Praktica mat

35mm MF film SLR camera

  • Description
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    • Specification

      35mm full frame
      Film type:
      135 cartridge-loaded film
      M42 [45.5mm]
      1/2 - 1/1000 + B
      Exposure metering:
      Through-the-lens (TTL), stop-down
      Exposure modes:
      Physical characteristics:
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      Manufacturer description #1

      The PRAKTICAmat, endowed with all the excellent qualities inherent in the modern mirror reflex system of the PRAKTICA family, incorporates an automatic exposure control system based on the latest knowledge of the internal measuring principle. For the first time, all the light on the viewfinder image is internally measured by means of a newly designed beam splitter and photo resistance. All the values having any influence on the exposure as, for instance, the image angle, the aperture, and extension factors for filters, magnifiers and micro attachments, are precisely conveyed to the meter reading which, through the medium of the high-quality focal-plane shutter, ensures superb exposure results.

      Special features of the PRAKTICAmat

      • Automatic exposure control, for the first time internal measuring of all the light on the viewfinder image by means of beam-splitter and photo resistance
      • Measuring range from 8 to 64,000 ASA at aperture f/2
      • Switch-on key for light measuring system
      • Current source for light measuring system has a lifetime of approx. 2 years
      • Meter needle and warning signal in the viewfinder
      • Film speed settings from 9 to 36 DIN or 6 to 3200 ASA
      • Two methods of focusing, either in rangefinder lens or in circular focusing screen (micro screen)
      • Firmly built-in pentaprism finder
      • Instant return mirror
      • Focal-plane shutter from 1 sec. to 1/1000 sec., ↯ and B
      • Stationary speed setting dial with click stops
      • Synchronization for bulbs and electronic flash
      • Rapid wind lever in convenient thumb position
      • Automatic exposure counter
      • Oblique shutter release with locking device
      • Rewind crank
      • Automatic diaphragm control
      • Interchangeable lenses with focal lengths from 20 mm to 1000 mm with PRAKTICA fitting
      • Wide range of accessories (PRAKTICA accessories are applicable)

      Manufacturer description #2

      PRAKTICAMAT is similar to the Praktica nova with built-in coupled CdS meter with automatic exposure system measuring the light through the lens in a novel and extremely efficient way. The focal plane shutter is fully speeded from 1-1/1000 sec. The shutter speeds are around the rewind knob. The pentaprism has a micro-screen circle around the central rangefinder wedge. With lenses which have no depth-of-field preview device, depth of field can be checked before shooting by depressing the meter switch-on button.

      Manufacturer description #3


      The shutter has a speed range from 1 sec. to 1/1000 sec. (Super TL, 1/500) and B in geometrical progression (i.e. 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 sec.). On Prakticamat the speeds are set on a disc surrounding the rewind knob. On Super TL the speeds are set on the shutter speed knob. The Prakticamat and Super TL shutters are XF flash synchronized.

      All models have an eye-level pentaprism with built-in split-image rangefinder (microprism in Super TL) surrounded by a focusing screen (microgrid) circle. A fresnel lens combined with an additional image field lens ensures an even light distribution of the brilliant reflex image which appears almost normal size. The exposure meter needle is seen in the finder also a warning signal, indicating when the film has not been transported.

      The reflex mirror is of the instant-return type and permits constant viewing before and after exposure. The viewing image is only blacked out for an instant during the actual exposure.

      The film transport is by quick wind lever, rewinding by swing-out re-wind crank. The rewind button remains depressed during rewinding and returns to the locking position when the shutter release is operated. The exposure counter is self-setting.

      The camera body has a hinged-on back and a built-in release mechanism for use of automatic diaphragm lenses. The shutter release is fitted obliquely on the front of the camera body and can be locked against accidental release. The film runs from the cassette under the take-up spool and winds emulsion outwards. The TL has a quick load take-up spool.

