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Viewfinders


Three accessory viewfinders and four viewfinder accessories were available. The Pentacons had a small latch for the viewfinders, which necessitated a small rectangular hole in the bottom of the viewfinder, frame and this can be normally used to determine if the accessory was produced for the Praktisix or the Pentacon Six.


Folding Viewfinder


The folding Viewfinder Hood was supplied as standard with all cameras. It had a built in focusing magnifier. It also opened up to make a "Sports Finder" which was a frame for following movement.


{Front of Praktisix Hood (KW engraved )  } {Front of Praktisix Hood (KW painted)} {Front of Praktisix Hood (Pentacon)}
{Praktisix Hood with magnifier} {Praktisix Hood with sportsfinder open} {Front of Praktisix Hood (Pentacon)}

Pentaprism


The prism finder is chrome and black leatherette finished with a chrome button for the latch on each side. The viewing aperture has 2 adapters for accessories. There is a notch on the left with a thread and a bayonet. The prism does exist with the KW emblem on the leatherrette but the vast majority have Pentacon markings, which would date them after 1957. The very early ones have the KW logo and a "S" in a triangle with rounded corners logo on the bottom so perhaps they were designed by KW just before the name change. The meaning of the "S" logo is unknown. There were minimal changes in the prism over the production run. The logos were removed and black latch buttons were added. The prisms were supplied with metal covers for the bottom.


{front of Praktisix Prism} {top of Praktisix Prism} {rear }of Praktisix Prism

TTL Prism


The TTL Prism is a large rectangular unit with an uncoupled meter. The Pentacon tower logo is on the front. Interestingly enough, these meters do not have the square hole for the latch, which is built into the Pentacon Six TL. The final version had markings for ASA from 6 to 1600 (din 9-33), speeds from 1 to 1000 and f-stops from 2 to 32. The prism has two (2) small pins on the bottom back to be used as latches. On the back of the prism is a small button, which closes the eyepiece to prevent light from rear to affect the reading. The meter reads the area that is within the circle seen through the eyepiece. The switch is on when it points to the red dot. This meter continuously uses power when it is on so it is imperative that it be switched off when not in use. There are two ways to use the meter. Method 1: Set the aperture ring to the indicator opposite the numbers. Press the depth of field preview on the lens and rotate the black dial until the needle is centered. The shutter speed opposite the indicator can now be set on the camera. Method 2: Set the selected f-stop to the indicator and rotate the black dial until the needle is centered. The shutter speed opposite the indicator can now be set on the camera. The correct battery is a PX-13 mercury cell but you will find that many of the newer prisms are accurate with silver cells(a 625 works fine). However, most of the older prisms will require adjustment.


{Front of Praktisix ttl prism} {top of Praktisix ttl prism} {Side of Praktisix ttl prism}
{rear of Praktisix ttl prism}

Prism Accessories


>There were several accessories for the prisms. The accessories would fit either prism, however, on the TTL prism, you must remove the rubber eyepiece to use them. The eyepieces of the prisms had two different attachment methods built into them. The first was a notch on the left side and a screw. The second was a bayonet fitting. Some accessories used one and some the other.


Eyecups


There are two (2) styles of rubber eyecups, the earliest do not accept the eye piece diopter collection lens while the later ones do. There is a little block ring for an eye piece correction lens. The eyecup attaches to the bayonet.


{ Praktisix eyecup} {Praktisixeyecup}

Magnifier


There is a magnifying eyepiece (2.7 magnification) with diopter corrections. This device resembles a small tube with a rubber eyecup. It can be lifted out of the way on a hinge to allow full screen viewing. This device may double as a focusing telescope. It is finished in chrome. The magnifying eyepiece attaches to the bayonet and has a locking ring.


{Praktisix Magnifier} {Praktisix Magnifier open}

Right Angle Magnifier


The right angle magnifier is unmistakable; it is huge and finished in a gray textured paint with a rubber eyecup. It also has a diopter correction for those who wear glasses. The right angle finder attaches to the bayonet and has a locking ring.


{ Praktisix right angle magnifier} {top of Praktisix}

Accessory Shoe


The accessory shoe is relatively uncommon. They are all finished in black crinkle. The earliest had a little notch on each side near the top; the later models were straight sided. The accessory shoe attaches to the threaded adapter. The accessory shoe has a bayonet on the rear to allow the attachment of another accessory.


{early accessory shoe} {early accessory shoe} {prototype hot shoe}

Magnifying Viewfinder


The final viewing accessory is the Magnifying finder. This looks like a large black tube coming out of a chrome and leatherette box with a plastic eyecup. The base of this unit looks very much like the waist level finder. It has diopter adjustments and provides a magnification of 3.6X. The only markings are the Pentacon tower and diopter numbers.


{ Praktisix Magnifying finder}

Focusing Screens


There were seven (7) focusing screens produced. The cameras were supplied with a plain matte focusing screen. Because the cameras were supplied with the screen, when packaged this is one of the rarest accessories. There were four (4) focusing screens with grids or crosses. There was a focusing screen with a 10mm grid or a ground glass. The photomicrography screen had a ground glass background with a small clear circle with a cross. Two (2) focusing screens were available with engraved crosses with 5mm diversions marked on them. The differences were one was ground glass and one was clear. Two (2) focusing screens with focusing aids for general-purpose photography were produced. These were a ground glass screen with a split image range finder and a Fresnel lens with a circular microprism and a ground glass ring. The microprism is the only focusing screen made of plastic. The manual claims there is a different set of clips provided with this screen but they are always mounted with the standard clips.


{Front of Praktisix} {top of Praktisix} {Everready Case for Praktisix}
{Front of Praktisix} {top of Praktisix} {Everready Case for Praktisix}

Prism Cases


A case was produced for each of the prisms and the magnifying finder. The packaging was marked with a label that said which prism it had been made for. The case for the standard prism is different bacause it is vaguely triangular shaped. However, close inspection reveals no differences other than the label for the other cases. The original packaging was a wrapping of tissue paper with the label so it is almost unheard of to find one still packaged.


{Prism case} {wrapped Prism case} {standard Prism case}

© Nathan Dayton 2000