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Pentacon Super
Old 01-19-2019   #1
hilltime
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Pentacon Super

I have just acquired one of the all-time classics on my bucket list of collectibles, a Pentacon Super. Even though it didn't come with the usually mated Carl Zeiss 55/1.4 Pancolar, I will still have the chance possibly to find one and hopefully not have to mortgage the farm to buy it!

I'm usually pretty good figuring out the many different classics I own, but there just isn't a lot of info about this camera which seems to have survived, the 50+ years it's been around. I will have to assume it is because not many were ever produced and it's reputation of not being extremely reliable might have preceded it because of the other disasters made by Pentacon. The meter prism has three dots by the battery compartment, a green,red, and yellow. I will assume the red turns the meter off, the green on, but what about the yellow? Also on the bottom left of the camera there is a knob with the #'s 2,4,6,8,and 10. Maybe a self timer of some sort or a n exposure setting for a motor drive?

I'm sure finding an original manual is next to impossible, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this massive German tank? Who's the expert out there on this forum? I'd appreciate any info, feedback, comments anyone may have or you may PM me if you would like.
Regards,
Gary
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Old 01-19-2019   #2
xayraa33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilltime View Post
I have just acquired one of the all-time classics on my bucket list of collectibles, a Pentacon Super. Even though it didn't come with the usually mated Carl Zeiss 55/1.4 Pancolar, I will still have the chance possibly to find one and hopefully not have to mortgage the farm to buy it!

I'm usually pretty good figuring out the many different classics I own, but there just isn't a lot of info about this camera which seems to have survived, the 50+ years it's been around. I will have to assume it is because not many were ever produced and it's reputation of not being extremely reliable might have preceded it because of the other disasters made by Pentacon. The meter prism has three dots by the battery compartment, a green,red, and yellow. I will assume the red turns the meter off, the green on, but what about the yellow? Also on the bottom left of the camera there is a knob with the #'s 2,4,6,8,and 10. Maybe a self timer of some sort or a n exposure setting for a motor drive?

I'm sure finding an original manual is next to impossible, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this massive German tank? Who's the expert out there on this forum? I'd appreciate any info, feedback, comments anyone may have or you may PM me if you would like.
Regards,
Gary
This was the camera that the USSR cosmonauts took with them to supposed space.
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Old 01-19-2019   #3
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I wonder what other "disasters made by Pentacon" you may be referring to?

There is some information here: https://www.photo.net/discuss/thread...uction.413263/
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Old 01-19-2019   #4
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I am the owner of a few Praktinas, a FX and two IIA’s. They are very nice and innovative cameras. I am thinking the remainder of the Prakticas from the 60’s are not terribly reliable from all I have read. Evidently the Super was designed to fill the void of the Praktinas which had been discontinued. I’m thinking this camera was probably Pentacon’s last hurrah, before the German camera industry folded in competition to all the Japanese manufacturers. Leica of course was the one exception, if you wanted to pay the freight!
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Old 01-19-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilltime View Post
I am the owner of a few Praktinas, a FX and two IIA’s. They are very nice and innovative cameras. I am thinking the remainder of the Prakticas from the 60’s are not terribly reliable from all I have read. Evidently the Super was designed to fill the void of the Praktinas which had been discontinued. I’m thinking this camera was probably Pentacon’s last hurrah, before the German camera industry folded in competition to all the Japanese manufacturers. Leica of course was the one exception, if you wanted to pay the freight!
The Pentacon Super was only made from 1969 to 72 as a primo camera and Prakticas continued to be made till 1990 in East Germany.

The 1960s Prakticas with the cloth shutter, like the Nova were very shoddily made, but the L series from 1970 on wards, with their vertical running metal bladed shutter were very reliable for budget SLRs.
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Old 01-19-2019   #6
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Let us know how you like it and how it works out in use. I've always been curious about that SLR. I own a Praktina, and I like it. My experience with Praktina has been a little mixed in the past however. I have not found the bodies particularly reliable - not exactly horrible, but a Praktina is not a camera I'd take out for must have shots. Praktina lenses, like most German lenses, are another story however - they are very good to superb - that make it worth while.
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Old 01-19-2019   #7
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...and I have a couple of Pentinas. Now there is a camera that's a little different!
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Old 01-19-2019   #8
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What an amazing camera! Makes me want to get one now

As far as that yellow dot goes, might it be a battery check?
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Old 01-19-2019   #9
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I bought an L series Praktica, an LLC, new in 1973. It still works fine, apart from a dead meter. I've had little to do with the 1960s Nova types, but I have used a IV, a FX3, and an FX. These older cameras (1950s) needed a little care to have them working, but that's the case with any camera from the 1950s, whoever made it.
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Old 01-19-2019   #10
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The IV and V series Prakticas weren't so bad really. Though I agree the cloth shutter models did not improve as the 1960s progressed. In terms of German makers, they may not do 35mm, but people often seem to remember Leica but forget Linhof, who still, somehow, continue to make outstanding quality medium and large format cameras today.
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Old 01-20-2019   #11
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Thank you for all who have commented. Vince, I believe you are correct with the yellow dot being a battery check. It throws the meter needle immediately to the top which I am assuming means the battery is good. From very early examination, I am finding the meter working and accurate compared to a few hand held vintage meters I have. A real bonus with this camera if it continues. I am using the only PX625 which I have and of course it is an alkaline cell of 1.47v at the moment. Strangely the higher voltage doesn't seem to affect it's accuracy as I know the mercury cells were 1.35v.

