Pentacon Six Mount Cameras
by TRA

A Lens bracket for long lenses

The Pentacon Six can be hand held or tripod mounted.  Each has its advantages and uses:

  • General photography, tourism, family shots, etc.
  • Dynamic and spontaneous picture-taking
  • Use with 120mm, standard (80mm) lens and shorter lenses (65 – 30mm)
  • Shutter speeds of 1/125 and above (faster for more powerful lenses)
  • Macro photography
  • Studio portraits
  • Other formal portraits (for instance, the formal couple, group and family shots at a wedding)
  • Telephoto photography (recommended from 250mm, possibly 180mm, although some users can get sharp shots hand-held)
  • Architectural shots using shift, tilt or shift & tilt lenses
  • Product shots (“table-top”), especially when using a tilt lens to increase the plane of sharp focus
For tripod use with lenses up to about 150mm (depending on the lens manufacturer), the camera is mounted on the tripod.
Bigger, heavier and longer lenses, starting with the 180mm Carl Zeiss Sonnar, have their own tripod mount, and so it is the lens that should be attached to the tripod, and the camera to the lens.

Some users have experienced problems with some tripods or tripod-head quick-release plates, where the small surface area in contact with the lens tripod mount can make it difficult to prevent the lens swivelling on the tripod or QR plate.

Here are some suggested solutions.

1)  Glue a suitable piece of patterned rubber to the top of the quick-release plate.  This will ensure a better grip and probably solve the problem.  You can see the sort of rubber that I have in mind on the flash grip here.

2)  Some people have modified the tripod mount plate on the bottom of the 180mm and 300mm lenses by permanently mounting a modified plate with a screw or screws and/or a permanent adhesive.  This is fine if you have no intention of selling the lens, or if you feel that the modification is an enhancement that will not reduce the value of the lens in the event that you subsequently decide to sell it.
This solution is not possible with the camera, as it will prevent the case being fitted to it.

3)  For a given combination of the camera and a particular lens (one of the Sonnars, for instance) it would be possible to have a bar made that will screw into both the base of the camera and the tripod mount socket on the lens, with no modification to the camera or the lens.  There is usually a height difference between the base of the camera and the base of the tripod mount socket on most lenses, so one end of the bar would need to have a block fitted to it to get the height right for the lens.

Here, a custom-made quick-release plate has been mounted to the Tair 300mm lens.
It is not in fact attached to the camera, but it would not be difficult to make a hole in the bar at the correct distance,
to enable it to be screwed to the camera’s tripod mount, also

The height difference between the base of the lens tripod mount and the camera tripod mount can be seen in this picture.
It would not be difficult to bridge the gap in this case by using a standard camera case retaining screw with a socket on its underside.

The underside of this bar can have a wide enough surface to take a quick-release plate, or can be designed like the bar shown above and in my tripod report (here), to go straight onto the Arca-Swiss (or other brand) head.

4)  For the camera only, I would suggest making a base plate like the ones that I describe for holding a flash bracket.  See the links starting here.
Any of these has a much wider surface area to which a quick-release plate should fit firmly without any risk of rotation.  Again, the under-side of the base plate or the top of the quick-release plate can have a suitable piece of rubber glued to it to improve the grip.

To see a cradle for supporting long lenses that don’t have their own tripod socket, click here.

To go back to the beginning of the lens tests, click below and then choose the focal length that you want to read about.
Back to beginning of lens tests

To choose other options, click below.

© TRA May 2009, November 2010