Introductions aside, the time to try out the camera and go shooting has come!
Today I took my first Belair shots. Until this moment the experience has been been nothing but positive! I’ll try to explain the moments before shooting with it!
The first thing I did was put the batteries in the chamber. At first I had trouble opening it, but once you do it for the first time it’s a piece of cake! It’s a bit hard at the beginning but I’m sure that after a few uses it’ll get easier!
Once I put the batteries, it was time to make one of the first important decisions: What mask to choose? I thought about doing portraits or some indoor shots, so I chose the 6×6 mask. Before loading it, you have to remove the default one, which is the 6×12. To remove it, you have to carefully lift the 4 tabs. Then you can put the mask you’ve chosen for your photos.
The next step was to choose the film roll, so I took all the 120 rolls I’ve had saved specially for the Belair. I choose a Fujifilm Fujicolor Professional 400, as most of the photos would be taken indoors. Loading the film is very simple! Just as with any regular 120 camera. Place the film into the left chamber, pull out the film’s back paper tongue, slip it into the 120 taking spool opening, turn the advancing lever anti-clockwise to make sure the film is properly inserted. You have to adjust the format you’ll be using depending on the mask you have chosen.
The next step is to choose the lens you’ll use first – 90mm or 58mm. To attach it, simply match the white dot in the camera with the one in the lens and turn it clockwise. Have in mind that It doesn’t make a ‘click’ sound after attaching it! We’ll see what happens…
Next step, choosing the right film sensitivity! The ISO/ASA Dial is located behind the Lens Board, under the Battery Chamber. You also find there the ‘B’ (bulb) mode, used for long exposures – the shutter will be open as long as you keep the shutter button pressed.
Now you’re ready to shoot!