Balda Baldinette - A Little German Folding Camera

15

Another find from this spring camera fair, turned out to be older than I thought, and also cooler.

Image source

A few months ago I went together with fancholland2 to a camera fair (mentioned already in a film review) where I found this beauty, looking very well kept, and quite small… I thought this is quite a new camera, a sort of a gimmick – a small 35mm folding camera. I thought that the folders were made medium format and larger. Well, I was wrong on almost all of my assumptions (it was well kept).

The Balda Baldinette was made in 1950 in by Balda Bunde Kamera-Werk in West-Germany. It sports a Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar f/2.9 50mm lens and a Prontor-S shutter. Shutter speed 1-1/300 and B. Aperture settings 3.5-16, even though the pointer turns quite a bit over the 16 and under the 3.5, so I’d say it’s probably 2.8-22. Focus distance is between 1.2m to infinity. Again, focus dial can turn a bit over the 1.2 mark, so it is actually 1.1m. It also has a self-timer, cable release option and a tripod mount. The Baldinette has a few (handy) defense mechanisms, helping you to save film, but do not really stand in your way to being creative. The shutter needs to be cocked before firing, but this can be done independently from advancing the film, meaning endless exposures with no effort. In order to advance the film, you need to press in a safety button, preventing involuntary film advancing. After you advanced a frame, the safety is locked until you fire the shutter again, so you can’t advance more then one frame at a time, which eliminates the question “did I advance the film after the last frame?”, which can be sometimes difficult to answer, after you did not use the camera for a few days.

Agfa CT Presica, cross-processed.

The viewfinder on the Baldinette is ridiculously useless. it is so small you really have to press the camera against your eye in order to see the full frame. In my camera it is also quite foggy, which makes it also more useless. But hey, that is actually a positive point! More shooting from the hip… The camera is built on a die-cast body, and is therefore very sturdy and, quite heavy. This small lady weighs 450gr. Not really perfect for putting in your pocket, though the size is perfect for that purpose.

Euro Activ Chrome, cross-processed.

I got the camera for 20 Euro in that fair, and it was in a very good condition. There was still a B&W film in the camera, half used. I shot the rest of it and got it developed, but unfortunately the most of it was gone. Only the last four frames I shot came out, with beautiful expired-film effects.

Ilford HP4 expired somewhere in the 70’s.

The Baldinette seems to give a nice vintage feel to the images, I even got a slight vignetting in a few photos. It is quite easy to operate, and I love the feel and look of it. It is a very well built camera and I’d think that unless really mutilated, it would age well. So if you get the chance, get one…

I definitely recommend the Baldinette!

written by paramir on 2010-07-20 in #reviews

15 Comments

  1. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Wonderful camera and gallery!!

  2. nural
    nural ·

    you are lucky about cameras! I loved the results from Agfa CT Presica, cross-processed

  3. dogma
    dogma ·

    WoW man! 35mm and folding! what an amazing combination! Great review and i really love your pictures of the camera with instruction notes. I think i will use this still in my upcomming reviews! Geat Job!

  4. copefan
    copefan ·

    cool...... a nice little camera, might have to look out for one!

  5. eatcpcks
    eatcpcks ·

    she looks so cool this camera:)

  6. mochilis
    mochilis ·

    Great review! I love the camera and the beautiful results.

  7. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    I love the expired ones from the camera!

  8. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    This little beauty is wonderful, and I like the fotos too...

  9. mikahsupageek
    mikahsupageek ·

    great vintage touch to the photos ! defo gonna keep a look out !

  10. headcrabs
    headcrabs ·

    Great review and photos. I like your breakdown of the camera features.

  11. paramir
    paramir ·

    thank you guys! it is a great camera, I love it! @dogma - please do!

  12. susielomovitz
    susielomovitz ·

    lovin' it! beautiful camera and photos! Nice review!!!

  13. jaguarwomon
    jaguarwomon ·

    Beautiful photos! I think I'll try cross-prossessing the Agfa CT Presica next time. The results from the expired film are lovely. Too bad the rest of it didn't turn out!

    Do you know what happened to the sheep in image 15 in the second batch of pictures? It looks like the poor thing has a bloody gash on its back. Is it just paint?

  14. paramir
    paramir ·

    @jaguarwomon - thank you for your kind words! yes, you should definitely try the CT crossed one time if you didn't yet. and do not worry - it is indeed only a mark made with paint on the sheep. she was very healthy and happy! :)

  15. alxmonkey
    alxmonkey ·

    I have one these heading my way and I can't wait. Nice annotated camera pic and nice gallery.

