Sunday, December 6

CycleDog - Agent of Satan?

Mostly, CycleDog publishes good, sometimes snarky posts about cycling. However, lately, I've started to suspect he's got a side job as an agent of the fallen angel. Yes, we're talking Satan here. You see, he's been interspersing these posts with vignettes about obsolete old cameras he claims to have run across. Of course, an agent the dark force might well make such a claim. Sucker them in and then claim their souls, so to speak.

In defense, I violate my usual principles and counter with my own obsolete camera story. My own is a Praktica LTL3 that I bought new back in the late 70's from Montgomery Ward (yes, THAT Montgomery Ward). Prakticas were made in the German Democratic Republic. Otherwise known as "East Germany." A commie camera. In the case of cars, the East Germans made things such as Wartburg. It's not well known, but they did much better with cameras. The Practica was a fairly generic SLR 35mm camera. It's best point was a good 50mm Pentacon lens. Germans, even communist ones, were good with optics. The original outfit also came with a 200mm Hanimex lens and a Hanimex 2X converter. I later added a nice Asahi 29mm wide angle lens. All of these mate to the camera body via a Pentax screw mount. None of this zoom nonsense, but it does give lens range between 29 and 200 mm, equating out to a lot of megapixels if you're using a fine grain film and a high resolution scanner.

I can't count the number of photos I took with this camera. Mostly we went with slides, using either Ektrachrome or Kodachrome.

AND, since he mentions the "Lomography" website, I notice that they talk about the LTL3 here. It's also amazing the amount of information you can find on the Internet about some of these cameras, such as here.

Praktica still exists today. Among other things, they make optics for the space program.

This post is the blogging equivalent of wolfbane and garlic. I think I'm going to go out and find a new battery for the light meter...


Velouria said...

Oooh I want your Praktica LTL3! I hope it's just the batteries and not the light meter being broken; fixing those can be cost prohibitive. One of our 4 obsolete little manual Olympus 35RCs (yes, I said we have 4 of them) has a broken light meter so we meter manually. That used to be fun until film got insanely expensive; now we can't afford to mess around with little experiments like that. We have loads of other vintage film cameras. I would not call them "obsolete", as I think film cameras serve a different purpose than digital.

Rat Trap Press said...

That's an interesting little camera and a cool piece of history in a way. I remember reading about a Russian pocket camera that was supposed to be pretty decent but I've never heard of Praktica.

I can't remember the last time I used an actual film camera.

anna said...

Oh, I got a second-hand Praktica TL1000 recently. Can't open the battery box anymore, so I have to do the measurements with an external device. Still, hope to have some fun with that thing :-)

Steve A said...

The TL1000 is very similar to the LTL3. It's a good camera without a lot of fluff and taking pictures with it is a trip back in time. If Anna hasn't found it yet, there's a manual for the TL1000 at:

Get a little more torque to get that thread loose for the battery!

I'm taking my LTL3 along on our ride tomorrow. Fresh film, a new battery, and all lenses...

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