Out and about in Portland with Lomography’s new Belair X 6-12

I was so happy to receive Lomography’s latest camera creation before the crowds. This camera would make such a nice gift for both amateur and semi-professional photographers on your gift-giving list. What better way to showcase this camera than to walk around my city, Portland, during the Holiday season.

Lomography's Belair X 6-12

Lomography’s Belair X 6-12

walking down the street

walking down the street

Here are a few of my observations about this camera:

I love the different formats, the 6×6, 6×9 and 6×12. I’m happy to carry one camera that allows me to shoot in 3 different ways. I am a huge fan of the square format but have also wanted to do more panoramic shots. The Belair fulfills my wishes.

trees with tiny lights

trees with tiny lights_6x6

Santa's hut at Bridgeport

Santa’s hut at Bridgeport_6x9

decorated in red

decorated in red_ 6×12

You can make double exposures.

double exposure in Pioneer Place

double exposure in Pioneer Place

double exposure

double exposure

The automatic exposure feature seems to be spot on. Several of my photos were taken in low light interiors and they still came out fine. These were taken with ISO 400 film.

sing along

sing along 

going up or down?

going up or down?

I am glad the bellows are rubber especially in my wet Pacific Northwest. I’m not as worried about it getting wet as I would be if the bellows were made of  paper.

it's raining

it’s raining

still biking in the rain

still biking in the rain

Peace on earth

Peace on earth

Coming with two lenses, a 58mm and 90mm, allows me to be more creative and take advantage of both wider and closer compositions.

trim the tree and me

trim the tree and me

taking pictures of people taking pictures

taking pictures of people taking pictures

I love this camera and didn’t want to say anything negative about it, but if I am going to be honest I have to give both the pros and cons. These are my cons:

1.     I can’t read the ISO settings without a magnifier. I wish the dial was on top of the camera where it could be easily accessed and seen. OK, I may have older eyes so I handed the camera off to some teenagers and although they could read the dial they said it was difficult. How to combat this? I know the first number is 50 and it goes to 1600 so I just count the stops.

2.      I can’t use a cable release. I’d rather hold down a cable release button during   the long exposures using the ‘bulb’ setting. I hope an adaptor will be in the camera’s future.

3.     All my photos are a bit out of focus. I either need to be more careful when holding the camera or when pushing down the shutter lever. I must be moving the camera. I’ll admit that some of my photos were of moving subjects, but I thought with ISO 400 and decent light that my subjects would be in focus. Oh well, I still like my photos even of they are soft. That’s the beauty of Lomo, right?

selling wreaths

selling wreaths

I think on my next outing I will use my tripod and see if my results are better. Or just make sure I am standing still and holding the camera firmly, with both hands.

shop windows

shop windows

I believe this camera will become a classic. I think all serious collectors of Lomography ought to add this camera to their arsenal. You will not be disappointed.

Bridgeport  Paper Source Oh, and FYI, someone asked me if it was digital.

 

 

 

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About gretchen

I love living in the Pacific Northwest being close to the mountains and the ocean. My hobbies include photography, travel, reading, biking, walking and gardening. I am an Anglophile at heart and try to visit the UK often. My camera goes everywhere with me.
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7 Responses to Out and about in Portland with Lomography’s new Belair X 6-12

  1. Pingback: Follow Up: My @Lomography #BelAir #believeinfilm « jana obscura

  2. janaobscura says:

    Hi gretchen I saw your post on the flickr group discussion panel, but wanted to connect with you here. I just shot my first Bel Air roll through yesterday and was really disappointed in the focus. I was so excited for this camera, hoping it would replace my bulkier holga 120pan but I don’t know if I can love it yet. Shooting with it was simple enough, though I agree I’d love a cable release option. Looking forward to seeing your results with this camera. Mahalo!

    • gretchen says:

      I agree with you. I am also disappointed in the focus. I’ve seen some really sharp photos with it, but I am beginning to think they used a tripod. None of mine are sharp. I, too, have the Holga 120PAN, and believe it does a better job with focus. I am going to plod along with my Belair, trying more things, and I hope I get better results. Right now I’d give it a ‘C’. I don’t think Lomography will like me saying that, but for all the hype they should have done better. Thank you for reading my blog.
      I looked you up and read your blog and am now a follower. I loved your article on pinhole photography. You do beautiful work.
      Have you been to the Tangletown Pub in N Seattle to see the pinhole exhibit? I plan to get up there in the next week or two to have a look.
      “film is not dead”

      • janaobscura says:

        Hi Gretchen, Yes, the Tangletown show is my friend Jeff, who also commented on this post. In fact, if you’re heading there, let me know – I’d love to meet you and discuss our Bel Airs.

        • gretchen says:

          Will do. I’m watching the weather to see if I will be up this week or next, but plan to make it before Christmas. I like Jeff’s photos of the Central Library so plan to make it there too. Any other places you recommend in the Seattle area for film photography: exhibits or stores.
          I figured that you must know Jeff. I’ve been following his work for some time.

  3. Great write up on the Belair X 6-12, its the first write up on its performance I’ve read so far. I’ll be interested to see what else you create with this camera in the future. Cheers, Jeff

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