Praktica Appreciation Thread

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Sewin, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    I've a soft spot for these cameras and own and use a few.

    The history is interesting, I find the ergonomics good and they can and do produce good results.

    I know feelings are very split on the Praktica range.

    And don't forget the predecessors and offsprings like the very good Jenaflex.

    Also Revue, Porst etc.

    How about posting your results from your Praktica, good and bad experiences,stories etc.

    Good cameras, bad cameras, experiences with lenses etc.

    Hints and tips would also be good.

    It's OK Praktica owners, the skeleton can now come out of the cupboard.
     
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  2. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    I have a TL 1000 which I've used a few times. Rather big and heavy compared to my Pentax P30 and Nikon FE bodies. I don't use it often enough to bother keeping the weincell batteries around, so I mostly use the "sunny-f5.6" rule (Sunny 16 doesn't work well in Norway). The camera has a construction flaw when shooting bulb: When releasing the trigger, the aperture blades open before the shutter closes.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Interesting observation! I guess though in most B-mode exposure that would not matter.
     
  4. Manwithacam

    Manwithacam Member

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    I have two BX20 kits, one owned from new, and an MTL3 and B100 acquired together a few days ago. I had a problem when I went back to use my BX20 after a decade or two of using other cameras. I forgot to disable the meter by setting it to B and I removed my 50mm to clean it, when I put it back on it wouldn't meter. I checked with the 70-210mm and that was OK so the problem is probably just a disconnected wire in the lens. I haven't put a film thought the MTL3 yet and the B100 is working but the lens is fungal and it appears to have sand in the lens and the body.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    The Praktica LLC, PLC3 etc use the discontinued V21 PX 4.5 volt batteries, although you can buy replacements from battery companies which are quite expensive at £9 or so a go.

    What I did was make a cell holder from the barrel of an old felt tip, a spring and three LR44 cells taped together, cost less than £1. :smile: and it works.

    [​IMG]
     

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  6. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Have you tried cleaning the three brass contacts on the lens?
     
  7. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

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    I need a camera that takes my Helios 44-2 58mm f/2.0 lens. Can't decide between Praktica and Pentax Spotmatic. :-|
     
  8. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Well,

    I'm biased, but I'd go for a Praktica L series with the metal shutter.
     
  9. cuthbert

    cuthbert Member

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    Mmm, the most filological choice for an Helios would be a Zenit 12 XS, it almost works as a wide open metering (the shutter release stops down the lens, no separate switch like the Praktica or Spottie, and please DO NOT try to install an Helios on a SPF, I broke the pin doing so), besides that a Spottie is smoother, a Praktica high range would be a good choice but at this point it's better to use an electric lens and take advantage of the open wide metering.

    On my side I have two Prakticas, one is a NOS MTL50 that I bought out of curiosity, it's pretty rough but takes nice pictures, later on I bought a Flektogon that I thought was M42, in reality was a B bayonet, so I hunted for a B body, and I found out the Jenaflex the nicer both aesthetically and pratically (it has a small grip) that I started to use as platform for few lenses: the Flektogon 20 mm f2.8 (stellar, IMO), the excellent Prakticar 50 mm f1.4 plus the usual Pentacon f1.8 and a pair of zoom, a Sigma and a Prakticar that I assume MIJ b somebody.

    I received the test roll from the Jenaflex yesterday and I remained astonished by the results, this is the Flektogon:

    [​IMG]

    I felt like I was falling inside that rose.

    [​IMG]

    Usual boring landscape.

    [​IMG]

    A more interesting shot I assume.

    This is the 50 mm f1.4:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The zoom isn't that great but it's usable, I need to learn how to hold it firmly I assume:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The BC-1 is a nice camera, small, feels like a LX but not that deluxe, it has a decent package of features (AE priority more, AE lock, nice viewfinder, shutter not too brual), a little too much plastic but very capable and underrated IMO.
     
  10. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

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    I just need to get those swirl on the negative with Helios. So, I may shoot mostly at or around f/2.0.

    Right now I am looking Praktica MTL 5B, but may I know what do you mean be rough? Is it the film advance or the noisy shutter.
     
  11. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    I'd probably class them more basic and simple than rough.

    They can operate as mechanical cameras when the batteries fade or the meter fails, I particularly like the completely mechanical L with its clear viewfinder.

