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.
|Model||Praktica BCA Electronic|
|AKA||Jenaflex AC-1, BC 100|
|Mode||Auto, aperture priority.|
|Weight||510 gr, Body only|
|Class average weight||620 gr, Body only|
|Lens make||Pentacon Prakticar|
|Filter size||49 mm|
|Lens mount||Praktica bayonet|
|shutter||Focal plane vertical metal|
|Light meter||TTL, active with cocking|
|Speeds||Variable, B, 60.|