Pentacon Six Review (Pentacon Six TL Camera)

Pentacon Six Review

Here is a short Pentacon Six Review after getting myself a Pentacon Six TL on eBay!  Soon after the purchase I was buying P6 lenses and that lead to the next camera, the P6 lens mount ARAX-CM (a modified Kiev 88 camera)

Katie trying out Pentacon Six  on me

Model (Katie) trying my Pentacon Six TL camera!

My Film Photography

First – Contax 645

I started to get into film properly in the autumn of 2012. I decided to buy a Contax 645 medium format 6×4.5 film camera to obtain super shallow DOF using the Carl Zeiss 80mm f2 T lens. The original plan was to purchase a digital back until I saw the cost. I realised that the film look is more to my taste than the sterile digital look and it would save me adding aging textures to my photos to get the looked I desired.  After looking at more and more film photos on Flickr I decided within about 2 weeks of ordering the Contax that I already wanted more.

Next – 6×6 Film Love

The Contax had not even arrived I was starting to develop a love for the 6×6 square format of Hasselblads (and other brands).  The long late nights of research commenced once again. Back to the forums, Flickr, YouTube and then of course finally…eBay!

Katie SOOC in front of the Pentacon Six

Pentacon Six Ebay- Cheap!

I could not get over the Pentacon Six eBay prices.  So cheap compared to the Contax 645 I had just bought and the Digital D800/D700 I was used too.  It was about the same price as a spare film back for the Contax 645!  I had to get one to try.  I knew enough that there would be a lot of rubbish on eBay and some Pentacon Six overlap issues and the like so I bought a ‘mint’ condition one and hoped it worked OK.

Pentacon Six TL Arrives!

“Proper” film camera! – Arrival!

Arrival! When it arrived it felt and looked like a ‘proper’ film camera and not like the DSLR-like  Contax.  I loved the lack of electronics and the waist level finder.  It is both quite weighty and large but feels solid to hold.  The lens it came with was a standard Carl Zeiss Biometer 80mm/f2.8 which equates to around 50mm on a 35mm sensor.

Pentacon Six Film Loading / Test Roll

Test roll!  I had planned to lab develop my film and C41 processing was the cheapest so bought 10 rolls of Ilford XP2 Super C41 B&W film.  I had read many reviews on how to load film correctly so watched a YouTube video to remind myself as I did so.  I had also read that you can get 13 exposures from a 120 film so took that into account also and loaded the film with the arrow perhaps 2 inches before the arrow marker.  I’m a Model Photographer so tried the Pentacon Six first on a shoot with Katie near Reading.  Here are some samples:

Pentacon Six Flickr Portraits

Katie with the 6x6 Pentacon Six TL + Biotar 80/2.8
Katie with Pentacon Six
Katie also tried using the Pentacon Six to get a photo of me taking a photo of her with my Nikon D800!:
6x6 Me! :)  ..with Pentacon Six TL
I thought I had shot the entire roll so opened the camera film back to see it was not actually finished so closed it back up again.  As a result light got in (as you saw above) but also more so here:
Harriett with Pentacon Six

Pentacon Six Film Overlap

The overlapping also resulted in a few interesting images!
Harriett with Pentacon Six
I was keen to solve the overlap issue so spoke to an old camera shop in Liverpool that a Flickr friend recommended.  The guy on the phone suggested I tried taping 3-4inches of backing paper to start of each new roll before loading the film so the spool has more film wrapped around to ‘bite’ on.  I did so and had no further overlap problems.

Andra with Pentacon Six

Pentacon Six Lenses (P6 Lenses)

Over the next few months I bought more lenses.  See examples with each:

Pentacon Six TL + Carl Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f2.8 – for super shallow DOF:

Katie with Pentacon Six TL
Sarah with Pentacon Six TL + CZ Sonnar 180/2.8
Katie with CZ Sonnar 180/2.8 on Pentacon Six TL

Pentacon Six + Russian Mir 26b, 45mm f3.5 a wider view:

History brushed away..
Katie with Pentacon Six TL
Katie with Mir-26b on Pentacon Six

I kept buying lenses but also cameras and the next chapter in my Film Photography began.

Arrival of the 6×6 ARAX-CM (Kiev88) aka ‘Hasselbladski’!).

*ARAX-CM and Contax645  reviews (plus others) coming soon.
**Pentacon Six TL now for sale. It comes with a mint condition leather case and 80mm f2.8 Biometer lens (stuck open at f2.8).

I bought it like this and like to always shoot wide open so was great for my needs.

My Film Crew!

Pentacon Six Review Summary

I enjoy using the Pentacon Six TL camera and especially the P6 mount lenses but found buying the ARAX-CM (Kiev 88) killed it off a little.  The ARAX-CM has the same Pentacon Six mount (P6 lens mount) but has all the benefits of a Hasselblad styled camera design. The ARAX-CM became my go to camera for the next few years.

