I am so happy to receive Lomography's latest creation and finished off 3 rolls of film to put it through its paces.
The Belair X 6-12 would make a wonderful gift for both the amateur and semi-professional photographers in your life. Or a gift for yourself which is what I did. It’s nice to use my December birthday as an excuse to add this camera to my stash. I took my new camera around the streets of Portland to show off some of our holiday cheer.
Here are a few of my thoughts about the camera:
I love the different formats, the 6×6, 6×9 and 6×12. I’m happy to carry one camera that allows me to shoot in 3 different ways. I am a huge fan of the square format but have also wanted to do more panoramic shots. The Belair fulfills my wishes.
You can make double exposures.
The automatic exposure feature seems to be spot on. Several of my photos were taken in low light interiors and they still came out fine. These were taken with ISO 400 film.
I am glad the bellows are rubber especially in my wet Pacific Northwest. I’m not as worried about it getting wet as I would be if the bellows were paper.
Coming with two lenses, a 58mm and 90mm, allows me to be more creative and take advantage of both wider and closer compositions.
I love this camera and didn’t want to say anything negative about it, but if I am going to be honest I have to give both the pros and cons. These are my cons:
1. I can’t read the ISO settings without a magnifier. I wish the dial was on top of the camera where it could be easily accessed and seen. OK, I may have older eyes so I handed the camera off to some teenagers and although they could read the dial they said it was difficult. How to combat this? I know the first number is 50 and it goes to 1600 so I just count the stops.
2. I can’t use a cable release. I’d rather hold down a cable release button during the long exposures when using the ‘bulb’ setting. I hope an adaptor will be in the camera’s future.
My own shortcomings and I read a couple of ‘tips’ on the web site that may help me with this:
All my photos are a bit out of focus. I either need to be more careful when holding the camera or when pushing down the shutter lever. I must be moving the camera. I’ll admit that some of my photos were of moving subjects, but I thought with ISO 400 and decent light that my subjects would be in focus. Oh well, I still like my photos even of they are soft. That’s the beauty of Lomo, right?
I think on my next outing I will use my tripod and see if my results are better. Or just make sure I am standing still and holding the camera firmly, with both hands.
I believe this camera will become a classic. I think all serious collectors of Lomography ought to add this camera to their arsenal. You will not be disappointed.
Oh, and FYI, someone asked me if it was digital. :)