The Praktica MTL 5, a 35 mm single-lens reflex camera, had a short production run of two years, from 1983 to 1985, but some 574,000 were made before its manufacturer Pentacon replaced it with the slightly upgraded Praktica MTL 5 B.
Today we'll be getting to know more about this camera with the help of community member Lucie (@luhssie) who found one that has survived the test of time in a charity shop. Lucie has since used the camera during some of her most meaningful trips in France, Canada, and the United States.
The Praktica MTL 5 features through-the-lens (TTL) metering, and has a metal-blade focal-plane shutter that can fire at 1s to 1/1000s +B, as well as a self-timer with a 7-second delay. It has interchangeable lenses exclusive to a 42 mm screw mount.
Community member Lucie found one of these cameras while at a charity shop.
At the time, I used to go there sometimes because there was always a big box full of all kinds of cameras. And then one day there was this Praktica MTL 5, which I didn't know about so I decided to try it, and it followed me everywhere after.
The big advantage is that it's really robust. I've taken it on many trips and hikes, and I've never had any fear of damaging it because it seems so solid. Its main disadvantage is its weight and its size which make it less pleasant to take everywhere. It also gave me a few scares and irritation as it is old, the film got completely blocked several times.
At the time of its release in the early 80s, the camera was marketed for its focal-plane shutter, easy focusing through a big viewfinder, highly-developed flash system and convenience of operation.
Lucie learned to photograph through her parents who gave her a disposable camera whenever she would go to summer camp as a child. She continues the tradition by taking photos of her trips with her film cameras, one of them being the Praktica MTL 5 which she says takes impressive results despite its weight and size.
As a child, my parents always gave me a disposable camera when I went to summer camp. I loved to come back and develop the film to keep the memories. I went back to film about 12 years ago, thanks to a Diana, because I wanted to keep "printed" memories again and not digital ones.
I then collected many cameras. I loved to find them in flea markets, to clean them and to test them–135, 110, Polaroid, etc. My relationship with film photography is mostly related to memories and travel, I like to take a camera with me in important moments.
To Lucie, her Vancouver photos taken with the Praktica MTL 5 and a Kodak Portra 400 hold very special meaning as these were taken when she lived in the city for a year and a half.
These photos are a bit like a souvenir album of my trip and my life there. The Praktica was the only camera I had, I didn't necessarily have a photo objective, I just wanted to keep a trace so I took it everywhere. I have often been impressed with the results of the Praktica!
Many thanks to Lucie for sharing her stories and photos. Visit her LomoHome to check out more of her work.