It was one early morning on the fleamarket, and there we met. She was sleeping there in a pile of dead cameras and she looked at me, my communist diva!
She looked at me with her mediocre Pentacon 1.8/50 eye wide open… I thought it was excitement, but actually the aperture blades were stuck. Covered with grease, dust and her mechanism completely dry, she dominated with the scent of East Germany, and we went home together setting me back for a whopping 5€
After a careful cleaning and a touch of silicon grease on the proper erogenous zones, she immediately showed that she is no joke. She came back to life with beautiful mechanical sounds of the shutter timer, furious mirror flap speed and a light meter that does not show any age. When it comes to design, there is something about Germans dipped in sauce of bolshevism. She looked straight and geometric, with nothing to add and nothing to take away. The removable pentaprism is low profile and even more recessed back side, with beautiful black “PRAKTICA” typeface engraved below it, and a black underline to keep it framed. Zero hipsterism. Zero gimmickry.
When you look at it from the top, the first thing you will notice is the beautiful, properly placed and tactile shutter speed selector dial. Change the ISO setting on the same dial by pulling the outer frame upward and selecting value.
This diva also knows how to grab what’s important, the film loading spool is very clever and does not let the film slip. The frame spacing is equal to the 90s Japanese motor-driven cameras from beginning to the end, and the focal plane shutter curtain is all-metal. No silly vulnerable and slow fabric-curtain in this lady.
Long story short, I handed my diva a rare roll of Efke 100, and we went to the wine yard for a shoot.
Dear diva, I knew there was a chance that your shutter timer is out of tune, but actually it turned out to be more like a Vacheron Constantin thing! Your shutter sounds like a suitcase spring-lever and you back focus by a meter but I still love you.