The Pentacon Six System
by TRA

A Support for Long Lenses

Users of the 250mm Jupiter or other long and heavy lenses that do not have a tripod socket (or have it in the wrong place for the centre of gravity when the camera is added to it) may be interested in the Manfrotto Telephoto Lens Support (Model No 293).  (Naturally, this accessory requires you to have a sturdy tripod to put it onto.)

Jupiter 250mm f/3.5 lens on the Pentacon Six,
using the Manfrotto Lens Support on a Pentacon tripod

This Lens Support is a sturdy and well-engineered item.  It incorporates the Manfrotto Tilt Head (Article 234RC).  The quick-release plate (“QR plate”) from this head is screwed into the tripod socket on the camera, the desired lens is mounted on the camera, and the QR plate is clipped onto the Tilt Head, with the lens resting on a V-shaped support at the other end of the bracket.  The Tilt Head enables you to raise or lower the front of the lens as required, so that it rests safely on the V-shaped support.

The bracket length is adjustable from 170 to 280mm, to enable it to be used with a wide range of lenses.  Once you have got the bracket to the right length, the lens is secured in place by a Velcro strap.  In choosing the best length for the bracket, it is necessary to bear in mind that the lens itself will change in length as it is focussed, so further adjustment may then be necessary.  Also, it is desirable that the V-shaped support and the Velcro strap do not impede the operation of parts that you need to rotate: the aperture and focus rings.

I did encounter one problem when mounting this Lens Support onto my Pentacon Six: the QR Plate Release Lever fouled the left-hand spool knob on the base of the camera.  For a moment it looked as if the Pentacon Six and this support were mutually incompatible, but by turning the Tilt Head about 45° to the left (anti-clockwise, when looking from above), the problem was easily solved.

The arrow shows the QR Plate Release Lever, which fouls the left-hand spool knob unless rotated as shown.
There are three ¼" and three 3/8" sockets on the base of the lens support, to enable the lens/camera combination to be mounted onto a tripod as near as possible to the centre of gravity.

Once everything is set up (which of course takes longer than just using a tripod on its own), you have a very sturdy support that avoids any strain on the camera lens mount, the tripod or the lens, and enables you to shoot comfortably, also using very slow speeds if required.

To return to the section on the Jupiter lens, click here.

To return to the section on tripods, click here.

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© TRA July 2010