Praktica FX2
posted 6-16-04

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Dear Photo Friend!
The miniature reflex camera Praktica FX 2, a masterpiece of German craftsmanship has proved a means of disclosing the extremely versatile and wondrous territories of photography.
The advantages of the single-lens reflex camera system become particularly obvious in the Praktica FX 2. Already before the exposure, the subject is visible, free from parallax error, in the ground glass image, making it possible to predetermine depth of field and picture composition with utmost accuracy.
Interchangeable lenses of various focal lengths in the Praktica FX 2 open up a wide ran, e of applicability for telephoto, close-up, and micro work. To complete the finder system, a supplementary reversible prism can be inserted into the finder hood, revealing an upright, correct-sided image.

Explanation of Signs
1 =Release knob
2=Knob for winding the shutter and transporting the film
3=Picture-counting disc
4=Knob for setting the shutter speeds 
5=Knob for setting the speed groups 
6=Film rewind-knob 
7=Loops to hold the neck-strap
8=Interchangeable lens with rotatable rings for setting distance and diaphragm, and with distance, diaphragm and depth-of-field scales X= Bipolar contact socket (X contact) F= Bipolar contact socket (F contact)
9=Lighthood cap 
10=Magnifying lens 
11=Rear finder mask 
12=Latch button for lighthood
13=Release knob for rewind mechanism
14=Film spool
15=Film transport sprocket 
16=Picture gate 
17=Camera back
18=Catch for camera back 
19=Film pressure plate

Inserting the film
The camera back is unlocked by pushing the knob No. 18 in the direction of the arrow. Open the camera back, take it off, and pull out the rewind knob No. 6. The film cartridge must be placed into the empty chamber with the beginning of the film projecting in the direction of the picture gate. Pull the beginning of the film away from the cartridge and fix it into the empty spool on the right-hand side of the camera. It is important that the sprocket teeth catch both perforated edges of the film. Wind the shutter by rotating knob No. 2. 

Make sure that the film lies straight on film guide and sprocket, link the camera back into the right-hand groove and close it down. The film pressure-plate must be perfectly clean before the camera back is closed.
After having closed the camera back, make two blank exposures. The rewind knob 6 must hereby turn in the opposite direction of the arrow mark. When all these manipulations have been performed, the counting mechanism has to be set to stroke No. 1, and the camera is ready for the first exposures.

Changing the film
Following the 36th exposure, a certain resistance will be noticed in winding the shutter - a sign that the whole film is exposed and has to be rewound into the cartridge. This is done by pressing down the little button 13 and at the same turning the rewind-knob 6 in the direction of the arrow.
The beginning of the film will slip out of the cartridge audibly, and the rewinding procedure is completed. Open the camera back and remove the cartridge with the exposed film.

Shutter and film transport
a) Winding the shutter
A full rotation of the knob 2 as far as it will go to the right (clockwise) winds the shutter, advances the film to the next frame, and swings the reflex mirror into the light-ray level of the lens. Take care that the release knob 1 is n o t pressed in while the shutter is being wound up. Any not built-in self-timers must be either wound up or removed from the camera before the shutter is cocked.

b) Setting the shutter speeds
The speeds are set by means of the adjusting knob 4 and the supplementary knob 5. The speed disc is engraved with
black figures for the short speeds from 1/500th to 1/25th second, and    (1/40th),
with red figures for the long speeds from 1/10th to 1/2 second, and with "B" setting for time exposures of any desired length.
With the shutter set to the speeds of 1/500th to ')25th sec., and   the red triangle of the supplementary knob 5 must point towards the black triangle on the camera top. When set to the speeds of 1/10th to 1/2 sec., the red triangle on the supplementary knob must point to the red triangle on the camera top. The "B" setting can be used in both positions.
To set the speeds, lift the outer ring 4, turn it to the desired number and click it in. There is only one rest-hole for 1/2 and 1/25th second, marked by a dot between the speed numbers 1/2 and 1/25.
The speed knob may be turned in both directions either before or after winding up the shutter.

c) Releasing the shutter
The exposure is made by gently pressing in the knob 1. In order to avoid blurring the picture, the knob should not be let loose until the shutter has run down. At the "B" setting, the shutter knob must be pressed as long as the exposure is to last. For the use of a wire release, the knob is provided with a thread into which the release can he screwed.
A special wire release is supplied with the camera for long time exposures in the "T" setting (e. g. in night photography).

Lens and Shutter
a) Press button No. 12, and the lighthood will spring up, uncovering the finder lens. When the shutter is wound up, a bright, clear image will appear on the ground-glass surface of the finder. By turning the distance meter ring on the lens mount, you can focus the lens to the greatest possible sharpness. Focusing should be performed with the diaphragm at full opening, and the lens stopped down to the desired aperture immediately before making the exposure.
To facilitate focusing, the camera is equipped with a magnifying lens, which is swung into operating position by means of lever 10.
When using the magnifying lens, a distance of 15 to 25 mm. between the eye and the lens should be observed. Only then will the image on the ground-glass be perfectly clear.
The eye-level viewfinder in the lighthood is very handy for sports snapshots. To disengage the sportsfinder, swing out the flap in the front of the lighthood cap (9). bring the magnifying lens into working position and draw out the finder mask at the back.
To close the lighthood, press the lighthood cap (9) gently with your finger, and all the parts will automatically slide back to their original position, except the rear finder mask (11), which has to be pushed back beforehand.

b) The lens scales
The front ring on the lens mount is engraved with the diaphragm scale and the index point, the middle ring with the distance scale in meters or feet, and the back ring with a diaphragm scale showing the depth of sharpness.
According to this scale, for instance, the Biotar lens f/2 with a focal length of 58 mm , at a distance setting of 4 meters (12 ft.) at an f/11 aperture, gives a sharpness reaching from 2.5 to 10 meters (7'6" to 30').

c) Changing the lens
The lens in the camera body is interchangeable within its threaded flange. By being turned to the left (anti-clockwise) the lens can be removed from the camera body. Should the camera be loaded when changing lenses, take care to protect the opening from glaring light. Never make any alterations in the mechanism which becomes visible when the lens is screwed out, as this might do serious harm to the shutter.
An accessory to the Praktica is the Penta Prism. Look into it and you will see an upright, non-reversed, enlarged ground-glass image, free from parallax error.

d) The Penta Prism
The Penta Prism is fitted into the open lighthood of the camera from above, while the latch button (12) is being depressed, whereupon it is bolted by pushing the fastening knob to the front.
The very considerable advantages offered by the Penta Prism most certainly compensate for the small discrepancy in size on the upper edge of the screen image.

e) The mirror
The mirror is a very sensitive element in the camera, and it must he protected from even the slightest damage. Use only a very soft-haired brush to remove any possible uncleanliness from the mirror surface.

f) Lenses with diaphragm -presetting device
To preset the aperture desired for the exposure, draw the milled ring directly behind the diaphragm scale backward, holding the diaphragm ring - which has before been adjusted to the desired number - with the other hand and setting the red index dot against the diaphragm number chosen. The milled ring. when springing back into position gets coupled with the diaphragm ring. For focusing. the diaphragm ring can now be set to the full aperture and, without changing the position of the camera, turned hack, until it stops at the preset diaphragm number, for exposing.

Close up Photography
The helical focusing mount of the standard lenses permit approaching your object up to about 50 cm (20"). For exposures at shorter distances you will have to use extension tubes. These are inserted. singly or combined. between camera and lens. Tubes 1 to 3 together yield a picture ratio of 1 :1. Possibilities of combination, and distance values, are shown on chart opposite.

Click here to see the Close up chart

Color Filters
with any type of mount can be used in the PRAKTICA (i. e. screw-in and slip-on mounts). The same refers :o sunshades.

Flash Synchronization
On the front of the camera are two bipolar contact sockets, the upper one - X contact - for flash tubes (electronic flashes), and the lower one - F contact - for flash bulbs.

X Contact (above): Shutter speed1/50 sec. for flash durations ranging from 0.1 to 1 ms (1/10000 to 1/1000 sec.). For flashes lasting from 1 to 5 ins (1/1000 to 1/200 sec.) the shutter has to be set on the .` mark.
This contact is also designed for short-burning flash bulbs, in which case the shutter speed has to be set according to the actual flash duration. As a rule, this will be 1/25 or 1/10 sec.

F Contact (below):
This contact allows for synchronization with the shortest shutter speeds of those flash bulbs whose ignition time is shorter than 10 ms and whose actual flash duration is longer than 20 ms. For use with slower shutter speeds than 1/500 sec., the shutter speed in ms has to be added to the 20 ms value, and the resulting sum shows the actual duration to he achieved by the flash.
Important: The flash bulb must never be put into the flash unit before the shutter has been wound up!  

Negative Material
The PRAKTICA takes perforated 35 mm film, available either in cartridges or in bulk film. The length of film in a cartridge is equal to 36 exposures, sometimes, however, cartridges with half lengths are used. If you fill your own cassettes or cartridges, you need 1.60 meters (6'5") for 36 exposures. You may, of course, use shorter lengths if you wish to.

Color film is sold in exactly the same lengths and packages as black-and-white film. The PRAKTICA is just the camera for color photography, for by pre-viewing your image in all its natural color on the ground-glass screen, you are able, to a very great extent, to judge the effect of the final picture. Also, the lenses of the Praktica are color-corrected.

requires a special attachment for connecting the camera to the microscope. For negatives to he enlarged on an especially large scale, the ground glass is available with a clear glass ring and with hairline cross.

How to take care of your Praktica
The camera is protected by the Everready Case. The case protects the camera also during the exposure without causing any inconvenience whatever. The camera should always be kept in the case, with the lens screwed in. It must be kept spotlessly clean, especially all the parts coming into contact with the film. Use a very soft-haired brush for cleaning.
Never touch the lens surfaces with your fingers. They, too, are to be dusted only with a soft haired brush. This does no harm to the bluish anti-reflex coating.

You will derive continual pleasure from your PRAKTICA if you treat it kindly. The PRAKTICA is a masterpiece of precision workmanship and will only then be able to meet your requirements if you follow the Instructions for Use carefully.

Do not interfere with the mechanism of the camera. Apply to the manufacturers if repairs become necessary. Subsequent oiling or greasing of the camera may lead to functional disturbances or decrease the quality of the pictures. Should you desire any further information or advice, please write to the factory.

Dresden A 17, Ed,ar.Andre-Strafle 56