We recently took a trip to the Giant Rocking Horse at a small Adelaide Hills town called Gumeracha. Yes, you read that right – a Giant Rocking Horse. Of course, I packed up three film cameras in a new camera bag I’d received for Xmas (the Seven Million Dollar Home bag from Crumpler, if you’re curious).

crumpler camera bag

Seven Million Dollar Home Crumpler bag

From left to right: A Smena 8M, Praktica MTL 5B with Super Takumar 28mm 3.5 (reportedly produces great orange flares), and an Olympus E-PM1 with Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 50mm 2.9. I was also carrying a Helios 44 and a Milverson Titan 35mm 2.8 preset lens.

According to my research, the Titan lens was rebranded by a camera store called Milversons, which existed in Victoria, Australia. I suspect it to be a Japanese made lens from the 1960s.

Here’s the Praktica with Takumar attached:

Praktica MTL 5B camera

Praktica MTL 5B camera with Super Takumar 28mm lens

I regard the Praktica as a very nice camera to use, though not because it’s easy in the hands. The agricultural body is a no-frills approach to design and ergonomics, but this thing is a workhorse. In fact, the East German made Praktica cameras are considered very robust, and the shutters are reputed in some circles to be rated to 100 000 actuations. That’s darn impressive for an SLR of this type and age.

The MTL5 model that I have has an inbuilt TTL (Through The Lens) light meter powered by easy to find LR44 button batteries, a stop down metering lever, shutter speeds from Bulb up to 1/1000, a split prism focussing aid, and also takes the popular M42 screw mount lens. Ingeniously, the shutter button is located on the front of the camera body, and depressing it into the body causes less camera shake when making a photo. It’s also very comfortable for the fingers.

Mine cost around $30 AUD. It’s well worth looking into as a first film camera.

Here’s the Milverson Titan lens mounted on my Olympus digital Pen camera:

Milverson Titan 35mm lens

Milverson Titan lens on digital Olympus body

It looks a little front heavy doesn’t it?

I finally used up the film roll in my Smena camera, so I’ll post some results soon ! Until then, here’s the famous Giant Rocking Horse that has attracted so many visitors over the years…

Giant Rocking Horse - Gumeracha, South Australia

Giant Rocking Horse – Gumeracha, South Australia

 

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