A couple newbie questions regarding a praktica super TL3

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mookout, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. mookout

    mookout Member

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    Hey,

    new here. very glad to find this forum.

    Anyway, I´m getting into photography for a while with my flash canon 400d which does everything and can probably make breakfast too...

    I´ve become more and more interested in analog photography lately.
    The other day I was in a market and found a praktica super TL3 for 15€, and got it for 10€.

    Here´s some specs on it
    http://www.praktica-collector.de/199_Praktica_super_TL3.htm

    and here´s a transcript of the manual with some diagrams
    http://home-1.tiscali.nl/~ferdix/Praktica Super TL 3.htm


    So I´ve got a couple (possibly annoying) questions.

    1. When I press the metering key and look into the lens, I see the aperture blades click into place, but the problem is that the aperture blades slide back into the neutral position quite slowly. I mean about 3 seconds from 5.6 or 5 seconds from 22. Is this normal? I mean, I don´t see how it could affect exposures as long as I´m not shooting one every few seconds, but is it bad?

    2. The exposure counter. A guy in the camera store just loaded film in it for the first time, and I haven´t taken any shots yet. The exposure counter is at about 3 shots before the number 1 mark. How can I correct this (next time?)?

    3. The film speed dial part. If I pull up the ring of the shutter speed knob I can adjust the ASA/DIN. Right now theres film of 400 iso and 24 exposures inside. The ASA/DIN dial is at 200/24. Should it be at that or at 400/27?

    4. The battery compartment. (this is definitely dumb but anyway) What is the battery for? Only if I have a flash mounted?

    5. I can take off the lens when there´s film loaded right? Obviously provided i´m not mid exposure...

    6. The rewind button/crank. I sort of feel that I shouldnt touch this as long as there is film loaded. Is that what the rewind release button is for? Right now it´s in the not pressed position (I could click it in I think). What exactly does this button do?

    7. Lastly, someone in a camera shop told me I can´t rewind the film back into the canister while it´s in the camera... He did it in one of those black boxes (where you stick your hands in and do it by feeling). This isn´t true is it?


    That seems to be all I can think of right now...


    To whoever makes even a slight response, thanks for reading my possibly stupid questions, and helping me get involved in the world of analog photography.

    Cheers
     
  2. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    I'm sure there are folks here more familiar with the Practika, but maybe I can help in a small way.

    1. Sounds like the aperture blades are sticky...a Clean and lube by a tech would probably make them snap back open instantly after releasing the metering switch.

    2. If the camera salesman didn't make 1-3 exposures after loading the film, that would be normal. Make a couple of exposures with the lens covered to get by the leader that was exposed to light during the loading process. Then you should be at #1 on the counter. It's also a good idea to tension the rewind crank slightly, so that it turns as you advance the film with the lever. That way you can rest assured your film is advancing and loaded properly.

    3. Yes, under normal circumstances if you have ASA 400 film loaded, it should be set that way on the camera...there are circumstances and variables that may change that as you advance in technique, or learn your camera's meter better.

    4. The camera's battery powers the meter.

    5. Yes, if the camera is functioning correctly you should be able to remove the lens while it's loaded.

    6. Again, if the camera is functioning corrctly, you would press the rewind button when the roll is finished, then rewind the film back into the cannister with the rewind crank. Normally, if the button is pressed accidentally mid-roll, it will reset itself the next time you advance the film.

    7. See #6...you should be able to rewind the film into the cannister inside the camera by pressing the release button.

    8. Have fun with it!

    Jo
     
  3. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Your questions and concerns have, I think, been answered well and correctly. The diaphragm blades may free up in time with use; otherwise you need a cleaning out of the old lube and relubing.

    What lens do you have? The usually came with a 1.8 Meyer Orestons (Orestor?) I forget the excact name. Later I think they were called Practikars. Those lenses were so-so. One of my old Practikas had a 1.8 Zeiss Pancolar which was quite sharp--it also focussed very closely.

    The Practikas were not great cameras--tinny, noisy, and not too terribly rugged. That being said, I took many decent pictures with them over quite a period of time and probably have never enjoyed photography as much as when I was toting a couple of Practikas. I liked that L series because of the interchangeable finders and screens: the waist level finder was good for close-up work. Also, a 100 mm 2.8 Meyer was very light, compact, and great for portraits; and the 200 mm 4.0 Meyer was one of the sharper lenses I have owned. Sharpest of all, though, was a 135 3.5 Zeiss Sonnar. All were made in the "sogenannte DDR."

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
     
  4. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I just looked at your links. That model did not have the interchangeable finders and screens. Also, that funny wire in the film take up is the strangest, funiest arrangement I think I have ever encountered. But, ya know, it worked perfectly every single time. Moreoever, as someone who spooled his own bulk film, that Pactika loading system meant I did not have to cut a film leader. The squared end of the film loaded perfectly without a narrowed film leader. Every time.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
     
  5. lesd

    lesd Member

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    I got through several screw mount Praktica models and still have one which I use now and again. True, they are unlikely to last a lifetime but they have a lot going for them. There are many fine M42 lenses available for low cost and the camera has all the basic features such as a cable release socket and depth of field preview so often missing on Japanese low-budget SLRs.

    Enjoy shooting film!
     
  6. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    The settings 200/24 and 400/27 are film speed ratings – ASA/DIN in that order. It does not refer to the number of exposures on the film...
     
  7. dgillette4

    dgillette4 Member

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    I had a Praktica super tl3, nice camera and excellent optics on the one I had. There were many U42 lenses available spotmatic pentax, richo singlex, some sears etc. It's a good way to get started in 35. You should be able to pick up some cheaply at a camera show or one of the mail order places. I saw some from $29 to $600 and some zoom for less at KEH cameras Good luck ..Don