The Praktina System

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Praktina IIA model DA
The Seventh Generation

Camera Name: Praktina IIA
Model: DA
Different Versions: 2
Production date: c. 1960 - ?
Estimated Production: c. 5,000
Normal Lenses: T 2.8/50 mm ASB, Pancolar 2/50 mm ASB

Praktina IIA-DA
The seventh generation allows the correct use of both automatic and semi-automatic lenses. Inside the mirror box of this model, there are two mechanisms. The first, on the left, engage the pin of ASB lenses and the second, on the right, engage the pin of SB lenses that must be mounted on the camera rotated of 120 anticlockwise.
This model has also others useful improvements. The dials for speed settings and reminder film type have a thickness of 2.5mm to improve the grip and make easier the rotation of the dials. All the previous models have a thickness of 1.5mm. This model has the rewind crank and a new film reminder dial with ASA 6-1600 / DIN 9-33 settings.
In the version 2 the cameras have an accessory shoe placed on the top over the "KW" logo.

Praktina IIA model DA Version 1 with T(essar) 2.8/50 mm
Praktina IIA model DA Version 2 with Tessar 2.8/50 mm

Model's Identification

Name of the camera
Praktina IIA

Diaphragm's Control
Yes for ASB and SB lenses

Version's Identification

Version 1
"KW" Logo

Version 2
Accessory Shoe

The double mechanism for automatic and semi-automatic lenses
The interesting arrangement to control the automatism of SB and ASB lenses: two mechanisms to engage the pin of the lenses that must be mounted in a different position using the right notch.

A mystery wraps this model.
As reported from various sources, the VEB Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden stopped the production of Praktina IIA in May 1960. In fact the Praktina story ended four years later when these cameras disappeared definitely from the market.

In the book SPIEGELREFLEXKAMERAS AUS DRESDEN, written by Richard Hummel in 1995, where are full described all the cameras made in Dresden, the specifications of the Praktina IIA include these three features: the different synchronization, the geometric speed settings of the shutter and the mechanism to control the diaphragm of the semi-automatic lenses. This last feature has the note "in the course of production".
The working instruction to use the SB lenses on this Praktina is dated 1960 and a test of this camera was published on a German magazine in 1961. Moreover, starting January 1961, the advertising in German photo magazines carried the indication "Praktina IIA model 1961", an indication that these cameras have different features.

It seems all clear, but in the book DER VEB PENTACON DRESDEN, written by Gerhard Jehmlich in 2009, there is a shocking note about this model: "nicht in VEB Kamera-Werke Niedersedlitz für ASB + SB eingerichtet", that's to say that the Praktina IIA, with the diaphragm's control of ASB and SB lenses, was not manufactured from VEB Kamera-Werke Niedersedlitz!

It is true? Who manufactured these cameras? This is the mystery that wraps this model. Someone suggests that the production of these cameras was made outside DDR. Nobody knows where and no one gives indication about a different manufacturer. So the manufacturer's name has yet to be discovered in order to complete the story of the production of the Praktina cameras.

Specifications and Technical Data
Camera type: 35mm single-lens reflex camera.
Picture size: 24x36 mm on standard 135 cartridges.
Lens mount: Praktina breech-lock lens, bayonet mount.
Lens diaphragm control: for automatic (ASB) and semi-automatic (SB) lenses.
Viewfinder system: interchangeable eye-level or waist-level viewfinder; lock lever of viewfinder on the bottom-camera; interchangeable focusing screen, matte or matte with split-image rangefinder; eye-level optical finder incorporated in the camera body.
Shutter: horizontal-travel focal-plane shutter with cloth curtains.
Shutter speed dial: single-axis non-rotating dial, placed at the base of the winding knob.
Shutter speed settings: B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, X, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000.
Shutter release: Shutter release button, with standard thread for cable release, positioned on the front of the body, sloping with an angle of 60°.
Self-timer: with a 10-second delay; the lever is positioned below the shutter release.
Flash connection: One socket with manual-switching lever for FP-F-X synch, near film reminder dial.
Film winding and shutter cocking: knob.
Frame counter dial: placed at the base of the winding knob counts in ascending values; manual reset.
Film rewinding: Knob with rapid rewind crank.
Film reminder dial: placed at the base of the rewinding knob, sets 10-23/10 DIN film speed or 2 different types of color film (version 1); ASA 9/320 - DIN 6/27 film speed or 4 different types of color film (version 2).
Mirror: returns with the film advance.
Motor coupling: bottom-camera coupling for motors and lever trigger.
Tripod thread: 1/4".
Camera back: hinged and removable, interchangeable with 17m Magazine Back.
Serial number: stamped inside the camera body, in the film cartridge chamber.
Dimensions and weight: (without lens and finder) Height 87 mm, Length 146 mm, Depth 59 mm, Weight c. 610 g.

Source: Berolina Kino-Optik Gmbh Price List, January 1961
Body, waist-level finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB T 2.8/50 mm
Body, waist-level finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB Pancolar 2/50 mm
Body, prism finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB T 2.8/50 mm
Body, prism finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB Pancolar 2/50 mm
Body, meter finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB T 2.8/50 mm
Body, meter finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB Pancolar 2/50 mm
Source: Berolina Kino-Optik Gmbh Price List, 1963-64
Body, prism finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB T 2.8/50 mm
Body, prism finder, split-image rangefinder, ASB Pancolar 2/50 mm
DM 466
DM 571
DM 506
DM 611
DM 536
DM 636
DM 506
DM 586


The Praktina System
Kamera-Werke History
Praktina Directory
Model's Identification
Working Instruction
Praktina Prototypes
Praktina FX model DS
Praktina FX model M
Praktina FX model SA1
Praktina FX model SA2
Praktina FX model SA3
Praktina IIA model A
Praktina IIA model DA
Praktina renamed
Praktina N - Pentacon Super
Lenses with PK mount
Carl Zeiss Jena
Meyer-Optik Görlitz
Angenieux Paris
Enna-Werk München
Feinmess Dresden
Isco Göttingen
Kilfitt München
A.Schacht Ulm
Schneider Kreuznach
Steinheil München
Others manufacturers
Praktina Accessories
Viewing System
Motor and Winder
Magazine Back
Close-up Accessories
Stereo Accessories
KW Accessories
Third-party Accessories

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Last Revision: June 2015