The Pentacon Six System
by TRA
Lens Data Summary

Ukrainian shift & shift/tilt lenses with Pentacon Six mount

The Hartblei 45mm f/3.5 shift lens

In recent years two Ukrainian manufacturers have introduced shift and shift/tilt lens in the Pentacon Six mount.  There are also some shift and shift/tilt lenses from “Wiese”, a German firm based in Hamburg.  However, it appears that all of these lenses are re-branded Hartblei lenses.

Shift lenses

& lens name
Max aperture
& focal length
Elements / groups Closest focus
Max shift
Filter thread
Hartblei 45mm shift f/3.5 / 45 f/22 8 / 7 0.35 (1)
12 (2) 82 × 0.75 . 750
Arsat 55mm shift f/4.5 / 55 f/22 9 / 7 0.5 12 72 × 0.75 97.5 900
Hartblei 65mm shift f/3.5 / 65 f/22 6 / 5 0.5 10 (3) 72 × 0.75 . 610

(1)  The data source from which I obtained this information indicated a closest focus of 0.35m on the Hartblei 45mm shift (only) lens, the same as on their other two 45mm lenses.  However, the shift-only lens that I have has a minimum focussing distance of 0.5m.
(2) With this lens, some vignetting is likely to be observable on the full 6 × 6 format with shifts in excess of 10mm.  11mm & 12mm are marked in red to remind users of this.  The full 12mm of shift can be used for 6 × 4.5 format.
(3) With this lens, some vignetting is likely to be observable on the full 6 × 6 format with shifts in excess of 9mm.  10mm is marked in red to remind users of this.  The full 10mm of shift can be used for 6 × 4.5 format.

It is reported that the 45mm and 65mm Hartblei shift lenses use the optical elements of the Arsenal Mir-26B and Mir-38B, respectively.  Hartblei adds an excellent multi-coating that looks far superior to that on the original Arsenal lenses.

Arsenal in Kiev produce their own “Arsat” 55mm shift lens, which is one of the sharpest lenses available in the Pentacon Six mount.

Arsenal are now also producing 45mm & 65mm shift lenses, bearing their ARSAT brand name.  I do not know if these lenses are optically the same as the Hartblei shift lenses, but this is very probable.

All five lenses (the 45mm lenses from Hartblei and from Arsat, the 65mm lenses from Hartblei and Arsat, and the 55mm lens from Arsat only) are in mounts that rotate – so it is possible to shift down as well as up, sideways, or even in other diagonal directions if required.  In all the shift (and shift/tilt) lenses that I have personally handled so far, rotation is the full 360°, with click stops every 15°.

All the shift and shift/tilt lenses have a manual preset diaphragm.  The Hartblei PCS 45mm f/3.5 shift-only lens has détentes at half and full stops throughout its entire range all the way down to f/22.  Other shift and shift/tilt lenses that I have handled have détentes at half stops and full stops down to f/11, and then only at full stops to f/22.  The 55mm shift lens has a socket for a cable release.  Using a double cable release, it is possible to automate the aperture shut-down on this lens.

For more information on shift lenses, click here.

To see a report on two shift lenses and one shift-tilt lens from Wiese Fototechnik in Hamburg, click here.

Shift / Tilt lenses

Hartblei also advertised three shift & tilt lenses:

Lens name Max aperture
& focal length
Elements / groups Closest focus
Max shift
Filter thread
Diameter × Length
45mm shift/tilt (1) f/3.5 / 45 f/22 8 / 7 0.35 12 (2) 82 × 0.75 96 × 100 850
45mm Super-Rotator
shift/tilt (3)
f/3.5 / 45 f/22 8 / 7 0.35 12 (2) (4) 82 × 0.75 96 × 110 880
65mm shift/tilt (1) (5)
f/3.5 / 65 f/22 6 / 5 0.5 10 (6) 72 × 0.75 . .

