is Hapo 66-E a 120 film folding camera with non coupled rangefinder, 6x6
format, built in the
mid-1950s by Balda-Kamera-Werk, BŁnde. Before WWII the factory was based in
Dresden, it produced a wide range of cameras. It's speciality was to
produce cameras for many other firms, German and international, which
sold them under their own brand. After the war, newly established in
BŁnde, they continued producing for other brands, like the Hans Porst
photo supply chain. Hence the name Hapo 66-E, Hans Porst, 6x6 format, E for Entfernungsmesser (rangefinder). It's listed in their catalogues until 1961 at least.
Hapo 66-E is derived from middle range model of the Balda series, the Mess-Baldix
(Mess=measure, for the uncoupled rangefinder). It's a small and
very lightweight rangefinder camera.
Size (mm): 135 x 101 x 43 Weight: 560 g Lens: Haponar 3.5/75, closest focus ~ 1,1 m made by Enna Shutter: Pronto, B, 1/25 - 1/200, F 3.5 - 32 Finder: non coupled rangefinder Film advance: automatic, first frame via red window
Here are some photos of the camera. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it feels at the bottom of the page.
front closed. Top: rangefinder wheel, rangefinder window, shutter button, viewfinder window, opening button and film advance.
from the back. On top: Film advance, film number reset, viewer and ragefinder wheel. Red window in the middle.
front open, it opens sideways. Speed setting
ring around the lens, on the left: self-timer lever, on the right: shutter cocking lever.
from above, camera open. Film advance, opening button, shutter release button, indicator for double exposure
prevention and focusing wheel.
side, camera open. Front (lens): distance scale, depth-of-the field
scale, shutter cocking lever, aperture scale. Under the film advance:
Seen from the bottom, camera open. Tripod socket.
Camera back open.
Original leather case.
Leather case open.
a Hapo 66-E is easy, it's like
other folding rangefinders. Loading film is as usual, very easy
because of the hinged film cradles. Open
camera back, retract the winding knob swing the cradle out and put the
take-up spool into
place. Same procedure for the film spool. Insert the film paper
into the take-up spool and advance it using the knob until it's
well engaged. The film winding requires alternate movements clockwise
and counter-clockwise. Close the camera back. Open the red window and
the film via the advance knob
until the red window shows "1". If the numer "1" isn't already in the
film counter window, hold the reset lever and make a counter-clock
movement, it should show then. Resetting is important as the
sophisticated mechanism has a compensation, according the turns to the
film number, so spacing will always be correct.
the camera. Cock
the shutter, set speed and aperture. Set focus via the focusing wheel.
Read the focus distance from the scale around the wheel and transfer to
the lens. Turning the lens to closer distance moves it out. Press the
shutter release button. That's it. The double exposure warning
will be visible and the release is blocked until you turn the film
close the camera, press the hinges of the struts
usual, it will fold easily. There is enough space under the lid to fold
with whatever distance. Turn the film advance first
counter-clockwise and then clockwise. It stops automatically and shows
the next number.
The Hapo 66-E is a very nice and quite sturdy camera, yet it is very
lightweight and easy to use, with a good lens and more simple shutter.
It's one of the smallest and lightest rangefinder folders with
automatic film advance. Compared to the Balda Super Baldax you have to
add 25% of the weight for the coupling of the rangefinder and the
better shutter of the Baldax which is quite a lot.