1953-1960: Praktina - First system Camera:

Praktina was one of the brands coming from East-German Kamera Werke in Dresden. It was the worlds first system camera, but from late 50's it was not developed further, and KW ended the production of Praktina in 1960 with probably less than 100 000 cameras being produced. Though not very well known, it was one of worlds most important cameras, featuring some worlds firsts. Like the semi automatic diaphragm that came with the 1954 edition and matching lenses. AND, with the IIa version of 1958, a fully automatic diaphragm system! 

The first version was shown in 1952 and for sale from 1953. This one is from 1954 and Worlds First with semi automatic diaphragm! Since there is no TRM or IRM, the Praktina features a sports finder to follow the motive before winding. Praktina mount was of breach lock type. Size: 145x91x57 mm. Weight: 666 grams. Sn. 25543.

The Praktina System:

The system, or parts of it. Motor, either spring or electronic versions, interchangeable finders, (even a modified prism with built in light metering!), glasses, lenses from 35 to 500mm, and much more. And six years before Nikon F. Myths are there to fall..
Spring driven motor with up to 17 exposure capacity. One cocks the winder spring by turning the ring on the cylinder. Sn. 02271. Electronic motor also available.
Spring winder for up to 17 frames (according to my sample.)
El. motor for 12 V battery. Also for remote control.
Sn. 71555.
The extra winder arm to be mounted on the base plate when not using any of the motors.
Waist level and eye level finders.
With raised waist level finder.
A magnifier helps to see the details.
Another finder, the enlarging loupe.
Cassette for 17 meter film. Here pictured with el.winder.
Even stereo finder/lens adapter!

1958: Praktina II A:

The II A of 1958. No immediate visible external differences from the FX model. Sn. 124530.
The Praktina II A of 1958 featured a fully automatic diaphragm, as one of the very first! Here a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50/2,8 sn. 5706998.
The rewind knob was redesigned into this special rewind crank. When lifting the upper cylinder from the lower base, it gave a concentric form that resulted in a faster rewinding.

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29.09 | 19:44

Sorry, I misread your question, and my answer was about the Pentax K. The number of Pentar K was very, very low. Yes, 269$ seems a very low price.

29.09 | 10:10

Sorry, I misread your question, and my answer was about the Pentax K. The number of Pentar K was very, very low. Yes, 269$ seems a very low price.

28.09 | 15:31

Hi Bosse,

A near mint Asahi Pentar (yes Pentar) sold last month on ebay for £269. Were you aware of this? It seems like a very low price.

10.08 | 18:42

Hi Richard,
21.454 K models were produced between '58 and '59. But Pentax used the letter K for many other models, too. K-series in '75 and digital since 2006.

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