Praktical Results

It hasn’t been a great week for photography here in England. Shockingly, it’s been cold, dark and wet! Sunset at the moment is around 3.45pm, which means that it starts getting dark before it’s started getting light. The sky has been a miserable sheet of dark grey since new year, which rather takes the ‘photo’ out of photography…

I shouldn’t really complain (although it’s a contractual obligation to complain about the weather if you live in the UK), as we had a very late winter and some glorious sunny days right up to the end of December. I shall be grateful for those, instead!

I previously mentioned the Praktica BC1 that I found in a charity shop. I took it out for a spin at the end of December, and have just got around to scanning the results.

For the price I paid for it, I’m pretty impressed by the Praktica. It’s solid, it ‘feels’ like a real camera when you’re using it, but it’s not too big or heavy to carry around. The viewfinder is large and bright (although the film advance lever does tend to stick you in the brow), and it’s easy to focus. The auto-metering is a bit of a waste of time, with the camera starting to suggest ridiculously slow shutter speeds as soon as a shadow crept into frame, and the frame counter doesn’t work on this particular camera. I think I coped quite well with that defect through a combination of my legendary ability to count to 24 and by advancing the film until it wouldn’t go any further! Here are the results:


Goodrich Castle, Ross-on-Wye. This is probably one of my favourite English castles. It was built in the 11th Century, and is one of the best preserved ruins. During the Civil War, it was occupied by Royalists who set fire to many of the surrounding farms. It repelled one siege by Parliamentarians, as its thick walls and deep moat were basically impenetrable. They returned, however, for a second attempt with the largest mortar of the period, and dug mines underneath the towers to collapse them. Starved down to their last 30 barrels of beer, the Royalist garrison surrendered, and the castle was slighted to prevent it ever being used again – the fate of so many of our castles.

The mighty keep

Heading down into Wales, here is one final resting place on the way to a local graveyard. A tale is told of a young lady who married an older, wealthy, widower. Soon after the wedding, he died and was taken for burial. The procession stopped and rested the coffin on this stone (it was a long journey and the coffin was carried by handcart in those days), at which point there came a knocking from the coffin. A carpenter was called, the lid was opened and the old man found to be very much alive. According to the story, when he died many years later, the young widow asked the procession not to stop that time…


The graveyard itself was cold, frosty and built into a hill.


It’s hard to believe we had such nice weather less than a month ago. Roll on summer!

Praktica BC1 on Agfa Vista+ 200



2 thoughts on “Praktical Results

    1. Thanks, Katie – I’m so happy with this find, it’s a great little camera! Definitely pick one up if you get the chance. Or visit England, and I’ll swap with you… maybe. I’m getting pretty attached to it 🙂


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