Lens Data Summary
Dr W G Heyde’s book “Das Praktisix Buch”,
1964, refers to an f/4.5 / 400mm Tele-Ennalyt.
1972 Cambridge Camera Exchange was advertising this lens
Sam Sherman of New Jersey tells me that “It focuses with
a single helix
and has reasonable sharpness for a 400MM lens.”
1 Not measured; taken from data
for the Norita
This lens was produced over a number of years with slight variations of cosmetic finish. This may have resulted in slight variations of weight and dimensions. I give here the weight of the lens reviewed on this page, with standard lens hood and front lens cap, but no rear cap, as in use on the camera it will not have a rear lens cap. The imperial weight equivalent is 4lb 2ľ oz.
The first thing that one notices when seeing and handling this lens is the finish. It consists of an extremely fine-grained mottled effect, which is totally matt, easy to hold and does not show finger-prints. In consequence of this finish, the colour looks like a mid-tone grey, except for the aperture and focus index rings, which have a shiny black finish.
The focussing ring is marked in metres and feet. From infinity to closest focus it rotates through approximately 320°. Rotation is extremely smooth, although there is a higher degree of resistance than is common with most lenses. The reason for this will become clear in the next section.
The aperture ring has click stops at 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 and 32. However, it also moves well beyond the f/32 position. Tests have revealed the following:
In fact, most of this is pretty
were carried out with a calibrated prism at an ISO
setting of 160/23 (“ASA/DIN”),
on a bright sunny day, with part of the image being of a
building in the sun, and the rest being clear blue sky,
so this was a brighter-than-average
scene. The correct exposure at f/11 required a
shutter speed of 1/500
sec. This is an excellent combination for a lens
of this focal length,
as for hand-held use one would be advised to use 1/500
as the slowest speed,
and f/11 is generally the aperture at which many lenses
give their best
results. Choosing smaller apertures for this ISO
setting and scene
brightness would result in the following combinations:
Of course, if your camera and lens are mounted on a tripod, you can certainly use the smaller apertures, with the appropriate slower speeds. However, unless the people in the image are also mounted on tripods and the branches of the trees are held fast in giant “plamps” (plant clamps), you are going to see movement in the resultant images. Naturally, if you are shooting a picture of a series of buildings that are receding into the distance at an angle, you may be delighted to have the option of an aperture as tiny as f/64, in order to increase the depth of field (and you may wish to have moving objects rendered as a blur).
Like the Novoflex lenses, this is manual aperture lens: there is no auto diaphragm stop-down operation, nor even a “pre-set” lock, as is normal with lenses from Meyer-Optik and some other manufacturers; there are détentes at each full stop position (and at f/27), so you just count the clicks to stop down.
The aperture ring and index line are
located forward of
the focussing ring, and the whole of the forward section
of the lens rotates
as one focusses, taking the aperture ring and aperture
index line with
it. In consequence, when the lens is focussed at
they are no longer visible from the normal operating
position above the
lens. However, Enna have thought of this and have
provided a second
aperture index line on the barrel and a separate set of
on the aperture ring at 180° from the primary
at a focussing distance of 7.5 metres the secondary
aperture index line
is centred on the top of the lens (in line with the
focussing index line),
with the full set of aperture values visible
again. In practice,
at intermediate distances there should be little
difficulty in seeing one
or other of the aperture index lines and the aperture
When turning the aperture ring, one must be careful to prevent the whole of the front section of the barrel from turning slightly, which would change the focus. In practice, this proves to be easy to achieve, by simply placing a hand under the barrel so that it rests on the palm while one rotates the aperture ring with the forefinger and thumb of the same hand. The in-built resistance in the focussing mechanism also makes unwanted change of focus improbable.
Fourteen aperture blades produce a totally round iris that reportedly delivers beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus highlights).
In measuring the size for filters I came
up with the following
However, there is a drawer in a slot near the back of the lens for accommodating much smaller filters. I have measured the circular hole for the filters, and it has a diameter of 33.15mm, so presumably filters with a diameter of 33mm would fit well, although I have not yet had a chance to check this. It is obviously essential that this drawer be in place at all times, as otherwise light would get into the lens from the empty slot. The lens reviewed here was also supplied with a curved piece of plastic that effectively covers the slot, although from a style point of view it seems strange that this is grey in colour.
Kilfitt had a similar system, but I have
only seen it
on their lenses for 35mm cameras, as in the case of
their camera mounts
for 6×6 cameras there was not generally enough space at
of their lenses to allow for such a drawer.
The tripod bush is mounted on a part of the lens that does not rotate, but by moving a small lever at the back of the lens into a vertical position, one is able to rotate the camera mount in order to level the camera. Returning the lever to its initial position (approximately horizontal) locks the lens in the desired orientation.
In fact, the Tele-Ennalyt is shorter than some 300mm lenses, as can be seen from these two pictures. It is also lighter than several of them.
The Tele-Ennalyt fills a gap between 300mm and 500mm lenses with the Pentacon Six mount. In fact, few Medium Format cameras from other manufacturers had a 400mm lens in their line-up. There had been a 400mm f/5.5 Telemegor from Meyer-Optik, Görlitz, but it appears that this had ceased production by the mid 1960s. (CHK!) (Norita also theoretically had a 400mm lens, but the 400mm Noritar must have been produced in extremely low quantities and must now be viewed as an extremely rare lens.)
The 400mm Tele-Ennalyt was supplied, at least sometimes, in a shiny light-tan leather case with strap, although the one reviewed here came (second-hand) in a standard GDR case (347mm long × 140mm dia) which is obviously not original, as Enna was a West German company based in Munich. The lens reviewed here also had a GDR front lens cap.
This lens was also sold re-badged (and not with a Praktisix/Pentacon Six mount) as “Revue”, the brand name used by the West-German firm Foto-Quelle of Nürnberg.
Further pictures + review of
performance to follow
chromatic aberration …
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© TRA, January 2012, revised September 2016