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A very serious player! Praktica LTL3

This is a solid piece of a manual SLR 35mm film camera manufactured by East German VEB Pentacon from Dresden, and produced from November 1975 to March 1978. Prakticas in general are well-designed and built to last.

Camera image from flickr

This is the last of the LTL series, and while it lacks some of the refined feel of the MTL3 it predates, it’s a great user and said to be an improvement of the previous LTL.

Like other Prakticas it has what I think is an innovative film loading system (“PL”): the wind spool has two spring-loaded bars on it that clamp down on the film as it turns, just like the guard bar on a rollercoaster. All you do is line up the sprockets, wind on, and close the back. No threading at all! Very nice. You do have to make sure to slip the leader over a little guide at the bottom of the film plane, you’ll see it.

I should probably mention if you couldn’t tell from the picture that the shutter release is on the front of the camera rather than the top. Very ergonomic. And here’s a good one – there is a reminder tab in the viewfinder that pops up to indicate that the shutter needs to be cocked!

As with the other later Prakticas, this camera’s best feature is the super-strong shutter. It’s a vertical focal plane metal blade shutter with a very unique and sturdy wind stroke. It’s hard to describe without doing it for yourself but let’s say it feels like a mechanism that knows exactly what it’s supposed to do and does it. With feeling.

Nevertheless, this camera is mentioned by many elder and experienced photographers as “a solid workhorse” and “a serious player”, so it has been recommended (to me and everyone else) as a perfect starting point for someone who wants to learn how to shoot good photos. And I can surely say it is, mostly because it’s very demanding in a sense you have to be in constant control and always check all settings, but the final result makes it all worth it. Personally, I still haven’t put the battery in, so I set everything manually. But this experience is exactly what taught me basics and everything one should know about analog cameras. That, and my great friend, of whom some may already know – Klickovic – she gave me my very first Praktica.

And off course, this camera is meant only for the strong; the special ones who can carry the weight of this classic piece. After all, it weights almost one kilo! Imagine that hanging around your neck! So, if you are serious as this player, bring this camera along and make extraordinary photographs. If you are into flawless sharpness and great depths – this camera should be your choice.

Special thanks to Klickovic, Lomography and Matt Denton Praktica review.

written by lazara


  1. dogtanian


    i have an original praktica ltl that belonged to my grandad, its a champion!!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. adbigmilk


    Congrats for your article !

    in deed, a very intersting camera, loves the greats depths of your shots. I also like a lot your #20 pics.

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  3. herbert-4


    Very good article, very good camera, excellent photos. I have a sort of Japanese copy of a Practica, a Vivitar 220/sl, works good, steel vertical shutter, heavy. I found it cheap at a swap meet.

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  4. lazara


    Yeeeey! Thank you so much! This is my first published article on lomography! My camera was bought at the market for most likely 3 euros. And it works perfectly! :)))))
    Hvala Ivana!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  5. lazara


    by the way, shouldn't I earn some piggies for this article?

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  6. klickovic


    great article lazara :))) and thanx a lot!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  7. klickovic


    great article lazara :))) and thanx a lot!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  8. stouf


    Great review ! Superb gallery ! I love the short depth of field in your portraits !

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  9. magdalenagabriela


    congratulations on your first review! great pics selection - apart from The Cat photos, #19's my fav!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  10. anarchy


    Very nice and well-written review! Good job!! Love the gallery =))

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  11. stefandms


    Odlichan review. Samo napred!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. caroni


    great camera articel and pictures.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. luplik


    I have one too. It's very precious!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. freefire

    very similar to another article i've read - http://www.mattdentonphoto.com/cameras/praktica_ltl3.html
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. chocochipcookie


    I have a Praktica LTL3 too! I inherited it from my Great Uncle who was stationed in Germany in 75'. It's seen it's usage, it's in good hands. I still haven't put a battery in it either. Great pics!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam