|Balda Baldax 6x6 model c.1932 image by Süleyman Demir (Image rights)|
The Baldax was a series of folding cameras made by the German company Balda.
|Robra, name variant of the prewar Baldax.
image by Kahrs (Image rights)
|image by Mario Groleau (Image rights)|
|images by Mario Groleau (Image rights)|
The prewar Baldax was made throughout the 1930s in three main variants: a 4.5×6 small model for #00 shutter size, a 4.5×6 large model for #0 shutter size and a 6×6 model (#0 size). All the Baldax had solidly built diagonal struts, with a typical shape, larger at the base. Some had a folding optical finder and others had a tubular optical finder. The body shape somewhat evolved during the production.
The Baldax was also sold under various distributor names, like the Lisette by Porst, the Noris by Müller, the Ysette 4.5×6 and 6×6 by Rodenstock (equipped with Trinar lenses) or the Robra by Josef Rodenstock. It was also the basis of the Plaubel Roll-Op models, both in 4.5×6 and in 6×6 versions.
In Japan it was copied by Proud for the Semi Proud, which was in turn the basis of the Semi Olympus, the first Olympus camera. Motodori made a full line of copies of the 4.5×6 model, with the Semi Lester, Semi Victor, Semi Condor and early Zeitax, and copied the 6×6 model for the Victor Six and Condor Six. Other Japanese copies were the early Semi Rody made by Shibayama, the Kelly sold by Miyoshi, the Semi Rosen III sold by Ōsawa and the Semi Adler, Adler III, Adler C and Heil sold by Riken. Some of these cameras were simply name variants of each other.
(Data belongs to the 6x6cm 1932 model camera in the gallery)
- Film: 120 roll film, picture size 6x6cm
- Lens: Meyer Görlitz Trioplan 7.8cm f/4.5
- Aperture: f/4.5 - f/22, no click stops, setting lever and scale on the speed setting ring
- Focus: manual front focus, 1.5-12m, +inf.
- Shutter: Compur, speeds 1 -1/250, +T & B, no click stops, T and B not cock via the shutter lever, they works only via pressing shutter release, setting ring and scale on the lens-shutter barrel
- Shutter cocking lever: on the lens-shutter barrel
- Shutter release: self-erecting when the bellows open, on the right of the top plate
- Cable release socket: separate, on the shutter
- Viewfinder: reverse telescopic optical finder, neither parallax nor dioptric adjustment, image approximately two thirds of natural size, on the top plate
- Bellows release knob: on the left of the bottom plate; closing: by pressing simultaneously the struts on the two sides of the bellows
- Winding knob: on right of the top plate
- Self timer button: on the shutter
- Flash connection socket: none
- Back cover: Hinged, opens by a latch on the left of the camera, w/ Red window, w/ built in lid
- Exposure guide table: on the back cover
- Special easy film loading parts
- Hand strap lugs
- Tripod socket: 3/8"
- Very valuable(at least that's what I think)
|Super Baldax, Baldanar 80/3.5. images by rebollo (Image rights)|
The postwar Baldax was an evolution of the prewar model, sold at the beginning of the 1950s by the West German company Balda Bünde. It existed in 6×6 version and had a top housing incorporating the viewfinder and an exposure counter. At the same time, the Super Baldax was the same model with a coupled rangefinder. The Baldix, Mess-Baldix and Baldi 29 were derived from the postwar Baldax.
|Super Baldax, with Radionar 80/2.9.
image by Mark and Brittany (Image rights)
|Super Baldax, with Ennit 8cm f/2.8.|
image by Yet To Come (Image rights)
Notes and references
- McKeown, pp.799 and 848.
- Me and Balda Baldax at Classic Cameras by RaúlM.
- Balda Super Baldax Review at Thorley Photographics by Thorley Bros
- Super Baldax at Vintage Folding Cameras
- List of Balda instruction manuals at Orphancameras.com