Very good pages about byonet and screw mount Prakticas are maintained by Tiago Franko:
Another good site, http://home.worldonline.nl/~ferdix, which include not only technical information, but some very nice photographs and historical information. It is maintained by Ferdi der Broeder
Yet another very good praktica page http://www.praktica-collector.de,
is maintained by Dr. Mike Otto
Long time ago (beginning of 2004) I received two very interesting emails from
Jakob Krieger. Below is
an extract from them that attempts to describe the Praktica history.
I thought that it may be interesting to other readers of this page.
Jakob also provided some numerious corrections for the decsriptions of several cameras which I included without additional reference to him.
I don't know how accurate his description is, but here it goes:
Note for all Praktica models: There are technical changes independently from model numbers (battery types, self-timer, lockable shutters, case colors). The factory did not buy hardly any part from elsewhere, even the screws were produced in the camera factory. Mainly from LTL/MTL and Super-TL types, there were variations sold as "Porst Reflex" or "Revue" by photo-shop-chains in Western Germany. There exist some more model indications in export charges specially sold in the UK but also elsewhere.
The model history can be simplified:
The "L" series started selling in 1970.
All models have metal shutter running the short way from top to bottom, which allowed the short flash sync speed of 1/125 (most others with cloth shutters running vertically allowed 1/60 or 1/30 only, even expensive Leicas). Most models had shutter speeds B, 1/1 to 1/1000.
All models have open-aperture-finders, stopping down mechanically before exposure by simple mechanic.
All models except VLC (for reasons of interchangeable finder) have hot-shoe flash plugs. VLC has round-contact-standard flash plugs, some models have both types.
All models have M-42 screw lens mount, LLC/PLC, VLC and EE types can use M-42 electric lenses for open-lens metering, but also can use standard M-42 lenses.
All models have quick-loading system which allows up to 38 pictures per 36-film, and the shutter-release knob is positioned at 45 degrees to avoid tilt.
All models have a cable release thread in the release button, some have self-timers and lockable shutter- release-knobs, independent of model version. There are more variations sold to exporters like Porst or Quelle/Revue.
"L" series has no light-metering system built in.
There were several versions in use for medical and
military purposes, some with non-moving semi-transparent mirror,
some with 18*24 picture size, and still more variations.
All Prakticas were hand-crafted - just like the ALPA.
"TL" series have an un-coupled selenium light metering
system, just like an external meter mounted to the body.
"TTL" series has an internal light-metering system,
a semi-integral centered system built into the prism,
coupled but to be used with an extra stop-down-shift,
which allows to view the real depth of field on working
aperture. Variations are "Super-TL" with highest speed
of 1/500, and "MTL" with LED exposure control indicators
instead of electromagnetic pointer. LTLs were sold a
lot by Porst and Quelle (Revue) under "OEM" label.
"LLC" series had an open-aperture-metering system in
connection with M-42 electric lenses (or Tamron LLC
adaptor). The metering system is very similar to
the LTL one, except for the missing metering-and-shut-
lense-knob. Metering was done by slightly pressing down
the shutter release button. Later versions were names
"PLC", some had LED metering indicators.
"VLC" series worked like "LLC", using electric lenses
of LLC type, but had interchangeable finders (prism,
top-view, magnifying adapters) and independently
interchangeable screens (clear, raster, fresnel,
split-view). Therefore, the metering system was
re-engineered, the light was taken out from a
semi-transparent section of the mirror, which resulted
in spot-characteristic rather then semi-integral. Note
that unlike many other interchangeable-finder-cameras,
the internal open-lens-metering works on any finder
you wish to use. VLC had no hot-shoe, but round standard
flash contacts and a hot-shoe to be stuck on top as
accessory (still I recommend to use a flash-grip,
"EE" series were just like the LLC, but with automatic
shutter-speed, according to the selected lens stop.
They could as well be operated fully-mechanically
without battery. They had most advanced features of the
series like exposure compensation, a
shutter blind for the finder (to avoid back light when used
on tripod) etc. Unfortunately, the electronic was as
reliable as the one of a recent BMW car - there are
few really good working ones around. Forget the EE
for everyday use. All other models are still reliable
if in good shape, despite of the poor economical
power of East Germany in the days they were produced.
Later Prakticas used the mechanics of the "L" series,
but instead of M-42 screw mount, a bajonet fit which
no other producer copied yet. And they used more
plastic, more electronics - forget about it.
