Film: 120/medium format
Format/Frame: 6 x 6 cm

If you have a rather documentary style of shooting and either don’t have the money to buy a Mamiya 6 or Mamiya 7 or don´t like rangefinders or TLRs like for example, me, you will love the Pentacon Six.

—Ludwig Hagelstein

Read Emulive’s full review of the Pentacon Six HERE

My Insights on the Pentacon Six TL

I think it’s safe to say that I am in the autumn years of my life, and that being the case, at some point in these years, I’ll likely start the process of decluttering/downsizing my material possessions including my collection of cameras. And so, if I had to guess, my Pentacon Six (P6) will likely be the last camera I surrender, even as I take my last breaths.

One of the school’s photography instructors (now retired) had a P6 sitting in his office and upon first seeing it, I knew there would be an all-out effort on my part to find one for myself. So sure that it would happen, I purchased a 50mm (wide-angle) lens before I ever acquired a P6 body.

There’s so much I like about this camera—the lens offerings, the viewfinder options, and just the overall look of this camera system, and it was made in East Germany! Of course, it does have its limitations too, but nothing I can’t look past. Most notable in the eyes of some camera snobs is that unlike some other high-end medium format cameras, this one does not have a detachable film magazine that allows one to switch film types mid-roll (think Hasselblad or Mamiya). Further, some models (mine included) have a dodgy and somewhat unpredictable film advance mechanism (see the review link above) that might have some P6 users offering up prayers, incense, and other offerings in the way that ceramicist do before a kiln firing. Yet, these shortcomings do not dilute my absolute love for the P6.

I’m now on my second body after dropping my first P6 (in dramatic fashion) from an unzipped camera bag as I was throwing it over my shoulder… everyone’s done that at least once, right?

Did I say I love this camera?