Praktica is a brand of camera manufactured by Pentacon in Dresden in eastern Germany, formerly within the GDR prior to German reunification in 1990. Pentacon is the modern-day successor to Dresden camera firms such as Zeiss Ikon; for many years Dresden was the world's largest producer of cameras. Currently, Praktica is the only brand sold by the company; previous brands of the predecessor firms included Zeiss Ikon, Contax (now owned by the Carl Zeiss company), Ica, Ernemann, Exakta, Praktiflex, Pentacon, and many more.
The firm collapsed after German reunification but was resurrected in partnership with Schneider Kreuznach. Praktica today produces many products under various brands such as auto industry products, 3D LCD screens, and still cameras and lenses under their own Praktica brand and also more known international brands.
Among the innovative legacies of the predecessor, firms are the roll film SLR camera in 1933, the 35mm SLR in 1936, and the pentaprism SLR in 1949. After WWII the company's products were best known in the Eastern Bloc countries, though some were exported to the west. They currently produce both budget lenses (mostly small, not very durable, and having a manual focus, but good in optical quality) and higher-priced products. They also produce optical equipment for the space programs of the US, Western Europe, and Russia. Praktica was and is a very popular brand in the UK.
In 2001, the production of Praktica Analogue SLR cameras was discontinued the focus shifting to a range of Praktica digital compact cameras and camcorders together with an extensive range of binoculars, spotting scopes, accessories and other optical imaging products.