Although there are things one can love on a Nikon or
a Leica, I am using my VLC all the time, and I am using
it professionally, too (for 24*36, else I use a Linhof),
and I am pretty sure that this dinosaur will not leave
me alone even if I'll reach a grandpa's age. Anybody who
doesn't love it should sell it and get an Ixus Dig.
There is something more to say - roughly, the "L"
series started in 1974, the "L2" in 1976, the "L3"
in 1978 (there was a variation of the LTL3 called
"DTL3" with LED metering indicators - due to material
lack, later models had the old pointer instrument
There was no "L4" series, instead the "B" types were introduced, which technically were alike the "EE" with smoother design, smoother quality (lower flash sync time because of weaker shutter mechanic, but bayonet instead of M-42, something one would have wished BEFORE the zoom lenses came up - then, and also today, nobody had the need anymore for a quick lens change) in some better and worse variations.
From ca. 1980 on, the "LTL" versions "MTL5" (and some
"MTL50" with LED indicators) were sold as entry
Praktica models, all other variations of the "3"
generation were discontinued in favor of the
"B"-types, which had problems because of electronic
control - Eastern Germany was imposed on a ban to
buy electronic parts elsewhere (COCOM list).
The last "MTL"s and "B" were built about 1990,
then the factory was downed instead of modernizing
it to a top-quality brand (note that from Praktica
and Zeiss Jena came the production blue-prints for
Tamron lenses, Bronica cameras and so on).
Some background-information about the end:
Praktica cameras, production and development died
in the early 1990s, shortly after the GDR (East
Germany) was annexed to the (western) Federal
Republic. During this process, all industry of
Eastern Germany was erased by the neo-conservative
"re-unification"-politicians, which caused a crisis
that Germany still today suffers without an idea of
how to re-furnish the budget, how to get the East
employed, how to re-populate Eastern cities, etc.
This is why there are no more Praktica cameras now, there is nothing left today than the label on shitty cheap Chinese plastic cameras (film and dig).
What happened with the cameras?
At first time after when the East was annexed, you
could get any Eastern product for free or almost
for free - cars, for example. The cameras flushed the used-camera-shops.
You could make good business buying one. Mint
LLCs cost about 20 US$ - far beneath value. But
this didn't last long. In South-Eastern Europe,
Hungary, Romania etc., Praktica used to be the
GOOD brand nobody could afford - there the
Russian Zenit etc. had been sold before, not
real bad cameras, not at all (the lenses had been
constructed at Zeiss Jena, too, like for Praktika,
Tamron, Bronica and many more Japanese brands),
but the Russian cameras had severe problems with
product quality. Parts broke which really shouldn't
have done this, new lenses had to be re-adjusted to
focus, shutters hung because the lubricant or
even some parts were missing - ok, a Zenit or a FED
which once worked may work for 300 years, but most
didn't when they left the plant. Excellent (yet
simple) constructions, but poorly-made.
Ok, these people had always dreamed of a real Praktica, and they bought the whole stock after the state borders opened for them. Also Italians, who always belonged to the "west", but still prefer simple cheap technique and spend on excellent food rather (if you ever travel to Italy - eat!), bought a lot of these Prakticas.
Today, in Germany it is not easy any more to get a good Praktica for a good price (ok, the MTL5 you can get, but this type had faults in quality as it was sold as the cheap brother of the "B"s), and someone like me who owns TWO good and functioning VLCs is a lucky guy. Yes, I use the VLC professionally (journalist, media-designer and artist), and people always ask "hey, what equipment do you use, these results are excellent" - of course, I use a camera which doesn't try to think for me (but cannot) - this simple. I'd never take a Leica to bad places (like Yugoslavia in war-time - yes, I luckily survived, but I also wanted to KNOW what is happening next to me).
Good mechanics must work even in hell, and the Praktica "L" types do. This is what makes them to have so many friends.
