Lens Data Summary
Ukrainian shift & shift/tilt lenses with Pentacon Six mount
The Hartblei 45mm f/3.5 shift lens
In recent years two Ukrainian manufacturers, Arsat and Hartblei, have introduced shift and shift/tilt lens in the Pentacon Six mount. There are also some shift and shift/tilt lenses from “Wiese”, a German firm based in Hamburg. However, it appears that all of the Wiese lenses are re-branded Hartblei lenses.
lenses from Arsat and Hartblei
It is reported that the 45mm and 65mm Hartblei shift lenses use the optical elements of the Arsenal Mir-26B and Mir-38B, respectively. Hartblei adds an excellent multi-coating that looks far superior to that on the original Arsenal lenses. To see a test of the 45mm Hartblei shift-only lens, click here.
Arsenal in Kiev produce their own “Arsat” 55mm shift lens, which is one of the sharpest lenses available in the Pentacon Six mount.
Arsenal (“ARSAT”) Shift lenses
Arsenal are now also producing 45mm & 65mm shift
lenses, bearing their ARSAT brand name. I do not
know if the 65mm lens is optically the same as the
Hartblei shift lenses, but this is very probable. I now
have the 45mm Arsat shift lens, and, without
disassembling it, it appears that the optical elements
are identical to those in the 45mm Hartblei shift
lens. A report on the Arsat 45mm shift lens can be
All five lenses (the 45mm lenses from Hartblei and from Arsat, the 65mm lenses from Hartblei and Arsat, and the 55mm lens from Arsat only) are in mounts that rotate – so it is possible to shift down as well as up, sideways, or even in other diagonal directions if required. In all the shift (and shift/tilt) lenses that I have personally handled so far, rotation is the full 360°, with click stops every 15°.
All the shift and shift/tilt lenses have a manual preset diaphragm. The Hartblei PCS 45mm f/3.5 shift-only lens has détentes at half and full stops throughout its entire range all the way down to f/22. Other shift and shift/tilt lenses that I have handled have détentes at half stops and full stops down to f/11, and then only at full stops to f/22. The 55mm shift lens has a socket for a cable release. Using a double cable release, it is possible to automate the aperture shut-down on this lens.
For more information on shift lenses, click here.
To see a report on two shift lenses and one
shift-tilt lens from Wiese Fototechnik in Hamburg, click
The Hartblei Shift/Tilt lenses
As well as their shift-only lenses, listed above,
Hartblei advertised the following shift & tilt
The three 45mm shift and shift/tilt lenses from Hartblei
From L to R: shift only, shift (in any direction) & tilt down, shift & tilt in any direction (“Super-Rotator”)
(Illustration from a Hartblei lens manual)
three lenses “in the flesh”:
At infinity focus. The “wings” on the Tilt/Shift lens (middle) and the Super-Rotator (right) operate the aperture ring.
The same three lenses at closest focus. We observe that for the shift-only lens (on the left) the closest focus is 0.5m (approximately 18 inches), whereas for the other two lenses it is closer, at 0.35m (approximately one foot, which is extremely close).
Shift-only lenses are generally used for
architectural and landscape photography, for which the
minimum focus of 0.5 metres is more than adequate.
Tilt lenses are often used for product photography,
where the closer minimum focus of 0.35 metres will be
The Super-Rotator has two rotate mechanisms: one to rotate the shift in any direction and the other to rotate the tilt in any direction. The two mechanisms are completely independent of each other, thus providing the maximum flexibility that would be possible for this lens.
There is reported to be another source for shift and tilt
lenses in the Pentacon Six mount – the Austrian firm of Atzmueller & Rendl Linz. For
details, return to the beginning of the lens data section and
choose “Other lenses in the Pentacon Six mount”.
Hartblei 45mm Shift & Shift / Tilt lenses
As can be seen from the above, Hartblei offer (or have in the past offered) three different 45mm shift and shift/tilt lenses.
All of these lenses use the optical
elements of the Arsenal 45mm f/3.5 Mir-26 wide-angle
lens, more details of which can be seen here. We look
at each of these three lenses below. However, the
Mir-26 elements are mounted in three different lens
barrels, all of which are designed and manufactured by
The potential optical quality of lenses
manufactured in the former Soviet Union has a
justifiably high reputation. Unfortunately, the
actual manufacture and assembly of the lens barrels was
often shoddy, and there appeared to be zero quality
control, so that lenses were sold that should have never
got out the factory gate, since at the quality control
stage, they should have been scrapped and thrown in the
By contrast, the quality of
the design and manufacture of the barrels of
Hartblei lenses is superb, and it
would appear that they also applied superior
multi-coating to the Arsenal lens elements that
All of these lenses (and all other Hartblei lenses that I have used) have super smooth focussing, a world away from the occasional gritty focussing sometimes encountered with lenses manufactured during the Soviet era in the USSR.
Hartblei appears to use abbreviations with the following meanings: MC = Multi-Coated; PC = Perspective Control TS = Tilt-Shift. “PCS” would appear to mean Perspective Control - Shift.
MC PCS Hartblei 3.5/45mm Shift lens
This is a shift-only lens, with no tilt possibilities. I am familiar with two versions of this lens: the one bearing the Hartblei name, illustrated in the black-and-white picture above from a Hartblei lens instruction manual and also at the top of this page, and a lens that is also from Hartblei and has similar characteristics but that bears the Wiese name. The Wiese version is described in more detail here. Here we shall compare the Hartblei and Wiese versions.
The Hartblei 45mm shift-only lens (left), beside the equivalent Wiese lens.
Even though the Wiese lens almost certainly originated with Hartblei, the lens that here bears Hartblei's name is a significant improvement.
It’s as though the “Wiese” lens were a “Mark I” version and the “Hartblei” lens an improved, “Mk II”, version.
MC TS-PC Hartblei 3.5/45mm Shift/Tilt lens
This Hartblei lens offers shift in any
direction, thanks to a rotating mount, plus tilt
downwards only. Of course, with a square format it
is possible to turn the camera through 90 or 180
degrees, although operating it upside down is not easy
and in this position use of a tripod becomes impossible
(which is where the Super-Rotator comes in! – see
below). The same lens has been seen with a Wiese
MC TS-PC Hartblei 3.5/45mm Super-Rotator Shift/Tilt lens
This is Hartblei's top 45mm tilt/shift lens.
It incorporates two rotating mechanisms, one in front of
the other, so that both shift and tilt can be
independently controlled in any direction. This
lens was also available under the "Wiese" brand name, as
can be seen here
(scroll down to near the bottom of the page).
Next section (Ivanichek Petzvar)
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© TRA August 2007. Latest revision: October 2018