The Pentacon Six System
by TRA

Lens Data Summary

Novoflex Lenses

The Novoflex Medium Format fast-focus system
Image courtesy of Novoflex.

The German company Novoflex (at the time a West German company) marketed over many years at least two lenses in the Pentacon Six mount.  Both of these lenses incorporated the Novoflex Follow Focus system, a spring-loaded pistol grip that is squeezed to focus.  Here are the details (again, from Gillespie):

Lens name Max aperture
& focal length
(feet & inches)
(pounds &
Noflexar f/5.6 / 240 9' 3" 3 lb 6 oz
Tele-Noflexar f/5.6 / 500 38' 9" 5 lb 8 oz
However, the exact maximum aperture of the 500mm Tele-Noflexar was disputed.  The consequences of an investigation of this are here.

When I tried out one of these lenses many years ago, I did not find it easy to use, as it is a pre-set lens, so one has to open to maximum aperture for accurate focussing, and then
  • squeeze the trigger to focus
  • stop down the lens
  • fire the shutter.
Doing three things at once with only two hands was anything but easy!  It certainly did not speed up operation for me, compared with the standard Carl Zeiss Jena/Pentacon lenses (but I was not able to test it on a tripod, only hand-held, in a camera fair).

However, Novoflex made a point of stating that these lenses were designed to be used at maximum aperture, and in this case operation is indeed fast.
Over many years, sports, wildlife and celebrity photographers demonstrated the effectiveness of this system in obtaining sharp results from great distances.

The two Novoflex medium format lenses in the spring-loaded pistol grip focussing mount, here on a smart Novoflex display stand.

The PIGRIFF focussing unit with the 240mm Noflexar lens head

My thanks to the Novoflex company photographer for taking these superb product shots
and to Martin Grahl, Novoflex Sales Manager, for permission to reproduce them.

The PIGRIFF focussing unit with the 500mm Tele-Noflexar lens head

For more great pictures from Novoflex of their equipment, click here.

I believe that Novoflex also sold some of their bellows lenses in the Pentacon Six mount, namely the:

All three of these lenses were designed to give both infinity focus and macro focussing.

To go on to the review of the 240mm Noflexar, click below.
240mm Noflexar review

To go on to the review of the 500mm Tele-Noflexar, click below.
500mm Tele-Noflexar review

To go on to the next section, click below.
Next section (240mm Noflexar)

To go back to the beginning of the Lens Data section, click below and then choose the range of lenses that you want to read about.
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TRA May 2002, Latest revision, June 2018