120folder.com          Hapo 66-E

The  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.

The 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.

Camera front closed. Top: rangefinder wheel, rangefinder window, shutter button, viewfinder window,
opening button and film advance.

Seen from the back. On top: Film advance, film number reset, viewer and ragefinder wheel. Red window in the middle.

Camera front open, it opens sideways. Speed setting ring around the lens, on the left: self-timer lever, on the right: shutter cocking lever.

Seen from above, camera open.
Film advance, opening button, shutter release button, indicator for double exposure prevention and focusing wheel.

Right side, camera open. Front (lens): distance scale, depth-of-the field scale, shutter cocking lever, aperture scale. Under the film advance: film counter window.

Seen from the bottom, camera open.
Tripod socket.

Camera back open.

Film chamber.

Original leather case.

Leather case open.

Handling 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 the 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 backing 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 advance 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.

Open 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 advance. To close the camera, press the hinges of the struts as 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.

Hapo 66-E560134 x 101 x 43NCAuto, DEP, RWHaponar 3.5/75 | ~ 1,1Pronto, B 1/25 - 1/200 | 32