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166+ Series #08: Ancestors (Part 2)

Let’s continue analyzing the ancestors of the amazing Lubitel 166 Universal. Through the history it’s possible to recognize why many functions and main features are like that. The ancestors of the Lubitel 166 Universal (and so also of the Lubitel 166+) are quite interesting, not for collecting’s interests.

LUBITEL 2 [1955 – 1980]

Another Bakelite amazing model, the Lubitel 2 is simply an upgrade of the first Lubitel model (see the previous article), in fact there are only really small changes on the first project: self-timer, flash sync and a small housing on the side for two lens filters.

The lifetime of this model was more or less 25 years. Many people say that this is because of the lack of interest on photography (caused by economical problems of Russia during the cold war), but other are strictly convinced that it’s because of the high quality of the engineering project, which made this camera really competitive with the other models, produced by other companies.

  • Curious note: If you compare a few Lubitel 2’s from different years, you’ll notice a marked difference in the texture; that’s because of the changes made on the Bakelite case texture through the decades.
  • Another curious note: Lubitel 2’s were produced with both Latin and Cyrillic nameplates, because it was the first Lubitel model to be exported.

LUBITEL 166 [1976 – 1986]

Bakelite no more. This is the first Lubitel model that is made with modern plastic materials (the case). For collectors, this is an extremely rare model to get and usually people tend not to sell it, because of the value it can gain through the next decades (because of the “vintage revolution”). Only 70,000 models were produced. Technical improvements were made: a film counter (rather than a red window) and a coupled advance and shutter cock.

  • Curious note: There are several collectible variants, so the work of collectors is quite hard this time. One of the most famous alternative editions was made in 1980, in order to commemorate the Moscow Olympic Games.

Alessandro Panelli (aka yo.panic or .panic) is a Medicine and Surgery student, a photographer and a writer from Padova (Italy, near Venice). Read more about Alessandro’s work and life here or add him on Facebook or Google+.

written by yopanic

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 日本語 & Türkçe.