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Apparently East Germans were really into macro-photography because there is an extensive array of close up accessories. There are two different sets of extension tubes, a bellows and several miscellaneous accessories.

{ Praktisix macroset} { Praktisix on bellows}

Manual Extension Tubes

There is a set of manual extension tubes is without plungers for diaphragm automation that were probably the first set issued. The earliest sets were packaged in a gray box, later issues were packaged in standard Pentacon blue white boxes. The set consisted of the A tube with the camera flange (9mm) and a tube with the lens bayonet (9mm). This meant the minimum extension is 18mm. There are also Tube I (8mm) Tube II (16mm) and Tube III (32mm). The tubes are unfinished aluminum on the outside and black paint inside and are unmarked.

Comments: The table for these extension tubes can be found in the Close up Manual.

{Praktisix Manual Extension Tubes}

Automatic Extension Tubes

The extension tubes with the plungers for diaphragm automation were always packaged in the Pentacon blue and white box. Initial production was in unfinished aluminum with a black finish inside but most were black anodized aluminum inside and out. The tubes were the following: Tube I (15mm), Tube II (22.5mm) Tube III (30mm) and Tube IV (60mm). The 10mm tube was available separately. The original version of the 10mm tube had a bayonet ring just like the other tubes later this was changed to a friction fit. The documentation states, this tube is not intended to be used in conjunction with the others, merely, to complete the available image scale ratios. It is interesting to note that the manual set and the automatic set had different lengths.

Comments: The table for these extension tubes can be found in the Close up Manual.

{Praktisix automatic extension tubes} {earlyPraktisix automatic extension tubes} {Praktisix automatic extension tubes}


The bellows is two large round rings finished in black crinkle on a chrome bar with a paper octagonal bellows. The lens end has bayonet adapter and a screw contact for the double cable release to allow diaphragm automation. The extension is from 20mm to 90mm. The only markings are the Pentacon tower and the extension markings on the bar. It was furnished in a huge blue and white box marked Pentacon

Comments: The table for the bellows can be found in the Close up manual.

{Praktisix bellows} {Praktisix bellows front} {Praktisix bellows side}
{Praktisix bellows rear}

Miscellaneous Macro Accessories

There are several accessories that can be used with either set of extension tubes or the bellows. These include a double cable release, a lens reversing ring and the special extension ring Z. The double cable release is unmarked and made of aluminum and black plastic with two (2) fabric covered cable releases. The reversing tube is shiny aluminum with the lens bayonet on one end and threaded with a male 58mm filter thread on the other end. The special extension ring Z (the literature always calls this ring Z) provides a socket to allow the cable release to close the diaphragm on the lens when reversed or used on the manual extension tubes.

{Double cable release} {reversing ring} {special ring}

Macro Focusing Stages

There were 2 focusing devices a simple slide and a micrometer adjusted focusing stage
{Praktisix Stage} {Praktisix Slide}

Sheet/Plate Film Adapter

Last and possibly least is one of the strangest accessories I have ever heard of. It is perhaps the most unique accessory in the world for a 6X6 camera. For some reason, VEB Pentacon decreed that there was a need for an inter-changeable pressure plate to allow the use of 6.5 X 9 cm sheet film or a glass plate. The Praktisix manual says a glass plate but the accessory manual says sheet film. The manual notes that the lenses will not focus to infinity with this installed and the use of an f-stop higher than four (4) is mandatory. It is hard to conceive of anyone wanting an accessory that converts your camera to a single shot camera that must be loaded and unloaded in the dark and does not focus properly. However with typical communist flair they continued to make this accessory until production ceased.

{wrapped pressure plate} {pressure plate}

Camera Strap

They also produced one of the worst camera straps that I have ever seen. It is a 3/8 inch wide strip of black leather and when you use it cuts into your shoulder.I should also note that they have what is probably the worst job of tanning since the stone age. I have never seen one that was not cracked, even the new ones. It is not at all common, yet there is no other source for the clips to fit on the camera's lugs.

 Praktisix Strap

© Nathan Dayton 2000