The Wonderful Viewfinder of the Lubitel 166+

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The Lubitel 166 Universal was my first medium format camera, that I found in a flea market many years ago for few dollars. Last year I bought the new and improved Lubitel 166+ on the Online Shop of Lomography. Great camera, with an awesome and bright viewfinder!

Some months ago, I went to the Lomography Gallery Store in Milan to withdraw some 120mm developments and scans, and I saw on a shelf the new Lubitel 166+. As a first sight, I was impressed by its new viewfinder, which I found bright and with interesting focusing aids, as the microprism and the split image system.

Credits: sirio174

The split image focusing system allows me to use the camera in many dynamic situations, as in this rugby match (Rugby Como v/S Rugby Busto, third division of Italian Rugby Championship).

Credits: sirio174

The viewfinder covers 100% of the image, allowing a better composition without the need of cropping the images.

Credits: sirio174

The lens is sharp and the plasticity of the images is incredible!

Credits: sirio174

I love the 120mm format because I print with great enlargement with my Meopta Opemus 7 enlarger!

Credits: sirio174

All these photos were taken using an Ilford HP5+ developed in R09 Spezial (a new version of the fine grain developer Rodinal Special).

Credits: sirio174

This camera is a great companion of my Lubitel 166U!

written by sirio174 on 2012-10-02 in #reviews

5 Comments

  1. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    The 166+ is the most overpriced camera ever, £289 for Lubitel!!!! for that you could get a Bronica SQ!!! or 3 Minolta cords, 1 and a half Mamiya C330's or 20 lubitel 2's off ebay. The lens is not sharp at all, and the viewfinder compared to something like the autocord is woeful. Id rather own an original lubitel as they are better made and aren't chinese made unreliable bits of plastic.

  2. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    The Lubitel's got a warranty, is in production, and is decent enough. If you don't want one from LSI, get one from a sketchy Ukranian guy on ebay.

  3. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    The 166+ is a well made camera!

  4. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    So your paying the huge price for warranty?? i got my lubitel 2 for a local camera store fully tested and working with a warranty for £25. Hey if you are happy with it thats all that matters its just for me the price you pay could go much further on a better, more versatile camera with limitations, the bronica SQ for example.

  5. lubitagat
    lubitagat ·

    Sorry, brandkow93, but you are wrong. The problem is that so many people confuse the 166+ with the older Lubitels. This is a totally new camera. If you haven't looked through the finder of a 166+, you just don't know what you are talking about. I know you haven't, because anyone who has cannot possibly say the following: the viewfinder compared to something like the autocord is woeful.

    That is true of FSU Lubitels. But the 166+ is totally redesigned. The fresnel viewfinder is bright, flat, sharp, and contains a split-image microprism finder. This is something that most other TLR's never had to begin with and it's an amazing focusing aid. This feature alone brings the 166+ up and well beyond most TLR's for ease of focusing. Because of this feature, I have a hard time saying that the 166+ is overpriced. Combined with its other features, I have an even harder time saying it's overpriced.

    Lucky for us, the 166+ is only $244 US on sale now. So while you can get less old beat up cameras for the purchase price of a new 166+ than you used to, the only place you're going to find a viewfinder this good is on a late model Rollei, and for the price of a good used Rollei, you can get well more than one 166+. For the price of a new Rollei, you can get about a twenty new 166+ cameras, enough for you and all your friends.

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