Praktiflex - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Praktiflex

1939

Kamera Werkstätten

Dresden

Germany

Image of Praktiflex

Lens:
f2.9, 5 cm Victar Anastigmat, iris diaphragm to f16. Manual setting. Depth-of-field scale. 40 mm screw mount.

Shutter:
Focal-plane, speeds 1/25 - 1/1000, B.

Construction:
Leatherette covered metal body.

Format:
36, 24 x 36 mm exposures on 35 mm cine film held in standard cassettes.

Focusing:
Helical to 0.7 metre.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through taking lens. Full-size ground glass focusing screen with condenser. Magnifier in hood. Eye-level view-finder in hood. Auto-stop on film advance.
The mirror is raised by finger pressure, against a spring, and does not trip, it falls back when pressure is removed.
Exposure counter. Removable back.

Serial Number:
16199 .

With:
Ever-ready case.

The Praktiflex was one of the earliest 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras and the forerunner of a long line of similar models. The general shape and layout was also adopted by many other makers and set a trend until the Contax S appeared with built-in roof pentaprism. The mirror is raised by finger pressure, when fully raised it triggers the shutter, when pressure is released the mirror is pulled down by a spring. This is fine for the speed range of the Praktiflex but would not allow slow speeds to be used, the second generation introduced a spring raised mirror which returned when the shutter was tensioned.

This is a late example, c. 1945, of the first generation of Praktiflex. The camera went through a number of modifications before the introduction, after the war, of the second generation of camera. The camera was produced throughout the war when raw materials would have been difficult to obtain, the quality of these later models is noticeably poorer than early examples.

The second generation of the Praktiflex had the shutter release on the face of the camera rather than the top plate and developed into the Praktica range.

Further Information:
Cameras from Dresden, p. 19. Falchenberg, Cameras from the DDR. Praktica Guide.

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