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;


  1. Fabuloso trabalho de restauro, mestre Raul... e uma maravilha de se acompanhar... fica visível a paixão com que fazes estes trabalhos!

  2. great job and great blog, I found u looking for bronica ec-tl info... but i´m in love with all of your collection

    let me talk about your site in, a medium format spanish forum.

    best regards

  3. @::metamike::

    Muchas gracias.
    Me dará un gran placer que divulgues mi site en


  4. Great job. I am looking for some tips, how to change Praktica MTL 5 top part (that silver part). Is it possible to change it with low level of handiness. I mean, does it require to measure something and etc. Or it could be done without any spring adjusments or smt...?

    1. It's quite simple, just take notes or pictures of the disassembly and then reverse the sequence to reassemble it, most of the parts only fit in the right place, no spring adjustments...

  5. boas, estou a tentar reparar a minha super tl1000, penso que seja o mesmo problema que o seu, o rewinder está encravado. já comecei a desmontar mas parei na parte do flash, como é que se remove o encaixe do flash sem partir!?


  6. boa noite,

    penso que estou com o mesmo problema na minha, estou a desmontar mas não estou a conseguir remover o encaixe do flash. como se remove o encaixe sem partir?


    1. Boa Noite,

      Tens de levantar a placa metálica, com uma chave de fenda fina, e depois fazê-lo deslizar para trás. Por baixo vais encontrar uns parafusos, que prendem naquela peça em forma de ferradura e também na outra peça metálica que se encontra por baixo.
      Espero ter sido claro, senão diz que eu tento ser mais claro.


  7. para trás no sentido do viewfinder correcto?

    obrigado pela ajuda

    1. Exacto.
      Levantas pelo lado da objectiva e empurras no sentido do viewfinder.

  8. já consegui, e o rebordo da patilha de rebobinar também é de desenroscar certo?

  9. Para retirar a manivela de rebobinagem, tens de travar a parte que encaixa na bobine do filme, com uma chave de parafusos, por ex. e depois rodar a manivela no sentido contrário dos ponteiros do relógio, já agora a manete de avanço do filme, na Praktica, tem de se descolar a chapa redonda que esconde um parafuso, a melhor forma de a retirar é colar a ponta chata de um lápis ou esferográfica, com cola de contacto, que prende bem e depois é fácil de limpar, e depois inclinar o lápis até que se solte, inclinar e não puxar a direito ou torcer, às vezes é preciso repetir o processo. Isto para a Praktica na K1000 não tenho a certeza se é igual.
    Se precisares de mais alguma coisa, vai ter que ficar para amanhã, que agora vou dormir.

  10. eu tenho isso tudo tirado, a manivela já tirei mas depois ainda sobra um rebordo na qual ela assenta, julgo que seja de desenroscar com uma chave de 2 bicos, tenho que fazer uma que com a de fendas não estou a conseguir

    1. Podes usar um alicate de pontas ou uma tesoura.

  11. Great site Raul. I just bought 2 and will follow your lead as in the pictures but how does the shutter/ASA dial come off?



    1. Hi Scott,
      You have to lift the plate with the numbers, it's glued, under it there´s a screw...

  12. Hi Raul, thanks for the help much appreciated. When I've finished my MTL5 I'll post it on my flicker page and add a link to your sites if that's ok? Where on earth did you find that Nemrod Siluro, I have not seen one of those in years!

    Take care and use more film.


    1. Hi Scott of course I don´t mind.
      Good luck with your work.

      That Siluro was a strike of luck. I've never heard of it, until I saw one on flickr, a google search and found one for sale, close at home (o;

      I wish you good light.


    2. Hi Raul. I've got my two beasts in bits and I'm just about to assemble a Frankentica. Does the meter on your MTL5 operate in 'B'? I seem to have one meter that does and one that does not?



    3. Hi Scott,
      The meter in mine works in B but that reading doesn't have any meaning.


  13. Hi Raul, Yeah, that's what I thought. Perhaps it's an unknown Russky way for checking the battery? Anyway: looks like I have one unusable meter. Odd thing. The prism's are different. One is a sealed unit, focus screen base and prism sealed in some kind of balm. The other has all individual parts?