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Singapore Belair Tester Review: My First Few Rolls Shot on the Belair X 6-12!

I was quite thrilled when Lomography announced the Belair X 6-12. The 6X12 format in a compact, lightweight body, with automatic exposure! What more can I ask for? Without any hesitation, I pre-ordered the Globetrotter Edition and started my long and agonizing wait for the camera.

Finally, the Belair X 6-12 camera arrived at my door step a few weeks ago and I with it I shot more rolls of 120 film than the first 10 months of 2012 combined!

As there are quite a few steps to unboxing and introduction articles, I won’t be repeating those details here.

Here’s what I wished the whole package would be:
1. A wooden box like for the LC-A+ and La Sardina Metal editions.
2. Include a lens and viewfinder pouch.
3. Include batteries & a strap like for the LC-A+.

Well, these are good-to-have items but the real reasons I bought the Belair are the multiple formats, lightweight portability, and the automatic exposure – all at a very reasonable price. Even my friend who is a serious medium and large format user is tempted to buy one after being pleasantly “poisoned” by my Belair.

Without further ado, here are some sample photos taken with my Belair:

6X12 format:
Color negative

X-pro slide

6X9 format:
Redscale 100

Black & White 100

These photos are blurred due to slow shutter speed under low light conditions and poor holding technique.

6X6 format:

After shooting in all 3 formats, I feel that it’s easiest to shoot in 6X12 format as one only needs to take care of the vertical parallex error. Just remember to aim slightly higher as the lens is below the viewfinder. Otherwise, the head of the subject might be “chopped” off!

When shooting 6X9 format, somehow there seems to be a lot of “empty” space to the left of the photo. For example, in the following photo, I am very sure that the staircase was right in the middle of my composition. But it ended up skewed to one side.

This was a similar case for the following photo of a temple:

As for 6X6, try to position the subject right in the middle of the viewfinder. The film will capture much less horizontally than what one can see in the viewfinder.

Lastly, the highest shutter speed of 1/125s means that one must be careful not to use too high an ASA film (e.g. 400 & above) during daylight conditions. Even if the light meter is set to the right film speed, the film will definitely be overexposed in bright/sunny daylight conditions.

In sum, the Belair is definitely one great camera and I am still learning how to fully utilize its full potential. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of venturing into medium format cameras.

Lomo-on!

written by coolsigg

5 comments

  1. stonerfairy

    stonerfairy

    Thanx for sharing your review on Bel-Air, coz I'm still learning to shoot with Bel-Air! Yet to process mine.. And I guess I really love your redscale shots here!!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. coolsigg

    coolsigg

    @stonerfairy: Thanks for your comments! The redscales are my favorite shots too with the moody/emo feel!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. tunnybird

    tunnybird

    Thanks for the tips. Getting to know my Belair also! So this is very useful. Love your 6x12 shots.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. coolsigg

    coolsigg

    @tunnybird: Thanks for your comments! U r welcome! :)

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. polarapfel

    polarapfel

    I have to ask this question here too as I have read a lot of reviews on this camera so far, looked at a lot of images taken with this camera and one thing seems to be universally true: the camera with its current lenses does not produce images with a decent sharpness. I have shot three roles so far (still waiting for the results) and I will check the images under magnification on the light table for sharpness once I have the film back processed. If the images (most of them taken on a tripod) are not sharp enough, the whole camera is kind of pointless. I already preordered one of the Russian glass lenses and I do hope they will provide much better results both at f/8 and f/16.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano.