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Praktica-Photomicrographics www.dresdner-kameras.de

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We give our gratitude to Wilfried Pietsch (Moelln), Peter Beck (Dusseldorf) and Christian Großmann (Zeulenroda-Triebes) for their commitment in writing this article and to Mary Erler (Fraureuth) for the translation of this text into the English language.

1. Adaptation of Praktica serial cameras

A single lens reflex camera is very well suited for taking extreme close-ups and photomicrographs because of its special principle of function. It is possible to connect the Praktica to a particular microscope using standard microscope-attachments. There are many options because of the prevalence of the Praktica M42 lens mount. The models of the B series are possible to adapt for photomicrography. Right from the start, some models of this B series were constructed as microscope camera for scientific and medical purposes (see article 2).

Praktica VLC 3 with micro-attachment Praktica VLC 3 on photomicrographic equipment (mf) of Carl Zeiss Jena

Praktica VLC 3 with micro-attachment

Praktica VLC 3 on photomicrographic equipment (mf) of Carl Zeiss Jena

Praktica VLC 3 on photomicrographic equipment (mf) of Carl Zeiss Jena on the Jena Technival microscope Praktica BX 20 with Praktica-B-micro-attachment

Praktica VLC 3 on photomicrographic equipment (mf) of Carl Zeiss Jena on the Jena Technival microscope

Praktica BX 20 with Praktica-B-micro-attachment

Praktica nova on photomicrographic equipment (mf) of Carl Zeiss Jena (version for the eyepiece socket of microscopes, diameter 25 mm) Praktica BC 1 with adapted M42-micro-attachment

Praktica nova on photomicrographic equipment (mf) of Carl Zeiss Jena (version for the eyepiece socket of microscopes, diameter 25 mm)

Praktica BC 1 with adapted M42-micro-attachment

2. Special Praktica photomicrographs
(photomicrographic attachment cameras 24x36 mm)

These following cameras are so called photomicrographic attachment cameras. They are not conventional cameras, but only a “film cassette, impermeable to light”. Carl Zeiss Jena offered these special Prakticas for photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS (The mf-AKS is a photomicrographic-attachment-camera-system.), for Retinacamera (Retina-photography-system, human eye) and for special microscopes. These are the currently known varieties: B 100 M, BCA M, Praktica M (=BCA M), B100M Mono (part of the Carl-Zeiss-Jena-Retinacamera RCM 310), B100 M Stereo (part of the Carl-Zeiss-Jena-Retinacamera RCS 310). The rare Praktica B 100 M Mono simply differs from the even rarer B 100 M Stereo by the flange mounted single tube, while the B 100 M Stereo has two tubes and another bayonet. The labelled cover plates on the prism box (instead of flash shoe) and the ports at the front were not added by Pentacon. Quantity supplied are not filed at Pentacon. All of these cameras above share the following modifications:

  • No exposure metering inside the camera body
  • Discontinuation of the focal-place shutter inside the camera body
  • Discontinuation of the single lens reflex finder and reflex mirror
  • Discontinuation of flash connectors and mechanism for low shutter speeds
  • No exposure times are adjustable on the camera

The photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS or the Retinacamera RCM 310 / RCS 310 took over the lacking camera functions. These facilities contained an electronically controlled diaphragm shutter, an exposure meter and partially a motor film transport, which was connected to the existing winder mounts of the camera.

Praktica B 100 M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS Praktica B 100 M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS

Praktica B 100 M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS

Praktica B 100 M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS

Praktica B 100 M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS matic-mot
Praktica B 100 M with attachment for dedicated microscopes

Praktica B 100 M with attachment for dedicated microscopes

Praktica B 100 M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS matic-mot

Praktica B 100 M Mono with motor-drive and remote-control-socket Praktica B 100 M Mono with motor-drive and remote-control-socket

Praktica B 100 M Mono with motor-drive and remote-control-socket, part of the Carl-Zeiss-Jena-Retinacamera RCM 310

Praktica B 100 M Mono with motor-drive and remote-control-socket, part of the Carl-Zeiss-Jena-Retinacamera RCM 310

Praktica B 100 M Stereo Praktica B 100 M Stereo

Praktica B 100 M Stereo with adapter, part of the Carl-Zeiss-Jena-Retinacamera RCS 310