(1) With this lens, it is possible to shift in any direction, and tilt downward only.
(2) With this lens, some vignetting is likely to be observable on the full 6 × 6 format with shifts in excess of 10mm.  11mm & 12mm are marked in red to remind users of this.  The full 12mm of shift can be used for 6 × 4.5 format.
(3) The Hartblei Super-Rotator allows completely independent rotation of the tilt and shift axes, so that you can shift in any direction and tilt in any direction to adjust the depth of field.
(4) There are other minor restrictions at full tilt, when shift against the tilt direction should be limited to 9mm.  In practice, this limitation is not likely to be significant.
(5) I have up to the present time not seen this lens.  Some sources believe that its development was a project that never reached realisation.
(6) With this lens (if it exists), some vignetting is likely to be observable on the full 6 × 6 format with shifts in excess of 9mm.  10mm is marked in red to remind users of this.  The full 10mm of shift can be used for 6 × 4.5 format.

Maximum tilt is reported to be 8º, which is fully within the normal range for tilt lenses.  For more information on tilt lenses, click here.

The three 45mm shift and shift/tilt lenses from Hartblei
From L to R: shift only, shift (in any direction) & tilt down, shift & tilt in any direction (“Super-Rotator”)
(Illustration from a Hartblei lens manual)

The above three lenses “in the flesh”:

At infinity focus.  The “wings” on the Tilt/Shift lens (middle) and the Super-Rotator (right) operate the aperture ring.

The same three lenses at closest focus.  We observe that for the shift-only lens (on the left) the closest focus is 0.5m (approximately 18 inches), whereas for the other two lenses it is closer, at 0.35m (approximately one foot, which is extremely close).
Shift-only lenses are generally used for architectural and landscape photography, for which the minimum focus of 0.5 metres is more than adequate.  Tilt lenses are often used for product photography, where the closer minimum focus of 0.35 metres will be appreciated.

The Super-Rotator has two rotate mechanisms: one to rotate the shift in any direction and the other to rotate the tilt in any direction.  The two mechanisms are completely independent of each other, thus providing the maximum flexibility that would be possible for this lens.

More information on these three Hartblei lenses is given below.

There is reported to be another source for shift and tilt lenses in the Pentacon Six mount – the Austrian firm of Atzmueller & Rendl Linz.  For details, return to the beginning of the lens data section and choose “Other lenses in the Pentacon Six mount”.

Hartblei 45mm Shift & Shift / Tilt lenses

As can be seen from the above, Hartblei offer (or have in the past offered) three different 45mm shift and shift/tilt lenses.

All of these lenses use the optical elements of the Arsenal 45mm f/3.5 Mir-26 wide-angle lens, more details of which can be seen here.  We look at each of these three lenses below.  However, the Mir-26 elements are mounted in three different lens barrels, all of which are designed and manufactured by Hartblei.

The potential optical quality of lenses manufactured in the former Soviet Union has a justifiably high reputation.  Unfortunately, the actual manufacture and assembly of the lens barrels was often shoddy, and there appeared to be zero quality control, so that lenses were sold that should have never got out the factory gate, since at the quality control stage, they should have been scrapped and thrown in the bin.

By contrast, the quality of the design and manufacture of the barrels of Hartblei lenses is superb, and it would appear that they also applied superior multi-coating to the Arsenal lens elements that they used.

In all three lenses, the optical elements are the same.  However, the coating applied by Hartblei appears to be different on the shift-only lens (on the left) from that on the other two lenses.
The middle lens here bears the name “Wiese Technoplan-T”.

All of these lenses (and all other Hartblei lenses that I have used) have super smooth focussing, a world away from the occasional gritty focussing sometimes encountered with lenses manufactured during the Soviet era in the USSR.

Hartblei appears to use abbreviations with the following meanings: MC = Multi-Coated; PC = Perspective Control  TS = Tilt-Shift.  “PCS” would appear to mean Perspective Control - Shift.

MC PCS Hartblei 3.5/45mm Shift lens

This is a shift-only lens, with no tilt possibilities.  I am familiar with two versions of this lens: the one bearing the Hartblei name, illustrated in the black-and-white picture above from a Hartblei lens instruction manual and also at the top of this page, and a lens that is also from Hartblei and has similar characteristics but that bears the Wiese name.  The Wiese version is described in more detail here.  Here we shall compare the Hartblei and Wiese versions.

