Balda folding cameras were sold by Plaubel from 1933 as the Fix Focus. The smaller model, for 4.5×6cm exposures, was a name variant of the Baldax (for #0 shutter size), and the larger one, for 6×9cm exposures, was a rebadged Balda Fixfocus.
In 1934, the Fix Focus models were replaced by the Roll-Op. The 4.5×6cm model was still a rebadged Baldax, but the larger model was a 6×9cm and 4.5×6cm dual-format folding camera, name variant of the Balda Gloria, sometimes with a different Pracht viewfinder.
The rangefinder model was released as the Roll-Op II, but it was eventually sold as Roll-Op in short — sometimes spelled Rollop. Its main difference from the Baldax is the addition of a coupled rangefinder, separate from the viewfinder. This rangefinder unit is the same as mounted on the Plaubel Makina. There is also an automatic exposure counter, the position of the first frame being set via a red window. This device is similar to that mounted on Plaubel rollfilm holders. It was copied by Chiyoda for the Auto Semi Minolta.
|Roll-Op II, 4.5×6cm, Compur-Rapid, Anticomar 7.5cm f/2.8.|
Pictures by eBayer Yalluflex. (Image rights)
The Roll-Op II exists in two versions, for 4.5×6cm exposures or 6×6cm exposures. They differ by the finder size, the exposure counter and the red windows. The 6×6 model has a single red window in the middle of the back, protected by a pivoting cover mounted in a round plate, whereas the 4.5×6 model has two red windows at the top of the back, protected by a rectangular sliding cover.
The lens is a Plaubel Anticomar 7.5cm f/2.8 with unit focusing on both versions. The shutter is either a Compur to 1/250 or a Compur-Rapid to 1/400.
|Plaubel Roll-Op II 6x6cm, Anticomar f2.8 7.5cm Lens, Compur Rapid shutter.|
Images by yalluflex. (Image rights)
|Roll Op-II 6x6, detail view of the counter|
image by yalluflex (Image rights)
- 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). Pp.786–7 and 791.
- Roll-Op PDF user manual at butkus.org's Orphan Cameras
- Rollop II Reflex PDF manual at Butkus' OrphanCameras.com
- Medium format rangefinders by Daniel Herlent, scroll down for pictures of both the 4.5×6 and 6×6 versions of the Roll-Op II