Praktica TL-5B (With Vivitar 28mm f/2.5)

This was the camera responsible for my first explorations into film, when I found this in a charity shop for £8 with the lovely Pentacon 50mm f/1.8.

Praktica released over half a million of this model from 1985 to 1989. They have a vertical blade focal plane shutter with speeds from bulb to 1/1000s, and a fixed eye-level view finder (Pentaprism) with field lens with triple rangefinder wedge, truncated microprism screen, groundglass field and built-in shutter speed meter which displays from stop down TTL metering.

This is my baby, I love it. I have got consistently awesome results with this camera, have been playing with various films and effects.

Praktica SLR cameras have a definite charm to them, they are so obviously a child of their era – oozing East German 80s engineering style. They are also very simple to use, they meter well and clearly, and have a clear and easy focusing screen in the viewfinder. What is perhaps the best thing about them is the positioning of the shutter release, half way down the body and angle in so that pressing it puts force on the camera towards the body; this makes them very forgiving of camera shake, even though the mirror-slap sounds like a  rifle going off.

View sets on Flickr taken with the Praktica TL-5B

Vital Statistics:

Shutter:   Mechanical metal-blade vertical focal plane shutter
Shutter Speeds:  B, 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250,1/500, 1/1000
Lens Mount:  M42
Metering:  Stop down TTL, match-needle indicator in viewfinder
Viewfinder:  Fixed eye-level pentaprism view finder (Pentaprism) with new field lens with triple rangefinder wedge, truncated micro-prism screen, ground-glass field
Flash: X-synchronisation  at 1/125, hotshoe on top surface
:  LR44 Cell (for meter)

You can find out more about this model at Praktica