Pentacon's 35mm SLR system based on a new bayonet mount instead of the obsolete M42 screw mount.
TOP OF THE LINE MODELS WITH BOTH APERTURE-PRIORITY AUTO EXPOSURE MODE AND MANUAL EXPOSURE MODE:
- B200 (aka BCX) - fully automatic model with electronically controlled focal plane shutter with speeds ranging from 40 to 1/1000th of a second, fixed pentaprism finder with LED signals, TTL open-aperture light metering, gallium-arsenide-phosphide photodiode, connection for motor winder and a self-timer;
- BC1 (aka BC3, Jenaflex AM-1) - as the B200, but with support for computerized flash unit, indication of flash readiness in the viewfinder, and silicon photoelement as light sensor;
- BX20 - improved model with a new shutter with speeds ranging from 40 to 1/1000th of a second and electronic TTL metering system for flashes;
- BX20S - as the BX20, but with support for DX-coded film cartridges;
- BX20D - as the BX20S, but with a built-in data back.
AMATEUR MODELS WITH APERTURE-PRIORITY AUTO EXPOSURE MODE ONLY:
- B100 (aka BC auto) - a stripped-down version of the B200 with a lowest shutter speed of 1 second, and CdS photo resistor as light sensor;
- BCA (aka Jenaflex AC-1) - a stripped-down version of the BC1 with a lowest shutter speed of 1 second, and CdS photo resistor as light sensor;
- BCS - as the BCA, but without connection for motor winder, aperture indication in the viewfinder and manual compensation of exposure;
- BCC - as the BCS, but without a self-timer;
MODELS WITH MANUAL EXPOSURE MODE ONLY:
- BMS - similar to the BCS, with a lowest shutter speed of 4 seconds, and silicon photoelement as light sensor;
- BM - as the BMS, but without a self-timer;
A fairly wide range of optics was produced for this system, but many Prakticar lenses were based on earlier Pentacon (Meyer-Optik) or Carl Zeiss Jena developments intended for Praktica cameras with the M42 screw mount. The only exceptions were lenses such as 28/2.8 and Macro 55/2.8, which were modified versions of older designs, as well as new designs such as 28/2.4, 50/2.4, 50/1.4, 200/2.8 and 300/4, plus 2 zoom lenses that appeared in the late 1980s, shortly before the demise of the system.
All lenses were multi-coated, and all, except super telephotos, had automatic diaphragms with electronic diaphragm value transmission to the camera.
Super telephoto lenses such as 500/5.6 and 1000/5.6 were actually medium format 6x6 designs and had to be used with a dedicated interchangeable mount adapter.
A number of lenses under the Prakticar name and under license from VEB Carl Zeiss Jena were also released by companies such as SIGMA and Samyang.
In the Western Bloc market, Carl Zeiss Jena lenses were sold under the name "aus Jena" (which means "from Jena"), since the right to sell lenses under the Carl Zeiss trademark in this market was granted by the court to the West German company Carl Zeiss, located in Oberkochen.
Due to the economic crisis, production of Praktica cameras and lenses ceased in June 1991. After liquidation, the production facilities were purchased by Heinrich Mandermann and incorporated into his Schneider-Kreuznach group. With this new owner, sales of the bayonet mount equipment continued at least until the year 2001.