A Review of the Lubitel 166+

I’ve been shooting with the Lubitel 166+ and quite frankly it’s not as sharp as you’d get say shooting with an old SLR like a Minolta XE-7 or Pentax ME Super with a 50mm 1.4 lens.

The Lubitel 166+ is a Lomography remake of the Lubitel 166, which is a Twin Reflex Lens camera that was produced in the former Soviet Union. It’s made of plastic but has a glass lens. It takes 120 film. The operation is fully manual requiring you to figure out shutter speed and aperture. The guide in the back is crazy inaccurate unless, I’ve realized, you are shooting color film with the goal of cross-processing it – the so-called X-Pro effect.

xpro_sunset

It costs about $349 as of the publishing of this post at the Lomography Store. You can get the above mentioned SLRs with sharper photos and less hassle for a 1/3 of the price on eBay or Amazon.

Below is a landscape I shot using the Lubitel 166+. I feel that this didn’t have enough contrast.

lubitel_landscape

I feel the Lubitel 166+ does best in high contrast situations when you’re shooting directly into the sun. Check out the photos below.

lubitel_sun_trees

lubitel_write_suns_rays

For all its quirks, the Lubitel 166+ is a good camera. I wouldn’t use it for anything professional, but definitely for something artsy. It costs a bit too much, and I would recommend getting an older Lubitel 166 off of eBay for cheaper.

Pros:

  • artsy effects like vignetting, an interesting lens flare
  • glass lens
  • nice bokeh
  • fully manual experience great for training your eye in order to figure out exposure
  • It’s light weight.
  • You don’t need batteries.

Cons:

  • It’s pricy. You can get better quality cheaper on eBay or Amazon.
  • If you lose a part, you are SOL.
  • It’s not that sharp for something using 120 film. A Rolleiflex will give you way better quality.
  • Or for just $100 more you might be able to find a 120 film SLR camera on eBay.

Check out the Lubitel 166+ photo pool on Flickr to get a good idea of the shots you can take.

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