I recently came across this little camera at an irresistible price, and snapped it up. My luck must be running better, because it is fully functional! A search of the forums found a post by Rick Drawbridge, about the Baldessa, but I didn't see any on this particular model. I called it 'little' but, at approximately 4.75"w x 3.75"h x 2.75"d, it's as wide as an Olympus OM, and an inch taller. All those curves must make it look smaller than it is. It's no lightweight, either, weighing in at 622g, or about 22 ounces. The body is very solidly built, with some unusual features, some of which it shares with Rick's Baldessa, but some are different. If you've looked at Rick's post, or if you've seen a Balda before, there is a distinct family resemblance. Where the Baldamatic II differs most obviously is along the top where, on this model, it has three evenly sized and spaced "windows", one of which is a selenium meter. At the other end is the viewport. The middle one, which is not mentioned in the manual, appears to be the home of the focusing patch. I discovered this by getting my fat finger in front of the viewing window. When I did, it appeared that my finger had suddenly acquired a hole right through it; a hole that moved left to right as I focused nearer or farther. There were three shutters used on the Baldamatic II and III. The Prontor-SLK on my example is the mid-range of the three. It offers speeds from B to 1/500. It can accommodate film speeds from ASA 10 to 800. Rick states that the Baldessa's shutter is limited to 1/300. Another difference is the small dial below the viewport and above the shutter button. On the Baldessa, there is a focusing wheel in roughly the same location. On the Baldamatics, it adjusts the aperture, which is very nice because the aperture ring is quite narrow and quite difficult to manipulate directly. A nice feature of these models is that the selected aperture is clearly visible in the viewfinder, and I mean very clearly, unlike some other cameras. Adjusting the aperture also adjusts the little red pointers seen in the photo above, which show DoF for the selected aperture. There are no detents, so the aperture is continuously variable. The meter in mine appears to be non-functional, which is a shame because it's the most visible meter I've seen, in any camera. It consists of a pretty typical needle which, in my camera, simply bobs about meaninglessly, but which would otherwise be matched up with a movable pair of large, highly visible red pointers. It would be very easy to achieve a 'correct' exposure with this system, if it worked. It is fully coupled to the shutter and aperture, and that part works very well to show where the needle should be, if it worked. Among the interesting features the Baldamatic shares with the Baldessa are the film advance and rewind mechanisms, both of which are found on the bottom plate of the camera. The tab on the left in the photo below is the film advance, which Balda referred to as the Quick Transport Key. When not in use, it folds flat. The rewind mechanism is the curvy bit on the right, which is locked in place by the T/R lever in the middle. R stands for Rewind, so I'm guessing that T stands for Transport. Here you can see the Quick Transport Key and the Rewind handle in their ready-to-use positions. The Quick Transport Key also cocks the shutter. A feature I don't know if the different Baldas share, and which I neglected to photograph, is the way the back of the camera pops off. There are two small buttons, set almost flush with the body on the right side of the camera. Pressing them in literally causes the back of the camera to pop off the camera (and fall to the ground if you're not careful). It completely detaches from the camera. And, of course, with the Quick Transport Key on the left, the film loads 'backwards' relative to the more common method. Mine came with a hard-shell leather never-ready case, in very good condition, aside from the strap being broken off. I don't know if the broken strap explains how the viewfinder 'glass' came to be cracked, or not, or if that's why the 'glass' on the two front windows is loose. The rangefinder does work, but it's quite dim, and I'm not sure I'd be able to see it in broad daylight. I had that problem the last time I tried to shoot one of my Electros on a sunny day, and the results were not good. Overall, the Baldamatic II is a very likeable camera that's easy and pleasant to operate. Rick's photos from his Baldessa are worth clicking the link above for, if you haven't already. They are definitely up to his high standards. But the Baldessa has a different lens, one that Rick deems excellent, and his results back up that assessment. The Baldamatic appears to be a slightly lower model in the product line, so its lens may not be as sharp, but it could still be a good one. I haven't shot mine yet but, judging by the images I found on Flickr, it appears to be capable of good results.