What I have done to my Praktica equipment? Well,
I got some really fine Tamron lenses, a 24 mm
which hardly distorts still, a light-weight and
small zoom 35-70 (all at f3.5) which kills most
of the tasks, and the big and heavy old zoom
35-210 which is sharp through all from wide to
real-tele at virtually no light-loss - show me
another 210 mm zoom lens with f4. For this, I do
carry all this glass. At 95% of time, I use this
old-fashion top-view-finder, after getting used
to it, you appreciate this view of a picture in
a frame instead of the very subjective telescope
view with a pentaprism, which makes you unaware
of tilt and picture composition. Oh, I had
somebody to cloth my VLC with fancy French goat
leather, looks better. Next modification will
concern the battery (all LLC / VLC / EE), the
original one is an ecological hazard, based on
mercury and acid. But since (except EE) the
measuring system is built as a Wheatstone Bridge,
which is a differential measuring system, where
the currency between the light-sensitive photo
cell is adjusted which a variable resistor to
ZERO currency running through the meter, the
power supply voltage is secondary. It should
work with no modification (except for battery
size) with a long-lasting lithium cell 100%
Ok, the finder is smaller and darker than the
one of a Canon EOS. This is where the
photographer's skill is asked for. Anyone can
use a Polaroid or a Dig. And anyone can press on
a Praktica's release button. The difference is,
that a pro or an ambitioned amateur can do magic
with a Praktica or similar cameras, but with a Pol or a
Dig, there is no chance to get better results
than a bum who can't even spell "cheese". Ok,
there are digitals in studio quality, I don't
speak about these. I also use a Linhof 4x5" for
real good results, but this is a completely
Due to economical problems, they never came along
to build an unchanged series over one, two years.
Out of five Prakticas with same model brand, you'll
find two or four variations in build.
Praktica is a classic. Exakta and Praktica (both of neighbor breed) were the first 35mm-SLRs ever. Leica was earlier on 35 mm, but only with its range-finder model (still good). Everybody who views his/her dog named Boo through the lens, uses the heritage of Praktica. It is very sad that the plant was grounded.
The first Praktica model with the M42 mount. Earlier Praktiflex (1938)
used smaller 40 mm lens thread.
From Erik Jakobsen:
Finder equipped with fold-up-lens for holding camera directly to the eye; not only for 'Waist-level' focusing, also a simple fast-viewfinder by opening the 'top'cover of the finder + a small slide-up thing right behind the ground-glass; not TTL view. The shutter speeds selected in the same way as described for model 'IV' by Jugean Patrick and same speeds. By the way, someone told me years ago, that there are also different types FX3; one of them like mine called 'F.X3' , don't know if it's true.
Several models were made: IVB, IVM, IVBM, IVF and IVFB
B - expose meter, selenium cell at the pentaprism front, needle next to the rewind knob
M - Split image range fined
F - Split image range finder surrounded by the ground glass collar. This model introduced the Fresnel lens over the viewing screen. Unfortunately, there was no ground glass. As the result
the screen area outside the range finder can't be used for focusing.
Shutter: 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200, 1/500, B
Shutter (F model): 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/500, B
(note that there is no 1/15).
No instant return mirror
From Jugean Patrick:
The IV F I recently acquired has the following shutter speeds: B, 1/2,1/5, 1/10, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200, 1/500, syncro and 1/25. The speeds 1/25 and above are in black and those below are in red. The red & black pointers on the shutter dial are selectors. Both the speed 1/2 and 1/25 share the same spot ( a red dot between 1/25 and 1/2 ). If you select the black pointer, you get the shutter firing at 1/25 and 1/2 if the red pointer is selected.
A bit of warning: the 58/2 biotar does not fit the practika I have - its screw mount is too deep and blocks the mechanism.
Flash: Standard F and X Flash contacts. Synchs are 1/30 for F
and 1/40 for X (marked with the flash symbol on the shutter dial)
Shutter: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/500, B
(note that there is no 1/15).
Metering: none, but Nova B model has buildin selenium meter.
Instant return mirror
Nova IB has a build in selenium meter.
Instant return mirror
Quick load system
Flash: X Flash hot shoe. Sync is 1/100 (marked with the flash
symbol on the shutter dial)
Shutter: 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/500, 1/1000, B
(LB model has buildin selenium meter)
Instant return mirror
Quick load system
Note from Ken Hancock: I have recently purchased a new battery for this camera (28th October 2000) as a Panasonic PX-21, so it is still available.
Note from Larry:
I have a great place to get these Batteries for the LLC it is
radioshack.com. It is listed as a PX21. It is only available online and
not in their stores. It is still used as a Memory Battery in some Apple
Work with the automatic diaphragm lenses on LLC model is not easy. Three
operations need to be done simultaneously:
1) Depress the shutter-release button to switch on meter.
2) Operate stop-down switch on the lens (and it may not be available!).
3) Operate aperture control or shutter speed dial to centre the needle visible in the viewfinder.
