The Pentacon Six System
by TRA

A Focussing Screen from Kiev for the Pentacon Six

Focussing screen from Kiev
(What appear to be marks on the screen are the reflection of the camera, the tripod and the photographer’s hand.)

A Ukrainian fresnel focussing screen for the Pentacon Six is sometimes advertised.

I bought one from an eBay trader known as hohol or h_o_h_o_l.  I believe that this is the trading name of Yuri Davidenko, who also appears to be behind the DVDTech website.  In April 2016, I can no longer see this screen on the DVDTech website.  However it is available from Araxfoto.

This screen was described as “Fresnel bright focussing screen Pentacon Six New”.  What is it like?  This may be a screen that has been designed for the Kiev 60 or the Kiev 88, that has been cut down in size in order to fit the Pentacon Six.  I no longer have either of these cameras, and so cannot make a comparison.

First, it is a perfect fit.  It has the following features:

  • fresnel screen
  • rangefinder wedges
  • microprism ring to aid focussing
  • two horizontal and two vertical lines near the edges of the frame, as composition aids.
Let us take these features one at a time.

Fresnel screen
The principle
The principle of the fresnel lens is that it distributes the light evenly over a much wider area.  Fresnel lenses were apparently first developed to increase the size and effectiveness of lights used by lighthouses.  They normally consist of a series of fine concentric circles (or occasionally, parallel lines).

In cameras, fresnel focussing screens distribute the light across the surface of the screen, making the screen image much brighter than it is on the original, standard screen, especially away from the centre of the screen.

The reality
The fresnel lines on this screen are extremely fine (which is a good thing) and overall brightness is about the same as the E66 Rollei MKPG screen.  In other words, it is excellent.
(The “black bar” is the retaining wire – this is a massive enlargement of a very small part of the focussing screen.)


Rangefinder wedges
The principle
The idea of rangefinder wedges is that if a straight line edge is viewed through the rangefinder wedges, if it is in focus it will appear as a straight line.  If it is out of focus, the two parts of the edge will not line up.

The reality
This is a square screen, so it could be installed with the rangefinder wedges running vertically or horizontally.  However, in nature, there are far many more vertical than horizontal lines – trees, for instance, so having the rangefinder wedges horizontal is obviously the right way to go.

The rangefinder wedges on this screen are excellent, possibly better than the ones on the Rollei screen.  They really make focussing easy with most subjects.

The two semi-circles in the centre are the rangefinder wedges.
Their surfaces are inclined at opposite angles.

Microprism ring round rangefinder wedges
The principle
The idea of microprisms is that these little pyramid-shaped points on the surface of the screen become visible in the viewfinder when the image is out of focus, and disappear when it is in focus, which makes finding the point of sharp focus easier.

The reality
On this particular screen, these microprisms are finer than on the Rollei screen, and in my opinion they are too fine.  In other words, when the image is out of focus, they are not as visible in the viewfinder as I would like.  This makes using the microprisms in this ring as an aid to focussing very difficult.

(The shadows on the screen are the reflection of the camera, the tripod 
and the photographer’s hand – the picture was of course taken 
with the prism and the waist-level finder removed. 
With either of these in place, reflections will not be seen on the screen.)

Composition aids

The principal area of the screen has no markings.  However, there are four composition-guidance lines, each one a little way in from the corresponding edge – visible in the photograph at the top of this page.

These can help the user to know when (s)he is holding the camera horizontally.  The lines on this screen are clearly visible without – in my opinion – impeding the clear view of the subject to be photographed.  They may also help the photographer who is composing for a picture that will cropped to produce a horizontal or a vertical image.

I personally like the greater number of composition lines on the Rollei MK screen, but some people do not, preferring a largely plain screen.  They will probably like the Ukrainian screen better than the Rollei screen.  (The Pentacon Six metering prism also has curved markings that show the area covered by the meter, and these are of course visible in the viewfinder.)


The screen has a flat upper surface, and is supplied with no retaining wire.  The retaining wire for the original screen is deeply curved, to follow the curvature of the standard screen, so it is not a natural good fit for this screen.
However, Tom Page has managed to straighten out this wire somewhat and to force it down onto the Kiev screen.
To keep it in place, he has used at the back the two long clips that come with the camera when it is supplied with the standard screen (i.e., always, when it was new).

The front clip for the standard screen is much shorter, to allow for the greater thickness of the front of the standard focussing screen.  In fact, it is too short to hold the front of the wire down onto this screen.  However, Tom has been able to use a third long clip, which was spare when the standard screen in another Pentacon Six was replaced with a Rollei screen (which is provided with its own wire and clips).

As an alternative solution, one website has suggested using a small piece of rubber (eraser) between the base of the front clip and the surface of the screen.


This is a thin, light-weight screen that must reduce the total weight of the Pentacon Six by a few grams (but surely not enough for the user to notice the difference!).

The screen is very economically-priced and in early 2012 it was readily available from in Ukraine.  However, in April 2016 I could only find it offered by  On 20.4.16, the following link went straight to the screen: and on 6th January 2017 this link still works. Arax also sometimes sells the screen on eBay.  I suggest that you do a search on eBay for "P-SIX FRESNEL BRIGHT FOCUSING SCREEN for Pentacon Six cameras ARAX. Made in Kiev" On the basis of my own experience, I recommend Araxfoto as a reliable seller.

Another highly-recommended seller is Zhanna, who trades on eBay as Grizzly33bear.  On 5th January 2017 she wrote to me: “we always had it and have it now! These screens are our permanent offer, here it is,”  She also gives the following link: 
Over the years I have bought various items from “Grizzly Bear”, and have always found her service and the products that she sells excellent.
My apologies for not having seen her offer of this screen when I researched this last April.

I am delighted that in 2017 two such excellent sellers still offer items for use with the Pentacon Six.

You may of course also occasionally find the screen listed on eBay, perhaps with a slightly different description, from other vendors who may have a single screen that they wish to sell. 

It is an extremely good screen, and I am very pleased to have it in one of my Pentacon Sixes.

To go back to the introduction to the focussing screens, click here.

To see notes on how to change focussing screens, click here.

To go on to information on accessory shoes, click here.

To go to introduction to the cameras, click here.

To go back to the section on viewing aids, click here.

To choose other options, click below.

© TRA First published: April 2012  Latest revision: January 2017