VEB Pentacon Dresden was an East German camera maker formed as VEB Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden in 1959 by amalgation of Zeiss Ikon, Kamera Werke, Belca, Altissa, Welta, and cine film specialist Aspecta. In 1964 it was named Pentacon. Originally Pentacon was the export model name for the Contax D, since the use of the name Contax had been prohibited for the East German company VEB Zeiss Ikon. The new name had been coined from Pentaprism and Contax. The company produced its own shutters. Known is the Pentacon-Prestor leaf shutter.

The SLR production of VEB Pentacon essentially concentrated on the Praktica SLRs.

In 1968 VEB Pentacon Dresden became Kombinat VEB Pentacon Dresden, being merged with Mentor, Certo, Ihagee, Meyer, the camera industry of Freital and further specialized companies.

After the end of the Soviet bloc and just before German Reunification Pentacon was placed into the hands of the "Treuhand", a state-owned company charged with privatizing all the state-owned companies of East Germany. However, led by West-German business people, the Treuhand simply closed many companies. The first big hit against the East German economy was taken by the Pentacon group. On 2nd October 1990, one day before Reunification, Pentacon's liquidation began. The final day of production was June 30th 1991. The company still had 3331 employees. The next day it had just 232 who had to finish liquidation.

The only investor who had been interested in saving Pentacon was Heinrich Mandermann, the man who once had saved the lens maker Schneider-Kreuznach and who also was the co-founder of the camera trader Beroflex. But he waited until after liquidation to buy parts of the company from the Treuhand - thus getting them cheaper, including one of the modern Pentacon buildings which once served for military production. This part of Pentacon, now the new Pentacon GmbH, is still located in Dresden, and includes a service office for older cameras, camera production being outsourced to South Korea. The camera and lens brands represented by the new Pentacon are Praktica, Exakta, and Schneider Dresden, the enterprise employing about 150. Among its own products are amazing scanner cameras.

35mm SLR, focal plane shutter[]


Earlier than Pentacon, see KW.

Praktica KW, see KW

Praktica FX[]


Praktica IV & V[]

  • Praktica IV
  • Praktica IV B
  • Praktica IV M
  • Praktica IV BM
  • Praktica IV F
  • Praktica IV FB
  • Praktica V F
  • Praktica V FB

Praktica Nova[]


Contax S / Pentacon[]

See Zeiss Ikon Contax S.


Earlier than Pentacon, see KW.

Pentacon Super[]

  • Pentacon Super SLR

Praktica B[]

  • Praktica B
  • Praktica BX 20
  • Praktica BX 10 DX
  • Praktica BX 21 DX
  • Praktica BX 20s
  • Praktica BX 20D
  • Praktica BX 20s-ED U-V
  • Praktica BXEDH
  • Praktica B 200
  • Praktica BCX
  • Praktica BC 1
  • Jenaflex AM 1
  • Praktica BC 3
  • Praktica B 100
  • Praktica BC auto
  • Praktica BCA
  • Jenaflex AC 1
  • Praktica BCS
  • Praktica BCC
  • Praktica BMS
  • Revue BC 2
  • Praktica BM

35mm SLR, leaf shutter[]


  • Pentina I
  • Pentina II
  • Pentina II M
  • Pentina M
  • Pentina FM
  • Pentina E

35mm Compact[]

  • Praktica KS 850
  • Praktica Sport 21P (32mm lens, panorama function)
  • Praktica Sport AP310 (fixed focus)
  • Praktica Sport Record (35mm lens, f/5.6 fixed focus, integral flash and motordrive)
  • Praktica Sport PLF-285
  • Praktica Sport SK320 (fixed focus, DX decoding)
  • Praktica SK910 (autofocus)
  • Praktica SK5600

120 SLR[]

Praktisix / Pentacon Six[]

SL-System viewfinder cameras[]

  • electra
  • electra 2

Subminiature cameras[]

Mandermann's Pentacon GmbH[]


Camera industry in Dresden
Balda | Certo | Eho-Altissa | Ernemann | Feinmess | Hüttig | ICA | Ihagee | Kochmann | Kerman | KW | Eugen Loeber | Ludwig | Mentor | Mimosa | Pentacon | Richter | Werner | Wünsche | Zeiss Ikon | Zeh
Camera distributors in Dresden
Camera industry in Freital
Beier | Pouva | Thowe | Welta

In English:

In German:

In Spanish:

In French:


  • Gerhard Jehmlich: "Der VEB Pentacon Dresden - Geschichte der Dresdner Kamera- und Kinoindustrie nach 1945", Dresden 2009