The name Pentacon is derived from the brand Contax of Zeiss Ikon Kamerawerke in Dresden and Pentagon, as a Pentaprism for Single-Lens Reflex cameras was for the first time developed in Dresden. The cross section of this prism has a pentagonal shape. Pentacon is best known for producing the SLR cameras of the Praktica-series as well as the medium format camera Pentacon Six, the Pentacon Super and various cameras of the Exa series.
In 1959 several Dresden camera manufacturers, among them VEB Kamerawerke Freital, were joined to create Volkseigener Betrieb Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden, which was renamed in 1964 to VEB Pentacon Dresden. In 1968, VEB Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz was integrated into VEB Pentacon. Accordingly, the former Meyer-Optik Görlitz lenses were now renamed to „Pentacon“ .
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