Staff Review Belair X-612 Camera First Hand Report Hong Kong

Some feel that the size of Belair X 6-12 is too huge in comparison to other small and light Lomography cameras - that's one way of looking at it. Take into consideration that it can take 6x12 format photos, which is its biggest selling point. It's definitely the first format we shoot upon receiving the Belair X 6-12!

Belair X 6-12 Globetrotter, Belair X 6-12 Jetsetter, Belair X 6-12 City Slicker

6 × 12 Format(Panorama)

6×12 format is larger than our familiar 6×6/645/4.5×4.5 formats. On the 120 paper back we should shoot: every 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 frames (amounts to 6 exposures per roll). What do you think of this format? I think this is very unique.

Credits: edwinchau

Coupled with Belair's zone focusing system, it’s largest aperture is F/8.0 – in other words, the Depth Of Field is quite deep. For Lomographers who like snapshots and are used to using the Diana F+ and the Lomo LC-A+, it’s a piece of cake! Despite its smaller aperture I am able to get clear shots in the night and on a dimly lit upper deck of a tram by holding it steady with both hands. I like the following shots! :)

Credits: edwinchau

*Tip: Belair's light meter is located on the left hand side of the lens. If the ambient light is stronger on the left side, please adjust the exposure by 1 stop.

Credits: edwinchau

6 × 6 Format (Square)

Besides 6 × 12 format, the second format I tested is 6 × 6; although more unique, I am also a supporter of square format! Regardless of the design, to me Belair X 6-12 is a 6×12 camera as the name implies. It felt somewhat wasteful to shoot 6×6 with it, not making full use of its large camera body and the special format design. Otherwise, it can shoot our beloved 6×6 square format photos (12 shots per roll)!

Credits: edwinchau

6 × 9 format (Rectangle)

Thanks to Belair I shot my first roll of 120 film in 6 × 9 format. I wasn’t too keen on this at first as I thought that it would be similar to 135 films 3:2 format.

Credits: edwinchau

I realized I was wrong after I had received my photo developments! I am not too familiar with technical jargon but even if I used similar 35mm equivalent focal length lenses on 135 and 120 format, due to the different flange distance, the look and feel of the photos would have turned out different.

Ironically, the 6×9 format which I “despised” surprised me the most! Also, you can take, at most, 6 shots per roll on 6×12 format whereas you can take 8 shots on 6×9 format. It makes me feel I get more bang for the buck. And this format takes out the edge distortion and increases the equivalent focal length (I felt that it has a 35mm equivalent focal length of a 40mm lens). I think I will use this format more frequently.

Credits: edwinchau

Things to look out for

  1. Belair X 6-12 has a small aperture (F/8.0). Using AE mode, one can forget to take note of slow shutter speed, resulting in blurry photos due to shaky hands
  2. Using smaller apertures under daylight conditions will yield beautiful photos
  3. Number of shots for each format are: 6×12 = 6 shots, 6×9 = 8 shots, and 6×6 = 12 shots
  4. Take note of the ambient light near the light meter as it will affect the exposure

Conclusion

As per mentioned, you will notice in my Lomohome that the most frequently used formats are 6×12 and 6×9. This is because I feel that the most interesting feature of the Belair X 6-12 is that it allows us to shoot the rare 6×12 format that is usually reserved for high end cameras. 612 cameras used to cost tens-of-thousands of dollars but you can get it at a reasonable price now (of course, there are cheaper cameras such as Holga WPC pinhole camera) complete with the automatic exposure function. For Lomographers like me who love to shoot 120 formats, it’s really a good news!

I like its folding body that makes it even more compact (the bellow design is not for show only)! Same as why I like the Lubitel 166+ — I love shooting crisp and sharp 120 format film, but I don’t like to carry bulky cameras. The result of Lomography’s R&D personnel enables a high grade optical lens to be installed on a light weight and portable camera body. This allows your spirit and mind to enjoy the process of taking photos, are you appreciative?

(This article’s photos are shot with Belair X 6-12 and Lomgoraphy X-Pro Slide 120,
Lomography B&W ISO400 120, and the Lomography Color Negative 400 120

written by edwinchau on 2012-11-26 in #reviews #cross-processing #analogue-photography #staff-review #hong-kong #black-and-white #art #belair-first-owner #vingnetting #square #6x6 #belair-x-6-12 #hongkong #hk #120-films #612 #belair

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