Field Testing The Lomo Lubitel 166+U.
I’m a fan of the luminous pictures that my Lubitel 166+ Universal takes. I picked her up at the Tokyo Lomography store in April of 2010. I was debating whether I should save my money for a ==Lomo LC-A == or the beautiful twin lenses of the Lubitel. I was drawn to the boxy shape and its waist level view finder. The crisp snap as the view finder springs open, the tiny magnifying glass, and the split bubble focusing screen. I loved the fact that this camera caused me to stop and think about the F-stop, the shutter speed, and the focusing. I was hooked.
The package came with the Lubikin, allowing 35mm film to run through the Lubitel. What a fantastic, efficient, and cost effective product! Now I have the ability to swap out the specialized 120 film for the readily available 35mm. When traveling, most tourist stops have 35mm film. Specialized photography stores have the 120 and I’ve learned that you should always carry plenty film.
For the Lubitel, I have found that running 35mm film through my camera sometimes causes scratches on the film. Initially I thought that it was because I was using expired film, then when I used new film and the same lines appeared.
I must admit that It’s not the easiest of cameras. Nor do I believe that they should be coddled. Within the first week that I had the Lubitel 166+U the rewind knob no longer locked in the down position. Which caused the little metal arm to flip flop around as you advanced the film, simple fix with a bit of tape.
My second malfunction, appeared while on vacation. The crisp snap of the view finder opening was handicapped as one of the springs unseated. Luckily only one of the springs stopped; which means to hear that snap I’ve got to open the top cover and then give the Lubitel a shake to snap the sides, causing a chain reaction.
My last complaint is the film advance knob’s plastic lid fell off and I lost it. So now the innards of the knob are exposed. The amazing pictures that the Lubitel creates outweigh the flaws I’ve found during my travels with the Lubitel 166+U.