:
Both Cattaneos and the SP Fs are extremely rare (one of each known). The Italias are scarce. The "low TL" and the Hanimex are almost common. None of the export cameras are modified against the original cameras.
For more information on
Praktisix and Pentacon cameras in Italy, see here.
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© TRA First published: August 2010,
Revised: October 2015