Special Feature: Praktica LTL

There's something about this camera that makes me want to use it all the time.

Praktica LTL


Camera type: TTL Metered Single Lens Reflex

Lens Type: Standard fitment is either Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar or Meyer Gorlitz Domiplan 50mm

Shutter Type: Focal Plane Horizontal Blade Shutter 

Speeds from 1 to 1/1000th sec. + B


I think it must be the rugged simplicity or maybe it's the freznel focusing screen or could it be the Carl Zeiss lens? This is a question that seems to have no answer. I have cameras with much more sophisticated focusing and some with far superior lenses and if it's just about simplicity I have dozens of those. I remember reading an article on a website and the author said that Praktica went downhill after the LTL and I think maybe he was right. It has the benefit of the easy film load system and the metal blade shutter with an accurate speed range from 1 to 1/1000th of a second and, if you're lucky you will find one with the Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar lens. This model seems to be the pinnacle of Praktica development after which financial considerations meant that they started to cut corners in order to compete and although I have 2 MTL's they just don't have the same feel. This is easy to load, has very accurate focusing and every time you press the shutter it seems to say "do it again, do it again" as if it just wants to be used and this it does with such dependability.

There are some close up and macro shots on the camera page but since then this camera has been out on a couple of excursions. In fact after much consideration it was my camera of choice for my Nephew's wedding because I needed a camera I could depend on whatever the conditions. I did use it with a Makinon zoom lens for this occasion because I needed the flexibility and there is never enough time to change lenses when you get into the scrum for wedding photos. This Makinon had proven itself to be pretty good on it's previous outing so I was confident that it wouldn't let me down. The only drawback with it is that although it would have been useful to have a polariser or UV filter the outer lens thread is a whopping 72mm and I don't have anything that big.

I won't bore you with loads of wedding pictures but just this one of the happy event to show the focusing and metering capabilities of the LTL. Bear in mind also that this is with a secondhand Makinon zoom lens of unknown origin not the Carl Zeiss. This was a challenge for the metering because the official wedding photographer insisted on taking these shots under the shade of a tree on a bright day and, of course, he had pole position.

I know this is another picture from the wedding but this is what I call a wedding car.

 I was given a book on walks in the Cotswolds for Christmas so I thought I'd try one out. This leads out of Burford and across a few fields alongside the stream. Then it turns across the stream and up to Fulbrook and back round to Burford. It sounded easy enough but after the first leg along by the stream it clouded over and looked decidedly threatening so we turned back.

The next 2 shots below are from an early morning trip to get some shots from the Ridgeway overlooking Avebury. On the way there I had to cross over the river Kennett and this looked like a good spot for a picture or two. When I got up onto the Ridgeway I was a bit disappointed because although I could see Avebury in the distance it was too far away to get any kind of meaningful sots so I settled for a couple of simple pictures of the immediate area and went home.

Meanwhile back in the garden with that macro and just a couple of shots that weren't used in the main page. The one on the left is a miniature rose approx 1 1/2" in diameter. As for the strawberry I know the colour is not exact but it sure looks tasty.

To sum up the experience of using this camera I would simply say it's great. An easy to use camera with accurate focus and metering and total reliability. This, coupled with the fact that it uses standard 42mm threaded lenses which are plentiful and cheap, makes it probably the best value for money camera you could hope to get your hands on.



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