Reviewing an analog camera in 2013 is truly a special experience. Especially if you’re holding medium-format camera bellows, category virtually disappeared from the catalogs of the major producers for decades, except for niche products like the Fujifilm GF670. In addition, the Lomography Belair X 6-12 is definitely a camera over the top.
It presents itself as a mix of tradition, which we find in advancing manual of the film, and modernity, that we find in the automatic exposure control. Impossible not to be fascinated by aesthetics, characterized by a very wide body, need to impress frames up to 6 × 12 cm, and the external viewfinders dedicated to the two lenses. Thanks to the collaboration with Lomography long I could try this camera unique: after the jump, you can read in detail my impressions.
Lomography Belair X 6-12: Design
The Lomography Belair X 6-12 is big and solid. The body is made of aluminum and plastic: It immediately appreciates the realization of the mechanism for opening and closing the bellows. The latter is made of soft rubber but thick enough, so it should resist wear well.
On the front body, we find the mode dial to the sensitivity of the film in use. With this ring, you can underexpose or overexpose by simply setting a higher sensitivity or lower than that in use, as it can take a long duration, obviously setting up pose ” B “.
Immediately above is the magazine for two A76 button cell batteries, which are essential in the functioning of the exposure. The shutter will still work even when batteries are low or absent, although with a single speed, probably 1/125s. On the front, we find the exposure sensor and of course, the bayonet where to install one of the two lenses provided, or the 58mm and 90mm.
Unfortunately, there are release button optics: the lens is held at the position by a small tooth, which also performs the function of communicating to ‘meter if we selected as aperture f/8 or f/16. So not having a still solid for the goal you have a real risk of dropping it every time you change the focus or aperture.
Care must be taken. Besides the body front, we have the trigger: due to its structure, it is not possible to use a cable release. On the other hand, the main body is not lacking tripod socket and the flash. No synchronization problem, since the shutter is central, but exposure meter does not take into account the flash: better to underexpose intentionally leaving.
Lomography Belair X 6-12: Features and Functionality
Who uses the Lomography Belair X 6-12 without ever having picked up an analog might be a bit ‘crowded? It helps a lot in this case. The videos look good on the FAQ on the Lomography website. You should be careful to load the film well, keeping it parallel to the back well and making a mental frame in which you have chosen.
Being able to choose between formats 6 × 6, 6 × 9 and 6 × 12, you must assemble the frame, dedicated and search for the frame number to the right of the back window. Easy to skip a number and find a wasted frame, less than rewind the roll in the darkroom.
You must keep the brain well-lit even between shots and the other: If you forget the manual feed, us lies with some nice but not necessarily want to double exposures. Cumbersome also the focus: being estimated is easy to make mistakes, and even f/16 if you shoot at close range is not a difficult struggle with images clearly out of focus.
The shot through the viewfinder is so simple, as we can only control where the camera is pointed, without any help for the parallax error. The only reference that is given to us in the cross hairs is the narrowing down the field of view depending upon the type of format selected frame.
The frames returned by Lomography Belair X 6-12 are tremendously large. I shot two rolls, one with frames and one with 6 × 12 6 × 9 frames. In both cases, look after the development is a real pleasure. Although the first development lab was made to mislead the fastener of the roll.
The roller slides Lomography says, ” USE OR E6 C41 “, indicating the potential to make a creative cross process. That writing has deceived the lab technician who despite the word ” slide ” has chosen to carry out a development in C41: as you can see from the results in the gallery, I got so literally psychedelic landscapes.
On the second roll, instead, I had problems with patches of light, probably due to the unevenness of the film: the drive mechanism has some slack and lacks the classic pressure plate. I digitized the images taken by photographing the film is placed on a backlit display, both using my old flatbed scanner Epson Perfection 3170 Photo 2003, by which I obtained the remarkable files from over 61 Megapixels by scanning at 3,200 dpi frames from 6 × 9 cm. In the gallery, you can see a 100% crop: detail there at will.
Who is the ideal buyer of Lomography Belair X 6-12? Surely not the one who takes hundreds of images per day. Certainly not those who want to perfect images and impeccable. Equally certainly not those who want to be sure not to miss the moment. The Lomography Belair X 6-12 requires a lot of patience and calm, but it certainly pays off with variable results, but often surprisingly unique.
Where to Buy Lomography Belair X 6-12
- An Affordable Automatic 120 Panoramic Camera
- Take Medium-Format Photography with you Everywhere
- A World of Possibilities: Interchangeable Lenses
- Automatic Exposure Shutter
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