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After my old Zenit 122 has failed (the fabric on the shutter started falling apart), I am looking for a new body to use. I'd like to have something better than the previous camera.

I absolutely need a split screen focusing, and the TTL lightmeter. A metal shutter would be a pretty good improvement as well, but it's not critical. Also, it would be perfect if the camera wasn't battery-dependent (i.e. the only thing that would stop working after the battery is drained would be the lightmeter), especially if the camera was designed for a hard-to-get mercury-based battery.

Are there any cameras that meet those requirements?

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A L class Praktica, say MTL5, should meet all the reqirements.

They are built like tanks, have reliable metal shutters and TTL metering. The meter tolerates different battery voltages and shutter is fully mechanical. The higher models have split screen focusing, L and L2 only microprism (so avoid these).

They should not be hard to obtain in Poland (there are tons of them around in Czechia, the going price for a body without lens is about 500 CZK / 20 €).

  • I tested a Praktica Super TL1000, it seems to meet all the requirements. Only downside is that the lightmeter is somewhat hard to read in certain situation, but that's not a showstopper. Thanks for the suggestion! – Jakub Jun 30 '17 at 16:46
  • glad to be of service! I have a soft spot for the Prakticas, as these were the cameras I started out with (they were an object of aspiration, when I was a kid in the late 80's / early 90's :) – Jindra Lacko Jun 30 '17 at 17:08
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A Petri TTL camera can be an option.

The Petri TTL was a no-frills and very conservative camera. It was quite big and of heavy, all-metal construction. The only 'luxury' item found on the camera was a self-timer.

The camera was fully manual, with a built-in CdS light meter. The battery was only for the metering circuit. The user needed to push a button on the front of the camera to close the aperture, and then set the aperture ring on the lens to a value where the meter needle would fit inside a marker ring. After this, the user could let go of the button, and have full light in the viewfinder to compose the picture. On release of the shutter, the aperture would close to the correct setting.

The shutter is cloth-curtain, though.

There is also Pentax Spotmatic, with TTL measurement.

Another one might be Voigtländer_VSL.

  • Neither of the cameras you suggest have a split-screen focusing aid. All of them seem to use microprisms. – Jakub May 31 '17 at 19:30

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