Praktica Appreciation Thread

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

  1. foc

    foc Member
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    I tried to hold my Praktica like in the manual but my elbows stuck out too much and people banged into me . So I learned to hold any camera like the instruction book for the Olympus OM10 showed.
    How to hold a camera OM10.jpg
     
  2. OptiKen

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    Some time ago I acquired a Praktica FX2. After playing with it sans film, I decided it wasn't for me. (I hated it!)
    Recently I was searching my stuff for a M42 50mm lens to try on another camera and ran across my Praktica FX2 again in a box destined for eBay or Craigs list.
    Holding the camera today, I like it. I like the look with the waist-level finder - the backwards wind lever.
    In short, I want to run a roll of film through it and take it out for a date.
    The only thing is it has the LOUDEST shutter I have ever heard. The mirror appears to have a thin rubber gasket-type piece that it would encounter (it sort of frames the viewfinder window). Isn't there supposed to be some kind of mirror dampening foam that the mirror slaps up against when you shoot?
     
  3. GRHazelton

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    Hah! Hardly the loudest shutter! Ever hear a Bronica S2a fire? With a focal plane shutter and that big mirror flopping around it scares small children and little dogs!
     
  4. OptiKen

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    LOL
     
  5. OP
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    Sewin

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    Nice to see this thread still up in the top ten, shows there's still a lot of interest in Prakticas.
    Two year anniversary tomorrow. :smile:
     
  6. Helios 1984

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    Loaded my L with a fresh roll of FP4 after a month of using my EOS 30, I was missing the advance lever and the shutter Kluuunk :D
     
  7. GRHazelton

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    As I posted earlier I still have my somewhat battered LTL. Still works! As a Pentaxian I succumbed to the lure of a Spotmatic F, and a 50mm 1.4 and a 28mm f3.5. The F permits full aperture metering, when used with SMC Takumar lenses, although I look very carefully to make sure they will give full aperture metering!

    Why is this on a Praktica thread? Without the proper open-aperture lenses the Spotty is no where as convenient as the LTL. With the Spotty the lens is stopped down with a switch on the left side of the lens mount, it has its shutter release in the usual top panel right side position. Like the Pentax K 1000 the meter is always on.

    As most of you know the LTL has the stop down/meter key just above the front panel shutter release. Really convenient! The closest thing to true full aperture metering. Both the Spotty and the LTL use a bridge metering circuit, so a mercury cell is not needed. Now, the fit and finish of the Pentax is head and shoulders above the Praktica, but that is an aesthetic matter. With the proper lenses the Spotty is marvelous. With generic 42mm auto lenses the Praktica LTL rules.
     
  8. AgX

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    There are german mounts (by Enna) where the stop down button is above the release (though not coupled to a meter). A good alternative to the automatic diaphragm.
    But as the Praktika L family got automatic diaphragm that next-to-the relesase button is great, as it now gives the choice to use it or not.
     
  9. Helios 1984

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    Here's the right side and left side of 2 different frames that I stitched together to show you a weird double exposure. These are the last 2 frames of a roll that I shot with my Praktica L.

    [​IMG]

    Separate view:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. AgX

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    If the film reaches its end before the last frame is fully transported out of the filmgate, and if then the perforation is torn, the sprocked wheel can end its cycle and the shutter be cocked and a further exposure done.
     
  11. Helios 1984

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    That make perfect sense. Thxs for the enlightenment : )
     
  12. OP
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    Sewin

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    Well,

    As my Praktica L suffered prism damage by bouncing down my concrete garden steps! I replaced it with a very nice condition LTL3 for the time being.

    Everything functions fine including the meter (now).

    When I first received it the meter needle was slightly erratic and slow to settle, I know this is very common but I did a bit of google research .

    Anyway in the depths of google I found a cure.

    Apparently leaving the ASA setting at the same setting for too long can cause oxidisation to build up on the contacts. Looks like mine had been left at ASA 200 for some time.

    So what I did was constantly changed the ASA settings through the full range back and forth a few times and hey presto the meter needle responds fine now, nice and smooth as it should.

    The moral of the story........ Don't leave your ASA setting the same for months on end if you use the same type of film.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  13. Ian Grant

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    In the 1950's the Praktica FX and later fXII were the cheaper budget SLR cameras made by KW, the Praktina cameras made in the same factory which were the first full system SLRs available, although Exacta made the same claim they didn't have motor drive options and bulk film backs.

