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Praktiflex 1st generation from 1940
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: Praktiflex 1st generation from 1940 Reply with quote

Not everyone likes prakticas, but the original Praktiflex (the "ur-Praktica", so to speak) is an interesting camera. I don't see these often.

It's well built and it's even one of those first 35mm single lens reflex cameras with a "quick-return mirror". Not in the true sense of the word, because the mirror is directly coupled to the shutter button. So the mirror movement even works when the shutter is not tensioned. This idea was also copied by Asahi for use on their 1952 Asahiflex I, the first Japanese 35mm SLR camera.

What I found strange is that the shutter of this Praktiflex still works very good; the fabric curtains are not even wrinkled or torn. On top of that the film wind mechanism works super smooth.

The lens is a Schneider-Kreuznach 5cm f/3.5 Xenar which is, of course, uncoated. This was a mid-range lens; this combination (camera + lens) cost around RM 150 in 1940. If I'm not mistaken the Praktiflex with the cheapest lens (the E. Ludwig Victar 5cm f/3.5) cost around RM 100.

Ayone shot with such a camera? Smile

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Very nice! I've got one, but haven't been able to shoot with it; the mirror is too badly deteriorated, making the view impossibly dim. But other than that, my Praktiflex too seems, in defiance of the odds, to be in fully working condition.

Mine came with a 40/4.5 Meyer Helioplan - I gather that's a rather unusual lens in Praktiflex mount - and I also have the much more common 5cm/3.5 Tessar.

One thing that surprised me about the Praktiflex lenses is that their register is significantly different from (shorter than) the M42 register. I wasn't expecting that; several reference sources suggest that the register distance is identical. One day I must see about cobbling together an adapter for my G1.

I'd love to see some samples!



PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two of them , one is really garbage , another one pretty nice . I didn't try it out. I did try Praktica FX2 it was a pleasant experience.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Jon: thanks for your reply! Yes, I found your Helioplan when I searched for more information about the Praktiflex in this forum. That's a pretty nice lens I'd like to have too, but I've never seen one for sale (any Meyers from the 50's and earlier are super hard to find here in The Netherlands).]
As far as I can tell the mirror on my copy looks like new (it seems that the lens was never removed before), but the ground glass screen is a dusty mess. I still need to clean it.

@Attila: do you also have the 1st versions of the Praktiflex? The first version has a top shutter release, the later Praktiflexes (which are somewhat worse built) have a front shuttter button and no "quick return mirror".

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am unsure , they were long time ago in my hands.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the most comprehensive site (to my knowledge) about Praktiflex.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sports-finder is a nice detail.