      The outstanding feature of these models is the built-in through the lens CdS metering system, which in case of Prakticamat covers the whole viewing field and on TL has centre of image emphasis. The reading is correct whether a wide angle, normal or telephoto lens is used, and even when a filter, extension tubes, extension bellows or the photo-micrographic attachment is employed. The film speed is adjustable from 6 to 3200 ASA (1600 ASA on TL). The stop down metering is coupled to both aperture and shutter speeds; either can be pre-set for exposure measuring by turning a needle visible in the viewfinder to a fixed position.

      THE STANDARD LENSES for these models are the

      Oreston 50 mm. f1.8,

      Pancolar 50 mm. f/2,

      Tessar 50 mm. f2.8,

      Domiplan 50 mm. f2.8.

      From the editor

      Only 25,245 units were produced from December 1965 to January 1969.

    • Description
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      Chromatic aberration

      There are two kinds of chromatic aberration: longitudinal and lateral. Longitudinal chromatic aberration is a variation in location of the image plane with changes in wave lengths. It produces the image point surrounded by different colors which result in a blurred image in black-and-white pictures. Lateral chromatic aberration is a variation in image size or magnification with wave length. This aberration does not appear at axial image points but toward the surrounding area, proportional to the distance from the center of the image field. Stopping down the lens has only a limited effect on these aberrations.

      Spherical aberration

      Spherical aberration is caused because the lens is round and the film or image sensor is flat. Light entering the edge of the lens is more severely refracted than light entering the center of the lens. This results in a blurred image, and also causes flare (non-image forming internal reflections). Stopping down the lens minimizes spherical aberration and flare, but introduces diffraction.


      Astigmatism in a lens causes a point in the subject to be reproduced as a line in the image. The effect becomes worse towards the corner of the image. Stopping down the lens has very little effect.


      Coma in a lens causes a circular shape in the subject to be reproduced as an oval shape in the image. Stopping down the lens has almost no effect.

      Curvature of field

      Curvature of field is the inability of a lens to produce a flat image of a flat subject. The image is formed instead on a curved surface. If the center of the image is in focus, the edges are out of focus and vice versa. Stopping down the lens has a limited effect.


      Distortion is the inability of a lens to capture lines as straight across the entire image area. Barrel distortion causes straight lines at the edges of the frame to bow toward the center of the image, producing a barrel shape. Pincushion distortion causes straight lines at the edges of the frame to curve in toward the lens axis. Distortion, whether barrel or pincushion type, is caused by differences in magnification; stopping down the lens has no effect at all.

      The term "distortion" is also sometimes used instead of the term "aberration". In this case, other types of optical aberrations may also be meant, not necessarily geometric distortion.


      Classically, light is thought of as always traveling in straight lines, but in reality, light waves tend to bend around nearby barriers, spreading out in the process. This phenomenon is known as diffraction and occurs when a light wave passes by a corner or through an opening. Diffraction plays a paramount role in limiting the resolving power of any lens.


      Doublet is a lens design comprised of two elements grouped together. Sometimes the two elements are cemented together, and other times they are separated by an air gap. Examples of this type of lens include achromatic close-up lenses.

      Dynamic range

      Dynamic range is the maximum range of tones, from darkest shadows to brightest highlights, that can be produced by a device or perceived in an image. Also called tonal range.

      Resolving power

      Resolving power is the ability of a lens, photographic emulsion or imaging sensor to distinguish fine detail. Resolving power is expressed in terms of lines per millimeter that are distinctly recorded in the final image.


      Vignetting is the darkening of the corners of an image relative to the center of the image. There are three types of vignetting: optical, mechanical, and natural vignetting.

      Optical vignetting is caused by the physical dimensions of a multi-element lens. Rear elements are shaded by elements in front of them, which reduces the effective lens opening for off-axis incident light. The result is a gradual decrease of the light intensity towards the image periphery. Optical vignetting is sensitive to the aperture and can be completely cured by stopping down the lens. Two or three stops are usually sufficient.

