Captain Jack's Praktina Accessories  
 

The Praktina was one of the first "System" cameras. KW, and others, produced a diverse number of accessories for the Praktina many of which were highly innovative and added to the popularity of the camera. kW created a number of accessories for the Praktina. The accessories shown from my collection are broken down into four categories:

A. Close-up Accessories  
B. Finders & Finder Accessories  
C. Motor Drives & Winders  
D.

Miscellaneous Accessories

 

CLOSE-UP ACCESSORIES

Extension Tubes (Zwischenringe)

A large variety of Extension Tube sets exist for the Praktina. kW manufactured long and short extension tube sets, extension tube sets for mounting the lens in the reserve position, extension tubes with stopdown automation pins and extension tubes which facilitated diaphragm stopdown via a double cable release.

Three typical sets are displayed in the photo.

 
 

Extension Bellows (Balgengerät)

Several different geared, dual rail bellows were manufactured for the Praktina. The first two versions were manufactured by kW and the third version by Pentacon. The bellows afforded variable focusing in the macrophotography range with extension from 7.7 mm to 55mm (from 10mm on the Version 3).

Versions 1 & 2 Bellows

Manufactured by kW, the first version Praktina bellows was designed to work only with manual or preset diaphragm lenses. (Photo not displayed)

The second version enabled the mounting of the semi-automatic diaphragm lenses (Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar, Tessar and Flektogon) in manual mode. It is shown on the right and you can see the cut out in the mount for the semi-automatic lens aperture cocking lever.

Version 3 Bellows

The third version, manufactured by Pentacon (see the Pentacon Tower engraving) enabled the mounting of all the Praktina mount lenses. Introduced for use with the Praktina IIa, the Version 3 Bellows can also be used with the FX. The semi-auto lenses from the Praktina FX can also be used as can the preset lenses. Rather uncommon.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Double Cable Release (Doppeldrahtauslöser)

An ingenious double cable release was available from kW individually or as part of an extension tube set for stopping down of automatic lenses prior to exposure. I personally prefer the double cable release manufactured by Linhof.

 

 
 

In addition to the Extension Tubes and Bellows, a microscope adapter (Mikrozwischenstück), and a copy stand, etc. were also manufactured.

 

FINDERS & FINDER ACCESSORIES

Standard Prism Finder ( Prismeneisatz)

The Standard Praktina prism finder can be found in two models. On Version 1, there is a leather covering on the front top of the finder, on Version 2, the leather covering was removed and the kW logo engraved.

In addition, there are at least two varieties of the Version 2 Prism. On the one displayed on the left in the photo, the kW logo is engraved. On the other, the kW logo is painted.

   
 

Meter Prism Finder (Prismeneisatz mit Belichtungsmesser)

The Praktina Meter Prism was a manual affair. The reading was first taken on the meter and then the reading had to be transferred to both the camera speed dial and the lens aperture. ASA speeds were from 8 to 400. Most meter prism finders encountered today no longer work - their selenium cells have long ago deteriorated. Two versions exist with the later version being a bit more sensitive than the earlier one.

 

 
 

Hooded Finder (Lichtschachteinsatz)

The Praktina Hooded Finder is displayed on the right with proper box and fitted leather case. It features a built-in 6x magnifier that can be moved into place for enlarging the finder image. At least three different versions have been encountered; the differences can only be detected by looking at the bottom of the finder.

 

 
 

Critical Magnifying Finder (Lupeneinsatz)

The Praktina Critical Magnifying Finder provided 6x magnification of the finder image and an adjustable diopter for macro and microphotography. It included a built-in eyecup that can be rotated to the most comfortable position.

 

 
 

Stereo Prism Finder (Stereosucher)

The Praktina Stereo Finder is one of the more difficult to obtain Praktina accessories. Much akin to the Ihagee Stereflex finder for the Exakta, the Praktina Stereo unit can use the same beam splitters as the Exakta to produce two 18x24mm images on a single frame of film.

It is displayed with its original box.

 

 
 

Rangefinder Insert

The Praktina FX was supplied with a plain groundglass focusing screen. Shortly after the introduction of the camera, the Standard Camera Company introduced a focusing screen with a rangefinder in the center to facilitate easier focusing.

 

 
 

Eye Cup (Augenmuschel)

In order to prevent extraneous light from entering the Praktina eyepiece, a well-made eyecup was provided. It is displayed on the right.

 

 
 

Finder Accessory Shoe (Winkelstück MIT Steckschuh)

A finder accessory shoe was provided in order to facilitate the mounting of a small flash, etc. It is shown on the right with its proper box.

 

 
  A right angle finder (winkelsucher) was also produced.

 

MOTOR DRIVES & WINDERS

Quick Winder (Schnellschalthebel)

The Praktina has a winding knob for shutter cocking and film transport which is sufficient for normal picture taking. For faster picture taking, a lever operated Quick Winder was developed. It attached to the bottom of the camera, screwing into the threaded motor drive receptacle.

   
 

Rapid Sequence Spring Motor (Federmotor)

The Rapid Sequence Spring Motor attaches to the base of the Praktina FX or IIa and enables the photographer to take up to 10 exposures in rapid sequence. The motor is tensioned by winding the large cylindrical drum at the bottom of the drive. Before initial use, the unit has to be adjusted to work properly with the camera.

 

 
 

Electric Motor (Elektromotor MIT Magnetauslöser)

The Praktina Electric Motor converts the camera to fully automatic film transport for either sequence or single shot remote controlled photography. Using any one of a number of triggering mechanisms, including button-releases, foot-switches, the Praktina Radio Control Unit, photoelectric relays, etc., enables the photographer to convert the Praktina to fully automatic operation.

The motor operates on a 12-volt battery pack or it can be operated via a 12-volt converter from household voltage.

 

 
 

Cables/Releases for Electric Motor

The photo shows the battery connecting cable and the electronic button release for the Electric Motor.

The motor in my collection did not come with a battery pack so I made one out of an old leather compartment case into which I installed a 12-volt motorcycle battery. It works great!!!

 

 
 

50-Foot Capacity Bulk Film Magazine (Kamerarückwand)

The Praktina Bulk Film back replaces the normal back on the camera and has a capacity of over 400 exposures. It can be used without a motor or with one of the two motors previously shown. There are two versions, the earlier model does not have a frame counter.

 

 
 

In addition to the above items, kW also supplied a Radio Control Unit to power the Electric Motor and fire the camera.

 

MISCELLANEOUS ACCESSORIES

Lens Shades (Sonnenblenden)

Both kW and Pentacon manufactured lens hoods for the lenses that were available for the Praktina. Two basic versions exist, rectangular and circular hoods. The earlier versions were made from metal or bakelite while the later hoods were plastic. In addition, many of the lens suppliers supplied their own lens hoods with their lenses.

 

 
 

M42 Lens Mount Adapter

Several manufacturers made adapter rings to facilitate the mounting of M42 screw mount lenses on the Praktina. Displayed on the left is the Novoflex "PRACO" adapter ring.

The "PRACO" ring, however, acts as a short extension tube, thus preventing the adapted lens from focusing at the longer distances out to infinity.

 

 

 

Eveready Cases

There are several versions of Eveready Cases for the Praktina with the well-made leather versions being the most desirable.

 

Other accessories consisted of an outfit case.

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