To the fortunate owner of the Pentina

A single-lens miniature reflex camera designed on the base of first-rate technical experience, is now to be your companion: the Pentina.

You must really learn to know your camera thoroughly from the very beginning in order to be able to utilize its abilities regarding the automatic exosure control, the central shutter, interchangeable lenses etc. That is why we advise you to make yourself fully acquainted with your Pentina before inserting the first film. When you have learnt to understand its ingenious functioning, the camera will never disappoint you, even in the most difficult of situations.

The Pentina features not only automatic exposure control, it also offers the user the advantage of deciding himself which aperture and shutter speed will comply with his needs. This means that automation in the Pentina is not dominating but will always submit to your special wishes. This is the reason why the Pentina is held in such high esteem.

Inserting the Film

Pull open lock (20) of camera back and remove the back. Pull out the rewind knob (19) and, after having inserted the film cartridge, push the knob in again. Pass the film leader across the picture gate, insert it into the slit of the receiving spool, making one of the perforation holes engage with the little pilot pin.

Should the slit in the spool not be visible, turn the knurled part of the spool to bring it into the right position. With the film thus fixed into the spool, wind it on by actuating the cocking lever. The film has to be advanced until the sprocket wheel catches both of the perforation edges. Set the picture counting mechanism on number 38 by movement of the setting lever (27), replace the camera back and fasten the lock. Actuate the cocking lever (26) twice and release the shutter each time, whereupon the counting mechanism will arrive at 0. Cock the shutter once more by means of the lever (26), and the camera is ready for the first exposure.

One stroke of lever (26) cocks the shutter and transports the film. At the same time the diaphragm automatically opens to the widest aperture. On release of the shutter, the diaphragm closes down to the value indicated by the light meter.

Film Reminder Dial

On the base of the camera is a disk with symbols indicating the types of film. The symbol required has to be set against the notch.

Automatic Exposure Control

The film speed is set on the bottom of the camera when the film is inserted. This is done by rotation of the milled knob (18) to the left or right. The scale is graded from 9 degrees to 33 degrees DIN and 6 to 1600 ASA. First turn the speed setting ring by means of lever (8) to the exposure speed number which appears to be the most favourable for the object to photographed, for instance 1/60 second.

The direct the Pentina towards the object, thus enabling the photo-sensitive cell of the built-in exposure meter to measure the light conditions. The meter needle in the window (1) moves accordingly. By turning the diaphragm lever (9) you bring the follow pointer to coincide with the meter needle. The correct light value, i.e. combination of aperture and shutter speed, is thus obtained. This lever (9) may also be called a light value lever. If, when setting the diaphragm, you have arrived at the widest aperture without bringing the meter needle and the follow pointer to coincide, you may continue turning the diaphragm lever (9) which in its turn takes the speed setting lever (8) along up to where the pointers meet, in this way adjustng the exposure speed.

Should the diaphragm value prove unfavourable with regard to the depth of field required, another combination of aperture and shutter speed has to be determined by movement of the combination lever. If the meter needle remains in the white section of the window – a sign that the light is too dim – the B setting has to be used, in which case the automatic mechanism is locked out. Thus the automatic mechanism of the Pentina also allows for perfectly individual programming. since exposure speed and diaphragm may be adjusted separately.

Very contrasty objects may lead to faulty results in measuring. It is, therefore, advisable in such cases to approach the object as closely as possible and to take the reading on the most important areas (short-range measuring). When reading the light meter on wide extensions of skylight, incline the camera slightly downwards to avoid faulty measuring and subsequent underexposure.

If you are using filters, remember to take the filter factors into account which are given by the filter manufacturers. In the Pentina, the filter factor is balanced out by a decrease in the film speed or diaphragm value to be set in the camera:

Filter factorDecrease in film speedDecrease in diaphragm value
1.52 DIN0.5 stop
23 DIN1 stop
2.54 DIN1.3 stop
35 DIN1.5 stop

Focusing and Picture Composition

In the Pentina, as a single-lens reflex camera, the image produced by the taking lens is directed by a mirror swung into the path of rays to the lower, ground-glass, surface of the image field lens, where it becomes visible to the eye looking into the viewfinder (28). On base of this image you focus your subject and compose your picture. By turning the focusing ring (10) on the lens mount either to the left or to the right you are able to obtain maximum sharpness of the viewfinder image.

