Yes, that's right. I know what you're thinking... "you built a time machine? out of a delor... err a Lubitel?"
Yes, that’s right. I know what you’re thinking… “you built a time machine? out of a delor… err a Lubitel?”
The answer to that is a resounding “Great Scott! YES!”
So let me explain.
When the Lubitel+ was being reinvented by the Lomography design team, they re-imagined it as a camera that could shoot both medium format and 35mm film. So in order to do that, they built in the ability to rewind film so that 35mm film that needs to return to its canister can be safely rewound.
One of the lucky consequences of this feature is that you can now also rewind medium format film! And with 120 film, there is no guessing how far you’ve rewound, because the frame number is right on the back of the film itself, so you always know precisely where you are on the roll.
So what does this mean? Well, imagine this: you’re walking around your town, and you take a photo of your friend with ice cream all over his face on frame 1 of your film. Over the next hour you shoot 5 more pictures on your roll, including a picture of a crazy white haired old man in a souped-up Delorean on frame 4. You get on a plane to Paris that night, and the next day you want to go shooting by the Eiffel Tower. Wouldn’t it be funny to double-expose frame 1 of your ice cream-faced friend with a classic Parisian scene? Well, you can… just travel back in time to frame 1 by unlocking the advance-wheel lock and rewind your film until you see the “1” appear in the window. Double frame 1 with Paris, then travel back to the future by locking the advance-wheel and simply spinning by frames 2-6. Then after you’ve shot 6 more shots in Paris, you can rewind to frame 4 and double-expose a picture of the clouds from the airplane so the Delorean can now “fly”, then double-expose pictures of your friends with your 6 frames in Paris!
Get the picture?
The camera does not lock you in to any moment in time. You can go back and forth on your roll as many times as you like. As long as you never advance past the 12th frame, you can always rewind the film, over and over again. You can even completely rewind the film back onto its original spool, take it out of the camera, then reload it at a later time (or send it to your friends to shoot over)!
The thing to remember with shooting multiple-exposures with the Lubitel+, just as with any camera, is that you have to under-expose your shots to compensate for the fact that you’re shooting twice on one frame. With the Lubitel+ this is very easy – all you need to do is shoot one or two stops higher, or reduce your exposure rate in half. So if you were going to shoot outdoors with 100 speed film and you’d normally set your camera at f-stop 11 and exposure rate of 125th of a second, you can reduce your exposure 2 ways – shoot at f-stop 16 or even 22, or reduce the exposure setting to 250th of a second. This way you can shoot twice, and not blow out your frame on the first shot. The trick is to keep your exposures even, so make your adjustments based on lighting. Experimentation is the best way to learn how to manage your exposure and aperture.
This incredible time-traveling ability opens up another possible technique with the Lubitel+ – one that I am not sure if any other camera can do, and certainly not with the ease of the Lubitel+: the continuous panoramic double-exposure!
A continuous panoramic is when you advance the frame in increments to achieve a blended look spanning several frames. Lomographers and experimenters alike have been shooting this technique for years with Holgas and Dianas. But with those cameras, once you have advanced the film, you have committed to your frame, and are headed for that take-up spool with no return. But since the Lubitel+ can rewind medium format film, you can shoot a panoramic spanning as many frames of your 120 film as you like, simply rewind to the frame you began at, and shoot again over your panoramic!
Check out my first try at this technique.
The possibilities are endless.
The Lubitel 166+ gives you the freedom to do just about anything, and with its rewind capabilities, you are free to travel back and forth through the 4th dimension of your photographic whims!