Film Advance Knob Turns for Lubitel 2 + 35mm


Converting your medium format camera into a 35mm one isn’t new. However, I found a lack of resource as to how to accurately advance the knob and avoid film wastage. Hopefully, this tip will help other medium format camera owners figure out the number of turns you will need per exposure to make the most out of your 35mm roll.

You will need:
1. a strip of paper (having the same length and width as a roll of 35mm film)
2. an empty film canister
3. some foam/padding (to keep the film in place)
4. rubberbands/tape

Step 1 – Attach the strip of paper to the end of the film in a used film canister.

Step 2 – Draw lines to indicate the spacing as if on a 120mm film.

Step 3 – Wind film and load into camera – to keep it centered, make sure you’ve got the foam padding on the take up spool and the sides of the canister.

Step 4 – Take note of the number of rotations to get the first shot in the middle – of course you have to make a little marking on the knob or camera just to use as a point of reference.

Step 5 – Follow step 4 for succeeding shots.

Here are my findings based on my little experiment:

Number of shots to get the first exposure in the center:
2 (I might have to adjust this because the first picture taken was 1/4 overexposed)

Number of turns per exposure:
1st thru 4th : 1 1/2 turns
5th thru 7th : 1 3/8 (In clock speak, roughly 1 hour 23 mins)
8th thru 12th : 1 1/4
13th thru 19th : 1 1/6 (In clock speak, 1 hour 10 mins)
20th thru 24th : 1

With that, you are ready to load a 135 film into your Lubitel 2. Just tape the film onto the spool; make sure you get it wound tightly. By the way, using a 35mm film with my Lubitel 2 made it difficult, nay, impossible to close the back cover. I just covered the gaps with black plastic and electrical tape…which probably explains the light leaks. I’m not so sure about that though (any thoughts on this would be more than welcome).

It might be helpful to take notes when you take pics as well, just to keep track if you’ve already advanced the knob for the next shot. I was able to take 22 pics, out of my estimated 24 shots, and upon closer inspection found that I had probably advanced the knob more than once <drat!> hence the huge gap between the 2 pics towards the end of the roll. Otherwise, I think I would have been able to get 24 exposures.

By the way, here are the pics I took:

written by phelt on 2011-07-04 #gear #tutorials #35mm #lubitel #tutorial #tipster #lomography #advance #winding #camera-modification #lubitel-top-tipster


  1. woosang
    woosang ·

    Brilliant!! I can adapt this for other medium film

  2. phelt
    phelt ·

    :D thanks!

  3. msnicks
    msnicks ·

    I've never had black tape to hand when doing this with my Lubitel or Diana, I just sellotaped pieces of cardboard on the interior and exterior window sections. No light leaks from the Lubitel:…
    Waiting to see with the Diana...

    Great tipster! The film fits in even better if you put it in the wrong way round and shoot for redscale :)

  4. phelt
    phelt ·

    cool, thanks! :D

  5. ester
    ester ·

    i HAVE to try this!

  6. lubiolg82
    lubiolg82 ·

    great ....someone know if this tips could be used with lubitel 166???thaksssss

  7. juanizimo
    juanizimo ·

    kinda cool ! i made a kind of mask on my lubitel to shoot 36x24 , but how do you rewind the film ? just in a dark room , or any advice ? -_-

  8. lampickasviti
    lampickasviti ·

    Lubitel 2 not close when there is a 35 mm film. Simply remove the film from the cartridge and insert just the film on the reel. Then it will close. This must be done in the dark. Tested.

  9. lampickasviti
    lampickasviti ·

    Lubitel 166 B + 35mm film
    visit link:…

  10. eugenionesta
    eugenionesta ·

    Hey! This is great! I was looking for it. What happens with a 36 exposures film? You do this with a 24! How many turns do I have to do over the exposure 24?? Sorry for my english.

    This is my e-mail: please write me, I need heelp!!

    Thank you and again sorry for my english jaja

  11. clondono75
    clondono75 ·

    Hola: Toda mi vida he tomado fotos con camara digital, pero ayer me regalaron una lubitel 2, investigando sobre esta camara, me encontre con tus fotos las cuales son espectaculares, necesito de tu ayuda para poder hacer lo mismo, espero tu pronta respuesta.

  12. sinema
    sinema ·

    Great! Very usefull, already tried! Thanks!

  13. tomczykd
    tomczykd ·

    Yes, I want to try do this with my Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517/16. The results in the future.

  14. old_secondhand
    old_secondhand ·

    Thank you very much for sharing your method! Sounds great! I added it to my to do list.

More Interesting Articles