1936 Balda Baldina, 35mm camera with Compur shutter, Freshly Serviced! CLA’d
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a 1936 Balda Baldina produced in Dresden, Germany which prior to WWII was reputed to rival Paris for its beauty and elegance. The Baldina was only produced for about two years, after which is was renamed as the Jubilette. The Baldina was Balda’s first 35mm camera and it used Kodak’s new 35mm film. The Kodak film roll had been cleverly designed to fit Leica, Contax and in the early 1930’s was just starting to become the industry standard. Prior to its introduction, photographers had to use dark rooms to load bulk film onto special spools and holders. Eighty years later we are still using this 35mm film in our modern 35mm cameras.
The Balda Baldina (and its sister the Jubilette) became very popular in prewar Europe and they had many fans. They were often used quite intensely during WWII due to their small size and light weight. As a result many were worn out or lost. Eighty years later a Baldina can be rather difficult to find, especially outside of Europe. And when they do show up they often show signs of intense usage and generally no longer work.
The camera here is an exception to all of this. It’s in near mint condition. Folded, it slides easily into a pocket. Unfolded it’s an enjoyable classic camera that gets a lot of attention. I especially like the real leather covering, the complex looking depth of field chart and the very unusual frame counter that looks like a compass.
This camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works. The quality Compur shutter works very well. All speeds (T, B & 1 sec.-1/300th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster ones are clean and snappy.
The lens is a fast 2.9/50mm Rollar-Anastigmat. (It’s based on the classic Cooke triplet and has three lens elements in three groups. A lens is well known for its lovely rendering and bokeh.) The lens is exceptionally clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks. There are no separated elements, crystallization or other problems and it is capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a very lovey, significant and enjoyable prewar classic camera that uses normal 35mm film. Perfect for photographers with a historical interest (or WWII reenactors.) Load it with your favorite film and show this 79 year old camera your 21st century world.