Praktica MTL3 with Helios 44M-4 - one question

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by mellais, May 9, 2020.

  1. Hi,

    I am shooting my first roll with Praktica mtl3 and Zenit Helios 44M-4 58mm f2 lens. What a feeling!
    I have one question:

    I understand that I need to push the metering button in order to let the camera stop down and meter exposures. But when I'm finally taking a photo, do I have to hold it down when pressing the shutter button - or does the camera stop down to the right aperture also when simply pressing the shutter button alone?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. Otto, you do not have to keep the metering / stop down lever depressed. When you press the shutter the lens automatically stops down to the taking aperture, then opens up again when the exposure is complete. Pretty much all 35mm SLR's work like this.

    It would be nice to see your results.
    mellais likes this.
  3. Amazing. You actually have an MTL3 that has a working meter???

    The Praktica meters are no worse than any of their contemporaries, but they're no better either.;)

    Butkus and the manual for the camera are your GOTO

    We need to support this guy so do your donation for the free download.

    I have a huge, beyond all reason, acccumulation (I call it a collection) of Prakticas, but not an MTL3-- that period of the cameras from the Workers' and Peasants' State just didn't click with me, often quite literally.

    Here's my representative of that generation pf Prakticas
  4. BTW, I have had terrific luck with the various Helios lenses. I suspect their quality control was a lot better than the 'neigh'-sayers would have it.
    mellais likes this.
  5. Thank you John,

    That's what I thought - pressing both simultaneously would feel irrational. But you never know - even contemporary product design can surprise you sometimes:)

    Will post the results in my gallery and let you know.
  6. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Had a couple of MTL3s in my youth (must be good - fits Pentax lenses), and discovered an anomaly. When attempting to wind on at the end of the roll, if there was insufficient film in the cassette to complete the lever stroke, it was IMPERATIVE to depress the rewind button and complete the stroke before rewinding the film, or else the shutter jammed. Don't know if that was the case with all the MTL series, but it certainly happened on the two I had, before I replaced the second with a Cosina CT1G.
    mellais likes this.
  7. I agree. Mine does have a tiny bubble inside one of the lens elements - well I've decided it's not a problem. Otherwise excellent build quality. But let's wait for the pics before giving my copy a final verdict.
  8. Thanks, I'll pay attention to that.
  9. I, too, have an MTL3 with a working meter.
  10. This thread takes me back, I had a MTL3 back in the day. Traded it in for a Pentax ME super which I still have, but has not been used this century.
  11. @gerald No time like the present!
    Gerald Cafferty likes this.
  12. I have several Prakticas of the L-series. All of them have working meters. The meters can also be tuned/calibrated easily. I had posted "how to" instructions long ago in this Forum. I also have some Praktica Nove IBs. They have selenium meters. Made in the early 1960s I think. After sixty years plus the meters are still working. The shutter curtains are still durable. Of course, i must also acknowledge the Helios series. I have some from the old preset type to the latter day automatics. All are excellent picture makers. I think the Helios is a clone of the Zeiss Biotar. The Jena Zeiss gave the design to the Russians when they started making the Pancolars, I believe. Soon, I shall try and make some pictures after the Lock Down is over and post them. Greetings to all. SP.
    mellais and John Seaman like this.

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