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Balda Baldessa

 

Specifications:

Type: Compact Viewfinder

Lens: Baldinar 45mm f2.8 - f16

Shutter: Prontor SVS 9 Speed +B 1,2,4,8,15,30,60,125,300

 

 

This one breaks the mould of the "standard" German camera of it's day, at least in it's physical construction. The first thing you notice is that there are no controls on the top. The shutter release is mounted on the front panel, and although I don't normally like this setup it seems to work for this camera. This could be, in part, due to the viewfinder being almost in the centre of the camera which completely alters the handling of the camera. If anything it gives greater rigidity to the taking position and the shutter release itself is extremely light. The film advance is by means of a turnkey on the bottom at what would seem to be the wrong end, there must be a pretty complex gear chain under there, and the rewind is by a long crank which folds away and is released by a lever under the lens. The lens assembly is at least reassuringly conventional being a full range Prontor SVS with Balda's own glassware. In use I found it to be a comfortable camera which was easy to operate producing good sharp images, and the brightline viewfinder was extremely bright and clear. Whether it is an accolade to the camera or just the good weather but this Balda has produced an unusually large percentage of good useable pictures.

 

 

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