Praktica BC 1
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2 Introduction 4
3 Technical features 6
4 Guide to individual parts 10
5 Summary of instructions for
automatic operation 19
6 Preparing to take pictures 23
Inserting the battery 25
Checking the battery 27
Inserting the film 294www.butkus.org
Preparing to shoot 31
Setting the film speed 33
7 Taking pictures 34
Automatic shutter speed control 35
Semi-automatic mode 47
Flash photography 51
Changing the lens 55
Depth-of-field indication 59
Stop down key 59
Shutter release 61
Locking the shutter release 61
Changing the film 65
8 Care of the camera 66
With the PRAKTICA BC 1 you have bought a quality miniature SLR camera with fully automatic shutter speed control in a range between 1/1000 s and 40 s. In addition, the camera's microelectronics make possible photography at fixed shutter speeds between 1/1000s and 1 s and unlimited shutter speeds with the B setting. The open-aperture TTL metering means a really bright viewfinder image as a result of the electronic transmission of aperture values from the lens to the camera.
17 LEDs at the right-hand edge of the viewfinder image provide information on all important shot data and operations, such as the shutter speed to be expected, underexposure and overexposure, automatic and semi-automatic operating modes as well as flash readiness with dedicated computerized flash units. In addition, the preselected aperture setting is visible at the bottom of the viewfinder image. Manual corrections can be made for deliberate overexposures and underexposures. The PRAKTICA BC 1 is suitable for use with both normal electronic flash units and computerized flash units.4www.butkus.org
ˇ SLR camera for 24 x 36 mm frame size open-aperture TTL metering system with electronic transmission of aperture values
ˇ automatic stepless electronic shutter speed control between 1/1000 s and 40 s
ˇ changeover from automatic to semi-automatic mode possible--fixed speed range from 1/000s to 1s
ˇ indication of shutter speed in viewfinder by LEDs
ˇ indication of overexposure or underexposure
ˇ aperture setting displayed at bottom of viewfinder image
ˇ manual exposure compensation of + 2 exposure factors
ˇ memory locking
ˇ self-timer (approx. 8 s) with starting button
ˇ focusing system comprises Fresnel lens with novel diagonal triple wedge ,microprism ring and ground glass ring
ˇ flash synchronization (approx. 1/90 s) at **** or automatic formation of flash speed in automatic setting with dedicated computerized flash unit, indication of flash readiness in viewfinder
ˇ viewfinder image shows approx. 95 per cent of picture sides
ˇ PRAKTICA bayonet (flange focal length 44.4 mm, internal diameter 48.5 mm)
ˇ connection for motor winder
ˇ film information holder on rear of camera
ˇ battery condition indication in viewfinder
ˇ power source: 6 V primary battery 4www.butkus.org
ˇ silicon photoelement as light sensor4www.butkus.org
ˇ metering and control range: O-17 EV at 21 DIN and aperture 1.4
ˇ dimensions of body: 138 mm x87.5 mm x49 mm
ˇ weight of body without battery: 530 g
1 Unlocking key
2 Self-timer release
3 Self-timer cocking lever
4 Stop down key
5 Frame counter
6 Cocking lever
7 Aperture value indication
8 Rewind crank
9 Rewind button
10 Film speed setting ring
11 Filter thread
12 Focusing ring4www.butkus.org
13 Depth-of-field scale and infrared spot
14 Lens positioning mark
15 Lug for carrying strap
16 Release lock with mark
17 Connection for cable release
18 Shutter release
19 Shutter speed/automatic setting knob
20 Hot shoe with center contact
21 Connection for computerized flash
22 Center contact
23 Memory lock and battery check button
24 Compensation unlocking button
25 Exposure compensation knob with marking
26 Flash nipple
27 Aperture setting ring
28 Film cartridge compartment
29 Shutter blades
30 Eyepiece with accessory holder
31 Camera back
32 Film take-up-spool
33 Film sprocket
34 Knurled spool base
35 Contacts for motor winder
36 Cover for battery compartment
37 Battery compartment locking screw
38 Film information holder
39 Thread for tripod
40 Rewind release
41 Coupling for motor winder
42 Catch for motor winder
43 Eyepiece cover (see page 41)
summary is no substitute for a thorough knowledge of
all the operating instructions contained in this booklet.
ˇ Insert battery
Note + and -- pole markings in battery compartment cover (36).
ˇ Open back
Pull rewind button (9) upwards and the back will open.
ˇ Insert film
Adjust setting knob (19) to "automatic" or a fast fixed shutter speed. Insert film cartridge in cartridge compartment (28), press rewind button (9) back in, insert the start of the film into the slit in the take-up spool (32) and turn the spool by the knurled edge (34) towards the center of the camera until the teeth of the sprocket (33) engage in the perforations in the film. Swing cocking lever (6) as far as it will go to check film travel.
ˇ Close back
ˇ Prepare to shoot
Carry on releasing and cocking until the frame counter (5) indicates frame 1.
ˇ Readjust setting knob (19) to automatic.
