Pentacon Six System
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
|PENTACON AUTO 29/2.8 Serial
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
By the way, thank you for your analog support and
knowledge about PENTACON company and models.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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
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: https://pentaconsix.com/madegerm.htm
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
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
With best wishes
Trevor ("Mr Pentacon Six")”
|Novoflex 500 TISPIGRIFF &
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.
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
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
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
With best wishes
Trevor ("Mr Pentacon Six")”
|Closure of Pentacon Works
found this article. It seems that Pentacon
Dresden has now also ceased the production of
injection-molded parts. The website
"Pentacon.de" is no longer in existence as well.
Although this topic is not directly related to
cameras, I thought you might still find it
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: https://pentaconsix.com/33end.htm
(at the bottom of the page).
This is very sad, especially for the staff who
With best wishes
|Jammed Pentacon Six (with
Signs of Rust!)
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
Thanks in advance.
B. M. from Hungary.”
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
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”)”