David, I agree about the Praktinas. The bodies can be a bit iffy and I still haven't worked out some shutter issues with a couple even though Brett sent me a very detailed course of procedure on how to get into these and hopefully making them work better. I dare not get into them too deeply as my repair skills are questionable. But the lenses!!! I have somehow accumulated a vast amount of Praktina Mt lenses with my #1 being a Carl Zeiss 75/1.5 Biotar which I had recently CLA'd and it is now smooth and silky. What a piece of glass.

Now I am faced with the Pentacon Super using M42's. I don't think I'll be delving so deeply into getting as many optics as I have for the Praktinas and also my first collection of Exakta which I started 27 yrs. ago. I still have a hard time resisting that mount as I recently got a mint version Kilfitt 40/2.8 Macro from the Captain Jack collection now being sold.
Thank God I don't have a Practica fetish but then again there is still the Contax SLR's!!!
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Old 01-20-2019   #12
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Here is the baby, TANK!
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File Type: jpg IMG_4884.jpg (29.7 KB, 64 views)
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Old 01-20-2019   #13
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Love it. So what is the lens you have on there?
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Old 01-20-2019   #14
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It's a Pentacon Electric 50/1.8. I have read it is a later version of the Meyer Oreston 50/1.8 and in one reference which I found it was said the Oreston was the later version of the Meyer Domiron 50/2 which I have in Exakta mount. I bought the Domiron many years ago when Exakta lenses were practically being given away, and now a lot of these Meyer lenses are selling for crazy prices. I did have a couple Meyer Trioplans which I bought for less than $75 and sold for over $500 each. It was never my favorite lens but evidently "bokeh" was important.

I do have an array of M42 mt Japanese lenses to keep me going. Mostly Pentax in all focal lengths, but there is just something bothersome to me about using German/Japanese, Japanese/German products together. Kinda crazy I know as Pentax made some of the best optics of the time period.
Oh well, I will no doubt make the exception!
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Old 01-24-2019   #15
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Anyone have an original manual for this Pentacon Super?

Haven't quite been able to figure out the self-timer on the bottom.

Regards,
Gary Hill
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Old 01-24-2019   #16
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How’s your German?

http://zeissikonveb.de/start/kameras...n%20super.html
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Old 01-24-2019   #17
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I just found this online - you may want to contact them to see if they still actually have it:

http://www.oldtimercameras.com/jesso...ModelPage=true
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Old 01-25-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilltime View Post
Anyone have an original manual for this Pentacon Super?

Haven't quite been able to figure out the self-timer on the bottom.

Regards,
Gary Hill
Hi Gary
The self-timer (and long exposure setting) works like this:
Cock the shutter (= advance the film), set the shutter speed (1s to 1/2000) and aperture. Wind up the key incorporated in the long exposure dial at the bottom of the camera. Set that dial to V. Press the shutter button, and after 12 seconds you will have taken a picture.

In the same manner you can make pictures using long exposures, 2 to 10 seconds, with or without extra self-timer.
Advance the film, set the shutter speed to B, and choose your aperture. Wind the key at the bottom, choose one of the green numbers for the number of seconds you want to expose. Push the shutter button when you want the exposure to begin.
If you want the self-timer to run before you start the long exposure (this setting will give 6 seconds maximum exposure) advance the film, put the shutter speed on B, wind the self-timer key, choose on of the white numbers. After you push the shutter button the self-timer will run for 12 seconds and then the long exposure (2 to 6 seconds) will start.
Mind you: you cannot turn the bottom dial unless you wound up the mechanism.
It is a bit like how the Exakta Varex works.
Cheers Jan
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Old 01-25-2019   #19
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Does the Super have any form of mirror lock up? M42 single lens reflexes with MLU are few and far between—I know of only three other types.
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Old 01-25-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Does the Super have any form of mirror lock up?
Here
is nothing mentioned...

(see the first link Vince Lupo posted above)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
M42 single lens reflexes with MLU are few and far between—I know of only three other types.
Yashica, Yashica and ... again Yashica I guess?
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Old 01-25-2019   #21
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Pentax Spotmatic with MLU......https://retinarescue.com/spotmaticmlu.html
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Old 01-25-2019   #22
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Thank for all who chimed in.

Vince, German is not my forte as I took 3 yrs of French in HS but can't speak a damn word. I have sent for the reprint of the manual.

jajong: Thank you for the detailed explanation of self-timer and long exposure operation. That's what I was looking for. Should have realized this worked like the Exaktas, although I never really did use that right hand knob on all the models I had.

Bret: No mirror lock up that I can find..

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-26-2019   #23
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Here
https://www.dresdner-kameras.de/pent...con_super.html
some additional information —— particularly there are several lenses shown with their special open-aperture-measurement pin.
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Old 01-28-2019   #24
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Wow, Sumarongi. Thank you for that link. Very comprehensive in illustrating the whole package available. Like to find that 75mm/F1.4 Pancolar under a rock, somewhere!
Regards for the interest,
Gary Hill
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Old 01-28-2019   #25
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You might want to email my friend Trevor. He is known as "Mr. Pentacon Six" but he also has 35mm Pentacons. If you have any questions...........

www.pentaconsix.com
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Old 05-03-2019   #26
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Hi Jan,
I have been experimenting with this self-timer mechanism and attempted to follow your instructions. I have cocked the shutter and set speed to 1 sec. Then I have tried to wind the key but it appears to already be wound or it doesn't advance more. The dial seems stuck on 10, and it will not move to reset to V. I am thinking the mechanism maybe be jammed and is stuck. Any thoughts on this as I do not want to force. When shutter is tripped, the 1 sec works but no self-timer?

Regards,
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Old 05-04-2019   #27
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Does the shutter fire normally?
Edit: if the dial is set to one of the long exposure times, try setting the shutter to B and fire it to let it "clear".
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