Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Me and Balda Baldax

Ghost in the machine
Ghost in the machine by RaúlM.

I have a project, on Flickr, that I call 'I, Me and My Cameras'.
The idea is to take, at least, one reflected self-portrait with each of my cameras.

I'm thinking of gradually transpose that to here, in a form of a review of my companion on each photo.

So I decided to start with the Balda Baldax

Balda Baldax (2) Balda Baldax (4) Balda Baldax (3) Balda Baldax (2) Balda Baldax (1)
Balda Baldax by RaúlM.

The Balda Baldax is a folding bellows, auto-erecting camera.
This is a pre-war model, made in Germany in the 1930's.
It's the large version taking 6x4,5cm exposures, there was a version for 6x6cm exposures, the smaller version used to take 6x4,5cm exposures too, but used a smaller shutter.

The lens is a Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 75mm 1:4,5 in a 8 speed Compur shutter 1' - 1/300, B and T.

In the shutter it's marked F. Deckel - Munchen, this was the firm that originally made the Compur shutters.

The viewfinder is optical of the folding type.

It takes 16 exposures in 120 film with two red windows on the back to monitor the advance of the film.

Even being the large model this camera is quite small, perfectly pocketable.
Only 11 x 8 x 4cm, 420g.

It had many versions and was sold under other makes and latter was widely copied by the Japanese industry.

As a shooter is surprisingly good for a venerable, almost eighty years old, camera.

The bellows are sound, totally light proof. All the shutter speeds are correct and the diaphragm blades are clean.

The only difficulty I had was with the parallax error, in close range shots, but that is common in all viewfinder cameras.

For results judge it by yourself:

Balda Baldax - Happy Ball
Happy ball by RaúlM.

18 by RaúlM.

Balda VP - Leão
Leão by RaúlM.

Stay tuned (o;


  1. "For results judge it by yourself:"

    The results are fantastic and it is a very pleasant to the eye piece of machinery!

  2. Did you find the location of the shutter release on the lens difficult to operate?
    Is the uncoated lens good with colors too?

  3. tell me please how do you advance the film. there is a problem with the balda and its that the windows for advancing film are in the wrong place. the camera is a 6x4.5 but the windows are set so you can see the 6x9 film markings. what can i do?