Just a quick note, as I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I have now received and made quick scans of the first films I shot using the mighty Belair Belairgon 114mm lens hand-welded in Russia from genuine ex-Soyuz engine nozzles.
The results are sort of heading in the direction of encouraging, at least in the sense that they indicate it my be possible to consider the Belair 6x12 as a valid photographic tool in ideal circumstances. There are hints that something like acceptable sharpness can be obtained, but the total lack of any real control over shutter speed (apart from being certain it’s never going over 1/125th, which is fairly tragic for a 114mm lens on a medium format camera) means that it’s not going to work terribly well hand held.
I also had “fat film” problems which each of the 5 rolls of Velvia 100 I put through it. I had better luck - perhaps helped by the camera modifications I made - with a subsequent batch of Lomo negative film, but I haven’t seen that yet. And, well, Lomo negative film… hmm. I also used a tripod. We shall see.
Anyway, the Belairgon 114mm does actually seem worth at least a little perseverance. The scans here are absolutely not optimised, just quick default scans on a flatbed Canoscan 9000F at 2400dpi. When I have time I’ll see if they’re worth film scanner time.