More Interesting Articles

  • Spinner 360: Pull the Cord and Let the Magic Happen!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-09 in #reviews
    Spinner 360: Pull the Cord and Let the Magic Happen!

    The story between the Spinner 360 and I goes way back to the year 2010, when Lomography decided to send me a beta model of the Spinner 360 to test. It was a complete surprise! I thought, "What the hell is that?" as I first took this camera out of the package. Then, when my little brother grabbed it from me and pulled the cord, it buzzed and turned 360°! We all had the same expression: "Whoa..."

    4
  • Kino Stories: 'What is time?' by mihail

    written by chooolss on 2014-04-22 in #lifestyle
    Kino Stories: 'What is time?' by mihail

    The message that mihail's LomoKino movie turns out to be deeper and thought-provoking than what it appears to be. Check out our featured video for today!

  • Create your very own shoebox pinhole camera!

    written by cheeo on 2014-04-06 in #gear #tipster
    Create your very own shoebox pinhole camera!

    World Pinhole Photography Day will be celebrated on April 27 this year and what better way to celebrate it than make a pinhole camera of your own? Check out this quick tipster to find out how.

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Yashica MAT 124: Learning To Use A Camera Older Than Myself

    written by abecd on 2014-03-27 in #lifestyle
    Yashica MAT 124: Learning To Use A Camera Older Than Myself

    As a young photographer, I don't have many experiences yet in operating an old camera, especially one that is way older than myself. This is a story of me and my Yashica MAT 124!

    6
  • At the Funfair with my Horizon Perfekt

    written by sirio174 on 2014-04-12 in #reviews
    At the Funfair with my Horizon Perfekt

    Every year my city Como hosts, for the Easter period, a great fun fair. This is a great occasion to test a camera, to make experiments with films, to have fun and to photograph people while also having fun! This year, I used my gem, the wonderful Horizon Perfekt (that I bought from the Lomography Online Shop) loaded with a timeless film, a Kodak Tri-X 400 developed, as usually for b/w, by myself. Read more after the jump!

  • Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-08 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    A weekend without a lomowalk seems bad, at least for me. One Saturday morning, I decided to join my friends in their lomowalk. It was all cloudy at first but it didn't stop me from going out and walking. I brought my new Nikon FM2 and some expired rolls, just to test my camera. Was it just me being sleepy, or was my Nikon FM2 acting up? My photos turned out grainy, pale, and, in my opinion, looking so 1990s?

    1
  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything Part 1

    written by simonesavo on 2014-07-24 in #reviews
    Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything Part 1

    The Lomography Belair X 6-12 is more than just a medium format camera. It is lightweight, compact and is capable of shooting photos in 3 different sizes: 6x12, 6x9 and 6x6. Equipped with high-quality interchangeable lenses and automatic exposure, it can give you beautiful shots with every roll. It can also take 3 different film formats: 120 film, 35mm and instant film. Read on to find out all about this fantastic camera.

  • Workshop: The La Sardina is Turning 3!

    written by e_ercolini on 2014-06-02 in #events
    Workshop: The La Sardina is Turning 3!

    Happy Birthday - our La Sardina Camera is turning three years old this June! What better way to celebrate than to come by and test one out?

  • The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    written by wesco on 2014-11-27 in #reviews
    The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    My brother purchased the new Petzal lens by Lomography and Zenit through the Kickstarter campaign. Last spring, I was able to borrow it for a few weeks. Read on to find out my first impressions of this portrait lens!

    1
  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • Lomopedia: Ricoh Mirai

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-15 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Ricoh Mirai

    Another interesting and quirky-looking autofocus SLR camera, the Ricoh Mirai was also introduced in the late 1980s and marketed as a complete SLR system in a small package. Another major Japanese optics company co-developed this camera with Ricoh -- find out which in this installment of Lomopedia!

    3
  • My Day in Analogue: Photo Walks and Journaling

    written by inanothertown on 2014-04-29 in #lifestyle
    My Day in Analogue: Photo Walks and Journaling

    This spring I am going back to the basics of just enjoying life. It's easy: find a beach, liberate the feet from shoes, and meander slowly. Just seeing and noticing the life all around.

  • 'Stilpirat' Steffen Böttcher Lures the Lomography Petzval Lens to France

    written by zonderbar on 2014-10-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    'Stilpirat' Steffen Böttcher Lures the Lomography Petzval Lens to France

    Steffen Böttcher's blog is already home to some very beautiful portraits taken with the New Petzval Lens. But the Petzval does so much more than just taking beautiful portraits; Böttcher recently took the lens with him on a mobile home adventure across the South of France. Find out more about the German photographer and his road trip in this exclusive interview.