The Pentacon Six System
by TRA

Straps for the Pentacon Six
 


The most practical way to carry the Pentacon Six is in the bottom section of its case, which has a leather strap.
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This is an improvement: a wide woven strap, appropriately with the Carl Zeiss Jena logo and the Zeiss name
It can be clipped onto the case and, being wider, is a little more comfortable than the standard strap.
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The Original GDR alternative strap for camera body
 
The manufacturers did make available for the Pentacon Six a strap that could be attached to the strap lugs that are situated on the camera body, on either side of the mirror housing.  Here it is.

However, it is seldom offered for sale and is very hard to find.


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Why the Exakta 66 cradle and strap are not suitable

An excellent strap and cradle were manufactured for the Exakta 66.  This is illustrated here.  However, this is not suitable for the Pentacon Six for two reasons:

  • the strap lugs on each side of the mirror housing of the Pentacon Six would prevent it being mounted onto the camera
  • the cradle depends for its stability on engaging with slots the front surface of the Exakta 66.  There are no such slots on the Pentacon Six.


The Op/Tech USA system

Op/Tech USA offers a wide range of camera straps.  These are connected to the camera via what Op/Tech USA call “System Connectors”, which are detachable from the main strap.


Op/Tech USA System Connectors on a Pentacon Six case
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The “System Connectors” can be used to create a short strap that can be very practical to give increased protection from accidents, by slipping the right-hand wrist through the strap when using the camera.

They can of course be clipped onto any standard Op/Tech USA strap.  For the types of straps available, it is best to visit their website, http://optechusa.com/

The Op/Tech Dual Harness

The System Connectors can also be attached to the Op/Tech Dual Harness


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This is a great solution if you are carrying two cameras, or a camera and a large lens in a case, and I have bought an Op/Tech Dual Harness for this purpose.  It is available for a fraction of the price of other camera harnesses on the market (about US$30, depending on the supplier, as compared with anything up to US$200 for harnesses from some other manufacturers, at the time of writing).  These do not to me look any better than the Op/Tech USA harness.  On the contrary, the harness systems from some other manufacturers have numerous disadvantages:
  • the camera hangs upside down
  • it swings and spins uncontrollably when not held
  • the tripod socket is occupied by the strap connector, making it no longer available for use with a tripod, without an additional, time-consuming operation, to remove the connector.
The Dual Harness system as illustrated on Op/Tech USA packaging
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For all these reasons, the Op/Tech USA solution seems to me to be far superior.

The Kaiser strap from Baierfoto

An alternative is the Kaiser strap from Baierfoto.de.


This is Baierfoto’s “Profi-Gurt C-Form”, which is supplied with Pentacon Six lug clips and so can be fitted directly to the camera, without needing to use the case.
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Like the Op/Tech USA system, at the end of the Kaiser strap there are short strap connector sections that can be detached from the main strap to make a small strap for hand-held use or storage.

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Baierfoto advises users to remove the key-ring type metal triangles from the end of the strap connectors before attaching the Pentacon Six lug clips.

(Of course, if you preferred to attach this strap to the camera case, you could do so perfectly well, and you would not need the camera body lug clips.)


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Of course, it is possible to buy just pairs of lug clips from Baierfoto, to attach to the strap of one’s choice.  They could be attached to a pair of the System Connectors that come with the Op/Tech USA Double Harness.

Here, at the bottom of the photo, we can see the strap connectors that come with the Baierfoto Kaiser strap.

Question

You may have anticipated the next question: Are the clips on the Kaiser strap connectors compatible with the Op/Tech USA system?  They look very similar.
 
 

Op/Tech USA Dual Harness on the left, Kaiser strap connectors on the right
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Unfortunately, they are not.  The Op/Tech USA system depends on a greater width of the two outer prongs on the male section.

The Kaiser system depends on a greater height on the two outer prongs.

Both systems are very strong, and the Kaiser system seems to engage even more firmly than the Op/Tech USA system – though both systems seem equally safe and reliable.


 
The Kaiser strap is on the left and the Op/Tech System Connectors are on the case, on the right.
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Here we have the same incompatibility viewed from the other end:

 
Close up of the Op/Tech and Kaiser connector clip systems

The two outer connectors (far left and far right) are the Op/Tech USA system;
the two inner ones are the Kaiser system.
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The Kaiser system, as supplied by Baierfoto, installed on the Pentacon Six, using the lug clips

 
The Op/Tech USA packaging, seen on the right, gives an idea of the vast range of System Connectors that they offer for different camera outfits.  These can be seen in greater detail on their website.

The 3/8" webbing, shown here and above, is compatible with the Baierfoto clips.


A pack of Op/Tech USA System Connectors (top) and a pair of the Baierfoto clips (bottom)
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The Baierfoto instructions that are included with the strap and the lug clips
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Conclusions

Both Rolf-Dieter Baier and Op/Tech USA are great people to deal with, and in both cases the products offered are excellent.  It is a pity that the clips are not compatible.

I e-mailed Rolf-Dieter Baier and got speedy replies and fast dispatch of the items.  I called Op/Tech USA to ask some questions before ordering, and I got straight through to a person who was knowledgeable about their products and gave me the right information (no recorded menus to work through!).

Baierfoto also sells its equipment on eBay, and some vendors in the USA and some other countries sell Op/Tech’s Dual Harness on eBay at good prices, but I bought some items directly from them.

The Baierfoto Kaiser strap

If you are looking for a Neoprene or similar strap to fit the Pentacon Six body (as opposed to the case), Baierfoto is the easiest way to meet your requirements.  Of course, the Baierfoto Kaiser strap will also fit the case, for which you would not need the Baierfoto camera lug clips.

The Baierfoto Pentacon Six Strap clips

I view Baierfoto’s lug clips as such important accessories that I have bought three sets, and may yet buy more.  They clip firmly and safely into place and (unlike the Kiev 60 and Kiev 88 straps!) will not fall off when you are not looking!  They have multiple connection options and can be used with many different types of strap.  The slot takes a standard 3/8" wide strap, and the hole above it is suitable for other connectors, including some of the other connectors offered by Op/Tech USA.

The Op/Tech USA Dual harness

The harness may look bulky in the photos.  In practice, it is not.  It is extremely light-weight and can be wrapped up into a very small space.  Once it is put on, it is no more obvious than a couple of camera straps or a backpack with a sternum strap.  This has been set very high, to ensure that it is equally comfortable for men and women users.  In cooler weather you may even opt to put the harness on under a loose-fitting outer jacket, and this will work fine, if you have the jacket open at the front.  You can see an Op/Tech USA video of the Dual Harness here (via the Op/Tech website) or here (on YouTube).  This gives a good indication of its versatility, and shows you how to put it on.

If you want a dual camera harness, in my opinion, the Op/Tech USA harness is the one to go for – based on my usage of it.  It is extremely comfortable.  For me it totally eliminates the neck ache that can result from carrying two heavy cameras round one’s neck on standard straps for several hours.  Working with it is very fast.  The cameras are secure, safe and immediately at hand.

The Op/Tech USA harness System Connectors will connect immediately with a Pentacon Six camera case.  If you wish to use them directly on the camera, you will probably need to get the lug clips from Baierfoto.  These will fit perfectly onto Op/Tech USA’s standard 3/8" strap webbing.

I am delighted to see the availability of these products, which are ideally suited for use with the Pentacon Six.

But is there an Op/Tech USA lug clip that will fit the Pentacon Six?  See a separate review here.

To go to introduction to the cameras, click here.

To go back to the introduction to the other accessories, click here.

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© TRA First published: July 2011, Revised September 2011