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US Cityslicker Sixsixty: My Analogue Wishes …Lubitel Love!

Winter is right around the corner and it's time to start wishing for that special gift. If you love Lomography and want to step up your photo game; then you should definitely be wishing for the best camera in their lineup: The Lubitel 166+. It may not be Valentine's Day yet but Lubitel is for lovers...Lovers of amazing photos! Let's take a quick look at this camera and all the awesomeness you could be shooting! Plus, do yourself a favor and add this to the top of your wish list!

A year ago—in a galaxy far, far away—this camera was on the top of my wish list. I just LOVED the look of it and all the amazing pictures people were posting from this camera. It was a “must have” for me just based on that. However, I had no Idea what was in store for me with this beautiful camera… So, like any wish list, it NEEDED to be fulfilled. And, thanks to a special someone, this camera was fast on it’s way to me. Maybe that special someone was me. I won’t name names…It was me.

First thing you notice when you get this camera is the stunning details in the packaging. Lomography has some of the best product packaging designers out there. You really feel like you’re getting something special. Side note: YOU ARE!

But, we’re here to talk about the camera…Let me lay it all out for you and give you the top 5 reasons I absolutely adore this camera and why I think it needs to be on everyone’s list—and in everyone’s hands—this year.

1. Formats.
This may be one of Lomography’s higher priced cameras, but when you realize how much this camera does and how many formats it offers, it is a true value. Very few cameras offer 120 and 35mm format out of the box! This, to me, is the greatest thing the Lubitel does. It’s just so versatile!

2. Portraits.
This camera and it’s sharp glass lens was just made for portraits. If you are interested at all in taking portrait shots, this camera will shine for you!

3. Sprockets.
Not only does this camera shoot 35mm, it shoots 35mm with SPROCKETS!!! Sure, the Sprocket Rocket and the Diana can shoot with sprockets, but the Lubitel with it’s 80mm lens and wide format has such an original look. If you like sprockets, you’ll love the Lubitel.

4. Twin lens.
There’s just soo much to say about twin lens: the beauty of the camera design, the ability to see almost exactly what you are going to shoot through the lens, and the gorgeous waist-level viewfinder. Every photographer needs a Twin Lens Reflex Camera in their line-up.

5. Advanced Manual Controls, that everyone can use.
This is one of the only cameras that Lomography offers that gives you full control of your shots; offering shutter speeds from 1/15 to 1/250 and apertures from f4.5 to f22. For the advanced photographer this is a must have! For the beginner, these controls are soo easy to use! And with the handy guides that come printed on this camera, you’ll find yourself a pro in no time!

Bonus feature.
This camera is one of the few out there that can rewind 120 Film. That’s HUGE. This means you can now shoot a roll of 120 and do a film swap with a friend. Or shoot a few rolls of textures, and then later do doubles with the same roll. Sure, you can hand roll the film back with other cameras, but that could get messy. The Lubitel lets you do it in the camera.

Of course, I can’t write a good review without also writing about a few things this camera could do better. So here are 3. I’m going to name this section. The Latch, The Scratch, and The Catch.

1. The Latch.

I’m just going to say it: the latch on the camera that holds the back close doesn’t lock into place. You can screw it in tight and it’s “mostly secure,” but it will never lock. This can lead to problems. On more than one occasion I have placed my camera into a bag and if it’s moved around a bit the latch tends to open itself up…this could potentially expose your film. There are few fixes for this, easiest one is to just be very aware of the latch. But, you could also apply a small amount of tape. And, the final solution I will mention later in “The Catch.”

Side note: one person’s accidental exposure is another person’s awesome LIGHT LEAKS! Because the latch can open while the film is in the camera, this can lead to some great light leaks.

2. The Scratch.

This one BUGGED me!!! The Lubitel comes with the ability to shoot 35mm out of the box. (Amazing! We went over this.) To accomplish this, it needs a few parts to be placed in the camera to load the 35mm film correctly. One of the parts, the 35mm counter pressure plate has a huge flaw: it WILL scratch your film. Seriously. I have seen this on many Lubitels. I actually sent my first one back because of it and the second did the same thing. This part will scratch the heck out of your film.

However, there is a very easy solution: get some sandpaper and give that part a good smoothing out. Just a little bit of work with the sandpaper will fix this right up. But, this is still a problem that should have been fixed from the get go!

3. The Catch.

Finally, the Catch. When this camera came out, all over the world all the advertising and all the printing in the book that comes with the camera said Lubitel is for Lovers. And, they say Lomography is committed to the Lubitel and will keep up support for this camera for many many years to come. They mention in the ad campaigns on the website and in the manuals that the camera is built for upgrades and additional accessories. This was YEARS ago. We have yet to see any upgrades or accessories for this camera. This camera was BUILT for accessories, The back is removable for an instant back accessory. The viewer is removable for additional focusing accessories. The lenses have screw mounts for additional filters. Why oh why Lomogarphy have we not seen items for this camera in all these years? WHAT’S THE CATCH!?!

One item we did see for the camera is a case. This case is classy, looks great, AND it fixes the problem of the latch. This case will keep your camera safe and secured. So… you ask, “What’s the Catch”? Good luck finding one. These cases haven’t been available in years!

Sooo…with all this said, and all this done. With all the Lubitel love for what’s to come…May you add this beauty to your cue, and all your Lomo winter wishes come true.

written by sixsixty

2 comments

  1. ricoinbrooklyn

    ricoinbrooklyn

    Great review!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. cmgawthorp93

    cmgawthorp93

    Love this review! I bought a Lubitel and it's my favorite camera, but I wish Lomography would come out with more accessories. I would buy anything they made for it, not to mention I wish I could find a case.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam