A Lubitel+ Masterclass: Not Just a Flash in the Pan


Welcome to another Lubitel 166+ “masterclass.”

Welcome to another Lubitel 166+ “masterclass.”

This time we’re going to discuss shooting with the Lubitel 166+ while using a flash.

One of the great improvements of the new Lubitel 166+ is the hotshoe sync. In all past versions of the Lubitel, you would need a PC to hotshoe adaptor to use a hotshoe flash. But now, you can plug in any hotshoe flash, including the Colorsplash Flash or Diana+ Flash, and fire off bursts of light on your subject with ease.

But since the Lubitel+ is a camera that requires an intimate touch even in bright daylight, in the dark you need the familiarity of an old lover to get the most out of this camera.

Imagine you’ve got your Lubitel+ out at your favorite vampire bar, as the walls are thumping to the latest beats, the lost souls are bumping and sniffling in and out of bathrooms 3 at a time, and suddenly you spot one of your friends perfectly decked out in an outfit that in 2 years will be a fashion punchline. You need the perfect shot, and you can barely see your hand, much less your Lubi-levers. What to do?

The answer is to be prepared ahead of time. And you can do this by understanding how the Lubitel+ works, both in regards to flash, and to different film speeds.

Ideally, when shooting with flash, you’d like to set your exposure setting at 1/60th of a second. You can shoot at other exposure times, but the difference is negligible since the exposure is only happening during the flash of light. 1/60th of a second is a safe exposure, so once that is set you are ready to flash-shoot until the sun rises.

So now what to do about f-stop? Well, that depends on a few things. Distance from your subject, film-speed, and of course the brightness of your flash.

As we all know, aperture is the size of the opening in front of the shutter that lets in more or less light when you shoot. The higher the f-stop number, the smaller the opening. Distance is a crucial thing to measure when shooting with flash.

But that means taking into account the speed of your film, and the strength of your flash. Of course a higher speed film and stronger flash will let you shoot with a smaller aperture opening. Likewise, if you’re shooting with 100 speed film, you naturally need more light to enter your shutter, so you should shoot with a wider aperture.

Here’s a good chart that gives you an idea of how to set your aperture, based on a 60th of a second exposure time,and using a white color flash, such as the Diana+ flash:

ISO Distance F-stop
100 0.8-3 meter 5.6
100 3+ meters 4.5
400 0.8-3 meters 8
400 3-5 meters 5.6
400 5+ meters 4.5
800 0.8-3 meters 11
800 3-5 meters 8
800 5+ meters 5.6

You can make adjustments from there, depending on flash-strength and other variables (for example, if you’re shooting with a red flash filter, you need a wider aperture because the flash is not as bright).

So now that you know how to be ready to shoot at the right exposure and f-stop, there’s one more problem: How do you focus in the dark???

Luckily, the Lubitel+ has been modified for just this situation. Another stroke of genius was to equip this camera with a zone focusing system.

The focus wheel stops at 0.8 of a meter, 1.5 meters, 3, meters, and infinity. So even in the dark, you can be very close. Just start on either 0.8 or infinite, and adjust accordingly using the next zone as your guide.

Happy shooting!

written by ouroborosx on 2008-10-25 #gear #tutorials #lubitel #166 #tipster #masterclass #flash


  1. graefin
    graefin ·

    I need to get that into my brain...because I finally found a flash for my Lubi Universal!! 1/60 and then 5.6, okay, makes up to 3 metres flash reach.
    Thanks for all this information!!

  2. altafkw
    altafkw ·

    can we use this method with the new Fritz the Blitz Flash?

  3. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I just thought about using my Lubitel at night. I am glad I found this article.

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