The Collector's Guide to Praktina System

The Kamera-Werke, at that time VEB Kamera-Werkstätten, showed the Praktina prototype in 1952 at the Photokina exhibition in Köln (April) and at the Leipzig Fair (September). The Praktina was the first SLR to get the full interchangeability of lens, finder, focusing screen, camera back and with the capability to use a motor. This camera sports a set of innovative features that place it remarkably ahead of its time. It took seven years to see an other SLR camera, the Nikon F, that get the interchangeability of lenses, finders, focusing screens, camera back and with the provision for a motor.
Kamera-Werke showed with the new camera also a large number of accessories and lenses. So not only a new camera but also a new SLR system was born. Among the accessories Kamera-Werke showed the eye-level finder, the waist-level finder, the 6x micro focusing finder, the portrait finder with 3x magnification, the rapid-sequence spring motor for up to 10 shoots, the electric motor with magnetic remote control, the 2:1 extension bellows and the microscope adapter. At the same time KW announced the availability of Carl Zeiss Jena and Mayer-Optik lenses with focal length from 3,5cm up to 50cm. In the first quarter of 1953, Kamera-Werke carries out the final design of the Praktina. With the same look of the first prototype the new Praktina has improved features as the semiautomatic control of the lens diaphragm and the "X" and "F" flash synchronization via two bipolar sockets. In 1953 Kamera-Werke showed also new accessories including the prototype of 17m cassette back, the stereo finder for Carl Zeiss Stereo attachments, the 1:1 bellows focusing attachment and lenses from 40mm to 500mm as well as the rapid-sequence spring motor and the electric motor with a different shape.

Production Dates:  1952-53
Number Produced:  Unknown

Identification of Model Praktina

"Praktina" stamped on the Front (no "FX")

Identification of different Types

Type 1:
Type 2:
  Three Sockets for Flash Synchronization
  Two Sockets for Flash Synchronization

Praktina Type 1

Praktina Type 2

Prototype of Spring Winder (b)

Prototype of Electric motor (b)

3x Portrait finder (b)

Bellows Focusing Attachment (b)

Spring motor (c)

Electronic Flash (a)

6x macro finder (c)

Prototype of 17m Cassette Back (c)

Bellows Focusing Attachment (c)

Prototype of Stereo Finder (c)

(a) Kamera-Werke Brochure, 1952, (b) German Photo Magazine, October 1952, (c) German Photo Magazine, October 1953

- Single lens reflex with picture format 24mm x 36mm on standard 135 cartridges
- With (type 2) or without (type 1) lens diaphragm control
- Interchangeable reflex finder and focusing screen
- Eye-level optical finder incorporated in the camera body
- Camera back hinged and removable
- Interchangeable lens via breech-lock and Praktina bayonet mount
- Mirror returns with film advance
- Shutter focal plane with cloth curtain and speed B 1 2 5 10 25 50 75 100 200 500 1000
- Self-timer
- Frame counter with manual setting shows the number of frames exposed
- Motor Coupling Socket on the base section of the camera
- Knobs for film winding and rewind
- Film type reminder disc
- Finder lock on the camera bottom (A=open, Z=locked)
- Tripod socket size: 3/8"
Site Map
History of KW
Praktina Directory
    Praktina FX-DS
    Praktina FX
    Praktina FX-A
    Praktina IIA
    Praktina IIA-DA
    Hexacon Supreme
    Porst reflex
Praktina Accessories
    Motor and Winder
    17m Magazine
    Macro System
    Stereo System
Praktina Lenses
    Carl Zeiss Jena
Last revision: 1st January 2011

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