The Pentacon Six System
by TRA

Bounced e-mails

Several times each week I write personal replies to enquirers.  Most of these replies are delivered without any problems.  I know this, because the recipients usually write back to me.  But sometimes my replies are automatically rejected by the original sender’s mailbox.  I will now put a copy of these bounced replies here, eliminating the original writer’s e-mail address and some personal information.  These may not be “Frequently-Asked Questions”, but they do deserve a reply, and the matter may also be of interest to other visitors to this website.

PENTACON AUTO 29/2.8 Serial Number
8th June 2023

Email received:

Dear Sir,

I am writing with regards to your website and information on it. I have found at home an old lens with M42 screw mount, type Pentacon auto 29/2.8 multi coating. I was cleaning it when I saw the pretty unusual serial number on the body. The number is 1001, nobody could tell me why this number is unusual. I have a few lenses with M42 bayonet from pentacon company mostly Carl Zeiss and none of them has a serial number like this.

Could you tell me more information about the serial number or lens itself, please? I have been reading your articles, and according them, the lens is a first manufactured pentacon auto 29 mm/2.8 from the last and final production series of the company. Is it more worthy than other lenses.

By the way, thank you for your analog support and knowledge about PENTACON company and models.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,


Hello J K

Lenses bearing the name "Pentacon" and in M42 mount were designed and manufactured by Hugo Meyer Optik in Görlitz on the East German border with Poland.  They have their own serial number conventions and do not follow the Carl Zeiss Jena numbering system, which is mostly documented in "Carl Zeiss Jena Photooptik II" by Hartmut Thiele.

Thiele has also published at least two books on Meyer-Optik serial numbers, "Kleines Fabrikationsbuch Meyer-Optik" in 2010 and "Großes Fabrikationsbuch Meyer-Optik" in 2016.

Serial numbers for Meyer-Optik lenses went above the 10 million mark.  However, this is not a sure indication that they manufactured more than ten million lenses, for two reasons:
Probably no manufacturer gave the number "1" to their first lens, often starting with a number in the thousands;
Blocks of serial numbers may have been assigned by a planning section in the factory, without all the serial numbers ever being used.

When Carl Zeiss Jena passed the 10 millionth serial number, they started new numbering from 1001, confusingly often assigning the same serial numbers to different types of lenses.  I don't know if Meyer-Optik Görlitz (="Pentacon") did the same.

As far as I can see from Thiele's larger book, Meyer-Optik first manufactured a 29mm f/2.8 lens in M42 mount in 1963, at that time giving it the name "Orestegon".  In later years the Government-owned Kombinat Pentacon took over the Meyer works and surpressed all their names, putting the name "Pentacon" on all lenses manufactured by them.  The Orestegon name seems to have been last used in 1971.

Meyer-Optik/Pentacon continued manufacturing lenses until after the collapse of the communist system in East Germany in 1989/1990.  For more general information on this, see the following page on my website:

The mechanical and optical quality of Meyer-Optik lenses was excellent, as reported on my website, so the lens that you have is likely to produce images with excellent resolution/sharpness.  As well as using these lenses on M42 analogue cameras, it may be worth testing them on digital cameras, via a suitable adapter, although some digital cameras with "full frame" sensors (24×36mm) do not cope well with the extreme angle of the rays of some analogue wide-angle lenses, resulting in vignetting that never occurred with these lenses when they were used on full-frama analogue cameras, so coverage results cannot be guaranteed.

I am sorry I do not have more information on the particular lens that you have.  If you Google Thiele's books, you should be able to contact him, and he may have more information on this lens.  He really is the world expert on this matter.

With best wishes

Trevor ("Mr Pentacon Six")

5th June 2023

Email received:

Good evening, dear „Mr.  Pentacon six“!

Your homepage is a very unique one, I enjoy it and return from time to time, thank you for the growing, excellent content!

In my youth I used a Praktisix II camera with a couple of Carl Zeiss Jena lenses (mostly Flektogon 50mm, Biometar 120mm and Sonnar 300mm), actually I work mostly with Nikon, but I use Linhof cameras too.

Especially your engagement for Novoflex is one issue, which interest  me very much, because in my youth Novoflex has been for me (ans many others) a dream, which was nearly not not fulfil. Nowadays I own and also collect Novoflex products in a way, but I use a couple of special items for my photography in fact, because they offer special, incomparable possibilities regarding their functionality (mostly because of rapid/follow focus and some other capabilities by modular built structures).

