Balda Super Baldinette

The Balda Super Baldinette is a folding rangefinder and became Balda’s flagship camera in the early 1950s. Shortly after World War II, Balda moved from the eastern city of Dresden to B ünde in West Germany where founder Max Baldeweg opened a new factory and began manufacturing modified versions of existing models. Along with the Super Baldinette, there is also a “normal” Baldinette which has no rangefinder assembly.

Kodak No. 3A Autographic

The Kodak No. 3A Autographic is one of Kodak’s early folding cameras and was designed to take a variant of 122 format film, commonly known as the postcard format. The specific variant in question is 122 autographic which allows you to use the camera’s metal stylus (seen here held by a metal clip onto the back of the camera) to record information about the photograph you just took by opening the long window underneath the stylus holder on the rear panel of the camera and writing directly onto the margin of the negative via carbon transfer paper. However, since autographic 122 seems to be nearly impossible to find these days, regular 122 film also works.

Agfa Optima 500

The Agfa Optima 500 is the second-to-last model in Agfa‘s Optima line and is the direct descendant of the very first mass-produced camera ever to feature automatic exposure: the original Agfa Optima. The Optima 500 is also unique because it was released in 1964 during the corporate merger of Belgium’s Gevaert Photo-Producten N.V. and Germany’s Agfa AG. At the time, Agfa AG was owned by pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG which eventually upped it’s 50% stake in Agfa-Gevaert N.V. to 100% and controlled the company until 1999.

Ricoh AF-60D

The Ricoh AF-60D is the data back equipped variant of the AF-60, one of half a dozen or so consumer grade autofocus point-and-shoot cameras introduced by Ricoh in the mid to late 1980s. This particular AF-60D—which was purchased by my father when I was a kid—has the distinction of being the first camera I have ever used. I remember going into my parents’ bedroom and digging the Ricoh out of my dad’s sock drawer. I remember looking through its viewfinder at the mirror and putting my finger on the shutter button like I had seen my dad do so many times. A click and whirr later, I ran away giggling.