The Pentacon Six System
by TRA

I’ve just finished my first film.  How do I re-wind it?

Q:  It’s great that you have loading instructions on your website, but how about unloading instructions?  I have a Pentacon, shot some film but now I do not know how to unload. Do I have to rewind it? What do I do?

A:  Thank you for your comment.  Unlike 35mm cameras, Medium Format cameras do not require you to rewind the film.  Just wind it off onto the take-up spool and send that off for processing.  Then transfer the spool that came with the film that you have just finished from the left-hand film chamber to the right-hand one, to receive your next film.

The advance lever locks after the 12th exposure, to remind you that you have finished the film (with 120 film).  Just underneath it, on the top edge of the camera, is a tiny lever (arrowed in these two photos) that you may not have noticed before.  Pull it backward – it won’t move far.  You can now advance the film advance lever.  Advance and fire about 4 times.  During the 4th advance, you will hear the film backing paper come off the feed spool, and you will feel the reduction in tension.  Continue winding the lever to the end of its swing, and then return it to its rest position with your thumb as usual.
If you have loaded 220 film, you wind once, which brings you to frame 13.  Continue taking pictures, and after the 24th picture the advance lever will lock again.  Once more pull the tiny lever towards you to unblock the advance lever, and wind and fire four times, as described for 120 film.

Now in at least the shadow of your body (or somewhere darker, if possible), open the back.  I do this sitting down, with the camera on my lap.  This gives me two hands for the camera back and the film.  Make sure that the film doesn’t unroll or loosen on the take-up spool. 
With the left hand on the film to prevent this, pull out the spool lug (the right-hand “foot” outside the camera) and twist it so that it stays open. 
Remove the film and seal it with the sticky piece of paper attached and put it out of bright light.  Then send it for processing.
Pull out and twist the left-hand spool “foot”.
Remove the empty spool and place it in the take-up position.
Return both “feet” to their rest positions.
Rotate the empty spool slightly until it and the lug seat correctly.
Close the back.

You will soon get used to doing this.

Enjoy the camera! 

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© TRA December 2005, November 2008