ˇ Set film speed
Lift and turn setting ring (10) until the correct film speed is opposite the mark.4www.butkus.org
ˇ Select aperture
Set the desired aperture using the aperture setting ring (27)
Triple wedge: object is in focus when its contours and lines flow naturally Microprism ring: when focused correctly the object is clear and flicker-free Ground glass ring: used with poor lighting (eg for close-ups); image should appear clear and sharp.
ˇ Release shutter
Depress shutter release (18) slightly; the camera's automatic system starts to work and an LED shows the shutter speed. If the speed suits the subject, release the shutter; if not, alter the aperture.
ˇ Film change
Depress rewind release (40), fold out rewind crank (8) and turn in the direction of the arrow. When turning becomes easier the film has been completely rewound. Pull the rewind button (9) all the way up to unlock the back and then remove the film cartridge.
ˇ Lens change
Press unlocking key (1), turn lens anticlockwise as far as it will go and remove. Insert the lens so that the red markings are opposite one another and turn clockwise till it locks.
Inserting the battery
A 6 V source is required to power the whole electronic
system. It may be an alkali manganese, silver oxide or lithium battery.4www.butkus.org
Under normal conditions, a fresh battery lasts for about 2 years. To insert the battery, turn the locking screw (37) of the battery chamber cover (36) counterclockwise until the cover can be opened. Wipe the contacts in the battery chamber and those of the fresh battery with a dry cloth. Press the plus pole of the battery against the spring contact (polarity marks on battery chamber cover) and tip the battery in. Close and lock the cover.
Checking the battery
The shutter must be cocked. Press shutter release (18) and then memory button (23). If the LED indication is bright the battery still has a sufficient power reserve. When the battery is used up the LED goes out. In B and settings it is not possible to check the battery.
Special attention should be paid to the battery and contacts. Frequent checks are advisable, cleaning when necessary. The battery is sensitive to low temperatures and should be suitably protected. When the camera is not being used for lengthy periods the battery should be removed from the camera.
Inserting the film
Insert the start of the film at least 1 cm into the slit in the take-up spool (32). Then turn the spool by the knurled base (34) towards the middle of the camera through about one revolution. The teeth of the film sprocket (33) must engage in the perforation in the film. Check that the film is running properly by carefully operating the cockier' lever (6).
Closing the back
Preparing to shoot
Setting the film speed
Lift film speed setting ring (10) and turn until the
film speed value used is opposite the mark.
Automatic shutter speed control
In automatic mode the PRAKTICA BC1 operates automatically in a stepless shutter speed range from 1/1000 s to 40 s. The shutter speed is electronically controlled in line with the lighting conditions, the selected aperture and the film speed. LEDs at the edge of the viewfinder indicate the controlled shutter speed. Where the shutter speed range is exceeded this is indicated by OVER and UNDER. The TTL metering automatically takes into account all factors influencing the exposure such as focal length of the lens, filter and extensions. If lenses with the M 42 x 1 PRAKTICA thread are used with an adapter, light metering is automatic at working aperture.4www.butkus.org
The choice of aperture can also be made according to the desired depth-of-field (foreground, mid-ground, background) and by taking into account the speed information in the viewfinder (danger of blurring). See also the section on depth-of-field indication. A small aperture means a large depth-of-field, a large aperture a correspondingly smaller depth-of-field.
Automatic exposure indication
Set shutter speed knob (19) to automatic. The electronics are switched on by slight pressure on the shutter release (18). In the viewfinder image the shutter speed calculated by the automatic system is shown by an LED display. If it appears unsuitable for the subject, it can be corrected by selecting another aperture. LEDs are allotted to selected speeds between 1/1000s and 8 s, with intermediate settings being indicated by the simultaneous lighting of two adjacent diodes. Shutter speeds between 8 s and 40 s are indicated by the permanent lighting of the UNDER LED, while speeds outside the 1/1000s to 40 s range are indicated by the flashing of the LED at OVER or UNDER. In this case the shutter is set for 1/1000s or 40s. If shutter speeds of 1/15s and slower are formed, the use of a tripod or other steady surface is recommended.4www.butkus.org
If the cycle needle to be broken off prematurely with a very long shutter speed (eg after an accidental shutter released, the shutter speed SE sting knob (19) should briefly be turned to B. If the camera is not held at eye level during automatic operation (eg with tripod shots), the eyepiece cover (43) which comes with the camera should be pushed into the holder (30).
Locking of metered values
The metered value calculated in the close-up measurement is stored, and the image section can be changed without another shutter speed being set.
To store the metered value first depress the shutter release (18) slightly to initiate the metering process and then briefly press the memory button (23) to lock in the metered value. The shutter must be cocked. No new measurement is made before the shutter is released, and the shutter speed will correspond to the locked value.
