When the Belair was announced and saw what it looked like, I was ecstatic. It was a work of pure art. A beautiful camera. I had to have it. I mean: I really really had to have it. Seriously. I doubt that I would have died without it, but it definitely wouldn't have been a pretty sight. I bought it before the 500 were sold so that I'd get the certificate. No real reason for that - not like you can really do anything with the certificate, but who doesn't want a little extra bonus?
Like most other people who ordered back in October, I then waited and waited and waited. Not until December 20th did I get it – and I was all ready for it with 5 rolls of film sitting to the side. BUT, it was a Christmas present to myself, so I didn’t actually open it until Christmas. :)
When I did, I found no certificate. I wasn’t heartbroke by that, but I was a bit upset since that was the ‘bonus’ I was looking forward to. I noticed that the warranty card was in Japanese with no translation. That was…perplexing. It was an expensive camera, looked quite delicate, and wasn’t as sturdy as my Holga, so I read through the manual before assembling or anything else. Everything was nice and easy – and then the magic happened – the photo taking!
I used up all five rolls over the last month and took them to Rite Aid a couple weeks ago. This morning I got the results back. Each and every picture was crap. I don’t mean “lomo styled artful weirdness”, I mean “crap”. Under exposed, over exposed, out of focus – and all in a bad way. The auto exposure on this was a big factor for me getting it – I dislike having to guess exposure times with my other cameras and so having a feature like that was ideal.
This was going to be my ‘not ideal lighting’ camera for that reason. But it didn’t seem to want to expose correctly. Out of the five rolls, there were about 20 pictures that had some sort of light blob or more in them, and only 6 pictures that you could actually see something identifiable – but even then, were they worth keeping? See for yourself:
I’m disappointed with my first Belair photos. I remember being disappointed with my first Holga pictures – but that was because they weren’t all that exciting and didn’t have that ‘lomo goodness’ to them. In this case it’s because the Belair – the most beautiful, expensive, and anticipated camera I’ve ever owned didn’t give me a single photo (out of five rolls) worth keeping.