Lubitel 166B

Took my Lubitel 166 B on a few hikes. Giving this little black box a try with some 120 B&W film. After photographing analogue for a while now using a Pentax 645, swithing to a TSLR camera can be a bit tricky. Estimating the focussing distance and metering the exposures need some time and getting used to. You won't be able to click and shoot like you can with a digital system. However the reward is, at least to me, a lot bigger after getting your film developped and scanned. Shooting film takes a lot more effort. Developping your film takes some time before you can view the results. But to me that adds to the fun of photography. It slows down the process of taking a picture. Forcing you to give more attention to composition and exposure before pressing that shutter.

Hikers in the Ardennes

Film: Rollei RPX 100 - Developper: Ilford Ilfosol 3

The Lomo Lubitel 166B is a medium format twin-lens reflex camera for 120 roll film, producing 6x6 cm square format images. It was produced by the LOMO (Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association) factory in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now St. Petersburg, Russia) during the 1980s. LOMO was known for producing a variety of optical and photographic equipment, including cameras and lenses. The Lubitel series, including the 166B model, was one of their popular lines of twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras. Production of the Lubitel 166B likely occurred primarily during the 1980s, though exact production dates may vary. These cameras were manufactured during the Soviet era and were widely available in Eastern Europe and beyond. While the Lubitel 166B is no longer in production, it remains a popular choice among film photography enthusiasts for its unique aesthetics and affordability.


Film: Ilford FP4 plus - Developper: Ilford Ilfosol 3


The Lubitel 166B typically comes with a coated 75mm f/4.5 lens. It is capable of producing reasonably sharp images, particularly when stopped down to smaller apertures. However, it may not deliver the same level of sharpness as modern lenses, especially towards the edges of the frame. Its unique characteristics contribute to the distinctive look and feel of images captured with this iconic medium format camera. Photographers often embrace the quirks and imperfections of the Lubitel lens as part of its charm, resulting in images with a nostalgic, timeless quality.



It features a waist-level viewfinder, allowing for composing images by looking down into the viewfinder. Using the viewfinder on the Lomo Lubitel 166B is relatively straightforward, although it may take a bit of practice to get the sweetspot distance. When holding the viewfinder to close a lensbarrel becomes visible. Therefore the viewfinder requires some care in focusing, but gives a much brighter view for framing than would a full-frame ground-glass screen.


Film: Rollei RPX 100 - Developper: Ilford Ilfosol 3


The Lubitel 166B has a manual focusing system. The nearest focusing distance is 1.3 m. The focusing magnifier is attached to the panel from inside the viewfinder. The magnifier is set to operation by pulling it up from the cover. The frame viewfinder is formed by the front frame and rear light protective hood with a square window.


It has a leaf shutter mechanism capable of speeds ranging from Bulb mode to 1/250th of a second.


Film: Rollei RPX 100 - Developper: Ilford Ilfosol 3

Exposure Control:

The Lubitel 166B offers manual exposure control, allowing the photographer to set both the aperture and shutter speed manually. It does not have a built in lightmeter or rangevinder hence you will need an app or seperate lightmeter and estimate your focus distance.

The Lubitel 166B is a simple to use and affordable camera. It's a great choise for photographers interested in experimenting with medium format photography on a budget.