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LENSES


{Praktisix Lens set}

It is difficult to describe the precise markings on the lenses since the markings were different depending on the country that they were sent to. The earliest were marked "Carl Zeiss Jena". Many have the first quality symbol and many have DDR for Deutsche Demokratische Republik (the official name for East Germany). Lenses intended for the U.S. may be found marked "Aus Jena" or "Jena S" from about 1969 when Zeiss West Germany won a law suit in the U.S. Courts against Carl Zeiss Jena over who owned the trademark(s) for Carl Zeiss. The lenses intended for West Germany all were marked this way since the court case there preceded the introduction of the Praktisix. The serial numbers were assigned by some system known only to the East Germans. They may have been assigned annually or by lot or by intended destination or by all of these or none of these. Lenses can be found with 7 digits, 5 digits, and 4digits. One interesting fact is that 4 & 5 digit numbers are found on the last year of production.

Lens Finish Types

In order to help identify the age of the lenses I have broken them down into the four finish types that I have identified. These finishes are generic and a specific lens may have a slightly different finish.

{4 Biometar types}

Type 1

Unfinished with leatherette covered focusing ring and a glossy enamel identification ring with white filled engraving. The aperture and focusing scales are red and black filled engraving. The aluminum on these lenses is typically corroded. These lenses were produced from 1956 to 1963, approximately.

{Lens Finish Type 1 }

Type 2

Black enamel with a hard plastic focusing ring with raised ovals. The aperture-adjusting ring is aluminum with orange filled engraving. The aperture and focusing scales are red and white filled engraving. It is common to find these lenses with broken focusing rings. These lenses were produced from 1961 to 1963, approximately.

{FLens Finish Type 2 }

. Type 3

Black enamel with alternating aluminum bands on the aperture and focusing rings. The aperture-adjusting ring is aluminum with black filled engraving. The aperture and focusing scales are orange and white filled engraving. These lenses were produced from 1963 to 1967, approximately.

{Lens Finish Type 3}

Type 4

Totally black enamel (may be anodized) with white filled engraving. During the last few years of production these lenses were multi-coated and have the marking "MC" in red on the lenses. There is a very minor variaton on these lenses, on most the front of the focusing ring is bright aluminum but some have the finish totally in black. These lenses were produced from 1967 to 1978, and the MC from 1978 to 1990 ,approximately.

{Lens Finish Type 4}

50 mm f4 Zeiss Flektogon


I have seen this lens in lens finishes 1, 3 and 4 and in a multicoated version. It has a depth of field preview lever. Although you can occasionally find bad examples of this lens (perhaps made on Monday morning after a vacation) it is normally outstanding.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance:78°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 87.0mm
diameter:
lenses/groups: 7/4
Weight: 630gm
Diaphragm: Automatic
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 86mm
Typical serial no:


{Front of Praktisix} {50mm Flektogon}
{50mm Flektogon}

65 mm f2.8 Zeiss Flektogon


I have seen this lens in lens finish 1, 2 and 3. The 50mm apparently totally superceded it for some unknown reason. It is very light compared with the 50mm. It is a good lens.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance:
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups
Weight:
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 86mm
Typical serial no:

{65mm Flektogon} {65mm Flektogon}
{ zebra 65mm Flektogon} {zebra 65mm Flektogon} {zebra 65mm Flektogon}

80 mm f3.5 Meyer Primotar E


This lens was finished completely in polished aluminum. Apparently it was not very good and only available during the first year of production. Strangely this lens has an automatic diaphragm with a preset ring.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 54°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups 4/3
Weight: 250 gm
Diaphragm: automatic
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size:
Typical serial no:

{Meyer Primotar} {Meyer Primotar}
{Meyer Primotar}

80 mm f2.8 Zeiss Tessar


This lens is lens finish 1. It is marked Carl Zeiss Jena and has a Q1 logo. Apparently it was not very good and only available during the first year of production.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 54°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups 4/3
Weight: 230gm
Diaphragm: automatic
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size:
Typical serial no:

{Zeiss Tessar} {Zeiss Tessar}

80 mm f2.8 Zeiss Biometar


This lens is the standard lens for all models. It exists in all four lens finishes and in a multicoated version. It has a depth of field preview lever.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 54°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 49.6mm
diameter:
lenses/groups: 5/4
Weight: 280gm
Diaphragm: automatic
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 58mm
Typical serial no:

{Type 1 Biometar} {Type 2 Biometar}
{Type 3 Biometar} {Type 4 Biometar} {Lens drawing}

120 mm f2.8 Zeiss Biometar


I have seen this lens in lens finishes 3 and 4 and in a multicoated version. It has a depth of field preview lever.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 41°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 85.0 gm
diameter:
lenses/groups: 6/4
Weight: 500gm
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 67mm
Typical serial no:

{120 mm Zeiss Biometar} {120 mm Zeiss Biometar}
{Lens drawing}

180 mm f3.5Meyer Primotar


I have the Exacta Camera Company (U.S.) brochure for the Praktisix II and it is listed. It is listed as being automatic and selling for $99.50. Either there are 2 models of this lens or the brochure was wrong because the lens that I have is preset.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 26°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 153mm
diameter: 79mm
Weight: 900g
Diaphragm: preset
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 67mm
Typical serial no: 2828798

180 mm f2.8 Zeiss Sonnar


I have seen this lens in lens finishes 1,2,3 and 4 and in a multicoated version. It has a depth of field preview lever. The performance of this lens and the 300mm are outstanding and have they been made for other cameras. The very newest production of these lenses shows an interesting modification. An indexing arm has been added to transfer the aperture setting to the camera. This lens has a rotating collar with a tripod socket in the late production. VEB Pentacon made adapters for all of their camera lines and some of them used the indexing arm.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 26°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 118.0mm
diameter:
lenses/groups: 5/3
Weight: 1300gm
Diaphragm: automatic
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 86mm
Typical serial no:

{180 Zeiss Sonnar} {180 Zeiss Sonnar}
{Lens drawing}

240mm f4.0 Caspeco


I have the Exacta Camera Company (U.S.) brochure for the Praktisix II and it is listed. It is listed as being automatic, in short supply and selling for $150.

