My wife came home from the fleamarket run by the salvation army in Sweden, "Myrornas" (transl. "The ants"). She had found a Praktica LTL with Pentacon Auto 50mm/1.8 attached. There were a few problems, dented filter threads and stiff focus, but otherwise good and all for about $6.
The dented filter threads I solved by smashing an old filter and putting in place (some violence included) and then attaching the generic lens hood on. The close focus limit of this lens is quite amazing, you can get very close without any extra tools. The lubrication in mine doesn't seem to agree with swedish cold weather, it gets stiff. Optical geeks: the composition is 6 elements in 4 groups
If you want to read up on VEB Pentacon, there is an article on Camerapedia.
I should perhaps not like this lens, it's not concidered as one of the desirables amongst the collectors, but I love it. I think it is fantastic for close-ups. The soft bokeh is great, the swirly feeling when you shoot landscapes with the lens wide open, the sharpness is enough for me.
I have made some of my favorite images with this lens, a lens for $3 (if you count it half of the price, and the camera half of the price). The low value and dented parts also makes it a good lens to have on the camera when I move around.
- Amazing bokeh
- Good close focus (0,33m)
- Swirly effect when wideopen and using some range
- Can be sharp enough
- My copy has some mechanical problems
- Stopping down button could be a problem for some
- Smallest aperture only f16