Certo Six

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The Certo Six is a horizontal-folding coupled rangefinder camera for 2¼-inch square pictures on 120 film, made by Certo in Dresden, from about 1953. It was at first briefly named the Super Six.[1]

The lens is often a coated 80 mm f/2.8 Tessar; examples are also seen with an f/3.5 Meyer Primotar. The shutter is a Synchro-Compur with speeds from 1 - 1/500 second, plus 'B', a Prontor SVS with a top speed of 1/300 second, or a Tempor shutter with a top speed of 1/250 second (made by VEB Zeiss Ikon Dresden, soon to become part of Pentacon; the shutter's front plate carries the Ernemann-tower logo); all these are synchronised for flash, with a PC socket, and there is a cold shoe on the top. Early Tempor shutters do not all have a self-timer (delayed action); otherwise the shutters have one.

The viewfinder has a parallax-error correction mechanism. The rangefinder is combined with the viewfinder. The focused distance is shown in a curved window in front of the accessory shoe. Some examples have a depth of field indicator mounted in the hub of the advance lever; others have a film-type reminder dial there.

Film is advanced by a rapid-wind lever on the left, and there is a frame-counter on the top housing, not a red window. When a new film is loaded, the paper leader is advanced to align the 'start' mark with an index mark at the top of the film chamber; the frame counter is set to a start position; the camera back is closed, and the film advanced with the lever until the counter reaches frame 1. The advance stops automatically (i.e. one cannot over-wind). There is a hole in the back of the top housing, which shows a red indicator when there is a film in the camera (to warn the user not to open the back).

The shutter release is by the top right of the front folding bed; in front of the top housing rather than mounted in it. It has a double-exposure prevention interlock, which shows either a red (locked) or green (unlocked) indicator in a hole by the shutter release; there is a sliding control on the back of the top housing to override this. The socket for a cable release is also on the back.

The camera has a ¼-inch tripod bush in the base. It will also stand on the unfolded bed, with the help of two folding legs at the back.


  1. Michael Sorms, Certo history (in German) at Dresdner Kameras; he cites Richard Hummel's Spiegelreflexkameras aus Dresden (1995) Edition Reintzsch, Leipzig, for the production date.


  • User's manual at Mike Butkus' Orphan Cameras. The manual is stamped GERMANY USSR OCCUPIED. It describes the camera with the film-type dial, not the DOF indicator.
  • Certo Six page at Jurgen Kreckel's Certo6.com; a number of excellent pictures of the camera, incliding one of the Tempor shutter, and a download of his own instructions for using it.