Pentacon Six System
Kilfitt/Zoomar Pan-Tele Kilar Versions 1 – 3
The three versions of
the 300mm f/4 Kilfitt Pan-Tele Kilar lens
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One of the most highly-rated of the
Kilfitt lenses was the Pan-Tele Kilar. It is
described in detail here.
Three versions of this lens were produced,
and of course mounts were available for almost all makes
of Medium Format, 35mm and ciné cameras.
|An excellent source
of information on the Pan-Tele Kilar – and indeed
on Kilfitt/Zoomar in general – is
Patrice-Hervé Pont’s “Kilfitt Zoomar Imageurs et
Objectifs”, published by the French Club Niépce
Lumière, and some information on this page is
taken from that book.
Pont states that version 1 of the
Pan-Tele Kilar was available from approximately 1957 and
until 1966. It is the version that is described
and illustrated in detail on this website, here.
The manufacturer’s code name for
this version was PANTE and Pont reports that the
serial number prefix was 250, which is confirmed
in the case of the lens that I have. For
more on Kilfitt serial numbers, see here, near
the bottom of the page.
The camera mount system base that
I have seen consists of the AN base, and Pont
says that the lens was also available with the
KI base, which was essentially for 35mm cameras
and smaller. On the base section of the
lens mounts, see here.
The lens name ring has “Heinz
Kilfitt München” and “Pan – Tele – Kilar”.
(Obviously, the non-red text on the lens name
ring is in white.)
A rotatable ring on the lens
gives the exposure compensation factors for
different focussing distances. This is
designed as an aid to the photographer when
choosing the correct exposure. Turning
this ring does not change any settings on the
Pan-Tele Kilar Mark I
The lens name ring has
“ZOOMAR MUENCHEN” and “Pan – Tele – Kilar” (all in
Pan-Tele Kilar From L to R: Versions
1 – III
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|Pont states that version 2 of the
Pan-Tele Kilar was available from 1966 to
1979. So when version 2 entered
production, version 1 ceased production.
The manufacturer’s code name for
this version was PANSO and Pont reports that the
serial number prefix was 271, which is confirmed in the case of
the lens that I have.
This version has an all-black finish.
The camera mount
system base that I have seen consists of the WE
base, which is confirmed by Pont.
The second version of the PTK retains the
two focussing mechanisms of the first version:
This version has a tripod socket on
the lens, with both ¼" and 3/8"
sockets, as in Mk I, but it no longer rotates, so
any levelling or other adjustments can only be made
on the tripod. For the square format, this
is not a significant problem, but if the lens is
to be used on a non-square format, such as 6×7 or
the so-called “645”, this is an
inconvenience. The 645 format was of course
not on the market when the Pan-Tele Kilar was
designed and during most of the years that it was
marketed. For 35mm cameras, there was space
on the lens mount adapter for a rotating tripod
platform, and some mounts did have this feature.
- The helical focussing, as in the lenses
from most manufacturers. In the case of
the Pan-Tele Kilar, this is effected by
rotating the front section of the lens barrel.
- The rectilinear focussing
controlled by either of the two side wheels,
onto which a now shorter lever can be
wheels are much smaller than on the first
version of the lens.
Version 2 focusses closer than Version
1. (See data below) Focussing
distances, exposure compensation factors and image
ratio are recorded on the focussing ring of the
lens, in the style seen on the Makro Kilar (see here). The
helical focussing ring locks, or clicks, in the
infinity position, which prevents it from being
turned inadvertently when using the rectilinear
Its WE base mount includes a slot for a
filter, which is not present on the AN mount on
Version 1 of the lens.
The version 2 Pan-Tele Kilar that I have
came without the original wooden box. The
overall diameter if the main section of the barrel
is slightly smaller than in the first version, so
the lens fits comfortably in the box in which
version 1 was supplied, with a little bit of spare
space at each side, plus the usual space at the
back end for a mount for a 35mm camera.
Unexpectedly, the lens name ring has the
legend “Kilfitt München”, as well as “Pan – Tele –
Kilar” (all in white lettering).
