My Lubitel Story: No, It's Not a Rolleiflex


No it's not a Rolleiflex and it's not a Hasselblad I'm holding in my hands. But people sometimes think so when they see me standing there with my Lubitel pointed at a great motive ready to take the picture. "It's a LUBITEL", I tell them and they just look at me sceptically.

No it’s not a Rolleiflex and it’s not a Hasselblad I’m holding in my hands. But people sometimes think so when they see me standing there with my Lubitel pointed at a great motive ready to take the picture. “It’s a LUBITEL”, I tell them and they just look at me sceptically.

“It’s a russian “copy” of one of the cameras you mentioned but it’s better!" They shake their heads in disbelief and don’t bother me with any more questions. I take the picture and move on to the next motive where other people stop and ask me questions. “What kind of film do you use?” Medium format, 120 is my answer. Again there’s a sceptical look on the faces.

My first encounter with my Lubitel was on a flea market in Hamburg, St.Pauli. It was night, we were out for a drink but there was this flea market and I can never resist them so I went around to have a look and there it was: a Lubitel! I didn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. I took it, tried all the different levers and it seemed to be working. But I was afraid to ask for the price. I thought it had to be very expensive but the guy behind the table offered the camera for a very low price and I took it! It was the best buy ever.

Over the last year the Lubitel was with me all the time. I lost the little screw that holds the spool on the left right at the beginning so changing the film wasn’t and still isn’t always easy. At first I didn’t know that I could adjust the focus but when I finally found out how to do it the pictures turned out even better, perfect. Then the self-timer broke and it took me some time to get hold of a cable release. The next thing that fell off was the fastener that keeps the back closed. I secured it with gaffer tape. So my Lubitel has some faults but they all have no impact on the pictures! It’s a reliable, easy to use and at the same time professional camera whose pictures are often mistaken for as Rolleiflex pictures which makes me feel proud!

A few weeks ago I went to a photo tour with other lomographers and photographers and wherever we stopped and took pictures there were people asking what kind of camera the Lubitel is and if they could take a look through the viewfinder. I like it when people are interested in this little black “bitch”. I think it’s great that they approach me and ask me what I’m doing there. They would not do so when seeing someone with a digital camera. So I can tell them all about analogue photography and the fun of it. And they are always exhilarated that analogue is not dead and that medium format lovers are still out there – with a Lubitel in their hands.

written by graefin on 2008-09-30 in #news #flea-market #analogue-photography #excitement #russian #lubitel #people #medium-format #phototour


  1. lazyrabbit
    lazyrabbit ·

    1st shot is insane! lovely story too! im just about to run my 1st colour film through my lubitel so hopefully i can get something like this! :)

  2. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Absolutely lovely story, the sky is stunning did you use a Rollei! haha(Joke) mad pics, did you sling the ikea lampshade up there?

  3. halfawakehaiku
    halfawakehaiku ·

    it's so strange I visited your beta home and clicked on the very same image with the dog. Very nice story. It's a Lubitel... bitch hahaha. kidding :)

  4. mgnuman
    mgnuman ·

    i love LUBITEL....

    Yours Pic it's amazing.

  5. graefin
    graefin ·

    wow that was fast :D
    Thanks a lot for your nice words.

    and yes kyle it's an IKEA lampshade. It hung at the street sign during a flea market ;)

  6. ipdegirl
    ipdegirl ·

    Took mine to a street fair last week and gave one guy a dissertation on the Lubi and how great it was. He said his Mom had a camera that looked like it and he was going to try to figure out how to use it. Let's hope I made a convert to film!

  7. maddyoulook
    maddyoulook ·

    the 4th shot is so cool!

  8. mattydk
    mattydk ·

    A great story, thanks for sharing. I had the same thing yesterday when i went to a local nature park, a woman asked if i was using a Hasselblad. I had to show her the beauty of the Lubitel! ;)

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