Pentacon Praktica BCA electronic

Last modified date

Comments: 0

Pentacon Praktica BCA electronic

In 1979 Pentacon introduced the Praktica B line with a bayonet lens mount, away from the traditional M42. An adapter for M42 mount was available. At the time,  the new school of thought was to let the camera think rather than have the user troubled with confusing dials. The Nikon EM, Cosina CT-10, Yashica FR II, and Pentax ME are examples of late 1970s crop subscribing to this idea. The Parktica B series followed suit, with most models having little user control. See a list of Practica models.

The Praktica BCA is one of half a dozen B series models that differ by variations of slight design changes, inclusion/exclusion of self-timer, DX reading, quick load, PC ports, and motor coupler. I am unsure of its rationale; perhaps the models were meant for different markets or distributors, as most Praktica cameras were exported. But, being all electronic, I think the East Germans tried to play in the big boys’ court, as their strength was in the mechanical models.

The Praktica BCA on my desk is a fine camera. The designers put a lot of thought into making it palatable for the very competitive consumer market. Only too bad that the early 1990s saw the first consumer digital cameras, so all the past advances of the film models were to be wiped out.

The BCA is an aperture priority automatic, where the traditional speed selector has only four stops – Auto, 60 for synch and operates without power, B, and battery check. The viewer has a plethora of LED dots, red for over; green for 60-1000; yellow for slow, 30 to 1 second; and red for under. The F stop is visible at the bottom of the viewer, and a ready flash sign is also showing. A later model, the BCX / BC 1, added a manual speed selector. As mentioned, without a battery, the camera defaultsto 60. Note that the battery inserts counter-intuitive; see the picture for the correct direction.

It is reasonably compact and easy to hold and operate, away from the large and heavy earlier Praktica models, about 100 gr / 3 oz less than the average of its class. A note – the camera was conceived and began its career in the DDR and ended in Germany after unification.


List number 31986
Brand Pentacon
Model Praktica BCA Electronic
Format 35mm
Introduced 1986
Manual Butkus
AKA Jenaflex AC-1, BC 100
Country DDR
Qty made 230,000
Initial price
Type Compact SLR
Body material Metal
Mode Auto, aperture priority.
Weight 510 gr,  Body only
Class average weight 620 gr,  Body only
ASA range Dec-00
Kit lens 1,8/50
Lens make Pentacon Prakticar
Filter size 49 mm
Lens mount Praktica bayonet
shutter Focal plane vertical metal
shutter make Pentacon
Light meter TTL, active with cocking
Winder Lever
Lock No
Speeds Variable, B, 60.
Mirror Auto return
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation Yes
Shoe Hot
External sync No
Sync speed 60
Timer Yes, mechanical
Battery 4LR 44
Battery voltage 6v
Integral flash None

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment