VEB Pentacon Dresden


VEB Pentacon Dresden (1964-1990) formed after amalgamation of many companies, including Kamera Werke and Welta, succeeding VEB Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden (1959-1964). Originally Pentacon was the export model name for the Contax D, since the use of the name Contax had been prohibited for East German company VEB Zeiss Ikon. The new name had been coined from Pentaprism and Contax. Initially the cameras and accessories had a stylized 'KW in a diamond' logo and later the 'Pentacon tower' logo. Most of these cameras were produced as a source of hard currency and sold outside of East Germany. Six major variations were produced. The Praktisix, Praktisix II, Praktisix IIA, Pentacon six, Pentacon Six TL (early) and Pentacon Six TL (late). They are really a series of improvements from the first Praktisix. Other than the name changes there are no major changes from model to model. KW were also the home of the more famous Praktina and the Praktica. After the reunification of Germany in 1990 John H. Noble tried to get back the factory and camera brand. He got back the his fathers old factory in the Bismarckstrasse, now called Kamera Werk Dresden. Today (2009) it makes the Noblex panorama cameras, carrying on the Noble name. The Praktica brand stayed in the hands of Pentacon, used for the last Praktica SLRs up until 2000, and for OEM-made compact cameras and compact digicams which are produced in East Asia.