    The shutters are noisy, but they are steel and not cloth on the L series, however the B series were apparently designed to have quieter shutters, but they are bayonet mount.

    I don't have a problem with the film advance on any of mine.

    Regarding the split screen viewfinders, some are horizontal, some are diagonal, I much prefer the diagonal type.

    Sewin.
     
  12. iulian

    iulian Member

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    Am MTL 5B was my first "serious" camera.
    The shutter is not steel, as far as I know. I read somewhere it's titanium.

    Flash sync up to 1/125 (unlike much more expensive cameras of the era)
    Rather rough mirror makes it vibrate a bit - tripod becomes very useful
    Best models in my opinion are the latest - MTL5B and it's west german branded brother Revue ML. They both take modern LR44 batteries (although you need to calibrate the meter for them - some silver equivalent of them would be better I guess). Also, the finder has an three-way diagonal image splitter, as opposed to the usual two-way horizontal.
    I've seen a Revue ML that was a re-badged MTL5 but it's easy to spot the good one - viewfinder tells it all.

    Great cameras. Last one I bought from o dealer in near-mint condition for 19 EUR :smile:
     
  13. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    iulian,

    You are right the shutters are supposed to be titanium, however I'm not sure how much titanium is in the shutter. :smile:
     
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  15. iulian

    iulian Member

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    As I said, it's fast enough to sync the flash properly at 1/125s. Minolta's of that age can't do that. I think it's titanium because they had to use titanium, not because they wanted to. Back then it was very expensive. It was also produced mainly in the eastern block (if my memory serves me well) so it's plausible.
    I haven't seen a rusted one and I've seen a lot of Praktica's. Hell, after I sold my first due to an emergency I suffered so much that I bought another one when I could afford a camera again. And another one. And another one (because it was only 19 EUR and it's in good enough condition to give to my 3 year old son when he grows up a bit :smile:

    I forgot to mention, the latest model is the MTL50 but it only has LEDs to indicate exposure. The needle is much more precise so this is a case of the latest-gratest being not so great anyway :smile:

    Also, the Pentacon 29mm (not 28, not 30) wide angle is quite a gem.
     
  16. AgX

    AgX Member

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    To my information their segmented shutter curtains are from steel not titanium.
     
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  17. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    iulian,

    I got rid of my MTL50 as I just could not get on with the LEDs. I thought they would be good in low light conditions, which they were, but I didn't like them in daylight.
     
  18. iulian

    iulian Member

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    Could be :smile: I've known about the titanium stuff for so long I forgot where I know it from :smile:

    I have a body i used for spare parts at home so I'll drop a blade in sulfuric acid. In a few days we'll know for sure.
     
  19. Lee Rust

    Lee Rust Member
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    When I was in high school back in 1967, my Dad gave me a non-functional Praktica to experiment with. I don't know the model, but it had a waist-level finder and the shutter release on the front. I took the bottom off and fiddled with the shutter curtain tension ratchets until I was rewarded with a camera that could take half a picture. Better than nothing, but quite often the subject of the photo was in the other half. That spring I took the camera to Florida to see the auto races at Sebring and was rewarded with a box of Kodachrome slides showing half-Lotuses and partial-Chaparrals. My first semi-successful camera repair, and my first SLR!
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Please don't do. It is a academic question anyway.
     
  21. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber
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    My first SLR was a second-hand Praktica FX-3. It served well for several years with only one minor DIY repair. The new Miranda that replaced it didn't last nearly as long.
     
  22. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Lee,

    Probably the same as Jims camera one of the FX range.
     
  23. Manwithacam

    Manwithacam Member

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    I did try cleaning the contacts. I haven't taken it apart to check the connections. I took the fungal 50mm f2.4 off the B100 apart and there was sand in there but it was metering. There are two wires going to a brass contact on the aperture ring. I will have a look at my f1.8 version sometime and try and remedy it but I do have the standard zoom that came with the second kit to use for now, the 35-80mm, though I do prefer a nifty fifty.
     
  24. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    My first working slr was an MTL-3. It was a nice looking camera, and easy to use for a beginner. I can't remember which 50mm lens I had, but it gave reasonable results. I traded it for a Miranda G because it had a removable prism and a nice clip-on meter.
    Alex
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Has someone used the VLC?
     
  26. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have a IVB with a 2.8 Tessar lens. You may know the one with the film advance lever on the bottom. Well made and the lens is sharp as the proverbial tack.
     
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