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> Lubitel 166 Universal +
Lubitel 166 Universal +
This is a Chinese made resurrection of an ever-popular Lubitel-166U.
Back in 1946, the first Lomo Lubitel camera was created in Leningrad. With a twin-lens design (one lens for viewing the scene and one for shooting it) and plastic body, this fully manual and inexpensive medium format camera put pro-quality images within the reach of the Soviet public. Its name, meaning “Amateur” in Russian, reflected its simplicity. Several models of Lubitels were introduced until production ended in the mid 1990’s.
We’ve been well acquainted with the Lubitel for decades, and have often daydreamed of breathing new life into this beauty. From our research – both online and offline – the Lubitel is the most beloved out-of-production camera for the International Community of Lomographers. We were compelled to step up and bring this icon back to life!
The body was re-cast using a duplication of the original mold. The gorgeous glass lens was meticulously rebuilt. The bright colors, bold contrast, and exceptional sharpness of the original coated glass Lubitel lens have all been faithfully reproduced in the new Lubitel+ lens. And a host of all new features were engineered into the camera, including the ability to shoot BOTH medium format and 35mm film.
The Lubitel+ is a twin lens reflex camera. A viewing lens on top looks at your subject and a taking lens on the bottom shoots them. The viewing lens feeds an image to your eye via the top-down viewfinder, a smooth and sizable piece of glass which you can peer into at waist level and easily compose your image. Controls are fully manual – and two built-in exposure guides tell you the appropriate shutter & aperture setting for any light situation. Choose your own technique for each shot: shallow or long depth of field, slow shutter speeds for blurry subjects or fast ones to freeze action.
The overall feeling of shooting a Lubitel+ is thoughtful, intimate, and quite romantic. Not to mention humorous, straightforward, intense, atmospheric, centered, focused, strange, light, silent, surprising, passionate, and amateurish in the best sense of the word! Whether you’re a twin-lens veteran or completely new to the manual thing, the Lubitel+ will take your hand and guide to you image possibilities that you’ve never before known.
Source images and text: Lomographic Society