balda baldinette

1950s folding accordion point-and-shoot

1950 Balda Baldinette from Germany

I have a Balda Baldinette camera from the 1950's that I inherited from my wife's family. The camera is basically a 'point-and-shoot' camera from the 1950s. After loading the film, the photographer has very few settings to pick from. Instead, they just aim the camera, push the shutter, and hope everything came out right. The viewfinder is absolutely tiny, and on mine clouded up beyond my ability to clean it, so instead I just guess at what I'm pointing the camera at.

Here's an excerpt from another Baldinette user who explains the workings of the camera.

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 Id say its 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 cant 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. [source]

I've only ran two rolls of film through this camera, since it's not really a worthwhile experience. You can see the results below.

First published on 3 Dec 2014; last updated on 26 Jan 2017.

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