Pont states that version 3 of the
Pan-Tele Kilar was available from approximately 1966 and
until approximately 1977. This version was thus
available at the same time as version 2, over most of
the years that version 2 was available, as an
alternative form of the Pan-Tele Kilar.
The underside of Pan-Tele Kilar
Versions 1 – III
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manufacturer’s code name for this version was PANO
and Pont reports that the serial number prefix was
also 271 with this version, which is confirmed
in the case of the lens that I have.
Like version 2, version 3 is all in
black. As with Version 2, the focussing distances,
exposure compensation factors and image ratio
are recorded on the focussing ring of the lens,
in the style seen on the Makro Kilar (see here).
The camera mount system base that I
have seen consists of the WE base, which is
confirmed by Pont. It is
clear that Kilfitt/Zoomar had three aims in
producing this version of the Pan-Tele Kilar:
These aims were not achieved without
a negative impact on some features of the lens.
- to reduce the overall size
- to reduce the weight
- to reduce the cost.
The third version of the Pan-Tele Kilar
abandons the rectilinear focussing, along with the
associated focussing wheels and focussing lever.
Focussing is only achieved by rotating the
front section of the barrel. In spite of
this, the minimum focussing distance is better
than in Version 1, although not as good as in
Version 2, the Version 3 Pan-Tele Kilar has a WE
base mount that includes a slot for a filter.
Version 3 loses the
very useful tripod socket, something that is
in fact virtually essential with such a heavy
lens. Just mounting a camera with this
lens on it onto a tripod is likely to put a
considerable strain on the camera tripod
socket and/or on the camera lens mount.
This makes the use of a lens cradle virtually
essential. See here.
Pont states (p. 62) that the third
version of the lens (“PANO”) could subsequently
be converted to the second version
(“PANSO”) by means of a modification for
which the code word was
(“PAUM”). I guess that this was a
German abbreviation for “PANO-PANSO Umbau”
(“PANO-PANSO conversion”, “PANO-PANSO
We realise that when the Pan-Tele-Kilar
Version 3 is mounted on a 35mm camera, the
extra length of the camera mount adapter
allows space for a tripod mount platform on
the adapter. However, on this website
our main “focus” (!) is on the use of lenses
on the Pentacon Six medium format camera.
The Pan-Tele Kilar Mk III with a mount for a
35mm camera, in this instance, M42.
We note the presence of a tripod platform,
although it does not rotate and it is further
back on the lens than would be desirable in
order to obtain good balance.
It has the usual Kilfitt two tripod screw
sockets, for ¼" and 3/8".
The adapter also has a further slot that could
take a second filter.
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The three versions of the
Pan-Tele Kilar, each at their
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Here are some key statistics on the
three versions of the Pan-Tele Kilar:
weight according to Pont
length with Pentacon Six mount and Kilfitt
front and rear caps
barrel diameter by my measurements,
not including focussing rings or lever,
nor the tripod mount platform, where
The same Kilfitt front lens cap fits
the front of all three versions of the
this is the rotating ring
that holds the tripod mount
and its locking wheel
1 The difference here may merely be
due to the thickness of the front cap.
The Cases in
which Pan-Tele Kilar lenses were
left: Case for the 1st Version (“PANTE”);
on the right: Case for the 3rd Version
difference in size is clear.
information on the sample picture
on the right here
Pentacon Six with Fuji
PRO160NS. Metering with
Pentacon Six TTL prism
Pan-Tele Kilar Version 3 (“PANO”)
Closest focus 1/250 f/8 hand-held
A smaller aperture would have been
desirable in order to achieve
greater depth of focus.
on the image opens a larger
taken with Pan-Tele Kilar Version
For information on using the Pan-Tele
Kilar with the Kilfitt Multi-Kilar lens converter, and
results obtained with this combination, see here.
For the results obtained with the Kilfitt
150mm Tele-Kilar used with the Kilfitt Multi-Kilar
variable converter at the 2× setting, see here.
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© TRA January 2022