5 frames with...

5 frames with a Praktica MTL5 – By Ioana Trifu

praktica mtl5

I started with photography in my early teens, I then gravitated towards filmmaking and studied cinematography and documentary film at university. I’ve had the Praktica MTL 5 for about seven years now, and although I’ve taken several photos with it, it was this year that I seriously took up film photography and picked up the camera again. Taking a lot of digital photos for my job, I began feeling uninspired and unmotivated. Film gave me the inspiration and creativity back.

I challenged myself to travel only with a film camera this year. Therefore, this summer I took the Praktica to Italy, Serbia and soon I will take it to the UK. These five shots were taken this summer in a port of Trieste, Italy, at sunset. Probably the most beautiful sunset I ever witnessed.

After a heavy rainfall drenched us from head to toe in the city center, we met up with some friends at a restaurant right on the water, in the nearby port. The sky cleared up and the sun came out again from behind the clouds, only to set for the day. 


The atmosphere was charged with that familiar post-summer rain nostalgia, but also with a particular sense of peace. What you cannot hear from the photographs, are the seagulls flying in the fresh air, and the quiet sound of the now calm sea. 

If you ever go to Italy, make sure to stop in Trieste. Hope you enjoyed my shots, and you can see more of my work on Instagram, where I am very active. Keep on shooting!

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  • Avatar
    Mathew Chatterton
    September 20, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Hey Ioana, what film did you use for these shots? They look great!

    • Avatar
      September 21, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Hey! Thank you. I used the Fujifilm fujicolor 200 – a cheap film but great for sunrise and sunset colors, in my opinion! 🙂

  • Avatar
    R Hucks
    September 21, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Amazing photographs!

  • Daniel Castelli
    Daniel Castelli
    September 21, 2018 at 4:08 am

    “Film gave me the inspiration and creativity back.” Digital has no soul. Stunning color pics of the harbor area.
    The Praktica is a fine, workhorse of a camera.
    I’m glad to read that you have committed to working with only film on your travels. for the year. I’ve worked on self-imposed limits in the past [one year with only a 50mm lens; a summer using only my Leica CL.] These exercises are valuable tools to hone a person’s ‘eye.’
    Best of luck with your project; travel safe and happy.

    • Avatar
      Ioana Trifu
      September 21, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Thank you for your kind words! Indeed, setting limits and challenging yourself is a great way to improve 🙂

  • Avatar
    Martin south of France
    September 21, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Enjoyed reading. You are right in your view of the difference of film and digital. I and most of us that shoot film have the same emotions when using our film cameras versus using our digital. The difference is like something that is loving crafted by hand compared to a similar product that is mass produced. I am about to go to Toscana. I will take my digital for the quick pics but I will take and shoot far better photographs with my Contax 139Q and positive film and more to the point I enjoy the process far far more. I have a Praktica and it is a fabulous piece of kit. It works when most other cameras have given up the ghost, for instance in extreme cold. I have used mine in -25°c and below without any problems whatsoever…..I would be scared to even try the Contax at this temperature as the shutter mechanism could potentially be damaged. Both cameras I have owned almost 40 years!! Great photos of Triese. Italian sunsets are famous the world over…..with reason!!! Ciao

    • Avatar
      Ioana Trifu
      September 21, 2018 at 11:02 am

      How exciting that you are going to Toscana, a perfect place for photography!
      The Praktica is my trusty camera, no matter what 🙂 I have other film cameras but I always tend to pick this one out!

      Have fun on your trip!

  • Avatar
    Mike Morgan
    September 23, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Great pics Ioana. I’m just getting back into film again and am curious how you metered for these scenes? Again, great work.

    • Avatar
      Ioana Trifu
      September 23, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you, I am glad you like my photos! The Praktica has a light meter and it is quite reliable (at least the one in my camera). I used the film’s box speed (200 iso).
      I’ve been doing photography for a while so I also go ‘by feel’ – it becomes instinct after a while.
      Hope my answer helps somehow…haha

  • Avatar
    Nigel Haycock
    October 12, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    Nice pictures Iona; Nice to see an MTL5 out in the wild as I haven’t seen one for a long time. For some reason Ican’t remember I have two cases for one of these cameras; both look unused and (one of them is in it’s original box and packaging!

    One day I’ll find a home for them 🙂

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