The Belair X 6-12 is a medium format camera with bellows. Although it has an ancient appearance, looking a little steampunk, its functioning and rendering is innovative. This camera offers three sizes of shots. It also develops a different concept of other Lomography cameras.
For my part, I chose the Belair X6-12 City Slicker , I liked its simple and plain look. In a sense it may be one that has the least amount of frills and one that can be considered more masculine.
This camera comes with two lenses: a 90mm and a 58mm ultra wide angle. It also has three shooting formats: 6×6, 6×9 and 6×12.
The innovation of Belair, is the ability to have an ISO setting from 50 to 1600. This will allow you to shoot freely and play with the ISO, pushing your film.
The first test of Belair was confusing on my side. At first, this camera is an unusual look for our time, you will not go unnoticed with it. However it has the advantage of being lightweight and easy to handle. However, we regret the absence of a slipcase for protection and transport.
The first outing above was made with a Lomography CN 400. Indoor shots with this camera does not really need flash. It adapts well to low light conditions. You will notice on the photo depicting a statue of St. Therese, the background of the image is burned. This is due to the use of Colorsplash Flash, which as you see is not necessary at ISO 400, in the ambient darkness of a cathedral.
This first test was a real problem, the framing of the Belair. Indeed, not having to use the full frame is confusing. There was for me, an adaptation phase. That’s why I prefer to use its 35mm back.
The 35mm back of the camera opens up new possibilities. In fact, it opens up the panorama mode and 35mm. However, we must not forget to remove the top and bottom part of the viewfinder for framing. A viewfinder for the 35mm back would nice.
The above series is a test of double exposures that did not work. I wanted to combine views of an aquarium and my city for it to be invaded and dived-in. This idea worked better with my LC-A. You can see the result here.
At this stage of experimentation, I had to ask myself a bit and think about this camera. Had he rejected me?
The aesthetic of Belair is old school while being modern, but when you’ve already had a camera like the Beau Brownie" in our hands, we tend to consider the Belair belonging to this era.
On this basis, I acted with him as with a LC-A +. I shot unrestrained trusting him but remaining wary about framing. This gave the series above: Hidden Lover. The framing wasn’t still in control at this stage, but not for long. This series unblocked something.
A few days later, so I reloaded the Belair a XR50/200 Redscale and directed the shoot above with friends. In a relaxed atmosphere, Belair began to reveal its secrets in 6×9. For those who begin with Belair, I recommend starting with this format to more easily understand the technique of framing. I offer as a result, a sketch for the frames with this camera. Carefully consider, it must fit edge to edge.
The last series I made with this camera is the same idea as the previous one. It shows the love of a couple through the dream it creates on them. I worked this time with lower ISO and shot outdoors.
Overall Belair offers possibilities that I have not yet exploited all but it has all the promise made approaching the LC-A +. Like the LC-A, Belair X6-12 is ideal for difficult lighting conditions. Indeed, over 400 ISO, it seems not necessary to use a flash.
As far as aesthetics is concerned, Belair is fairly close to that of LC-A +, but with less saturation and bright colors. However, this is only a first impression, I will explain later this aesthetic after more rolls are shot.