Have you ever heard of a German made Hansa camera. I'm interested in buying one on E-bay,but can't find any reference to it anywhere. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place. The seller is a photography shop. They don't know anything about it either. It's not in their reference books. These are the specs. 35 mm folding camera Westar 3.5 / 50mm lens Prontar S shutter speeds 1-300 + B It has a viewfinder and a flash shoe and what appears to be a flash sync on the shutter. Like you I try to use my cameras. Like you everything I buy on E-bay needs at least cleaning if not repair. I try to find out something about cameras I don't have,prior to purchase. This one has me stumpted so far. Any help welcome.
Hi! The only thing that I could find is that it was made by the Balda- Kamera Werk in Buende,West Germany around 1948-50. My book is older, so I wouldn't want to guess at it's value. Nice looking camera though Doug
Years ago I had a Hanza enlarger. I hardly remember anything about it otheer than it was my first store bought as opposed to home made enlarger. It had to have been very inexpensive or I could not have bought it.
You might check McKeown's under Canon.
Last Edit: Oct 29, 2010 0:50:14 GMT -5 by mickeyobe
Thanks everyone. I had a feeling that it was a re-labeled product. I just didn't know by who. I now have enough info to proceed. If I get this camera I'll be sure to post some pics. I'm just getting back into film and have acquired several 35 mm range finders. I am busy cleaning and adjusting,but will start running some film shortly. Since I am on a fixed budget. Ha! Most of my money has gone to acquiring equipment rather than film and processing. Like many others I find cameras that look interesting and think that if I don't grab them now, or at least make a try, I'll miss out completely. Again thanks to everyone who answered .
As several people have pointed out, the German-made Hansa 35 was made by Balda-Werke in Bünde in West Germany.
Tracking down individual Balda cameras can sometimes be confusing. The company was started by Max Baldeweg in Dresden in 1908 making first accessories and later complete cameras.
When the Russians over-ran Dresden Max Baldeweg fled to the west and founded Balda Kamera-Werke in Bünde in West Germany.
After the war the Balda factory in Dresden was nationalised by the East German government and continued for a time to make cameras under the Balda name. This was then subject of a trade mark law suit by Max Baldeweg, which he won, and about 1951 the Dresden factory became Belca-Werke. The name of the cameras was changed to Belca. Belca-Werke became part of VEB Kamera-Werke Niedersiedlitz in 1956 which was itself later merged into Pentacon VEB and completely lost its identity.
How Max Baldeweg managed to get round using the name Hansa I don't know. Hansa had been a trade mark of Ômiya Shashin-yôhin (Omiya Trading Company) in Japan since 1922. Perhaps the best-known example is the pre-war Hansa-Canon, a copy of the pre-war Leica distributed by Omiya.
Whatever the reason, the Balda Hansa 35, also sold as the Central 35, wasn't a market success. Perhaps Max Baldeweg suffered from a lack of skilled labour and shortage of materials, but reports of the build quality of the Hansa 35 put it, at best, as not as good as that of the pre-war Dresden-built Baldas.
I wouldn't expect too much of the Westar lens, either, even though it was made by ISCO, a subsidiary of Schneider. It was a cheap, basic triplet, designed down to a cost. It was the “entry-level” lens for a number of cameras and the kindest review I read about it described it as “adequate, probably at its best around f/8, but still nothing to write home about”.
I don't want to put you off the camera, far from it. It was made for only a fairly short time around 1948-1949, and examples in good condition are relatively rare. Rare enough to have a collectable value. But for performance it just didn't stand up against something like a Retina.