Yet another review of this awesome TLR!
I usually loath the TLR (twin-lens reflex) system on any camera. There are, as part of a wide list of reasons, accuracy issues, of the user not knowing what the hell the camera actually sees. Speculation isn’t enough. I will always heart SLRs over TLRs every time. Except when it comes to my Lubitel 166+. Using the money that I had, I bought this stunningly inexpensive ($350US/€300) gadget (depends on one’s socio-economic status, though it is far cheaper in comparison to, say, the Hasselblads and other medium-format cameras, whose prices range in the thousands of dollars) from the online store. And holy Christ is it ever awesome.
It’s an all plastic, entirely mechanical creature, with glass lenses, and a flash shoehorn. It’s f-stop ranges from f4.5 to f22 (in one stop increments), has shutter speeds of 250, 125, 60, 30, 15 and bulb, and has a focus range from 0.8 meters to infinity. If course, if you twist it to the left far enough, it produces a bit of macro focus. A bit. It can take either 35mm or 120, and can produce panoramics or multiple exposures, though for 35mm, it can’t produce smaller frames. Finally, it’s very compact and lightweight, easy to handle.
The images it produces are, however, utterly stunning, with tremendous sharpness. Buying it earlier this year, I never used this thing or any other medium format before, but learned how very quickly within a few months because it’s easy to use, and some helpful instructions on the back that shows the right exposures for each shot. Most of the time I thought the shots were going to be over-exposed, though the great results had constantly proven me wrong, and makes this the only goddamned TLR I will not surrender. Though I’d fail to hesitate in buying an SLR version of the Lubitel… which is not going to be manufactured anytime soon. Even so, the Lubitel 166+ is not leaving my cold, dead hands.