The Hartblei 45mm shift-only lens (left), beside the equivalent Wiese lens.
Even though the Wiese lens almost certainly originated with Hartblei, the lens that here bears Hartblei's name is a significant improvement.
It's as though the "Wiese" lens were a "Mark I" version and the "Hartblei" lens an improved, "Mk II", version.

The Wiese-branded lens appears to have re-used components from the original Mir-26 lens barrel, or to have copied them unchanged, so, for instance, the bottoms of the numerals on the focussing ring are cut off by the ring behind it that contains the depth-of-field markings.  On the Hartblei-branded lens, all components of the barrel are new, as are the numerals.

From above, the similarities of the two lenses can be observed.  However, it appears that the Hartblei-branded lens may have a different or additional coating, to judge from the colours of the reflections.

Rear view, with both lenses in zero-shift position.  As with the three previous pictures, the Hartblei-branded lens is on the left.

The Hartblei PCS shift (only) lens as supplied, with the soft pouch that has been standard with most lenses from Kiev since about the year 2000, a standard Ukrainian rear cap and a spring-loaded front cap.

MC TS-PC Hartblei 3.5/45mm Shift/Tilt lens

This Hartblei lens offers shift in any direction, thanks to a rotating mount, plus tilt downwards only.  Of course, with a square format it is possible to turn the camera through 90 or 180 degrees, although operating it upside down is not easy and in this position use of a tripod becomes impossible (which is where the Super-Rotator comes in! – see below).  The same lens has been seen with a Wiese name ring.

This example of the tilt-shift lens bears a Wiese name ring,
but appears to be exactly like the Hartblei version in all other respects.  Wiese himself stated in his “KIEV Handbuch” that “his” lenses were the result of collaboration with Hartblei.  See here.


User’s-eye view, infinity focus, zero shift, zero tilt.  Lens rotation in the “default” position, with all index marks at the top.  Note the indication of rotation in degrees on the rearmost ring.

Fully shifted.  Note that the dot after “10” and the numeral “12” on the shift lens are in red, to remind users that some vignetting is to be expected at the image border opposite the shift if the full 6×6 format is being used.  There will be no vignetting on cameras that use the 6×4.5 format.

As indicated here (see “Requirement 2”), the most common shift direction is up, so here the lens has been rotated through 90° in order to achieve this.

Here the lens has been returned to its “default” position, with all index marks at the top.  Zero shift, zero tilt.

Here we have zero shift but full tilt down – the only tilt direction offered by this lens.  However, as indicated here, the most commonly-required tilt direction is indeed down, so that is not a problem.

In the image on the right, the lens has been set to its closest focus of 0.35m.

The Wiese version of the shift-tilt lens, beside the shift-only version (on the left).  Wiese seems to have changed the designations of his lenses on verious occasions and here we note that the name ring has been engraved “SHIFT” (why not “SHIFT-TILT”?) and “TECHNOPLAN-T2” but the numeral “2” has been blacked out (or not painted in the first place?).  Similar changes of designation have been seen on some other Wiese lenses.  See, for instance, here.  (Scroll down to “Different Wiese 45mm shift and tilt lenses.)


Rear view of the Hartblei/Wiese Tilt/shift lens, with zero tilt but full shift


Full shift, viewed from above.  Note that the lens rotation ring (observe the numerals that are marked with the degrees symbol) is behind the shift control ring but in front of the chrome-coloured tilt control rod or spindle, which is why the lens can shift in any direction, but can only tilt downwards.

MC TS-PC Hartblei 3.5/45mm Super-Rotator Shift/Tilt lens

This is Hartblei's top 45mm tilt/shift lens.  It incorporates two rotating mechanisms, one in front of the other, so that both shift and tilt can be independently controlled in any direction.  This lens was also available under the "Wiese" brand name, as can be seen here (scroll down to near the bottom of the page).

The Hartblei Super-Rotator, here shifted to the left

The same lens mounted on a Pentacon Six and fully shifted

The Super-Rotator mounted on a Pentacon Six and fully tilted down

You can see further information on the Super-Rotator and results of tests of it here (for shift only) and here (for tilt).

To go on to the next section, click below.

Next section (Ivanichek Petzvar)

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© TRA August 2007.  Latest revision: May 2016