Balda built the Minox 110S from 1974 to 1978, a high end camera for Kodak 110 pocket film*(see below).
The Balda company was already entirely manufacturing the famous ultra compact Minox 35 film camera series. About 40.000 110S were
made, however Balda made its own model variants and sold them under
their proper name as Balda 1000, especialy after Minox stopped selling
the 110S abrupty in 1978.
110 film was introduced by Kodak in 1972. The film sits in a cartridge,
like Kodak's earlier 126 film, but is much smaller. A frame is 13mm ×
17mm, has one perforation per image to control film advance and 24
frames per cartridge (12 were also available). The film is protected by
a backing paper like 120 film. The frame number is visible through a
window at the back of the cartridge. The basic film is ordinary 16mm
film which was already on the market, so it could be processed in
existing machines. The small picture size made very small, pocketable
Kodak introduced with its 110 film a line of
Kodak Pocket Instamatic cameras which were followed by
cameras from other manufacturers. Most cameras were cheap
point-and-shoot, but very sophisticated models were also made. Small
digital cameras made 110 film obsolete. Bit by bit manufacturers stopped making 110 format film (Fujifilm in 2009), but in 2012 (and 2019) Lomography made a large batch of 110 film, followed by other firms.
There were 4 known Balda 1000 models:
EL RX, like the Minox 110S with a 1:2.8 25mm Rodenstock Ysarex lens
und and both, cube flash and electronic flash connection,
1000 EL R, like the RX, but without cube flash
a 1000 EL BR, with a 1:4 20.5 mm 4-element Baldanon lens, without cube flash, about 2.500 were made and a 1000 EL Macro, same as the BR, but with additional macro capability, probably not a macro lens. This one I haven't seen yet.
However I have bought a model of which I haven't found a trace. It's
named Balda Electronic 1000 Macro. It doesn't have the "barn doors". I
want to show it here. Maybe it's a very late model. It has the lens of
the EL-Macro, which focussesdown to 0.4m or 1.4 feet.
Its main features are:
20.5mm F4 Baldanon lens, 4 elements, F4-F16, min. focus 0.4m
Electronic shutter, 4s - 1/1000 Size 131x54x26, Weight 130 gr. 100 and 400
ISO, automatic setting, rangefinder, parallax compensation, electronic flash available
front. Bright view/rangefinder with framelines, parallax
corrected. The aperture is visible in the rangefinder and an under- or
overexposure arrow may light next to it. To the right, at the bottom:
film advance lever. It was a problem on all 4 of my Minox 110 cameras. It's tiny,
2-stroke on the Minoxes, but works well on this Balda. No "barn doors" on this camera.
from the top. The aperture value is visible and can be changed via the
black dented wheel. The focussing is done via the slider and there is a
real rangefinder spot in the viewer. Small green shutter button and
cable release socket next to it. Distancesin feet, focusses down to 1.4 feet.
Same view with distance in metres. There is a slider to change between
metres and feet. Focusses down to 0.4m, which is quite close.
from below. Tripod socket. The slider to the right wich opens the barn
doors of the EL series is still present but without function. The
slider at the top to the left opens the film
Seen from the back.
Camera film compartment open. Battery carrier takes 2 625U batteries, still available.
The camera came with its original flash.
Seen from the front.
Back view. The battery compartment on the left edge takes 2 AAA
batteries. You have to turn the aperture wheel past F4 to switch on the
flash. There is a ready lamp within the button to detach the flash.
camera is very easy to use, take it to youreyes and it's ready.
manual settings, you choose the aperture, the exposure is automatic.
You have to
focus and frame, which is easy via the bright finder and a real
rangefinder spot. If by half pressing the shutter no arrow appears,
exposure is fine. If a red arrow appears to the left, it's
overexposure. Turn the aperture wheel in direction of the arrow. If a
yellow arrow appears to the right, the
camera will use slow shutter speeds. Turn the aperture wheel in
direction of the arrow or put the camera to a tripod or firm surface.
There is an electronic flash
available. After taking
a picture, you have to cock the advance lever. Putting a film is easy as well,
you drop the film into the compartment, advance to the first frame and that's it.
a luxury camera
with advanced features as aperture priority and a very good lens for
good picture quality. The wider lens fits well to my needs. It has a
very light pocketable body. Compared
to the Minox, this seems to be of much better build quality. So its an
extremely nice find. The Baldas seem to be quite rare, it took me years
to find one. I have not found any information on this one, so if you know more, please contact me.