The Pentacon Six System
by TRA

An interview with Mr Pentacon Six

Someone has called you “Mr Pentacon-Six”.  You are an acknowledged expert on the Pentacon-Six.  Why did you choose this camera?
I have pretty much told the story already on the website, see here. Essentially, in the Pentacon Six I found the combination of high quality and affordability.

Why did you set up the website?
After I did some lens tests and shared them with a photographic contact in Canada, he suggested that I should put the results on a website.  So the site started with the lenses and expanded out from there to the cameras themselves, the accessories, etc.

Why don’t you go digital?
Sometimes people send me digital images via e-mail.  This is a great way of sharing pictures fast and I love it.  I recently made a birthday card for someone, and wanted to use one of the pictures that they had e-mailed me.  I soon discovered that the resolution just was not there.  The picture could not be blown up to A5 size.  At anything bigger than about 3 inches (7½ cm) square, the quality was awful.  So I see a place for digital images and they bring a lot of people a lot of fun.  But for even modest-sized prints, the quality is still not yet there, unless one is prepared to invest a minimum of a couple of thousand pounds (€3,000, US$4,000), in my opinion.
 – See this page on my website.

What do you sell?
I don’t sell anything, although I am considering beginning to thin out my camera and lens collection a little, so at some future point I may offer some items for sale.

Who pays for this website?
I do.  It really is a “labour of love”!

How do you manage to get so many visitors to your website?
I don’t advertise the website anywhere, but it is clear that each week hundreds of people consult it for information, and sometimes I see people recommend it.  A few other websites give links to mine.

What is the most frequently-asked question?
Now that I have a “Frequently Asked Questions” section, there are less questions on how the metering prism works or what battery it uses.  But I do still get asked for 

advice on what to buy, whether a camera is faulty, and where to get it repaired, – although information on this is on the website – see here.

Where are you from?
I was born in England, but have lived and worked in many different countries in the course of my life, among them Peru, Germany, France and Spain.

What do you do for a living?
I have mostly worked as a teacher but also spent many years advising and inspecting for a Local Education Authority in England.  When my last employer got into financial difficulties, I volunteered to take early retirement.

Is the Pentacon-Six the most important thing in your life?
No.  Definitely not, although it has given me a lot of satisfaction and continues to do so – both as a well-engineered piece of equipment in itself, and because with it I am able to record important family events and beautiful images.  It’s difficult to produce a list, but the Pentacon-Six is perhaps the third most important thing in my life – although if I think about it long enough, I’m bound to come up with more than two other things that are more important than it!

The second most important thing in my life – and the most important people in the world for me – are my wife and family (and my wife understands when I say this!)

The absolutely most important thing in my life is having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  I say this within the context of the most profound respect for people of all faiths and of none.  I am a practising Christian, and this is what has moulded me more than any other influence in my life since my teenage years to be what I am today.  It affects the sort of person I am, within myself, in relation to the world and the environment, in relation to others, and – most importantly – in relation to God.

Do you have plans for further development of the website?
I always have plans; I just lack the time!  However, some projects are definitely under way – for instance, further lenses that have already been tested but not yet reported on.

“In action” in September 2010 with my favourite camera – a Pentacon Six TL that Tom Page re-covered in red leather for me earlier in the year.  Here I was in an old English churchyard, taking pictures of the wedding of two friends at which my wife and I were guests.  A photo backpack with other lenses, flash, etc, is beside me.


© TRA November 2005, September 2010