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  1. #1

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    Praktica Nova and lenses

    Hello, I have a Praktica Nova PL camera with Hellios 58/2. I'd like to buy a Takumar 1.8/50, or something similar. Is it a good idea to use my basic and cheap Praktica with good lenses, or should I invest in a better camera too?

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You can get a complete Pentax Spotmatic + lens very cheaply and it's far more robust than the Nova, then keep the Nova as a spare body.

    Welcome to APUG BTW

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Why is it more robust? Is there a certain difference between Praktica Nova and Pentax Spotmatic using Takumar? Thx for reply

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Those Praktica's aren't very well built, I had the Prakticamat which was similar but had TTL metering (before the Spotmatic) and a higher top speed. I also have a Nova somewhere that I think I was given.

    The Spotmatics were beautifully made, better shutters and excellent metering systems and they just last better because the build quality is over-engineered by todays standards, I have two a plain Spotmatic and a Spotmatic F (full aperture metering).

    The Nova may be OK but is less likely to be reliable. I paid less than £10/$30 for my Spotmatic and £25/$37.5 for the Spotmatic F & f2 SMC Takumar which was in a case and in mint condition, turned out I'd been at University with the owner.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 04-17-2010 at 11:03 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
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    Are you seeing image problems with your Hellios? Fuzzy corners, too much coma, chromatic aberration ...? If not, then there is no need to replace the lens.

    If you see optical problems with your present lens then the Takumar would be a very good lens to replace it with. The Takumar will work just as well on a Praktica as it will on a Spotmatic. Unless you are having problems with the Nova body there is no reason to replace it - your pictures will be no better.

    Spotmatics are beginning to really show their age so budget for the cost of a strip-down and relube - $100 and up - if you are going to buy one.

    As to snob appeal - a Praktica has more cachet these days than a run-of-the-mill Pentax.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  6. #6

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    I don't have any problems with my Helios right now. I spend 5 hours a week doing portraits in the room with white walls, which i usually cover with some backgrounds. I thought that this lenses would increase the sharpness and quality of the pictures, and that Praktica wouldn't be the best camera to use with these lenses. Thanks for advice - now i know that there's no difference in quality between these two cameras. I have another question: is the Takumar 1.8/50 comparable to Helios? And what other 50 mm lenses would you reccomend?

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I've used both the Helios and various Takumar's, the Helios isn't a bad lens at all but an f1.8 Takumar is definitely better at wider apertures.

    My first publish image, a magazine cover was shot with a Helios anda Zenit E, but there's something about the Takumar image quality that gives them an edge. But similar 50mm lenses from the rest of big manufacturers, Canon, Nikon, Olympus etc are just as good they just won't fit the Nova as well.

    Ian

  8. #8

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    From auction site look for Meyer Oreston which later became Pentacon.Also Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar and Pancolar (the best).These former East German lenses are more plentiful in Europe and the UK than in the US.
    btw they seem to be going up in value as digi users buy them to get cheaper wide aperture.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson View Post
    From auction site look for Meyer Oreston which later became Pentacon.Also Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar and Pancolar (the best).These former East German lenses are more plentiful in Europe and the UK than in the US.
    btw they seem to be going up in value as digi users buy them to get cheaper wide aperture.
    I found Takumar 1.8/55 for 104.99 USD, Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm/2.8 for 52.59 USD and ORESTON 1,8/50 mm for 29.4 USD. There's a huge difference between the price of Takumar and other lenses, I'm considering Takumar though. Tomorrow the photo swap meet in a music club should start, but in Poland there's a national mourning and the club will stay closed. I'll check the prices there next week. Thank you for your time

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolgeras View Post
    I found Takumar 1.8/55 for 104.99 USD, Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm/2.8 for 52.59 USD and ORESTON 1,8/50 mm for 29.4 USD. There's a huge difference between the price of Takumar and other lenses, I'm considering Takumar though. Tomorrow the photo swap meet in a music club should start, but in Poland there's a national mourning and the club will stay closed. I'll check the prices there next week. Thank you for your time
    All over priced, complete camera's with bodies sell for that and from reputable dealers.

    I'm just off out to shoot with a Pancolor & Tessar but on an Eaxcta Varex IIb

    Ian

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