I need your help here. This is second hand information. I have never seen this lens.

Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance:
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups
Weight:
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size:
Typical serial no:

300mm f4Zeiss Sonnar


I have seen this lens in lens finishes 1,2,3 and 4 and in a multicoated version. It has a depth of field preview lever. This lens has a rotating collar with a tripod socket. This lens and the 180 Sonnar have identical features mechanically.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 16°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 200.0mm
diameter:
lenses/groups: 6/4
Weight: 1590gm
Diaphragm: automatic
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 86mm
Typical serial no:

{300 Zeiss Sonnar} {300 Zeiss Sonnar}
{Lens drawing}

300mm f4.5Meyer Telemegor


This was apparently the first 300mm for the Praktisix. The engraving on the only lens that I know of reads: "Telemegor 4.5/300 Meyer-Optik Gorlitz 2624367".

I need your help here. This is second hand information. I have never seen this lens.

Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance:
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups
Weight:
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size:
Typical serial no:

{side of Telemegor} {front of Telemegor}

300mm f4.0Meyer Orestegor/ 300mm f4.0Prakticar


I have also seen it called an Orestegon in non-factory literature. In any case, the Meyer Orestegor name disappeared with the Formation of VEB Pentacon and the lens became a Prakticar. This lens has a rotating collar with a tripod socket. I have only seen this lens in lens finish 4. This lens has an interchangeable camera adapter on the rear. There were adapters available for every East German lens mount. Even in East Germany this lens was uncommon with the 300mm Sonnar being far preferred. I owned one of these once and heartily agree that the Sonnar is better. The engraving on the only Meyer lens that I know of reads: "ORESTEGOR 4/300 MEYER-OPTIK GORLITZ 5067074



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 16°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 216.0mm
diameter:
lenses/groups: 5/4
Weight: 2040
Diaphragm: preset
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 95mm
Typical serial no:

{front of pentacon300} {side of Praktisix}
{Lens drawing} { Case and pentacon300}

500mm f5.6Meyer Orestegon/ 500mm f5.6Prakticar


The Meyer name disappeared with the formation of VEB Pentacon and the lens became a Prakticar. There is no information available to determine if the lens was improved other than multicoating. I have only seen this lens in lens finish 4 and in a multicoated version. This lens has a rotating collar with a tripod socket. This lens has the same interchangeable camera adapter as the 300mm on the rear.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 10°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 409mm
diameter:
lenses/groups 4/4
Weight: 3500gm
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: 118mm
Typical serial no:

{500mm Orestegon} {500mm Orestegon}
{Lens drawing}

1000 mm f5.6 Zeiss


Mirror I have seen this lens in three different finishes Black crinkle paint, Gray paint and green leatherette. The Black crinkle was made for the East German military. The gray was apparently late production and the green early production. The green is much better finished than the black or gray. This lens is huge about 16 inches around and 24 inches long. It dwarfs the Pentacon when it is attached. This lens has an interchangeable camera adapter on the back.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance: 5°
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length: 480.0mm
diameter:
lenses/groups 4 and 2 mirrors
Weight: 12000.0gm
Diaphragm: fixed
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Filter Size: Built in filter revolver
Typical serial no:

{1000mm Zeiss Mirror} {Lens drawing} {front of Zeiss mirror}
{rear of Zeiss mirror} {side of Zeiss mirror} {Zeiss mirror in box}

FILTERS


The Carl Zeiss Polarizing filter in 58mm was made specifically for the Biometar for the Pentacon-6. It is marked "M58P" and is interesting in that the filter itself is 62mm yet the threads are 58mm. The manufacturers marking will vary just like the lens markings. It came with a brown leather case as standard. All of the filters made in East Germany were made to a different standard than the rest of the world even the skylight/UV filter was different. An older German photographer told me that they were the standard filters developed before the war specifically for the pre-war Agfa color film which became the post war Orwo color.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance:
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups
Weight:
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Typical serial no:

{Praktisix polarizer}

Lens Adapters


These were made in East Germany to allow the use of Praktisix bayonet lenses on almost every camera line including M42 cameras They have no manufacturers markings at all on them. These can be found in lens finishes 3 & 4. They are semi-automatic with a little lever that must be cocked for each shot. There are also manual adapters made in the Soviet Union. They adapt the lenses to M42, Nikon and K mount and a Mamiya 645 adapter also exists.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance:
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups
Weight:
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Typical serial no:

{Praktisix to M42 Adapter} {Praktisix to M42 Adapter}

Lens Doublers


There were at least 2 different doublers made. One is labled Panagor and was made in Japan. The Soviets also made one and Cambridge Camera in New York lists one that may be the Soviet one relabled.



Technical Specifications

Angle of Acceptance:
Resoloution (l/mm):
Edge:
Center:
Dimensions:
length:
diameter:
lenses/groups
Weight:
Diaphragm:
Lens Mount: Praktisix Bayonet
Typical serial no:

{Praktisix doublers} {Panagor doubler}

© Nathan Dayton 2000