Love & Sprockets: A Lubitel 166+ Masterclass

11

There is something so exciting about shooting 35mm film through a medium format camera when the sprocket holes on the film are exposed. The Diana+ can do it courtesy of the 35mm back. And with some tape and foam and rubber-bands you can Macgyver something effective on some other cameras. But I’ve never used a camera that shoots 35mm film through the sprocket holes with the quality and control of the Lomo Lubitel 166+.

There is something so exciting about shooting 35mm film through a medium format camera when the sprocket holes on the film are exposed. The Diana+ can do it courtesy of the 35mm back. And with some tape and foam and rubber-bands you can Macgyver something effective on some other cameras. But I’ve never used a camera that shoots 35mm film through the sprocket holes with the quality and control of the Lomo Lubitel 166+.

To understand how to shoot 35mm photos on a Lubitel+, you must first understand some of the cool new features that the camera comes loaded with.

First, in order to shoot 35mm film and then be able to rewind the film, you need a rewind lever. The Lubitel+ boasts the same rewind lever as the LC-A+, which allows you to rewind any film you put inside the camera, including 120 film (more on that in a future master class). In order to rewind film, you must first unlock the take-up spool lock located on the advance wheel, which is also a new feature in this camera.

Since the Lubitel+ is first and foremost a medium format camera, it has a film counter window for 120 film. So while shooting 35mm film, you must cover the window with the window plug so that light does not expose your film through the window.

On the side of the camera there is a film counter with 2 small windows. In one window you will see a counter number, and in the other you will see little white dots. The film counter is self-explanatory, as it just counts frames. The dot lets you know how far to advance your film so your pictures do not overlap. Just stop at every dot and your exposures will be evenly spaced apart.

Loading the film is literally a snap as well. Your Lubikin set that comes with every Lubitel 166+ is all you need to convert your medium format Lubitel+ into a 35mm camera. First change the take-up spool with the 35mm take up spool by releasing the top film post and advance wheel, and the spool will just snap into place. Make sure the lock is lined up and secure so your film will advance normally once you have it loaded.

Then take the 35mm film spool holder and release the clamp that holds the film canister in place. Slide the film canister into place, and snap in the clamp. Then load the film with the pointed edge of the film holder facing the inner bottom corner.

Next insert the 35mm pressure plate into position on the rear hood, set your counter to S by rolling the 35mm counter wheel forward. Now load the film into the take-up spool and wind it around once or twice making sure it is secure. That’s it, you’re ready to close the hood and wind your film advance to the first frame.

Now the fun begins. You’ve got all the control of the Lubitel 166+ at your fingertips… the wide-range of f-stop choices, the full range of exposure settings – from bulb all the way down to 250th of a second.

The charm of this camera is that you are shooting naturally at portrait framing, but you can also take landscape shots by turning the camera sideways and looking into the viewfinder on the side. It takes a bit of getting used to, as for one you are looking sideways at something in front of you, and the image is also upside down! But after a few shots, you’ll find this a very interesting approach, as it gets you more involved in your photo, and you find yourself really composing your shots. This is a further extension of the Lubitel process of taking photos, where you are always more intimately involved than with any other camera.

The Lubitel 166+ comes with 2 overlays to put on the viewfinder to help you line up your shots more accurately (one for 4.5 × 6 shooting, and one for 35mm film). Using the overlay gives you an accurate sense of what will fall within the sprocket holes, which really lets you imagine what your photos will look like.

The Lubitel 166+ is truly the ultimate camera for 35mm sprocket shooting. Total convenience and total control.

Happy shooting, and love and sprockets to you all!

written by ouroborosx on 2008-10-13 in #gear #tipster #lubitel #sprockets #166 #35mm #tipster #masterclass #lubikin

11 Comments

  1. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    i love this new function! it is so easy! shot more rolls today and will upload them asap

  2. tmmluis
    tmmluis ·

    /me cry...

  3. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    amazing shots. i want a lubitel...

  4. pantsuitugggh
    pantsuitugggh ·

    I'd really love to know the film used to take all those portraits of the women in the floral print dress on the Brooklyn Bridge. Simply amazing.

  5. ouroborosx
    ouroborosx ·

    @pantsuitugggh

    there were 2 different films... the more normal looking shots were taken with kodak 160nc film (expired)... and the xpro'd shots are kodak 100vs (also expired and one of the films you MIGHT get in the 35mm surprise packs)... :)

  6. pantsuitugggh
    pantsuitugggh ·

    Agh that'd be the Kodak 160nc. Thanks!

  7. its_gone
    its_gone ·

    Can you do this with a normal 166?

  8. jennay_jean
    jennay_jean ·

    i'm having a hard time getting my film holder to fit in and then be able to close the camera for some reason. any suggestions anyone?

  9. jennay_jean
    jennay_jean ·

    ahhh. i figured it out. the pointy corner of the holder goes under the springy metal tab and into the bottom outer corner of the film compartment. the springy tab holds it down. hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!! that only took me forever. what the heck? it really wasn't that difficult. haha

  10. legfreak
    legfreak ·

    Nice feature, which got me into convincing my wife to offer me the lubitel last spring. But haven't tried the 35mm sprocket format yet, as i just love the 120 square too.
    anyway, my english being not quite fluent, either in talking or in reading, i get a little confused seeing your paragraphs talking about the film counter of the 166+ in that article, just after saying you must keep it shut for 35mm films (as they got no paper back). So this paticular paragraph is just to explain the feature for 120 film, right ?
    Some really cool shots on the brookyn bridge (and nearby), byt he way.

  11. bettinaleme
    bettinaleme ·

    These pictures look great! Lubitel is amazing! When shooting with 35mm will the sprocket holes always appear or not necessarily?
    Thanks!

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