Attention! Do not mistake the lens locking ring (13) for the focusng ring (10).

The distance thus focused is shown on the distance scale of the ring (10).

The depth-of-field scale reveals the range of sharpness obtainable by the distance setting in combination with the various diaphragm apertures (e.g. distance setting 1.5 metres (5 ft.) and aperture 22 yields a range of sharpness reaching from approx. 1 metre (3 ft. 4 ins.) to 3 metres (10ft.))

Should your Pentina be equipped with a rangefinder lens instead of the plain image field lens, you will be able to focus in the same manner as with a split-image rangefinder. In a circular clear-glass area of the field lens are two optical wedges transposed by 180 degrees. Their horizontal dividing line passes across the center of the clear glass field. During focusing, two part images in the measuring field move towards, or away from, each other. The image is in correct focus as soon as the two parts meet. If possible, focus on lines standing at a right angle to the dividing line of the measuring field. The clear glass measuring field has a diameter of only 6 mm. and, if necessary, the sharpness can also be checked on the ground glass area.

The Shutter

The Pentina is equipped with a special type of central shutter, coupled to the automatic exposure mechanism and giving instantaneous speeds from 1 sec. to 1/500 sec. Also the B setting is provided, at which the shutter remains open as long as the release knob is being depressed. The shutter may be released by hand, by a cable release, or by means of the delayed-action device. The delayed action is set by movement of lever (15) to V (16). The delayed-action setting works automatically with the X synchronization. Please pay attention to the directions for using the X contact.


After the complete film has been exposed, it has to be rewound into the cartridge. First pull out crank (19), turn the spindle through 180 degrees and fit it into the recess. Depress the release knob (22) of the sprocket with your middle finger and rotate the crank (19) in the direction of the arrow.

A soft scraping sound of the film slipping off the receiving spool (29) indicates that the exposed film is rewound into the cartridge. The camera back may now be removed and the film taken out of the camera.

Changing the Lenses

All Pentina lenses are fitted with an automatic diaphragm release. The lenses are interchangeable by means of a bayonet fitting. By turning the lens locking ring (13) anti-clockwise as far as it will go you unlock the lens and are able to take it out of the camera. When replacing the lens, make sure that the little pin on the bayonet mount fits into the recess of the lens seat. Turn the milled lens locking ring clockwise to fasten the lens in place.

The standard lens of the Pentina is the 50 mm. Jena T, f/2.8, whilst the following interchangeable lenses are available:Meyer Lydith 30 mm. f/3.5

Jena Cardinar 85 mm. f/2.8

Meyer Domigor 135 mm. f/4

Flash Synchronization


Applicable for electronic flash and bulbs. Electronic flashes may be synchronized at all shutter speeds up to 1/500 sec. With flash bulbs, the shutter has to be set for 1/30 sec. or longer. Details concerning the individual shutter speeds are contained in the manufacturers’ instructions for using the various types of bulbs.


Applicable for flash bulbs of the M class, but not for electronic flash. Please note the directions given by the lamp manufacturers. The different contacts, X, M, or V (delayed action), are set by means of the lever (15) either before or after the shutter is cocked.

The Guide Number Calculator

On the lower side of the two shutter rings are two scales moveable in relation to one another. These scales indicate the distance between flash bulb and object (m), and the guide numbers (Z). In flash work, this guide number calculator (17) helps you, on the base of a certain guide number, to find the correct aperture for the exposure. You need only to set the distance figure (distance from flash bulb to object) against the guide number indicated for the flash bulb, and the aperture required is automatically set, because the diaphragm and distance scales of the guide number claculator are arranged on the same ring.

Close-up Exposures

Close-up exposures are possible with the help of attachment lenses. The Pentina, as a single-lens reflex camera, is especially suited for close-up work, since finder image and negative are of the same size and the finder image allows for accurate, parallax-free focusing.

Details are given in the following table.

Attachment Lens (diopters)Distance Setting of Lens – metersDistance Setting of Lens – ft. ins.Distance from attachment lens to object – mm.Distance from attachment lens to object – ft. ins.Picture Ratio

It is not necessary to prolong the exposure time when using attachment lenses. 

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