    It's a great pity the Praktina's were too costly to keep in production as in many ways they were ahead of their time, with a breech lock lens mount, excellent range of lenses from many different companies and some nice fast optics (like the 75mm f1.5 lens), clock-work and electric motor drives, bulk film backs. I have one and it puts later Praktica cameras to shame as they get nowhere near the same build quality.

    Ian
     
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  15. GRHazelton

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    I remember seeing a Praktina in use by a pro shooting yearbook photos in the late 50s or very early 60s. Tripod mounted with the bulk film back and some sort of motor drive, probably the electric, IIRC. Very impressive rig in my teenage eyes. Anyone know how long it was until there was a similar SLR system from other marques?

    Here's a link for the full system: http://www.praktina.com/index.htm With instant mirror return and further development the Praktina could have become a dominant professional system.
     
  16. Ian Grant

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    The Nikon F is the first Japanese full system camera and introduced in 1959. This was when the East Germans were re-organising KW and Contax/Pentacon as VEB Kamera, they made 3 different SLRs the Praktina Praktica IV and Contax/Pentacon and decided to base future cameras on the Praktica which was much cheaper to manufacture.

    By 1958/9 Japanese cameras were starting to make huge inroads into the European an North American markets which most likely impacted on the viability of Praktina production. The Pentacon Super was an attempt to re-enter the professional market.

    Ian
     
  17. AgX

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    GDR export authorities failed to conquer the japanese entry into the professional-SLR market. Seemingly they did not even start the stride...
     
  18. Ian Grant

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    Well not strictly true as the Pentacon Super was launched as the company's high end /professional system SLR in 1968. I remember the first adverts for them but then never saw any here in the UK. Production was low and they were expensive.

    Ian
     
  19. OP
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    Sewin

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    I picked up a Super TL1000 recently at a good price (really for the lens).

    Anyway the camera body is in very good condition, the meter is working but is way out.

    Not by a couple of stops, but by a couple of shutter speeds!

    I found this fix for adjusting the meter, I had a quick fiddle, but didn't succeed, will try again when I've more time.
    Anyone had any success doing this adjustment, or tried anything else.

    The fix is quite a way down in the thread, shown on a sketch.

    https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/buying-praktica-mtl-5-what-to-look-for.337096/
     
  20. OP
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    Sewin

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    Well,

    This thread has been a bit quiet, so thought I'd wake it up with my latest purchase a viewfinder magnifier £2.
    It takes a while to get used to as it only has a small viewing area and can be fiddly to keep the viewing area central, but it works well on the ground glass screens of my L and L2.

    001v.jpg 002v.jpg
     
  21. Ian Grant

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    Here's my Praktina FX

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This is the camera that paved the way for the Japanese and the Nikon F

    It's KW we should be appreciating, they took over production of the East German Contax SLRs (exported as a Pentacon) two years before finally merging with the Eastern part of Ziess Ikon. The Praktina N prototype became the Pentacon Super, and the Praktisix became the Pentacon 6 and the Praktica name of a KW budget SLR became a new brand name for a range of cameras.

    Ian
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    How does it handle?
    Is there a benefit from that seperate finder?
     
  23. OP
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    Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    I've often fancied one, but I daren't. :smile:
     
  24. Ian Grant

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    Handles like a Leica, everything is extremely smooth, it's not remotely like the build quality of the Prakticamat/Nova series and later L series Prakticas, it's a high precision camera.

    My CZJ Tessar is the semi auto type, you cock the lens for full aperture focussing first pressure on the shutter release stops it down, early Pentax Takumars copied this system, so I guess the separate viewfinder is useful with manual lenses, also when the shutter's been released mirror hasn't dropped until you wind on. Alpa SLR cameras and I think another manufacturer also used a similar 3nd finder.

    Ian
     
  25. OP
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    Sewin

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    Praktica were into re cycling or advance planning, depends which way you interpret the following.

    I took the baseplate of my no battery L yesterday to do a bit of cleaning and light lube.

    First thing I see blocking the innards is a big battery compartment moulding.
     
  26. Helios 1984

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    Standardisation of the L serie made it economical to produce, as all the parts on the assembly line could be used to make any variation of the camera, it's also the secret of it's longevity.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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