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Pentona

 

The technical stuff:

Camera Type:- 35mm Compact Viewfinder 

Lens Type:- Meyer- Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 45mm  f3.5 - f22 

Shutter:- Priomat 3 speed +B 30,60,125

 

 

This is a very unusual piece made in the name of KW (Kamera Werke). I say in the name of because this is a relatively late model made by Pentacon, a complicated story which I still don't completely understand. What makes this stand out from the crowd is it's lens and shutter combination, not to mention it's rather strange loading and winding system. It is based on a design by Zeiss Ikon first produced in 1957 and uses a Meyer Optik Trioplan lens assembly mounted on a Priomat shutter, not a Compur or Pronto in sight. As for the loading that's something else. The back slides off in a similar way to the Braun Paxette, with a drop down film backplate but the film itself runs from right to left with a knob wind on the top left side of the camera.

 

The rewind is on the right at the bottom of the camera and the shutter is cocked by the toothed spindle inside so the shutter won't operate without film. All in all a very unusual arrangement but it works well. The removable back panel is mainly plastic, which makes the camera very light but this then gives it a rather cheap feel, and with that rather ostentatious viewfinder on the top it reminded me of one those Taiwan toys that pretends to be a camera. I bought it more from curiosity and intrigue than practicality, I wasn't expecting anything great in performance, after all it was not expensive. How wrong could I be? After a quick clean of the front and back lens elements I loaded a test roll and took it out alongside my Zorki 4 and a highly acclaimed Lumix digital, sorry for the language but there is a good reason for this. In the bluebell wood alongside the Zorki it fared very well if not slightly better in some cases but against the Lumix it raced away in front. I can honestly say that this little, seemingly insignificant, camera has produced some of the sharpest and clearest pictures I have ever taken. The slight vignetting was my fault, I found a UV filter which sort of fitted but it obviously obstructed the lens slightly so I won't use it again. Suffice to say that this camera has firmly earned it's place in my collection and will be used again, quite often I think.

 

 

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