Friday, April 6, 2012

High Park - Praktica LLC

HighPark Emu
Pentacon Praktica LLC - Pentacon 50mm ƒ/1.8 - Polypan F
Developed in HC-110 Dilution B
Good Friday, and time to use my Praktica LLC with Pentacon 50mm ƒ/1.8 M42e lens.  You probably remember me posting about the High Park Zoo using this camera and lens, but using B&W film.  Excellent results, super sharp lens, great bokeh and out of focus rendering, and a very simple operation to it. 
The only thing is, I was shooting B&W, and using some very sharp B&W film, Polypan F 50. Excellent film, with a very thin base, but gives incredibly well toned results throughout. Contrasty, but still with enough shadow detail to stand out.
Kodak Signet 35C - Kodak Ektar 44mm ƒ/3.5
Polypan F Developed in Rodinal 1:100
The only issue with it, is the lack of Anti-Halation backing.  Granted, this can be a boon instead of a problem, considering that the blooming highlights can be used for artistic merit, although some do not like this phenomenon at all.  I don't mind it, and in fact, I really like it on certain images, such as this recent image I took of a tree and let the camera over-expose the photo a touch.  Of course, with the bright shiny backing plate, it causes a little more blooming than with a black backing plate.  I also find it gives a touch more shadow detail, well light in the shadows, than on a black backing plate.Now back to the fact that I decided to also shoot some colour film as well.  I loaded the camera with some Fujifilm Superia 200ISO film, and was very surprised to see some very lovely results!  The lens, as I have come to expect now, is very sharp, and renders the colour beautifully.  The out of focus area is smooth, and pleasing to the eyes, without giving you that "Swirly" bokeh type that is excellent when taking portraits.
Checking The Grate
Pentacon Praktica LLC - Pentacon 50mm ƒ/1.8 - Fuji Superia 200
I don't, as of yet, develop my own C-41 images, but I must admit, I want to start.  I have been getting them done at Walmart, and sure they are cheap/inexpensive, but at the expense of having my negatives coming back scratched, or with big blobs/fingerprints smattered all over them.  The fingerprints aren't too big an issue, as I wash the film when I get it back, but it is the scratches.  And I know that it is getting scratched at Walmart, because the film I'm getting back is from Factory rolled cans, and coming out of cameras that I have put countless rolls of B&W through without scratches to the negatives. 
Anyway, enough of my rant on about Walmart.. 
One of the first shots I took with the colour film on this camera was this image to the left.  I was on my way back from the car, with my son (as seen in above image) in tow who wanted to go get his Kodak Brownie Bullet II 127 snapshot camera that I gave him.  It was loaded with some Efke 100R film as well, which actually the negatives from it look fantastic, and I'm just trying to figure out a way to scan them in.
Bicycle PostI really have grown fond of 127 film, as it's not the same size of 120, yet gives a larger image than 35mm.  Sadly, it's so freaking expensive!  I want to get more of it, as my son really enjoys using those cameras, and I'm hoping that it becomes a little more common to see.  Sadly, I do not see that happening though. 
Back on track to the Pentacon lens, though.  I remember shooting my Praktica L2 last year through the month of July, and ONLY shooting my Praktica L2, trying the different lenses I had for it, and putting roll after roll after roll through it.  Pretty much every roll I put through it was Colour film, and I don't remember getting the clarity of the images I took on my LLC compared to the L2.  I'm almost positive that it has to do with the lenses I was using, as compared to the camera I was using, considering they are technically almost identical, except for the LLC having a, albeit non-working, light meter. 
Without a functioning on-board light meter, I have to do all the exposure mathematics manually in my head, or using a hand-held meter.  Personally, as much as I like to use a hand-held for really tricky shots, most times sunny ƒ/16 works perfectly.  I employed my light meter (A Gossen Luna-Six Pro) a couple of times during the day, but for the most part, it was almost entirely just shot by eye. 
I'm still very impressed with this Fuji Superia film.  It came out really well, considering it is just a, really cheap, consumer grade film.  In fact, this isn't even real Fuji Superia, but rebranded Drug-Store film.  So it could very well be Fujicolor film instead of Superia.   Since it has the Fuji markings, I know it is definitely Fuji Film, but whether it is Fujicolor or Superia I am not sure.

Until next time, keep those shutters firing!


  1. Hey I really love your stuff, it's seriously great. Last year I was given a fujica stx-1 (which works quite well) and a praktica llc. The lens that came with the llc is totally damaged and doesn't work at all. Do you know what lenses I could get that would are compatible with the llc?

    1. Hey Jack Dobinson. I really don't understand why I don't get emails about comments on my blog, quite annoying.
      Sure you've already figured it out, but any M42 lens will work with your Praktica LLC as long as it has the AUTO-STOPDOWN pin, or an unobtrusive M42 mount.
      A lens like the Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm ƒ/2.8 Post-War classic will not work, as the base of the mount will actually impede the stop down lever plate in the mount and keep the camera from firing. Literally jamming up the camera!