Praktica B 100 M Stereo, part of the Carl-Zeiss-Jena-Retinacamera RCS 310

Praktica BCA M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS
Praktica M (identical in construction with BCA M) with attachment for dedicated microscopes

Praktica M (identical in construction with BCA M) with attachment for dedicated microscopes

Praktica BCA M with photomicrographic equipment mf-AKS

Praktica BCA M with Prontor-Press-diaphragm-shutter from West-Germany in the micro-attachment Praktica BCA M with Prontor-Press-diaphragm-shutter from West-Germany in the micro-attachment

Praktica BCA M with Prontor-Press-diaphragm-shutter from West-Germany in the micro-attachment

Praktica BCA M with Copal-Press-diaphragm-shutter from Japan in the micro-attachment

Praktica BCA M with Copal-Press-diaphragm-shutter from Japan in the micro-attachment

Photomicrographic attachment cameras for many different microscopes are not only from the Praktica B series. The Praktica Sonderausführung (FX2) and the Praktica IV pictured below, contain fully functional focal-place shutters, but no reflex mirrors and no viewfinders. This special photomicrograph primarily puts itself forward for using the photomicrographic equipments (mf or mf-matic) produced by Carl Zeiss Jena.

Praktica-FX2-Sonderausführung (photomicrographic-attachment-camera) without reflex-mirror and viewfinder Praktica-FX2-Sonderausführung (photomicrographic-attachment-camera) without reflex-mirror and viewfinder

Praktica-FX2-Sonderausführung (photomicrographic-attachment-camera) without reflex-mirror and viewfinder

Praktica-IV-photomicrographic-attachment-camera without reflex-mirror and viewfinder Praktica-IV-photomicrographic-attachment-camera without reflex-mirror and viewfinder

Praktica-IV-photomicrographic-attachment-camera without reflex-mirror and viewfinder

The photomicrographic equipment (mf) of Carl Zeiss Jena

mf (photomicrographic equipment)

  • adaption of different camera attachments
  • no integrated shutter
  • no exposure time determination
  • no control of exposure time

mf-matic (photomicrographic equipment with automatic control of exposure time)

  • adaption of different camera attachments
  • integrated eletromagnetic shutter drive
  • automatic control of exposure time
  • exposure times from 1/100s up to many hours

The photomicrographic-attachment-camera-system (mf-AKS) of Carl Zeiss Jena

mf-AKS 24x36 expomet (photomicrographic-attachment-camera-system expomet)

  • mechanical shutter for exposure times between 1/125s and 1 s as well as B and T
  • manual timing and shutter release by wire release
  • exposure time determination during integral measurement
  • input of film speed in DIN and ASA
  • automatic input of camera factors when changing camera attachments
  • indication of measured exposure time, if deflecting element is within measuring path of rays
  • failure indication

mf-AKS 24x36 automatic (photomicrographic-attachment-camera-system automatic)

  • eletromagnetic shutter drive
  • automatic control of exposure time during integral measurement
  • T-function by manual shutter release
  • input of film speed in DIN and ASA
  • automatic input of camera factors when changing camera attachments
  • indication of exposure process
  • failure indication
  • control of motor-operated film transport
  • motor-operated film advance applicable

mf-AKS 24x36 matic mot (photomicrographic-attachment-camera-system matic mot)

  • automatic control of exposure time based on either integral or spotlight intensity measurements
  • automatic release of motor-operated film transport
  • input of film speed in DIN and ASA
  • automatic input of camera factors when changing camera attachments
  • input of correction factors
  • digital display of actual exposure time from the moment of exposure start to exposure stop
  • memory for either starting the automatically determined and/or externally entered exposure times for series of photographs to be taken under identical photomicrographic conditions
  • automatic blocking of shutter when the optimum operating range of the automatic device is exceeded
  • integrated pulse generator for program-controlled series of photographs (time lapse facility)
  • digital data display for all data keyed in digitally
  • electronically controlled exposure of data on 35mm photographs

The Retinacamera-system RCS 310 / RCM 310 of Carl Zeiss Jena

  • Retina-photography-system (photography of human eye)
  • RCS 310 for stereoscopic or monoscopic photography
  • RCM 310 for monoscopic photography
  • wide-angle-camera with field of view of 60 degrees
  • 3-level magnification changer
  • automatic control of exposure time
  • high luminosity
  • flash with computer
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