Kowa Six

Kowa Six L-grip 3-4

Kowa 6 Features:

  • nicely balanced
  • similar in handling to a TLR (waist level finder used)
  • simple to use
  • 85mm f/2.8 normal lens - ''acceptably sharp''
  • full range of lenses were made with integral leaf shutters
  • 40mm wide angle to 250mm f/5.6
  • 55mm and 150mm lenses reportedly excellent
  • replaceable waist level finder with 45 degree and 90 degree prisms
  • extension tubes
  • polaroid back for Kowa 6 mounting
  • film back for Kowa 6 mounting
  • not replaceable backs (model Kowa 66 has this feature)
  • flash sync at any speed (leaf shutter)
  • both X and M sych available
  • self-timer V setting, 10 seconds, remember to reset to X after use
  • shutter speeds - Time 1 second to 1/500th second
  • on 85mm normal lens, apertures run from f2.8 to f/22 with half stop clicks
  • 67mm thread
  • Kowa 6 mirror-up when self-timer is used
  • non-instant return mirror (have to advance film for mirror to drop down)
  • depth of field preview lever on lens to stop down
  • switching pressure plate position adapts to 220 or 120 film
  • match yellow dot on pressure plate to #12 for 120, red #24 for 220 film
  • lower right side, small dial has to be pulled out and changed from 12 to 24 to match film format
  • lens release on left side of camera, push back, rotate lens locking ring counter-clockwise, and remove lens
  • re-install lens by aligning red dots and reverse lens locking ring using clockwise motion to mount lens
  • Warning: if camera is fired with lens off, reset mirror before putting lens on
  • Mirror acts as film baffle too
  • two pins on lens rear engage shutter cocking mechanism must be at 12 and 6 o'clock to remount lens
  • red arrow on back of lens indicates problems and settings
  • viewfinder pops out, push small chrome button (top left side) and slide viewfinder forward
  • push chrome button again, and frenel screen can be popped out to clean
  • interchangeable screens available
  • back is removable - open and push serrated button on top left hand side of hinge, back continues to lift off and away
  • large frame counter easily seen on lower right side
  • frame counter resets to zero when back is opened
  • frame counter counts to either 12 or 24 depending on film selection
  • camera is solidly built, large lens mount size
  • normal film loading, swap spool, stretch paper over back and advance until arrow on film aligns with red indicator mark
  • close back and advance until film automatically stops for first shot
  • large film advance and shutter cocking knob has flip out handle
  • film transport is fast and easy [see ed. note below]
  • no lightmeter or electronics or battery, obviously
  • shutter release is at lower right hand front
  • shutter release is threaded for cable release
  • shutter release has a lock and release mechanism (rotate)
  • PC sync for MVX on lens barrel
  • left hand side mounting bar for accessory grip or flash holder
  • dimensions roughly 5'' x 4'' x 3 1/2''D for body, 5''H x 4''W x 6 1/8''Deep with lens
  • weight about 4 pounds


Kowa 6 and other cameras reportedly have relatively soft film transport gearing (similar to early Bronicas). Care in using these cameras with being gentle with film advancing is recommended. Avoiding use of film crank is a common suggestion (some took the crank off entirely ;-)

Kowa 6/66 Extension Tube
Kowa 6/66 Extension Tube

Silver automatic extension tube for either the KOWA 6 or KOWA S66 cameras. This extension tube allows shooting in the 2::1 to 1::1 range.