For the „middle size“ I own a couple of 500mm Novoflex for Pentacon six the both (with TISPIGRIFF and TISPIGRIFF-U), you mention on your homepage, than for Pentax 67 one and one for Nikon (Novoflex made it by adapting the original versions also for orders).The lens numbers are from x160 and x362. As far as I know, there were less as 420 expl. produced.

I wonder, if you tested the 500mm Novoflexar on Fuji GFX100 and how you found it. One project, I think about is to use this lens on Fuji middle size cameras. They dont have long lenses and I think, „Schnellschuss“ could be here better and faster as AF.

Another idea is to adapt other lenses for the „pigriff“, at the front of this. (The same way as the two lenses (also the 240mm) have been made by Novoflex, and also for large size lenses. (I think about Apo Ronar, etc.) For this ideas it could be helpful to have a technical drawing of the connecting bayonet between lens and „pigriff“. Do you maybe have it? (Another interesting item could bee adapting lenses to PIGRIFF D for FX).

So much for today, I would be happy to get in contact  and exchange with you.

Best regards



Hello J

Thank you for your very interesting e-mail.  I am glad (and even a little surprised) to hear that you have both a 500mm Novoflex with the TISPIGRIFF and also one with the TISPIGRIFF-U, as these appear not to be common items.

I have not tested the 500mm Novoflexar on the Fuji GFX100, but this of course would not be difficult to do, as I already use Pentacon Six lenses on my GFX100.  I will now aim to do this test this summer, and to report about it on my web page.

I don't have any technical drawings on the interface between the front of the TISPIGRIFF and the lens head, but I assume that a suitably-qualified and skillful person could derive this information by measuring the back of the 240mm or the 500mm Noflexar lenses, along with knowledge of the "flange distance" required for infinity focus with the lens that one intended to use.  It would probably be necessary to remove a large part of the back of the "donor" lens, unless it were originally designed for use on large format cameras with a greater flange distance.  This would inevitably be for lenses with a longer focal length, but that is the prime purpose of the Novoflex rapid focus/follow focus lenses, to my understanding.

I will copy your e-mail and my reply to M, who is extremely knowledgeable about Novoflex equipment, as he may have access to some helpful information.

With best wishes

Trevor ("Mr Pentacon Six")

Closure of Pentacon Works 1st June 2023

Email received:


I just found this article. It seems that Pentacon Dresden has now also ceased the production of injection-molded parts. The website "" is no longer in existence as well. Although this topic is not directly related to cameras, I thought you might still find it interesting.

Yours sincerely

Hello F

Thank you for this.  I have read it and seen two of the videos for which there were links.  I have added a paragraph on this to my website, here: (at the bottom of the page).

This is very sad, especially for the staff who worked there.

With best wishes


Jammed Pentacon Six (with Signs of Rust!) 12th April 2023

Dear Sir,

I came across a Pentacon Six, in somewhat of a good condition, the camera's only problem is that it's cocked, but can't take a picture. The self timer is also stuck in a horizontal direction. Picture included in email. Is there a way to fix it?

Thanks in advance.


B. M. from Hungary.

“Hello B

Thank you for writing and for the picture.  I see that the two top screws on the front plate of the camera are also very badly rusted.  It seems to me that this camera has not been carefully kept in a dry environment.  I would expect to see more rust damage inside the camera and this is probably the reason why the shutter and the self-timer are both jammed.

If pieces are not badly rusted together, it should be possible to disassemble this camera and clean it thoroughly.  However, given the extremely poor condition of what I can see, I would expect that some internal components will need to be replaced.  If you do not have a good selection of new spare parts, or if you do not know a repairer who has a good selection of new spare parts, I would advise against buying this particular camera.  Repair costs are likely to be high, even if it is possible to clean all rusted parts, as doing this will almost certainly take a lot of time.

Given the state of what I can see of the body, I would not be surprised to find also fungus in the lens.

The Pentacon Six is an excellent camera, but like any item of precision equipment, it needs to be stored correctly and protected from damage, including from water and excessive humidity in the air.  There are excellent examples of the Pentacon Six that still work perfectly and can be used to create superb pictures with the outstanding lenses from Carl Zeiss and other world-class lens manufacturers (such as Schneider-Kreuznach, and some others).

If you wish to buy a Pentacon Six, I suggest that you look elsewhere.

With best wishes

Trevor (“Mr Pentacon Six”)”

If your question is not answered, you are welcome to contact me.  (See e-mail address on welcome page)
Please give your e-mail a meaningful title in English/French/Spanish/German, so that I can see that it is not computer-generated junk mail.
(I may, perhaps, just about understand a title in Italian or Portuguese, but will reply in English, as I do not know these languages.)


© TRA April 2023, revised June 2023