|Praktica LTL3 (Pentacon), 35mm SLR|
The Pracktica LTL3 joined the LTL SLR series that was was introduced in 1972. Most well used LTL's will probably be on their last legs by now. The LTL series was not as robust as the earlier Novas and mechanically they ore often outlived by their predecessors. This LTL3 is very little used and was donated by Mr. M. Machin in 1993. Despite little use the light meter died, this appears to be a common fault with these cameras. After this the metal vertical focal plane shutter will probably give up the ghost which is another fairly common occurrence with members of the LTL series. In keeping with every Praktica I have ever heard, the shutter mechanism is wondrously noisy, with a noticeable inertia jolt as the blinds close. The LTLs were a bit of a low point for Prakticas, the BC series which came later was much better, but arguably the reputational damage was done.
The history of Praktica is complex to say the least, but Praktica is just the name applied to the camera, the company behind it was an amalgamation of many of Dresden's long standing optical factories. Dresden was the centre of much of Germany's fabulous camera production prior to World War 2. This was thrown into turmoil, first by the war itself, then allied bombing all but destroyed the city and finally what was left became part of East Germany, occupied by Soviet Russia who put the camera factories back to work. This caused a few legal issues as some Zeiss factories ended up in East Germany, whilst others remained in the West making closely related products. The various famous Dresden camera makers were gradually amalgamated by the Soviets and by 1964 the conglomeration was known as VEB Pentacon Dresden. The name Pentacon being obtained by combining the words Pentaprism and Contax. The expertise and some of the surviving staff of Zeiss, Ihagee, Certo and others would wind up making Prakticas. Consequently the Prakticas were well made, often displaying elements of their pre Pentacon history. Pentacon went on to build thousands of popular and well selling cameras up to the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Sadly Pentacon couldn't survive in market driven reunified Germany, unable to compete, the Praktica silently faded away in 1990.
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Body No. 112079
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