As great as the Lubitel 166+ is, there is one major disadvantage: the minimum focusing distance. While 80cm is close enough at most occasions, sometimes I would like to get closer. The easy solution to this is using close up filters, but most people who use use them end up guessing the correct focusing distance. From now on, you no longer have to guesstimate, but you can actually focus your image using your viewing lens! Read on and find out how.
If you take a stroll through my recently uploaded photos, you’ll notice that most are taken with the Lubitel 166+. This beauty is without a doubt my favorite camera! And even though I love and adore it, there’s a few things missing to make it the greatest camera ever. Not too long ago I showed you how you could make a splitzer for the Lubitel 166+. And in this tipster I’ll give you an easy solution on how to make focussed close up shots with this camera.
The key to making close up shots, when your camera has a fixed lens, are diopter filters or close up filters. The good thing about the Lubitel 166+ is that both the viewing lens and the taking lens have threaded fronts. So in theory, you could just screw the same diopter filter into both and you would be set to go. If life were only that easy… After a long and extensive search looking for filters that would fit the top lens, I simply had to admit there are certain things that cannot be bought online! That was an unfortunate first! But a true DIY-er never gives up…
So I started looking at rings and filters that were available with a 26mm diameter, the size needed for the viewing/focusing lens. The only thing I could find was a 26-30mm step-up ring. Since I already had a set of 37mm close-up filters for my LC-A+, I decided I would go for a 26-30mm step-up + 30-37mm step-up + 37mm filter combination for the top lens.
Finding filters for the bottom/taking lens, is a lot easier. Sets with 40,5mm close up filters are cheaply and freely available. Since I had to use 2 step-up ring on the top lens, the filter was moved further forward compared to the bottom filters, which screwed straight into the camera. To correct for this difference I used what may look like an odd combination: 40,5-37 step-down + 37-40,5 step-up + 40,5 filter. This way both the top and bottom combination are closely as they could be.
If you screw all the bits and pieces nicely together you’ll end up with a camera that lets you get really close to your subject AND lets you focus using the bright split focus screen! So no more guesstimating the distance but actually focus!
The one thing you have to keep in mind is, that since you will be getting really close to your subject, there will be a greater parallax. Also, as long as you are indoors working in controlled conditions, this is easy as pie. But if you are heading outside, you better be very patient and hope for a wind-free day! Other than that, let the close up fun begin ;-)