Friday, April 29, 2011


With a title like this you must be expecting to find a monster but, by the contrary, you will find

How I made a perfectly working Praktica MTL 5 B out of two dead examples.

It all started on a Saturday of March 2008.
I was camera hunting at my favourite flea market and something caught my eye, it was the first dead body of this story.
I bought it very cheap and took it back home.
Here it is on the balcony, where I document all my trophies:


I tried to fix it but I gave up.

Last Saturday on the same hunting ground I found the other deceased, great looks, the meter was working, it just seamed to have the film advance jammed.
The trophy shot:


When I tried to fix it I found that, with the top plate and the delay unit removed, sometimes I was able to make it advance and others it jammed.
A little more disassembly and I found the culprit:

DSC_8971 copy

The arrow is pointing to the broken part.

It was time to exhume the first body to scavenge for parts.

The main problem with this one was that it didn't advanced the film at all and it also had a dead meter and self timer.
I was so lucky that what caused the problem in this one was this:

DSC_8972 copy

The catch that engaged in the broken part of the other one.

They where a perfect match.


I completely disassembled both to select the best parts of them.
Let's call them #1, the older one, on the right, and #2


So I used the back #1 as it was to hard to remove the film advance/shutter cocking assembly, above you can see it with the delay unit and the top of the advance unit from #2.


Just added the exposure counter.

DSC_8978 copy

The mirror box, from #2, in place.
This ensured me to have a working meter and self timer.


The top cover, from #2.
It's important to fit the steel bracket, in the hole and have the flash sync cord  outside before fixing the top plate.
It would be impossible to make it afterwards.

Left picture the hot shoe is already soldered to the flash sync cord.
Right picture the horse shoe shaped part in place.


Above all parts fitted on the top plate.


The wiring of the light meter soldered in place and the bottom plate closed.

Some views of the finished work:

DSC_9003  DSC_9002



I'm planning to use it next Sunday, May Day, to celebrate the

International Commie Camera Day 2011

Stay tuned (o;