Balda Super Baldax is a 120 film folding rangefinder camera, 6x6
format, built in the mid-1950s by Balda-Kamera-Werk, BŁnde. Before WWII the
factory was based in Dresden, it produced a wide range of cameras. It's
speciality was to produce cameras for many other firms, German and
international, which sold them under their own brand.
Super Baldax is the top model of a whole series, from a simple folder
to this coupled rangefinder with automatic film advance and double
exposure prevention. It's one of the smallest and lightest full
Size (mm): 135 x 101 x 47 Weight: 700 g Lens: Baldanar 3.5/80, closest focus ~ 1 m | variants: Scheider Radionar 80/2.9 and Ennit 80/2.8 Shutter: Prontor SVS, B, 1 - 1/300, F 3.5 - 22 Finder: coupled rangefinder Film advance: automatic, first frame via red window
Here are some photos of the camera. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it feels at the bottom of the page.
front closed. Top: rangefinder window, shutter button, viewfinder window, opening button and film advance.
from the back. On top: Film advance, film number reset, viewer. Red window in the middle.
from above. Film advance, opening button, shutter release button, indicator for double exposure
prevention and depth of the field calculator.
Seen from the bottom. Tripod socket.
front open. Speed setting
ring around the lens. Big lever: focusing. Little lever: shutter cocking. Camera opens sideways.
from above, camera open. Focusing Lever at infinity. Tiny lever for aperture control at max. open.
side, camera open. Front (lens): shutter cocking lever, aperture scale,
distance scale (feet). Under the film advance: film counter
Seen from the bottom, camera open. At the lens: synchro selector.
Camera back open.
Original leather case.
Leather case open.
a Balda Super Baldax is easy, it's like
other folding rangefinders. Loading film is as usual, very easy
because of the hinged film cradles. Open
camera back, retract the winding knob swing the cradle out and put the
take-up spool into
place. Same procedure for the film spool. Insert the film paper
into the take-up spool and advance it using the knob until it's
well engaged. The film winding requires alternate movements clockwise
and counter-clockwise. Close the camera back. Open the red window and
the film via the advance knob
until the red window shows "1". If the numer "1" isn't already in the film counter window, hold the reset lever and make a counter-clock movement until it shows. Resetting
is important as the sophisticated mechanism has a compensation,
according the turns to the film number, so spacing will always be
the camera. Cock
the shutter, set speed and aperture. Set focus by the lever near the
front of the lens, focusing moves the lens out. Press the
shutter release button. That's it. The double exposure warning
will be visible and the release is blocked until you turn the film
close the camera, set focus to infinity, press the hinges of the struts
usual, it will fold easily. Turn the film advance first
counter-clockwise and then clockwise. It stops automatically and shows
the next number.
The Super Baldax is a very nice and quite sturdy camera, yet it is
lightweight and easy to use, with good lenses and shutters. It's one of the smallest and lightest full featured folders.