Instant return mirror
Quick load system
Variations: Some have lockable shutter release knobs, most have self-timer
Instant return mirror
Quick load system
Instant return mirror
|Lens||Focal Length||Max Aperture||Diaphragm|
|Schneider Tele Xenar||135||3.5||Auto|
|Lens||Focal length||Max Aperture||Diaphragm|
|Zeiss Jena S||135||3.5||Auto|
|Zeiss Jena S||180||2.8||Auto|
|Zeiss Jena S||300||4||Auto|
|Zeiss Catopric Lens||500||4||Fixed|
|Zeiss Catopric Lens||1000||5.6||Fixed|
Note 2. According to  all Meyer lenses will eventually be known as Pentacon lenses for the non-electric models and Pentacon Electric for the Praktica LLC.
Note 3. Of course, all screw mount lenses can be used on the Praktica cameras. (See, however, note about LLC).
From Valerio Saulini:
I've noticed some absence into the lens list for Praktica cameras: There was also a Carl Zeiss Jena MC Flektogon 2,8/20 (MultiCoated, I own one of this wonderful lenses). I never saw a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 2,8/35, I saw many f/2,4 (MC or not MC). There was a Carl Zeiss Jena MC Pancolar 1,8/80 (I owned one) There was a Carl Zeiss Jena MC Sonnar 2,8/200 (It seems to be an outstanding lens, definitely better than the ancient Olympia Sonnar 2,8/180. I saw one modified to fit Leica R cameras, but is a very rare lens).
On the other hand, to quote :
"For me, the golden age of the Praktica was during the late fifties and early sixties, during the IV, IVF and VF period. Find a good, little-used example of any of those, preferably with the f/2.8 Tessar or an f/2 Biotar, and you will have more picture-taking ability per pound spent than you could obtain from almost any other camera".
And another one from :
"The Praktica line took a decided turn for the worse when, during 1965, VEB replaced the IV and VF series with the Praktica Nova cameras. These are lighter, altogether cheaper in feel and operation, and far less likely, thirty years on, to be working as they should. During the gestation of this book I have bought a Praktica Nova, Nova IB and a Super TL. None of them worked properly in all major respects, although the Nova survived about four films before the shutter developed problems."
Some more comments from :
"These latter Prakticas (including LTL) are probably the least expensive SLRs that still do the job reasonably well. ... Praktica's vertical shutter is very reliable and does not normally require attention."
From Valerio Saulini
I own a Praktica LLC with the Pancolar 1,8/50 (very good lens), but the battery I use is a normal AA 1.5V; it's a reliable camera, with a dark finder.
From Stanley Buck
I used the Super TL for about 14 years during the early 1970s. I was very satisfied with it. I got the whole outfit, mailorder, with extra lenses for about 99 dollars. I took hundreds of excellent pictures with it, many of professional quality. Yes, the camera body lacks the quality of a good Pentax SP, but it worked for me. I still have the camera, and it still works and looks good. I haven't used it for a few years, since I normally use a Minolta XGA body with a Tamron 28 to 70 zoom macro. When I want to do good copy work, I use the Praktica's lens, a Meyer Oreston f1.8. The lens has nearly macro focusing, and is as good as any lens that I have owned, and I have some good ones. Once in awhile, I use the Meyer lens on my Minolta, using a screw mount adaptor. Big deal, so I have to open and close the lens manually, it still produces excellent pictures, and it is superior to many Japanese lenses, especially cheaper Minolta products, and Vivitar, which I dislike. I wouldn't feel too uncomfortable if I went back to using the Super TL regularly; after all, it's the pictures that count, and the Super TL, with all its worts, works great.
From Silvan Urfer
I love the Praktica PLC 2, especially with the Pentacon lenses (50mm, 1:1,6). Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find the batteries at the moment. But if I wanted a semi-auomatic camera without any computerized features (which I hate) that still has stop-down switch lenses, I would have to buy a Leica. I use this PLC 2 since 1990 and have got it from my father who used it since 1977, and it has never ever had any technical problems. The Pentacon lenses, on the other hand, have made trouble several times because of the aperture mechanism. I also use some non-electrical lenses on the PLC 2 (mostly a 55 mm 1:1,8) and have never found it difficult to make measurments using the stop-down switch.
After more than three years (speaks in favour of the camera quality! :-) the camera developed a shutter problem, resulting in only the lower half of the photographs being exposed. It has great sentimental value to me, so I brought it in for repair. Very pleased with the result, camera is as good as new and still taking great pictures. The interesting thing is that the guys at the shop built me an adapter for 3 1,5 V button batteries to be put in place of the old and not readily available 4,5 V battery. While the 1,5 V battery s ubstitute as proposed by others also worked flawlessly (you just had to set the film sensitivity half an unit too low), I find the idea very interesting. Perhaps others can suggest something similar to be built for them.