More Film Photography Articles

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!
  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit – HERE
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Nikon D800 Portraits

Nikon D800 Portraits

 

Nikon D800 is my primary digital camera for model photography (and weddings).  Here are a few sample Nikon D800 portraits from my Flickr feed.  For B&W I shoot using the D800 B&W in camera JPEG settings then resized and tagged in LR3.

Nikon D800 Portraits

Roxana SOOC
Roxana with CZ Planar 80/2 T
Gina with Arri Light
Gina & Samyang 85/1.4
Stacy with 50/1.2 AIS
Stacy & Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS
Katie, as shot
Katie with Rollei Planar 50/1.8
Jusztina
Justina with Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS
Andra
Andra & ARAX 80/2.8
Katie with Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS
Katie & Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS
Katie (v2)
Katie & Samyang 85/1.4 (Tagged for Samyang)
Farrah Gibson
Farrah & Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS
Andra Getting Ready
Andra & Samyang 85/1.4
Devon
Devon & Samyang 85/1.4
Emma
Emma & CZ Planar 80/2 T
Photo Shoot with Maria
Maria & Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS
Galyna SOOC
Galyna & Samyang 85/1.4
Sensual (2)
Devon & Lottie & CZ Planar 80/2 T
Agnieszka SOOC, ISO 6400, 1/20, f1.8 Handheld
Agnieszka & CZ Pancolar 80/1.8
Elka 6x6 Crop
Elka & CZ Pancolar 80/1.8

To book a model shoot see here for more details Model Photographer

6×6 Film Photography – ARAX-CM in India!

6×6 Film Photography – ARAX-CM in India!

 

I was out in India on a work trip and got some time at the weekend to go exploring with my cameras. I’d managed to fit my Nikon D800, a Nikon FM 35mm film camera and my favourite, a rebadged Russian Kiev88 (“ARAX-CM”) 6×6 medium format film camera into my hand luggage for the flight, with lenses. I soon realised I only wanted to shoot film. This post, “Part 1”, includes B&W 6×6 film photos taken.

It was my fourth visit to India so I was able to get around on my own and see the real street life. I picked up an auto on the side of the highway, agreed my fare then headed into Pune.

6×6 Film Photography

Truck filling up with water outside our hotel – Four Points Sheraton.

India on 6x6 Film!
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5. 77mm orange filter

My first stop was Pune railway station as there is always lots to see.

India's Railways (3)
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5. 77mm orange filter

India's Railways (2)
f5.6

India's Railways (1)

Next, onto MG Road. One of the main shopping areas.

India Street Food (1)
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5

India Street Food (2)
Afternoon Nap, India
India Street Life
Street shooting, India

All photos shot on Kodak TMAX 100 120 B&W film pushed to 800 in developing. Developed using Rodinal 1:100 stand developing for 1hr10 at 20 degrees.

Part 2: India, March 2013. Part 2 – 6×6 Colour Medium Format Film (not yet developed.. to follow)
Part 3: India, March 2013. Part 3 – 35mm B&W Film (not yet developed.. to follow)

More 6×6 Film Photography!

 

I use quite a few medium format cameras.  Here are a few more 6×6 cameras I use –

Model Photographer

Model Photographer

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Happy to travel and work as model photogapher across the Midlands; Leicester, Warwick, Leamington Spa, Northampton, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Experienced in photographing both first time models and internationally published agency models, both in the UK and throughout Europe including Hungary, Poland and the Ukraine.

As a photography studio based model photographer I work closely with each model in advance of a shoot to discuss clothes, hair and makeup, styling, accessories and to put any nerves at ease! Models then bring a selection of their clothes to the studio on the day of the photo shoot and we set to work. Models receive all photos taken sent electronically, whether digital or film, fot their Model Portfolio.

Model Photographer - Photo Shoot

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Wedding Photographer

Weddings – I like to offer couples the best of both film photography and digital photography for their big day. Happy to travel and cover weddings across the Midlands; Leicester, Warwick, Leamington Spa, Northampton, Birmingham and Wolverhampton aswell as further afield including Edinburgh, Budapest and the Ukraine.

Wedding Photographer - Raj&Manny Wedding

> Wedding Photographer – As a documentary photographer style, I like to work quietly as an observer in the background capturing the magic of the day without you noticing. I work with available light were possible for minimal disruption and flash for subtle creative lighting. I prefer to catch natural smiles and poses on the fly rather than lining up all the relatives for group shots. I like to take the couple aside briefly at some point during the day and revert to my model photography style, getting some fashionable natural looking yet posed shots for the album. Tailor a wedding photography package to suit your own needs and budget. Prices start from as low as £400.

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Wedding Photographer - Alyona&Robert Engagement Ukraine

> Wedding Cinematography – Freelance creative videographer. Can be hired to work as part of wedding/ event videography team. Equipment: Nikon D800, Nikon lenses, Manfrotto tripod, Konova Slider. Prices are job specific.

http://matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Leica-Wedding-Photographer-UK.html