Four Years on the Lubitel 166+


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.

The filter thread on the 166+ allows me to use filters for greater contrast B&W.

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.

In close with the 0.8m minimum focus distance.

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!

Crisp, wonderful shots, slide film processed as slides.

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.

Even the test roll I ran through this camera is one of my favourite albums!

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.

Zoobitel 166+!

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.

written by adam_g2000 on 2012-05-23 #gear #medium-format #review #camera #lubitel #viewfinder #close #lubitel-166 #120-film #lomography #focusing #user-review


  1. lawypop
    lawypop ·

    awesome article on one of my favourite lomo cameras! :D

  2. nuhdos
    nuhdos ·

    I need this camera ♥

  3. nuhdos
    nuhdos ·

    I need this camera ♥

  4. nuhdos
    nuhdos ·

    I need this camera ♥

  5. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    I love my Lubitel since the first moment, one of the best limo cameras I have! I'm curious since the beginning why the Lubitel+ has an easy removable back, I thought LSI have planned to add an instant back for the Lubitel, but 4 years after no sign of it... but I'm still hoping it will come one day!

  6. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    I love my Lubitel 166U!

  7. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I have been waiting for the opportunity to bring mine out. It has been a while. Nice article.

  8. adam_g2000
    adam_g2000 ·

    @neanderthalis Mine is such a 'go to' camera, when I'm feeling special it's the one I get out.

  9. adam_g2000
    adam_g2000 ·

    @vicuna seems like they were being scoundrels on that! Check out the comments in this blog article I wrote!… that and the lack of a case is truly upsetting people who committed to their (nearly) most expensive camera!

  10. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I am so afraid to break it that it is like a classic car: I only take it for a drive on a perfect Sunday. I tend to make my LC-A+ my go to camera because it fits so easy in my shirt pocket on the fly.

  11. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    A good camera but ill stick to my lubi 2, for the £289 they cost i could get a pro medium format slr.

  12. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

    Where are the promised Accessories and upgrades!!!!

  13. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    I also wish LSI stuck to their promise and put out the Lubitel accessories and backs. D: But the 35mm kit and screen guide makes it super easy to convert from 120 to 135. Love it!

  14. nerpman
    nerpman ·

    While I love the pictures this camera takes, I just can't justify the cost. My lubitel 2 was $10, and aside from a few design quirks there isn't much difference.

  15. sandravo
    sandravo ·

    @adam_g2000 Glad I found your review! I have been back and forth between so many different cameras, but this helped me make up my mind!

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