|Pentacon Praktisix, 120 roll film SLR camera, c1957-62|
The Praktisix is a decidedly chunky East German made 6 x 6cm SLR. Designed to incorporate the benefits of an SLR with the extra definition afforded by a 120 sized negative. Later versions were available under the Pentacon Six name. These cameras are characterised by a weakness in the wind on mechanism. The wind on lever has a travel of 270deg, this requires gearing up the transport to enable sufficient film to be advanced when winding on. Owing to the stresses this imposes on the gears and their relative softness, they can be stripped quite easily. However the Praktisix will be very usable if you find a good one. Loading one is an art, get this aspect wrong and the camera will give all the appearances of of being defective, frame spacing being the most obvious apparent fault. Having said that the museum's present example (we are on our third...the first, serial No.27217 went missing in Slovakia, the second was a dog and the third seems to be a hybrid) does have a frame spacing problem, with each frame overlapping the previous one by 3mm, we solve this by adding an extra leader to the take up spool, effectively increasing the diameter of the spindle.
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