The locked value is erased when pressure is removed from the shutter release and the electronics are switched off.4www.butkus.org
from the initial position the shutter speed is reduced by 1 or 2 exposure
factors when the knob is set to +1 or +2, respectively. The speed is
correspondingly increased when the knob is set to--1 or--2. The knob can be set
to half factors. At the borders of the film speed range--12 DIN and 36 DIN --
compensation by two factors is also possible (correspondingly to 6 DIN and 42
The compensation cannot extend the shutter speed range beyond the speeds of 1/1000s and 40 s. Remember to return the button to the neutral initial position following exposure compensated shots.4www.butkus.org
If you want to shoot at a particular shutter speed, for reproductions or scientific work for example, set the PRAKTICA BC 1 to semi-automatic mode. Fixed shutter speeds from 1 s to 1/1000 are available. Select the speed you want using the shutter speed setting knob (19)--this automatically changes the camera operation to semi-automatic mode. As with automatic shutter speed control, the camera's electronics are switched on by gentle pressure on the shutter release. The shutter speed can again be checked using the LEDs in the viewfinder. While the LED corresponding to the set shutter speed flashes, the shutter speed required by the lighting conditions, the film speed and the selected aperture is shown at the same time by a steadily lit LED. (For intermediate speeds two adjacent LEDs light up.) To match the two, the aperture or shutter speed should be altered until the LEDs in the viewfinder are lit steadily. With and B settings there is no LED display. The flash speed of around 1/90 s is formed mechanically with and electronically when using a dedicated computerized flash unit in automatic position.
other shutter speeds including B are electronically controlled. It is also possible
to photograph with without a battery.
Holding the camera
The illustrations show the best positions in which to hold the camera for upright and horizontal format shots. Hold the camera steadily and tightly and support the elbows against the body. In this way you will achieve blur-free pictures.4www.butkus.org
For electronic flash without computer control set the shutter speed knob (19) to . The set shutter speed (around 1/90 s) is formed mechanically.
If a dedicated computerized flash unit is pushed onto the hot shoe in automatic setting, the electronic flash speed is automatically formed when flash readiness is achieved. Flash readiness is indicated by a green LED in the viewfinder when the flash unit is switched on and gentle pressure is applied to the shutter release.
All other information on automatic speeds on the display is extinguished. When fixed speeds are used, flash readiness is indicated in addition to the information on the relevant speed on the display and in and B settings.
To avoid incorrect exposures (overexposures) with flash when the surrounding light is bright, check by switching off the computerized flash unit that the shutter speed corresponding to the surrounding light is slower than 1/125s.4www.butkus.org
Changing the lens
Insert the lens in such a way that the red markings (1 and 14) on the camera and lens are opposite each other. Press the lens against the camera body and turn clockwise until the locking pin is heard to engage.
By using the PRAKTICA adapter all original PRAKTICA lenses with the M 42 x 1 thread can be connected, lenses of other makes with the M 42 x 1 thread must be suitable for PRAKTICA cameras and equipped for metering at working aperture. The PRAKTICA BC 1 also works automatically with screw-thread lenses, the only difference being that the light metering is made with working aperture.
1) triple wedge
When the camera is cocked, gentle depression of the shutter release until pressure is felt switches on the automatic system and the LEDs for shutter speeds or flash readiness (with special flash units). Further pressure will release the shutter.
Locking the shutter release
Accidental exposure and unnecessary use of power as a result of unintentional pressing of the shutter release when the camera is cocked or not can be avoided by turning the release lock (16) clockwise to block the shutter release. To unlock turn in the opposite direction. Do not lock the shutter release when it is depressed.
Do not cock the shutter while the delay mechanism is running. If a motor winder is attached to the camera and switched on, 4 to 5 frames can be exposed during the delay period as in continuous operation with fast shutter speeds. If this is not desired the motor winder should be switched off.4www.butkus.org
To avoid incorrect metering in automatic operation the eyepiece should be covered with the eyepiece cover supplied.
Changing the film
Press in the rewind release (40) until it locks, fold out the rewind crank (8) and turn moderately quickly in the direction of the arrow (clockwise) until increased resistance followed by easy movement indicate that the film has been fully rewound. Pull rewind knob all the way up to unlock the back. The film cartridge can now be removed. Do not change the film in bright sunlight. If more frames are exposed than are indicated on the film pack, it is possible that the cocking lever cannot be swung all the way. Do not use force. Wind back the film and swing the cocking lever as far as it will go.
ˇ Protect the camera from impact, dust and moisture.
ˇ Clean the cartridge and spool compartments, the film track and the back from time to time with a soft brush.
ˇ Do not use any organic solvents such as spirit or varnish thinner to clean the camera.
ˇ Do not expose the camera or lens to aggressive vapors.4www.butkus.org
ˇ Remove fingerprints from the lens and eyepiece surfaces with lens cleaning paper.
ˇ Do not touch the mirror, field lens or shutter blades. Dirt on these should only be removed by a service workshop.
ˇ Use an optical brush for dust removal or blow out.
ˇ Do not expose the camera to very high or low temperatures for lengthy periods. Avoid, for example, placing the camera in a car window in direct sunlight. The camera should be suitably protected from extreme cold.
ˇ When using the camera near the sea or on the beach, protect it from salt water spray and sand.
ˇ Avoid sudden changes in temperature. These may lead to the formation of condensation and thus to corrosion damage.
ˇ Never attempt to make your own repairs to the camera. Consult a service workshop where necessary.