Blossom on branches

Lubitel love

I spent a whole week hovering around the letterbox like a dog waiting for its owner to come home. And then it finally happened — the postie delivered a refurbished Lubitel 166B! Happy days.

It’s a crackling little medium format film camera with a mini pop up magnifier for focusing, self timer, aperature (f4.5 – f22) and shutter speed (1/15 – 1/250) controls, bulb setting and original case. The only thing missing was a strap but I’m using a rainbow one from an old Polaroid camera.

These photos are from the test roll, just as they came out of the camera. I followed the sunny 16 rule and it worked perfectly.

Blossom branches in front of house

Resting my head on my hand

This photo documents my bed hair. I balanced the Lubitel on a book, focused on a shoebox, set the timer, ran to the other end, swiped the shoebox off the bed and tried to look relaxed. You’d never know there was such a frantic lead up.

Man on laptop

Blossom on branches

Shifting focus from the blossom to the building. I was lucky to get this photo because most of the blossom was carried away by the wind later that day.

Old house

Bluebells and gate

The focus on these bluebells is a little off. Anything around 1.5 metres seems to be a bit of a challenge.

Me holding camera in mirrow

Reflections on pond

Country path

Country lane

Unfortunately, I only took eleven photos. I forgot to wind the film on and ended up double exposing one shot. Then somehow wound past the next one completely, before taking the film out. Fail!

Old house and drive

8 comments on “Lubitel love

  1. Lovely photos don’t understand the tech jargon but love the finished product 😍xx

    • Gemma Evans

      That doesn’t matter, the photos are the important bit 🙂

  2. Very impressive pictures! In the past I’ve found the optics on these vintage Russian cameras to be very good and the bodies seem built like tanks. Have you tried shooting in the dark with an unlit viewfinder yet? That’s great fun!

    I’ve heard of the Sunny 16 Rule but never used it – I watched the YouTube video – “is it brighter than the sun?” – and now I need to grab the Bronica and go shoot some scenes. Where do you get your film developed?

    Oh, and it seems they still sell magnesium flash bulbs on eBay, so I now challenge you to use the “bulb” setting on the Lubitel 🙂

    • Gemma Evans

      I have a real soft spot for Russian cameras. I deliberated on which Lubitel model to buy — people said the build quality on the later models isn’t as good but it’s plenty sturdy enough. It probably helps that the one I bought was really well looked after.

      I’ve been using Harman Lab for black and white films and just started using West End Cameras for colour (although they do black and white too).

      More importantly… how have I never seen the Bronica!?!

      • The pictures look free of light leaks which is very common in cameras like that, so it looks like the refurbishment was done well. I like the square format – wish I’d gone for that myself, but there you go …

        The Bronica? Last time you came up it was packed away, right at the back of the back room. It’s coming out this weekend though! It was originally bought by a Scottish council for taking pictures of the councillors – they didn’t want to spend money on a Hasselblad – consequently it had probably only shot a couple of rolls when I bought it! You’ll not be surprised to hear that it’s heavy…

        BTW, here’s a relevant video of someone doing landscapes with the Lubitel:

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