Friday, October 19, 2012

Lomography do want? Indeed I do!

Sorry I have been posting very little this year, I've just been dealing with a cross country move and other little "gets in the way of doing blog posts" moments. I still shoot weekly, but I haven't done anything new and exciting with cameras recently. But I feel like I have to share this one! There is a new Lomography camera coming out soon, and while I know this can illicit groans and shouts of joy from various shooters, this one actually looks pretty sweet. This is the Belair X 6-12, a 120 camera that allows for three output sizes (via an internal mask, I assume, similar to the Holga and Diana+), automatic exposure, and interchangeable lenses!

Though it is zone focusing, which means no rangefinder. This is how you use your Holga and Diana (and LC-A), where you set the focus on the camera by set distances, with some guestimation. And if that little tab on the top is the film winder, that might be kind of annoying. It looks very pretty, though eerily similar to the Polaroid J33, as seen here (my modified version).

Lomography is very good at copying other camera designs, with modifications. I won't go into all of the details on the Belair, since you can read all about it here on the Lomography site, but I can tell you why I find it a possibly exciting prospect. The camera features three shooting sizes, a very panoramic 6x12, 6x9, and 6x6 (again, probably via a replacable interior mask). It also includes two wide lenses, a 90mm and a 58mm (which they say is the equivalent of a 21mm on 35mm film). have a lens that covers a very large area. If it can do 12 centimeters for the width, it can do 12 for the height. This is about 4.5 inches coverage, basically making it a 4x5 lens. So, for me, this makes the entire system ripe for experimentation! What could you put that lens on? I want to shoot Polaroid film with it! I will have to have the camera in my hands (I pre-ordered one) to see exactly what can be done with it, but a few ideas come to mind...
First, I could modify the Belair. The main problem with this is that height of the exposure area most likely doesn't cover a Polaroid. This would also be an issue with trying to put the lens on the J33, which looks to have a similar focal length, but does not cover the exposure area of Type 100. Another option may be modifying a J66, which does cover the area of Polaroid Type 100.
Though this may have a longer focal length. Again, I will have to have the actual camera in my hand to compare sizes to figure out some options. Another option might be to build something out of a Polaroid back, or maybe work with a 4x5 camera (which opens up even more possibilities using 4x5 film!). Lots to think about, but you can see my gears are clicking along, rusty as they are.
So, yes, some people love to hate Lomography, while others are lomography fanatics to an annoying degree, but this does really look like a decent camera, for a decent price considering what you are getting (and even cheaper if you preorder now). And anything that encourages 120 use and continued production is a good thing.
With winter coming (my first long-term cold period in many years), I imagine I will be doing more indoors screwing about with cameras, which I hope will lead to more blog posts! Look for more on this new Belair camera here in the near future, and whatever else I come up with.

Oh, and if you use Instagram, you can find me as "Moominsean". Seeya!


  1. I still love your blog every time I visit! :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I must say that it sounds/looks interesting..... Especially if you can use an old polaroid 4*5back.

  4. love :)

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  6. I bought the Belair at launch on an impulse ... I wish they had released the glass lens at launch also as I would have bought that on impulse also.

    The frame sizes are indeed controlled with an internal plastic mask, it also came with a 58mm and 90mm plastic lenses. Each lens has its own finder with little triangle marks inside for the frame sizes 6, 9, and 12.

    Focus, is guessO'Matic with markings for distance. Auto shutter/aperture control via an ISO dial, powered by some button batteries. Same batteries as an LC-A I think.

    Two red windows one for 6x9, and another that doubles for 6, and 12. For 12 you advance the film twice, start on 1 Click ... wind on to 3 Click ... etc. Also double expose if you like, no frame control.

    Warning; the Black one (City Slicker) is ALL PLASTIC, and feels on the cheapy side (disappointing for the money paid) ... I should have forked out the extra 30 the metal edged one ... if it really is metal.

    I've only had the chance to run 2-3 rolls through it so far. The 6x12 is the best part of it.

    Not sure if you could use a polaroid back for it.

    I haven't found my groove with it yet, so I'm cutting it some slack.

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