Praktica BX20 opinions please

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Tony, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I'm trying to decide on a replacement kit as I'm selling my Canon gear.
    Finances dictate that I can't spend much more than £100 for a camera body
    and a couple of lenses plus flashgun. Dredging thro eBay and looking up
    the kit on the Web the Praktica BX20 looks like a winner for my purposes,
    my only concern is the reliability of the BX20 , can anyone out there
    advise me about this please.
    Tony, Oct 27, 2003
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  2. Tony

    David Harris Guest

    Hi Tony, I had the earlier model of BC for a couple of years and found no probs.

    David Harris, Oct 27, 2003
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  3. I have a couple of Praktica BC1 bodies and a range of lenses which I
    acquired very cheaply on ebay after parting with my Canon F1 kit.

    The only advantage of the BX20 over the earlier BC1 is TTL flash, which may
    or may not be useful to you. Most Praktica fans rate the build quality of
    the BC cameras higher than the later BX models. Like the Japanese
    manufacturers, Pentacon started to replace metal components with plastic
    parts towards the end of the eighties. One consistent problem with the BX20
    is that the plastic rewind lever is weak and you will probably find quite a
    few examples on ebay with this missing.

    I have never had much of a problem with reliablity issues with my BC bodies.
    The electronics are simple and rugged. TTL metering is center-weighted, with
    aperture priority auto exposure. Shutter speeds are illuminated by LEDs in
    the viewfinder. Auto exposure usually produces very accurate results when I
    shoot slide film, with the usual commonsense provisos about high
    key/contrasty scenes. The battery is the readily available PX28L.

    Questions to ask sellers: does the self timer work? (sometimes this is
    seized up) Are all the in-viewfinder LEDs lighting up? Is the lens stopping
    down correctly? (The 50mm f2.4 "pancake" lens is known for the iris sticking

    Specialist Praktica SLR servicing and repair is still available in the UK
    from the Herts Camera Service Centre (01438 718 555), previously the service
    department of Jenoptik. I understand that most of the parts for the BX20 can
    still be sourced from Germany (they only stopped making them a few years

    You should be able to pick up a pretty comprehensive kit for £100, including
    a body, dedicated flash gun, and lenses.

    The lenses are all pretty good with the zooms mostly sourced from Sigma in
    Japan. My favourite lenses are the Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm/2.4, CZJ 50mm/1.4
    (absolutely outstanding), CZJ 135/3.5 and the Prakticar 55-210mm/4.5-5.6
    zoom (great results with a very useful range).

    Stewart Gardiner, Oct 27, 2003
  4. Tony

    Jupiter Guest

    Nice cameras, and you can use TTL dedicated flash with the BX20. No
    particular problems with reliability but make sure the battery
    compartment cover is all present and correct! They're easily lost.
    Jupiter, Oct 27, 2003
  5. I had the B200 (model before the BC1) when it first came out,
    Great camera, the lenses were sharp as well,
    It had a lot of use, but after 2 years the electrics died.
    I moved on to Nikon, but at the price they can't be faulted.


    Andy Mc
    -=Plane Mad=-
    -=Plane Mad=-, Oct 27, 2003
  6. Tony

    David Clark Guest

    I've had a BX20 package since they were on sale.

    I've always been pleased with the results, & with the general quality.
    Being made in a controlled, communist economy, the selling price, in a
    hard currency always had little relation to the manufacturing costs, &
    therefore, the general engineering.


    The worst I've had is the frame counter giving up the ghost, solved,
    temporarily) by a local repair shop.

    I too decided to use ebay, to look for a spare camera body, & now own
    a complete 2nd camera, in better condition than my original, (less
    use) c/w a 35-70 mm lens & a spare flash-gun, all for £46!

    If you can handle the camera, find that you like the way it operates
    & can put a film through it before you have to pay for it, then do so!

    As long as you take the general advice offered in the other answers
    that you have already received, you should have a very useful camera,
    capable of taking great pictures.

    David C.
    David Clark, Oct 29, 2003
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