The History of the Pentacon Six
The Exakta 66 (1980s on)
Dates: 1984-1992 (?)
This camera was announced at Photokina in Cologne, West Germany in 1984, but appears not to have been available to buy until 1986. It remained in production until the year 2000, but with modifications for Mk II and Mk III versions in subsequent years (see next two pages).
The Exakta 66 was based on a Pentacon Six chassis manufactured in Dresden, and used the glass from pentaprisms produced by Carl Zeiss Jena for the Pentacon Six.
Improvements/changes from the Pentacon Six were:
Note in both photographs the rectangular release buttons on each side of the metering prism.
The transfer of lens apertures and shutter speeds to the metering prism was a major advance that speeded up open-aperture metering enormously. Coupled with Schneider Kreuznach lenses of outstanding quality, the Exakta 66 offered a Medium Format camera with fast handling and the potential to produce images whose quality matched that of any other Medium Format camera on the market.
Some internet sources claim that the
metering prism was
only available with the Mk II version of the camera, but
this is incorrect.
The metering prism was not available until late in 1986,
possibly for Photokina
in the autumn, but the original version of the camera
(i.e., “Mk I”) was
in any case not generally available until earlier in the
I bought my first Exakta 66 new, together with a
metering prism, before
the Mk II version of the camera became available.
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© TRA August 2010, revised August 2018