Lens Data Summary
The most prolific of the other manufacturers to
have produced lenses in the Praktisix/Pentacon Six mount was
probably the Heinz Kilfitt Optical Works of Munich in former
West Germany. Here are details of their lenses available
in the USA in 1963, as reported in Al Gillespie’s Pentacon Six
Newsletter No 2 of April 1975.
|Lens name||Max aperture
& focal length
(feet & inches)
|Macro-Kilar||f/2.8 / 90||4||8"||17 oz||260||Incorporates an
|Kilar||f/3.5 / 150||3||5' 0"||14 oz||205||.|
|Tele-Kilar||f/5.6 / 300||4||9' 10"||35 oz||230||.|
|Pan-Tele-Kilar||f/4 / 300||4||5' 11"||68 oz||475||Double focusing mechanism:
track & helical
|Fern-Kilar||f/5.6 / 400||2||32' 10"||62 oz||285||.|
|Sport-Fern-Kilar||f/4 / 400||2||16' 5"||6 lb||515||Track focusing|
|Sport-Fern-Kilar||f/5.6 / 600||2||65' 8"||9 lb||630||Track focusing|
All of these lenses have a pre-set aperture.
An expert in lenses for the Praktisix/Pentacon Six tells me:
"none of the "Fern-Kilare" over 300mm is useable on the Praktisix (except of course if mounted on a Multikilar). Being Fernobjektive with only one group, the angle of the rays is too steep to get by the mounting ring of the Praktisix."
Information added 16 February 2016
Al Gillespie reports that the Kilfitt firm was acquired by US-based Zoomar Inc. In 1975 they were still selling the 90mm Macro-Kilar, the two 300mm lenses and the 600mm lens, now called “Tele-Kilar”. They also manufactured the following lenses:
|Lens name||Max aperture
& focal length
|Approx 1975 price
|Zoomar Reflectar||f/5.6 / 500||450||.||Mirror lens|
|Zoomar Reflectar||f/8 / 1000||1,075||.||Mirror lens|
|Zoomar||f/4 / 170 - 320||875||294 RAFTE||Zoom|
The full name of the zoom lens is “Rapid-Focus-Tele-Zoomar”. It was the first Medium Format zoom lens and is very highly spoken of. Like the other lenses, it was available in mounts for a range of cameras, and a Norita mount version is known to exist. A review of it in Pentacon Six mount can be seen on this website – see here.
There was also another Kilfitt Medium Format zoom lens:
|Lens name||Max aperture & focal length||Code||Mount|
|Rapid Focus Macro Zoomar||2.8/85-170||300 RAFMA||via WESI|
World-wide, this was the second Medium Format zoom lens to be produced. f/2.8 is a very fast aperture for a zoom lens, any zoom lens, and even more so for Medium Format. This lens has a full 2× zoom range. It would appear to be quite rare and I do not currently have any further information on it.
The above data is based on published
sources. I do not have most of these lenses.
As an independent manufacturer of
photographic lenses that were designed for use on
cameras from a wide range of different manufacturers,
Kilfitt offered interchangeable mounts for its lenses
and in theory, any lens could be mounted onto any camera
of that format or smaller. For instance, via a
suitable adapter, lenses designed to cover the 6×6
medium format could also be mounted on 35mm (24×36mm
format) cameras. Obviously, lenses could (or
should) not be mounted on cameras of a larger format
that the one for which they were designed, since the
image that they project onto the film will not cover the
larger format (and almost certainly will not focus to
Kilfitt’s mounting system normally
consisted of two components:
Over the years, Kilfitt developed its
interchangeable mount system, and I am aware of three
different systems that he/the company used.
The base for each system had a different
The camera mount would be attached to the
base, which was permanently or semi-permanently attached
to the lens. “Semi-permanently” means that a user
or a technician with a small screwdriver and a steady
hand could remove the base and replace it with something
different. However, this is not a job to be done
“in the field”, nor normally to be done by the user.
Thus, the full name of the
Praktisix/Pentaconsix camera mount for the WE base is WESI.
With three base systems, dozens of camera
manufacturers and dozens of Kilfitt lenses (each of
which had its own unique code), the number of Kilfitt
codes ran into the hundreds. Most of them (over 350
codes!) are listed in the book by Patrice-Hervé
Pont, although he states (p. 98) that his list is
certainly not complete.
Kilfitt/Zoomar lenses have serial numbers
in two parts:
The two parts of the serial number are
separated by a hyphen: –
When different versions of a lens were
produced over time, the prefix number usually changed
between each version.
There is an interesting book on Kilfitt and Zoomar by the French photography writer Patrice-Hervé Pont:
“Kilfitt Zoomar Imageurs et Objectifs”, published by the French Club Niepce Lumière (in French, naturally).
Next section (90mm Macro-Kilar Lens)To see a detailed review of the 300mm Pan-Tele Kilar, click here.
To see an introduction to the 500mm Kilfitt/Zoomar Reflectar, click here.
To go back to the beginning of the macro section, click here.
To go to the lens test section, click here.
To go back to the beginning of the Lens Data section, click below
and then choose the range of lenses that you want to read about.
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© TRA May 2002, latest revision: March 2019