After speaking of the main technical specifications I liked the most, let’s discover what’s missing to the “amazing features list” of the stunning Lubitel 166+. Some features belong to the original old Lubitel 166 Universal project, but since Lomography redesigned this camera, many new features have been added.
The reason why the Lubitel 166+ is mainly made of plastic is quite simple: because plastic is lighter than metal. The original Lubitel was designed for photography students, who hadn’t the money to afford a full metal camera and needed to carry it with ease. If you tried a Rolleiflex TLR you surely know how hard it is to take it with you all the day: the result is that your neck aches!
The new Lubitel 166+ can easily focus to 0.8 meters, while the original one could focus only to 1.4 meters. This feature will give you the opportunity to try with new near focus images: in portraits, you can focus on the hands (or feet! Try to be creative!) and leave the face just a little bit out of focus. I think that there are thousands of different experiments that you can do while playing with focus.
If you don’t want to lose the decisive moment, you can use the zone focus indication that are present in the upper lens: it’s just like the LC-A, because you have the same stops (0.8, 1.5, 3, infinite), but also some intermediate indications. The Lubitel is a camera designed for people who want to go slow and think about the picture they are going to shoot, but with this feature you will not lose a quick scene that is happening near you.
The Lack of Batteries
I think that this is one of the things I love more about this camera. I’m not joking: I really can’t stand batteries and I hate to waste film rolls just because I forgot about checking if the batteries are charged. This problem happened so many times with my very old LC-A. Well, you don’t have to care about that with the Lubitel 166+ and just have fun with shooting!
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+.