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THE PRAKTINA SYSTEM

 

Praktina IIA
The Seventh Generation

The seventh generation allows the diaphragm's control of automatic and semi-automatic lenses. There are two mechanisms inside the mirror box . The first, on the left, engage the pin of automatic lenses and the second, on the right, engage the pin of semi-automatic 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.

See the specifications of this model in the Praktina specifications page.

Praktina IIA model DA

Manufacturer NameVEB Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden
Factory DesignationPraktina IIA
Model DesignationDA also known as model 61
Years1960-1961
Number producedapprox. 3,500
Standard Lensautomatic T 2.8/50mm or Pancolar 2/50mm
Praktina IIA model DA version 1 No. 126516 with Jena Pancolar 2/50
Praktina IIA model DA version 2 No. 127533 with Jena T 2/50

Model and Version Identifiers

Model DA • "Praktina IIA" engraved on the front of the camera
• Diaphragm control of automatic and semi-automatic lenses   (fig. 1)
Version 1 • "KW" logo on the top   (fig. 2)
Version 2 • Accessory shoe   (fig. 3)
 
fig. 1

fig. 2

fig. 3
 

The double mechanism of Praktina IIA-DA

The mystery that wraps this model

In the book SPIEGELREFLEXKAMERAS AUS DRESDEN, written by Richard Hummel in 1995, Praktina IIA specifications include "the mechanism to actuate the diaphragm of the semi-automatic lenses" with a note that this feature was introduced "in the course of production".
The working instruction to use semi-automatic lenses were printed by KW in 1960 as addendum to the camera working instruction.
These informations suggest that VEB Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden finished the production of Praktina cameras with the release of this model. But there's a problem.

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 automatic + semi-automatic eingerichtet", that's to say that the Praktina IIA with the diaphragm's control of semi-automatic lenses was not manufactured in the VEB Kamera- und Kinowerke factory.
If this is true, who is the manufacturer of this model? This is the mystery that wraps this model. Someone suggests that the assembly of these cameras was made outside DDR. Nobody knows where and no one provides information about a different manufacturer or assembler. So the manufacturer's name has yet to be discovered in order to complete the history of the Praktina cameras.

The Praktina after 1960

As reported from various sources, the VEB Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden stopped the production of Praktina cameras in May 1960, but the Praktina story ended four years later when these cameras disappeared definitely from the market.
The following information concerns the Praktina in the period from 1960 to 1964.
♦ The Praktina IIA was distributed in the USA starting from 1960. The importer was the Standard Camera Corporation, distributor of Praktina cameras since 1956
♦ The Modern Photography magazine publishes the Praktina IIA test in the December 1960 issue
♦ In 1961 some advertising in the West German magazines carry the indication "Praktina IIA Modell 1961" and the "Pentacon" logo is replaced by the "Berolina" logo
♦ The West German magazine "spiegelreflex praxis" publishes the Praktina IIA test in the August 1961 issue. The tested camera is the model 61 that allows the use of automatic and semi-automatic lenses
♦ In the news of the Leipzig trade fair that was held in September 1961, the East German magazin "fotografie" reports that the Praktina IIA was shown in the Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden stand
♦ The West magazine "Berolina-Spiegel", in the 1962 issue number 19 published by Berolina Kino-Optik GmbH, contains an 8-page article dedicated to Praktina IIA and its automatic lenses
♦ The last brochure of the Praktina IIA is dated 1963 and there are no references to the VEB Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden. On the back of the brochure there is the Berolina logo and the reference to Berolina Kino-Optik GmbH as exclusive distributor for the Federal Republic and West Berlin
♦ The last price list of Berolina Kino-Optik Gmbh is dated 1963/64
♦ In the February 1964 issue the magazine "Photo Magazin" publishes the news that the Praktina IIA and its accessories are available again


Photo Magazin, May 1961
 

Photo Magazin, June 1961 on the left
Photo Magazin, August 1961 on the right

Photo Magazin, September 1961
 

 
Price list
♦   Berolina Kino-Optik Gmbh, West Germany distributor, Price list 1/1961
Body, waist-level finder, matte focusing screen, automatic T 2.8/50 mm
Body, waist-level finder, matte focusing screen, automatic Pancolar 2/50 mm
Body, eye-level finder, matte focusing screen, automatic T 2.8/50 mm
Body, eye-level finder, matte focusing screen, automatic Pancolar 2/50 mm
Body, metering prism finder, matte focusing screen, automatic T 2.8/50 mm
Body, metering prism finder, matte focusing screen, automatic Pancolar 2/50 mm
Body, waist-level finder, matte focusing screen
Body, eye-level finder, matte focusing screen
Body, metering prism finder, matte focusing screen
Matte focusing screen with split-image rangefinder
♦   Berolina Kino-Optik Gmbh, West Germany distributor, Price list 1963/64
Body, eye-level finder, matte focusing screen, automatic T 2.8/50 mm
Body, eye-level finder, matte focusing screen, automatic Pancolar 2/50 mm
Body, waist-level finder, matte focusing screen
Body, eye-level finder, matte focusing screen
Matte focusing screen with split-image rangefinder
 
 
 
DM 430
DM 535
DM 470
DM 575
DM 500
DM 605
DM 240
DM 280
DM 310
DM 36
 
DM 470
DM 550
DM 255
DM 280
DM 36

   

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Last modified: December 16, 2019
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