Praktica Nova

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by andy_collins|1, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. I found this Praktica Nova at a flea market/consignment shop last week, and it appears to be in great condition, but I have a few questions about it that I hope someone can answer. First of all, which model of Nova is this? I think it's a B (the name on the faceplate is hard to see and is partially obscured), but I've read that there are several variations of the Nova B. Second, how do you set the shutter speed? Is this camera like the Zorkis or Kievs where you have to cock the shutter first and then change the speed, or do you set the speed first? Third, the lens is an A. Schacht Ulm Travegon...what kind of quality does this lens consist of, or is it a cheap substitute for the nicer Carl Zeiss lenses? Any information on this camera would be greatly appreciated. It seems as though it will be fun to use, and seems to be in working order, including the light meter which responds smoothly to changing light. Thanks in advance for any help!
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  2. Hi Andy! here are some answers to your queries.
    First of all, which model of Nova is this? It is the first model of Nova introduced after the Praktica FX3.
    I think it's a B. Yes it is a B, stands for the Meter in German.
    but I've read that there are several variations of the Nova B. The other version is of Nova 1 series;they had a cam based non-rotating more modern shutter.
    Second, how do you set the shutter speed? Yes; in general it is recommended to set the shutter speed after cocking the shutter fully.
    Third, the lens is an A. Schacht Ulm Travegon...what kind of quality does this lens consist of, or is it a cheap substitute for the nicer Carl Zeiss lenses? It is very good lens. The Flektogon 35mm from Carl Zeiss Jena is highly reputed. But the West German Schact Ulm is not a cheapy either, though not as expensive as the Schneider.
    It is a good camera; not popular in the US but very popular in the UK and Holland. It will make cracking pictures. These selenium meters work well even after seven decades since manufacture. You may check with this site, below, for details on all Praktica models.
    Mike's Praktica Home

    www.praktica-collector.de Cached
    I hope these answer your queries. Best.
    SP.
     
  3. Lucky man, Andy, the Travegon is more than somewhat sought-after. SP's covered all the bases; please post some images when you've put this very nice camera through it's paces.
     
  4. "Lucky man, Andy, the Travegon is more than somewhat sought-after."
    Yes, there is a hype for older German lenses from less known manufacturers but this does not mean that these lenses are excellent.
    Many years ago you could get Schacht and Meyer-Goerlitz lenses dirt cheap, I have some with Leica screwmount, and I also managed to acquire a set of Schacht lenses for M42 mount for reasonable prices. The f/4.5 200m came as a 3D puzzle, with the focussing helical guide block broken off (fortunately there was room enough to drill new threaded holes for somewhat bigger screws).
    However, the Schacht lenses were not bad at all. They were designed by Ludwig Bertele, former lens designer with Zeiss who designed the Sonnar f/1.5 50mm.
     
  5. Wow Andy.. great scoop. Your good eye is back on the prowl eh.. Glad to see you posting!
     
  6. Nice one Andy, and it's always good to read SP's response on all things Praktica....he's the man! Look forward to some images from it.
     
  7. If the shutter isn't capping, you are probably good to go. If it is capping at 1/500 it needs a servicing which will cost far more than you paid for the camera.
    I bought a Nova 1b in 1969 to get through a very tough photography course in the school of applied science at a tough university. The model I used cost $69.95 and had no light meter and the lens was an ISCO 50mm f2.8.... a three element lens that was fairly good stopped down. I got one of my few "A's" in that course with a lot of hard work. Sold it for $60 at the end of the course as it was my senior year and I needed the money big time. With later cameras I stayed with M42 for a while.
    Later I got a 35mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss Flektogon and it is still the go-to lens in M42. Still have it and still use it on my digital slr.
     
  8. Wow! Thanks for all of the most encouraging responses! SP, I was hoping that you would offer some tips and advice (and your blessing!) and I thank you for all of your comments. As Tony said, you're the man when it comes to Prakticas and a whole host of other cameras. I happened to find that same site and have it bookmarked. Rick, I will definitely post pics when I finish the roll I've loaded. Winfried, thanks for your comments. Chuck, yes, my eye is on the prowl again and this is an exciting find for sure! Tony, I love reading SP's responses on all things photographic period! I wish he'd write a book because I'd read it from cover to cover and then begin again! Michael, the camera isn't capping at all, so hopefully everything is good to go!
     

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