      Mechanical vignetting occurs when light beams are partially blocked by external objects such as thick or stacked filters, secondary lenses, and improper lens hoods.

      Natural vignetting (also known as natural illumination falloff) is not due to the blocking of light rays. The falloff is approximated by the "cosine fourth" law of illumination falloff. Wide-angle rangefinder designs are particularly prone to natural vignetting. Stopping down the lens cannot cure it.


      Bright shapes or lack of contrast caused when light is scattered by the surface of the lens or reflected off the interior surfaces of the lens barrel. This is most often seen when the lens is pointed toward the sun or another bright light source. Flare can be minimized by using anti-reflection coatings, light baffles, or a lens hood.


      Glowing patches of light that appear in a photograph due to lens flare.

      Retrofocus design

      Design with negative lens group(s) positioned in front of the diaphragm and positive lens group(s) positioned at the rear of the diaphragm. This provides a short focal length with a long back focus or lens-to-film distance, allowing for movement of the reflex mirror in SLR cameras. Sometimes called an inverted telephoto lens.


      A photographic lens completely corrected for the three main optical aberrations: spherical aberration, coma, and astigmatism.

      By the mid-20th century, the vast majority of lenses were close to being anastigmatic, so most manufacturers stopped including this characteristic in lens names and/or descriptions and focused on advertising other features (anti-reflection coating, for example).

      Rectilinear design

      Design that does not introduce significant distortion, especially ultra-wide angle lenses that preserve straight lines and do not curve them (unlike a fisheye lens, for instance).

      Focus shift

      A change in the position of the plane of optimal focus, generally due to a change in focal length when using a zoom lens, and in some lenses, with a change in aperture.


      The amount of light that passes through a lens without being either absorbed by the glass or being reflected by glass/air surfaces.

      Modulation Transfer Function (MTF)

      When optical designers attempt to compare the performance of optical systems, a commonly used measure is the modulation transfer function (MTF).

      The components of MTF are:

      The MTF of a lens is a measurement of its ability to transfer contrast at a particular resolution from the object to the image. In other words, MTF is a way to incorporate resolution and contrast into a single specification.

      Knowing the MTF curves of each photographic lens and camera sensor within a system allows a designer to make the appropriate selection when optimizing for a particular resolution.

      Veiling glare

      Lens flare that causes loss of contrast over part or all of the image.

      Anti-reflection coating

      When light enters or exits an uncoated lens approximately 5% of the light is reflected back at each lens-air boundary due to the difference in refractive index. This reflected light causes flare and ghosting, which results in deterioration of image quality. To counter this, a vapor-deposited coating that reduces light reflection is applied to the lens surface. Early coatings consisted of a single thin film with the correct refractive index differences to cancel out reflections. Multi-layer coatings, introduced in the early 1970s, are made up of several such films.

      Benefits of anti-reflection coating:

      Circular fisheye

      Produces a 180° angle of view in all directions (horizontal, vertical and diagonal).

      The image circle of the lens is inscribed in the image frame.

      Diagonal (full-frame) fisheye

      Covers the entire image frame. For this reason diagonal fisheye lenses are often called full-frame fisheyes.

      Extension ring

      Extension rings can be used singly or in combination to vary the reproduction ratio of lenses. They are mounted between the camera body and the lens. As a rule, the effect becomes stronger the shorter the focal length of the lens in use, and the longer the focal length of the extension ring.

      View camera

      A large-format camera with a ground-glass viewfinder at the image plane for viewing and focusing. The photographer must stick his head under a cloth hood in order to see the image projected on the ground glass. Because of their 4x5-inch (or larger) negatives, these cameras can produce extremely high-quality results. View cameras also usually support movements.

