Lomo Belair X 6-12 is a strut-folding 120 film camera, 3 formats: 6x6,
6x9 and 6x12,
released in 2012 by Lomographische AG, Vienna. It's a toy or fun
camera, all plastic, even the lenses. There is an instant film back
available, it takes Fuji Instax Wide film, shown here. The camera design resembles
to early Polaroid J66 cameras with their struts and their "electric
eye". It's not a cheap camera, but it has reasonable prices second hand.
The Lomo Belair X 6-12
is a recent model of a 120 film camera. It has 2 basic finders with format
index, 4-zone focus, an electronic shutter system and 2 Lomo plastic
Size (mm): 180 x 84 x 49 body only, 180 x 108 x 68 folded, finder and lens attached Weight: 400 g, 450 g Lens: LOMO Plastic 8/58, 8/90, closest focus 1 m Shutter: electronic, B >1 - 1/125, F 8 or 16 Finder: 2 simple finders, 1 for each lens Film advance: red window
are some photos of the camera. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it
feels at the bottom of the page.
front, folded. No lens attached. Left: shutter lever. To the right of the lens opening: photo cell.
from the back. 2 red windows, slider for choice, one stays open.
Front, wide lens and finder attached.
Seen from the bottom. Camera unfolding button, tripod socket. Far left and right: camera back unlock.
from above. Hot shoe, Finder attached (and lens), film winding device.
extended. Lens board: battery compartment on the left side (2x LR44).
Aperture and distance setting at the front of the lens.
Left side. Shutter lever.
. Right side. Film speed setting dial and B mode setting at the back of the lens board.
Camera open, film chamber and back detached, with 6x12 frame installed.
of film chamber. I put some foam the prevent film slackening, as there
are no springs. If you have "fat rolls", i.e. rolls that are not wound
tightly, you can put some foam into the other film compartment as well.
Have it well glued, if not, it detaches and will be wound into the film
roll and ruin it.
Roll film equipment. 3 format masks, 6x6, 6x9 and 6x12.
you never had a Lomography camera, this one might be too expensive for
a start. Get yourself a simple one like the Diana, maybe second hand,
and have a test, whether you can live with this kind of basic plastic
camera. Lomography is more a state of mind, there is also some hype
about it. Seen the quality, you may find them expensive; on the other
hand people buy I-Phones although you can easily find out how much the
production costs have been. Lomography still believes in film and
they make new products, like this Belair.There is a price for this,
just take it or leave it. It's capability to take 6x12 photographs is
quite unique. If you want to buy a solid camera for this format, it's
10 times the price of the Belair.
The Lomo Belair can do 3
different formats. You have to make your decision before putting the
film roll and to clip the according mask into the camera. The 58mm lens
gives you the equivalent of 21mm (that's really wide!) on 6x12, 26mm on
6x9 and 35mm on 6x6. The 90mm lens gives 32mm on 6x12, 40mm on 6x9 and
52mm on 6x6. The lenses are simple all plastic and only do F8 or F16,
which isn't very bright and neither a wide range. So high sensitive
film is a better choice. Focusing has 4 zones, no intermediates; it's
1m, 1,50m, 3m and ∞. At F8 with the 90mm lens there are gaps, areas out
of focus, e.g. between 4m (3m setting) and 6m (∞ setting). At F16 zones
just overlap. The 58mm just overlaps at F8 and has wide margins at F16.
If you keep this in mind, you can adapt your picture composition and
have nice effects.
a Lomo Belair X 6-12 is a bit different, but easy once you are used to it, the rest is quite like other folding cameras. Loading film
is fine. Open the
camera back and put the
film roll into place, the pegs are on bendable plastic, so don't force. Same
procedure for the take-up spool. Insert the film
into the spool and advance it using the advance device until it's firmly engaged. Close the camera back. Advance the film
via the device, until the appropriate red window will
show "1" for 6x6 and 6x9. For 6x12 it's the even numbers, 2, 4, ... in the 6x6 window.
the camera opening button on the bottom and extend the struts. Set
aperture and focus distance. Look
through the finder and compose your picture. Press the shutter lever.
it. Advance the film to the next
picture. Press the middle of the struts and collapse them to fold the
camera. The finders are quite random, they show much more than you will
have on the photo. So leave some margin. The exposure measuring system
gets it quite right under normal circumstances. If your subject is in
the shade and you are in a more sunny area, it gets it completely
wrong, it under-exposes severely. You can easily compensate with the
ISO dial, but don't forget to put it back.
bought the Belair for the 6x12 format and the Instax back.
The Lomo Belair X 6-12
is a nice, very light camera, easy to use. It fits
into a coat pocket. It's Lomo, so it should be
fun, no strive for quality. You should want and accept some surprise
results. I like it a lot.
gereral words about Lomography and their service: There is a 2-year
warranty, at least in Europe. My personal experience with their service
is very good. As most of their cameras are made of (cheap) plastic,
there is no repair, they just exchange your defective camera. You have
to send it in to their Vienna office at your expenses, which is not cheap
if you are not based in Austria, but they try to compensate by adding
film or so to the return. You absolutely need a proof of purchase,
there was heavy abuse by fraudulent customers they told me. So if you
buy second hand or your camera is gift, be sure to put your hands on
the proof of purchase. After the 2-years warranty period it's over.
They will try to help for the expensive not-so-plastic cameras like the
LC series, but for the rest there is no repair. Keep this in mind for
the prices you pay for older gear.