Balda was a German maker based in Dresden. It was founded in 1908 and took the name Balda-Werk Max Baldeweg in 1913.[1] It made a quantity of medium-priced folders before World War II, and its camera production was quite comparable to Welta or Certo, though Baldas as a rule sold for lower prices than either of those cameras. One originality of Balda was to sell cameras to many other companies for resale under their own brand (today this would be called OEM). Perhaps as part of this strategy, Balda cameras were fitted with a very wide range lenses, from the low cost self-branded triplets through Meyers and Ludwigs, to the high end Schneider Xenars and Xenons, and Zeiss Tessars and Biotars.

After the war, Balda was nationalized in East Germany in 1946, while its founder Max Baldeweg fled to West Germany to start Balda-Werk Bűnde. The East German plant began to make own Ovus shutters which were no Compur clones but had all the functions of the West-German Compur shutter. The Cludor and Vebur shutters were derived from th Ovus. In 1950 Zeiss Ikon took over the production of the shutters. After trademark litigation similar to that involving the Carl Zeiss companies and Zeiss Ikon companies the name of the East German company was changed to Belca-Werk in 1951. It continued for some time to produce folders like the little 35mm Beltica, and was absorbed into VEB Kamera-Werke Niedersedlitz in 1956[2].

Max Baldeweg set up a new company called Balda (Balda Kamera-Werk), this time based in Bünde, West Germany. This company produced a series of 35mm and medium-format rollfilm cameras, some of them being sold by Porst under the Hapo brand. Balda later produced cameras for both 126 and 110 film cartridge format.

Balda Dresden, later Belca[]

35mm film, folding[]

120 film[]

4.5×6cm, folding[]

6×6cm, folding[]

6×9cm, folding[]

6×9cm, box[]

127 film, folding[]

  • Piccochic (3/4)
  • Baldi (3×4)
  • Rigona (3×4)

Plate models[]


35mm film[]


  • Beltica I (vertical style folding, like the pre-war Baldina)
  • Beltica II (horizontal style folding)



120 film, folding[]

Balda Bünde[]

35mm film[]



Ultra compact[]

  • C 35
  • CA 35, and Voigtländer Vito C
  • CE 35
  • CS 35
  • Mini 35
  • Scout 35
  • Minox 35 series - the entire line of Minox 35 cameras was manufactured by Balda Kamera-Werk in Bünde, West Germany

110 film[]

  • Minox 110 (Manufactured by Balda Kamera-Werk)

126 film[]

120 film[]

6×6cm, folding[]

6×6cm, collapsible[]

6×9cm, folding[]



Camera industry in Dresden
Balda | Certo | Eho-Altissa | Ernemann | Feinmess | Hüttig | ICA | Ihagee | Kochmann | Kerman | KW | Eugen Loeber | Ludwig | Mentor | Mimosa | Pentacon | Richter | Werner | Wünsche | Zeiss Ikon | Zeh
Camera distributors in Dresden
Camera industry in Freital
Beier | Pouva | Thowe | Welta

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