      135 cartridge-loaded film

      43.27 24 36
      • Introduced: 1934
      • Frame size: 36 × 24mm
      • Aspect ratio: 3:2
      • Diagonal: 43.27mm
      • Area: 864mm2
      • Double perforated
      • 8 perforations per frame

      120 roll film

      71.22 44 56
      • Introduced: 1901
      • Frame size: 56 × 44mm
      • Aspect ratio: 11:14
      • Diagonal: 71.22mm
      • Area: 2464mm2
      • Unperforated

      120 roll film

      79.2 56 56
      • Introduced: 1901
      • Frame size: 56 × 56mm
      • Aspect ratio: 1:1
      • Diagonal: 79.2mm
      • Area: 3136mm2
      • Unperforated

      120 roll film

      89.64 56 70
      • Introduced: 1901
      • Frame size: 70 × 56mm
      • Aspect ratio: 5:4
      • Diagonal: 89.64mm
      • Area: 3920mm2
      • Unperforated

      220 roll film

      71.22 44 56
      • Introduced: 1965
      • Frame size: 56 × 44mm
      • Aspect ratio: 11:14
      • Diagonal: 71.22mm
      • Area: 2464mm2
      • Unperforated
      • Double the length of 120 roll film

      220 roll film

      79.2 56 56
      • Introduced: 1965
      • Frame size: 56 × 56mm
      • Aspect ratio: 1:1
      • Diagonal: 79.2mm
      • Area: 3136mm2
      • Unperforated
      • Double the length of 120 roll film

      220 roll film

      89.64 56 70
      • Introduced: 1965
      • Frame size: 70 × 56mm
      • Aspect ratio: 5:4
      • Diagonal: 89.64mm
      • Area: 3920mm2
      • Unperforated
      • Double the length of 120 roll film

      Shutter speed ring with "F" setting

      The "F" setting disengages the leaf shutter and is set when using only the focal plane shutter in the camera body.

      Catch for disengaging cross-coupling

      The shutter and diaphragm settings are cross-coupled so that the diaphragm opens to a corresponding degree when faster shutter speeds are selected. The cross-coupling can be disengaged at the press of a catch.

      Cross-coupling button

      With the cross-coupling button depressed speed/aperture combinations can be altered without changing the Exposure Value setting.

      M & X sync

      The shutter is fully synchronized for M- and X-settings so that you can work with flash at all shutter speeds.

      In M-sync, the shutter closes the flash-firing circuit slightly before it is fully open to catch the flash at maximum intensity. The M-setting is used for Class M flash bulbs.

      In X-sync, the flash takes place when the shutter is fully opened. The X-setting is used for electronic flash.

      X sync

      The shutter is fully synchronized for X-setting so that you can work with flash at all shutter speeds.

      In X-sync, the flash takes place when the shutter is fully opened. The X-setting is used for electronic flash.

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      You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

      Cannot perform comparison

      Cannot compare the lens to itself.

      Image stabilizer

      A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

      The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

      Original name

      Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


      Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

      35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

      APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

      Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

      Angle of view

      Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

      As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

      A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

      This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


      CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
      FL – focal length of a lens.


      A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

      A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

      Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance (distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane) is also different.

      Lens construction

      Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

      Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

      Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

      Focal length

      The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


      The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

      In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

      Closest focusing distance

      The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

      Closest working distance

      The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

      Magnification ratio

      Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. Magnification is expressed as a ratio. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

      Manual focus override in autofocus mode

      Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

      Manual focus override in autofocus mode

      Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

      Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

      Manual diaphragm

      The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

      Preset diaphragm

      The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

      Semi-automatic diaphragm

      The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

      Automatic diaphragm

      The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

      Fixed diaphragm

      The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

      Number of blades

      As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

      Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

      At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


      Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

      Maximum diameter x Length

      Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

      For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

      Weather sealing

      A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

      Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

      Fluorine coating

      Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front lens element over multi-coatings.


      Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

      Lens hood

      A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

      The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

      Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

      Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


      Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

      Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

      Lens caps

      Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.