(From aab: I saw sever times the adapter for 3x1.5v batteries on ebay).
From Rene Gaspard
My first SLR Camera was the Super TL 1000, bought in the early eighties, when i was a pupil. They sold it very cheap in West Germany (half the price as a Japanese SLR), cause the GDR needes western currency, and so they sold all their "good" products in West Germany (Radios, TVs, Motorcycles) for dumping prices. It's one of the best cameras, I still use it. Easy to handle, stronger than steel and thougher than diamonds. Survived travels in the whole world. I changed the orignal Objektive (50mm/f2.8) to a russian (Zenith/helios 58mm/f2.0) cause the original objektives surface was scratched (i never used a filter for protektion or ever a cap)
Resume: A f...... good camera.
While I (aab) agree in general with the previous letter about Super TL 1000, I must note that in order to make it cheap, the designers used metall with a high persentage of carbon for internals of the camera. As the result, it may not handle drops very well. The weak places are the strap lags. Strong impact on them may cause serious damage to the camera.
From Colin Henthorne
For me, the Praktica LLC is the standard by which all other cameras
will be judged. The optics - Meyer - are hard to match and no other
camera that I encountered during the seventies truly was truly automatic.
The so-called Automatic and Spotmatic cameras from Pentax only
metered by use of the light actually making it through the
stopped-down lens. Even today, when I encounter
a camera touted as "automatic" I have to ask what they really mean.
The Praktica is a very easy-to-use, reliable camera.
I should add that after twenty years I had this camera dismantled and inspected by a repair man. He noted that I had had this camera "at the beach". In fact this camera had spent twenty years on the ocean with only a very mild deposit of salt inside.
(Note from aab: Indeed for most of the M42 screw mount cameras in 60th and early 70th, the word automatic means that they use lens with automatic diaphragm. Even more confusing word "semiautomatic" used in Russian Zenits - it mean just that the camera has TTL meter. But it doesn't mean that there were no auto exposure cameras. For example, Cosina Hi-Lite EC II and Chinon memotrons used aperture priority auto exposure (AE) with any screw-mount lens. Fujica AZ1 and ST901 offered AE for lens with Fujica's screw-mount lens. And, of course, pentax ES and ESII offered AE for lens with Pentax F screw-mount (SMC takumars) ).
From Tim Hicks:
I have used the Praktica LB (my first SLR) and the MTL5 and they were both fine until they developed the same shutter fault. I have since been wary of the cameras but the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses can be superb. I use the 300/4 and 180/2.8 'Olympic' Sonnars on my Pentax SPII and on the medium format Pentacon 6TL camera. I also use the 50/1.8 Pancolor and the 35/2.8 Flektagon - these are excellent lenses - equal to the Pentax M42 and Canon equivalents that I use. The Tessar 50/2.8 can be pretty good but it is not multicoated. The 135/3.5 Sonnar is excellent and often cheap to buy in the UK The 20/2.8 and the 80/1.8 are also superb but I cannot find either, so I guess the people who have them, keep them!
One more to add to the lens list - I have seen a 25mm F4 wide angle Zeiss Flektagon lens that appeared to be contempory with the 20/4 Flektagon of the 1960's.
I can confirm there were 2 versions of the 35mm lens, the earlier F2.8 version with a bigger front element and the later F2.4 version. Both are excellent to use but the earlier version is better constructed.
Praktica also made good quality bellows and viewfinder accessories that are often very good value.
Just a comment about 50/1.8 Pancolor lens. I (aab) used it a little and found it to be soft wide open. But may be it was just my version. Also, according my own experience and some other sources, the Pancolor has a tendency to develop diaphragm problems. Apparently, the small holes which keep the diaphragm blades in place may became loose.
Another comment about ptaktica LLC from
I've used an LLC for some time now, and find it a solid reliable camera. The standard electric lens is excellent. I use a normal AA1.5v battery instead of the almost impossible to find 4.5v. I haven't discovered any difference, but I'm told there may be up to a half-stop under-exposure. Whatever, prints come back looking great. I haven't tried slides yet. I'm really happy with it.
