1st Belair Photos

I’ve been putting off shooting with the Belair, as I’m missing a couple of pieces. The viewfinder I have is for the wide-angle lens (this camera would originally have had two lenses, each with matching finder). I’m also missing the attachment to shoot 12×6 negatives*, I’m stuck with 9×6 and 6×6, which is disappointing; I like a good panoramic photograph. This means that the framing is a bit hit and miss, as I’m not sure how a 90mm lens and 58mm finder work together…

Lomography help desk are working on finding me replacements for these pieces, which is decent of them as I’m not even the original owner of the camera. I thought it would be a bit cheeky to ask for the wide-angle lens too, although I’d have liked to shoot with one, if only to see if they are as ‘soft’ as everyone says. (I’ve shot a bit with Lomography’s Sprocket Rocket camera, and that’s a bit soft, but in a good way.)

Since the Belair is auto exposure, I can shoot slide film with the expectation of it coming out ok. Slide doesn’t really have any latitude, not compared to negative film which you can under or over expose a fair bit before ruining your photographs. Although, some shots have come out with very white skies, so it’s not a perfect system.

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There’s a bit of lens flare on a couple of them, but I’ve located a lens hood for it for next time.

 

 

 

*The Belair takes medium format (‘120’) film, which is quite a bit larger than 35mm, with a corresponding increase in resolution. Although nowhere near as large as some large format film, where sometimes the negatives are 10″x 8″ or bigger.

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Camera not (completely) broken

Diana Mini

Diana Mini

It looks like all is not lost with my Diana Mini camera. Although I managed to snap the shutter lever off a couple of weeks ago, I think this camera is usable. Good job I didn’t throw it away or buy another one.

I had one of those mad moments when I dismantle something with precision screwdrivers, and then when I’ve got a pile of tiny screws and springs (some of which are somewhere on the floor now), realise I have no idea how they went together, even though I was telling myself that I was being really careful and observant… This time was different, I managed to put it back together so it worked, or at least was only as broken as when I started.

There’s no hope for the shutter lever, I could try super-gluing it, but I don’t imagine it would last very long. I did manage to loosen the cable release mechanism enough to get it working, though. You can’t gently squeeze it and expect the shutter to trip, you have to use a bit of pressure and speed, but at least it’s not going to give you camera shake like the stiff lever was prone to do. So… it works, and I can take photos with it. Result.

I just need a slightly shorter cable release, now, so I don’t look quite so silly using a release cable on a tiny plastic box.

Goodbye Diana…

It’s not a person, it’s a camera. I recently got a secondhand Diana Mini, because I liked that it was ridiculously small and light, and that you could take either square or half-frame photos with it (and switch between the two between shots). I don’t think there are any other cameras still in production that take square shots on 35mm film.  Of course, I could just take normal rectangular shot and crop it, but that doesn’t force you to compose your shot for a square.

Diana Mini

Diana Mini

The lens is plastic, so from a technical point of view it’s a bit crap, but the shots have a certain something, a dreamy vagueness to them. I like the effect.

St Chad's

St Chad’s

Fish Street

Fish Street

And now the camera has broken, as the shutter lever, which was a bit stiff, has now snapped. I’d only shot one roll with it, so this is very annoying. This is the downside to things being light; plastic snaps. It was secondhand, so its unlikely I’ll get them to replace it for me.

I might buy another one*. Or I could save my pennies and add them to the ‘film developing’ fund.

 

 

*Or maybe it could be argued that I enough cameras already.

Multiple Bridge

Multiple Bridge

Multiple Bridge

I’ve recently bought a Diana Mini, a Lomography camera which is plastic and very very small. It takes either 24mm x 24mm square photos or half-frame photos. It is also very handy for taking multiple exposure shots with, as the shutter is mostly independent of the film winder.

Diana Mini, Agfa Vista Plus 200.

(there are more of my photos on my photo blog thing at mostlytrees.wordpress.com)

Pinhole Photography (early attempts)

One of my more recent camera purchases has a neat feature: you can take the lens off and use it as a pinhole camera. Photos taken like this have a dreamy look to them, or sometimes surreal.  These are my first shots to be developed (apart from 2 on a previous roll that didn’t come out that well).

Flooded Park #1

Flooded Park #1

These were taken in the Quarry Park in Shrewsbury, where the river Severn has burst its banks.

Flooded Park #2

Flooded Park #2

I get confused sometimes which shots were pinhole and which were normal, as I can change from shot to shot with this camera. Generally the focus on shots taken with the lens look sharper, but I can’t always tell…

Yes… Another New Camera! The Belair X 6-12

I had decided this year to stop buying cameras, and sell some of my 35mm collection as I wasn’t really shooting with them all and there were some I wasn’t that fussed about keeping. I’d bought a Fuji XF1 in the sales, so I had a really good digital camera too. Now I’ve got a Lomography Belair X 6-12.

Belair x 6-12

Belair x 6-12

I somehow decided to start shooting 120 film, in addition to 35mm, and ended up buying a few medium format cameras. This new one is one of them. (I also have a Baby Bessa and a Zeiss Ikon Nettar).

There aren’t many new film cameras being made today, not at the consumer end of the market (at least not at the affordable end of it), and certainly not shooting 120 film. One of the advantages of 120 film over 35mm, is the size of the negatives, the standard size is 6cm x 6cm and 6cm x 9cm is common. This camera can shoot both of those, plus 12cm x 6cm – which I’m hoping with be great for panoramas.

The camera is quite big – it needs to be – but not too heavy. Even though it’s plastic, it doesn’t feel too flimsy. Unfortunately, it is missing one of the lenses (which is why I got it cheap) but somehow the viewfinder is the one that matches the missing lens… so I’ll have to guess what is in my shot, unless I can get a finder from somewhere! (The other lens is wide-angle).