Baldax

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The Baldax is a series of folding cameras for 4.5×6 and 6×6 cm pictures, made by the German company Balda.

Prewar models

The prewar Baldax was made throughout the 1930s in three main variants: a 4.5×6 small model for #00 shutter size, a 4.5×6 large model for #0 shutter size and a 6×6 model (#0 size). All the Baldax cameras have solidly built diagonal struts, with a characteristic shape, wider at the base. Some have a folding optical finder and others a tubular one. The body shape evolved during the period of production.

The Baldax was also sold under various distributor names, like the Lisette by Porst,[1] the Noris by Müller, the Ysette 4.5×6 and 6×6 by Rodenstock (equipped with Trinar lenses) or the Robra by Josef Rodenstock.[2][3] It was also the basis of the Plaubel Roll-Op models, both in 4.5×6 and in 6×6 versions. The units are commonly clad in black leatherette, even though one camera covered in dark red with the name Lisette in gilt has been observed.[4]

Copies of the pre-war Baldax have been observed with a rabge of lenses:


In Japan it was copied by Proud as the Semi Proud, which was in turn the basis of the Semi Olympus, the first Olympus camera. Motodori made a full line of copies of the 4.5×6 model, with the Semi Lester, Semi Victor, Semi Condor and early Zeitax, and copied the 6×6 model for the Victor Six and Condor Six. Other Japanese copies were the early Semi Rody made by Shibayama, the Kelly sold by Miyoshi, the Semi Rosen III sold by Ōsawa and the Semi Adler, Adler III, Adler C and Heil sold by Riken. Some of these cameras were simply name variants of each other.


Postwar models

The postwar Baldax is a development of the prewar model, sold at the beginning of the 1950s by the West German company Balda Bünde. It exists only in a 6×6 version and has a top housing incorporating the viewfinder and an exposure counter. The Super Baldax of the same time is the same camera with a coupled rangefinder. The Baldix, Mess-Baldix and Baldi 29 were derived from the postwar Baldax.




Notes

  1. Lisette 4,5x6 in Kamera-Geschichte.DE
  2. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). pp799 and 848.
  3. See also: https://picasaweb.google.com/e.xavier.2/VENDIDAC1936JosefRodenstockROBRAFolding45x6CompurEXC
  4. with red leatherette Auktion Team Kön Feb 2012 lot 559
  5. Sylvain Halgand: http://www.collection-appareils.fr/x/html/page_standard.php?id_appareil=10388
  6. Seen in on-line auction (eBay) July 2012
  7. Mario Groleau: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mario_groleau/2297118172
  8. Mario Groleau: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mario_groleau/2296322307
  9. C Castor: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ccastor/4281514613
  10. Süleyman Demir: http://www.flickr.com/photos/s-demir/4647055600
  11. Seen in on-line auction (eBay) July 2012
  12. with red leatherette Auktion Team Kön Feb 2012 lot 559.—Lisette 4,5x6 in Kamera-Geschichte.DE
  13. Seen in on-line auction (eBay) July 2012
  14. Dirk HR Spennemann
  15. Raul Se Dantas: http://www.flickr.com/photos/raulm/3061971624/
  16. Lisette 4,5x6 in Kamera-Geschichte.DE
  17. Baldax at Minosan's blog

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