Hello Folks

Well I got myself an early Christmas present in the mail this evening. Turns out my wife ordered me a Belair X 6-12 and it came early! Way cool. I'm such a lucky guy.

For those who don't know what this camera it, you can check out the Lomo microsite here:

http://microsites.lomography.com/belair/

I thought a few people on this forum might be interested to hear my first impressions of the camera. Keep in mind, I got the limited edition "Globetrotter" which I guess has slightly better build materials than the other two models. That being said, my first impressions are very favorable. I would say the sturdiness feels on par with a Lomo LC-A. It is certainly a toy camera, but it feels solid. Far better than a Holga but by no means an old Zeiss Ikon folder either.

The camera came packed in a nice presentation box with the camera body, two viewfinders, and two lenses wrapped in a black cloth. The viewfinder(s) itself is actually reasonably large and bright. It comes with two, a 90mm and a 58mm with the two interchangeable lenses to match. As one would expect from a toy camera, the lenses are mostly plastic but they do have a solid "snap" when you attach them to the body and they seem firmly set once attached. To my surprise the bellows are a pretty thick rubber material that feels like it will last awhile. The front of the camera extends very easily but it feels a little stiff and awkward when closing it back up again. It not unlike an old Polaroid Land camera in its feel and ergonomics, though it is considerably smaller.

The camera takes two button cell batteries which did not come with the camera. Opening the battery compartment was a bit of a bitch (I have very short finger nails) so hopefully I won't have to do that too often. I had to run to the store to buy some batteries and by the time I got home it was dark and not really a great way to run a test roll through the camera. I will say though it was easy to load a roll into it. It wasn't "holga like" in the sense that the roll of 120 felt firm and tight, not loose like is often the case with Holga cameras. Winding is a little clunky like pretty much every other toy camera out there.

I'm looking forward to making some images with this during my lunch hour tomorrow in daylight hours. Again, there is certainly no mistaking that this is a "toy camera" when you hold it in your hand. It is also by no means the size and shape of something you would be putting in your pocket. Given that it is a 6x12 format I would hope nobody would assume it could be. Overall though, I think I'm going to have fun with this!