It was post-WWII when the respected LOMO factory of St. Petersburg created a twin-lens reflex camera called “Komosomolets” (meaning “Young Communist.”), which was especially marketed towards amateur photographers. The camera design, however, was a copy of the 1938 German Voigtlander “Brilliant” camera. In 1949, the original Lubitel (literally meaning “Amateur”) was introduced — it was an enhanced and improved concept of the “Young Communist” cam. With its better features and quality, the Lubitel sales shot to over a million units sold worldwide and was followed by the equally successful Lubitel-2, raking in two million units since its launch in 1955.
When the Lubitel-2 was discontinued in 1980, the Lubitel 166B stole the spotlight. Preserving the best features of its predecessor – the 75mm “Triplet 22” lens (known for its very sharp and high-contrast images), and the “ZT-8” shutter with a 1/250 speed, the 166B was crafted in a thermoplastic body, making it a lightweight and convenient TLR to carry. Manual aperture and shutter controls provided flexibility in composing images, while the ground glass top-down viewer ensured perfect focusing. For extra resolution detail, a flip-down magnifying glass is available. It was manufactured from 1980 until 1989.
A roll of 120 gives you 12 6×6 images. There’s an option to not cock the shutter to create overlaps or multiple exposures.
Lomographer janisthewanis confessed that he has dropped his Lubitel over a dozen times! “Does this affect the camera in any way? Nope. I really love how lightweight and durable the Lubitel is. I can carry it everywhere with me and not have the camera strap digging into my shoulder. I can throw it into my car or bag and not have to worry about something getting knocked loose because the thing is a tank. I really like looking down into the viewfinder and shooting from my pelvis, it seems to throw people off, they wonder what the hell you are doing.”
Lightweight and easy to use, the Lubitel 166B makes a perfect TLR camera for the beginner, and a fun camera for the professional.
Whether you’re shooting in 120 or 35 mm, color or black & white, we have something for you in our online shop and worldwide gallery stores. Come say hi and spoil yourself with a Lomography camera, film, or accessory!