It’s been a few years since Lomography released the Lubitel 166+. At the time there was a glut of excited reviews. Let’s take another look at the camera four years later.
After having some success over the past few months with a Lubitel 166B, and then a Lubitel 2, I wanted to see if the upgrades made in the Lomography Lubitel 166+ were significant enough to warrant the cost of the upgrade.
I am a keen writer, and having enough piggies to make an impact on the price of the camera, I decided to sell my 166B and put both towards the cost.
For those of you who are unaware, there are several upgrades to the basic functions of the original. These are:
1) Closer focussing, down to 0.8m (as opposed to Xm)
2) An improved viewfinder
3) Flash hotshoe
4) A kit for using 35mm film
The closer focusing is one of the reasons I wanted to upgrade. I shoot a lot of images of children, and getting low and in close makes for very dynamic shots. This improvement makes a big difference to me, it makes the camera a more flexible tool and once you’ve used it, you don’t want to swap back.
The viewfinder makes the Lubitel 166+ much more of a pleasure to use. Looking down into this bright, big screen feels cinematic, rather than the bubbly old finder. The split screen focus also makes focusing the camera far, far easier than the last. You might buy a Holga or a Diana for blurry, kooky shots, but a Lubitel is for crispness and contrast, and you won’t be wasting any more expensive frames of 120 film with this camera!
I wasn’t as attracted by the flash shoe as the other features, however I’ve started experimenting with the Lubitel more than I would before, and flash has become something I use more and more. It’s useful.
Many will say you can run 35mm film through any Lubitel, with a bit of spit and straw and that is true. But this kit makes it easy, and guaranteed.
The one negative thing I have to say, is that compared to my Lubitel 2, which is a tank, this one feels like it is more fragile.
In summary, I love the Lubitel 166+ I don’t miss the B, and I’ve pretty much stopped using the 2. It’s a great camera, well worth the upgrade.
The Lubitel 166+ is a loving recreation of the Soviet-era classic. Based on a design that dates back over 60 years, this camera is updated with new features like the ability to shoot both 120 and 35mm film. Shoot mind-blowing images with the Lubitel 166+, available in our Online Shop.