From Dale Dickerson:
My first SLR was a Super TL. The screen is dim, but the camera with a few c/l/a over the years keeps working very well. I did not care for the single coated Myer lens or the cheap low end Japan lenses imported for the camera in the early 1970s to the USA. So I bought a Nikon F. In the late 1990s, I got a CZJ MC 2.8/20mm. Wow! Now I have the CZJ MC 20mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm. I also have the CZJ MC 2.8/80mm, 2.8/120mm, 2.8/180mm, and 4/300mm in p-6 mount and an m42 adaptor. These are all wonderful lens. I have other 35mm slr cameras and lenses, but I only use these CZJ MC lens. I know many people say the Pentax made the best m42 lenses. I prefer the CZJ MC m42 lenses. I still use my Super TL and I picked up a MTL 5 which has a better screen and lighter weight. The optics deliver high grade images. The cameras are reliable. Go with Carl Zeiss Jena MC lenses. (Read Bob Shell's article in Shutterbug November 2001. He uses them on number of cameras.)
I've used Praktica MTL-5 for 14 years. It was bought second hand at a garage sale at a retirement trailer park. I think I lost the instruction manual a while ago. I love it. I've used canon AE-1. F1, have my nikon, my bronica(medium), my polariod, my vivitar 35mm but I always pick the MTL 5 out of my bag first. Lost (rather the ex) my timed shutter release lever other then that it's perfect.
From David Wassell: (about Praktica Nova B) Cost $25 s/hand 31yrs ago and is among my 5 working cameras by Praktica. About 300rolls I have taken with this camera - no problems.
From Jakob Krieger:
The Praktica VLC is like the LLC series, but has an interchangeable viewfinder, and TTL open aperture metering. There is a tamron adaptall adapter for m42 electric (LLC/VLC/EE), so you can combine brilliant lenses with this unique and reliable (yes, heavy and loud, but me, too, I am heavy and loud but reliable) camera. I use it for years without any problem.
(From aab: Note that the Tamron Praktica LLC apatall is rare outside Germany. For the last year - 2003 - I saw it only 4 times on ebay).
Yashica DX 50mm f1.4 lens on Prakticas: The rear lens element on the DX lens blocks the stop-down plate in the Nova 1B camera and the shutter won't operate properly. The DX lens works fine on a Praktica Super TL which has a different shape to the stop-down plate. A Yashica 50mm DS lens, which has a smaller rear element that doesn't intrude so far into the camera works fine on a Praktica PL Nova 1B too, as do most other screw mount lenses. I would assume the same may be true for the Praktica PL Nova 1 as well.
I bought the MTL5 camera body and a Pentacon electric 2.8/29mm lens for $20 Canadian at a camera show about 5 months ago. The camera works flawlessly. I've noticed the lubricant in the 29mm focus ring and diaphram tends to freeze up in cold weather, so it probably needs cleaning and relubricating. Also, my Soligor 2x tele-extender will not work with any lens on this camera - aperature won't close down. Somehow the kick plate is not connecting with aperature pin. I haven't tried another doubler. Maybe there's a moral lesson here: avoid tele-extenders altogether!
From G. Wilkin: I used this camera [Super TL 1000] from new (bought in 1985) and sold it in the late 1990s it is still working today.I used the camera recreationaly,but was told by my boss to use the company's Nikons for work,I prefered the Praktica and used the camera behind his back,he never complained about the quality of my photos nor did the customers.
From Jon Gibbs
Back in the 1950s I bought a FX2 with 2.8 50mm Meritar, Then I swapped it in for IVF with f2 Biotar which I then swapped in for a Practicamat with f2.8 50mm Tessar, to this I added a 29mm f2.8 Orestegon and a 100mm f2.8 Orestor (my favourite lens ever) later I got a 135mm Orestor and a Zeiss 135mm f3.5 which focuses to 1 metre. I still have this kit which works still but the meter is not working properly. Last year I bought a PLC3 + f1.8 Oreston, a good camera which I gave to a nephew. Also I bought another FX3 with f2 Biotar on Ebay, its in great nick and takes fine pix. back to my roots as it were with a copy of my first SLR. Not quite as modern as my F90X or Canon G5 digital but great fun.
Prakticas are variable in build quality and a bit agricultural in design but they are tough and they deliver great results.
From Hilary Cuerden-Clifford
When I was rather poor I bought one of these (Praktica L). The shutter release was stiff, the viewfinder was dark, and the whole thing was light and tinny. The Domiplan lens that came with it was truly horrible. This is not a camera to waste time on. Conversely, a Practica IV I had was a much better option, big solid and reliable (though exceptionally primitive), the only problem occurring when I pointed it directly at the sun before it was wound on (no instant-return mirror, and the shutter cloth burned through).
Do you have any experience in using Prakticas that you want to share?
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