I arrived at my office the morning of November 28 to find a package waiting for me: my eagerly anticipated and earlier than promised new Belair X 6-12 Globetrotter. My day was going to be a good one!
I am not going to go into the details about this camera, as I am sure that you have seen the promos and the reviews and everything by now. As always, the packaging is interesting and full of surprises.
No, I want to tell you about the pure joy of shooting with the Belair. For anyone who has not made the plunge into 120mm medium format photography, I would highly recommend that you give it a try. You will be amazed at just how great the larger negatives look, scan and print. Now, take a minute to think what a double sized 120 negative would look like. Welcome to the world of Belair!
My first foray was lunchtime that same day with a roll of Lomography Redscale XR 50-200, the 6×12 mask and no batteries as I didn’t have time to find any. No problem, the Belair has a manual 1/125 shutter speed without batteries. I wasn’t disappointed as you can see by the streets scenes around my office.
Not willing to stop there, I picked up batteries on the way home and shot a roll of Ilford HP5 using the light meter. I visited a few of my favourite Sunshine Coast haunts. Of course, I switched between the 58mm and 90mm lenses depending on the scene.
Next up time for the 6×9 mask with a roll of Lomography Colour Negative 400. I love being able to decide which format I want to shoot at the same time as I pick a film. I shot the whole roll on my trip back to the city.
I can’t stop now, I have to see what the Belair’s 6×6 looks like. I have another roll of Ilford HP5 in my camera bag and Granville Island to visit. The day was grey and gloomy, but the Belair came through.
I am looking forward to a long and happy affair with my Belair. I opted for the limited edition Globetrotter as I loved the very cool retro snakeskin look and I certainly was not disappointed when it arrived and looked even better than on the computer screen. I must tell you that one of the big selling points for me was three formats (6 × 6, 6×9 and 6×12) with one camera and the fact that it came with the two lenses for a wider (58mm) or a closer (90mm) view.
Is it the perfect camera? Does such a creature exist? Probably not, but it is a very good camera for anyone who wants the quality of 120 and the versatility of three formats. I can’t wait to start uploading my albums!