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09-26-2018, 07:45 AM   #1
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Tempting, so tempting... Lomo 120/35mm TLR.

Lomo Lubitel 166+ Camera Lomography Shop

This is something that's very tempting for the person who wants to try TLR or 120 film or both.

It seems to be hardware NOW, not vaporware maybe later.

It has a 75mm lens with selectable shutter speeds (1/15 to 1/250 and bulb) and apertures (4.5, then 5.6 and usual stops to f/22). Not the best, but adequate for Sunny 16 with ISO 100 film.

There is a hotshoe, a tripod mount and a cable release connection. In all, this is a fully-fledged ultra-budget 120 camera for those who want such a 120 with more exposure control than a Holga (or indeed any consistent exposure control at all).

There is of course no light meter.

The only hesitation I have is the build quality (and long-term survivability) and the lens quality (is this also plastic). Construction is plastic, but that could mean anything. It offers a 35mm adapter (just don't expect 35mm framing; your sprocket holes will show), if your local lab or you at home can't handle 120. (My Patterson tank could take it, but I have no easy means of scanning right now.) I'm not as interested in that as the whole concept of an inexpensive new build TLR available right now.

I am not sure whether the various Chinese TLRs are still made, or whether this is a rebadged copy of same. Is there anyone here who got one of these and has played around with it?

09-26-2018, 08:29 AM   #2
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I didn't think it was that expensive!
09-26-2018, 08:49 AM   #3
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A real Lubitel can be had easily on eBay for not much more. Ditto for any number of more serious TLRs (e.g. Yashica D, Minolta Autocord) made of metal and glass.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-26-2018 at 08:58 AM.
09-26-2018, 09:30 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
A real Lubitel can be had easily on eBay for not much more. Ditto for any number of more serious TLRs (e.g. Yashica D, Minolta Autocord) made of metal and glass.
I tend to agree. The Lomography cameras are generally lower quality than the originals - this is true of the LC-A and the Lubitels, for sure. They're still good fun, but expensive for what they are.

An original Lubitel-2 or Lubitel-166 (pre Lomography) is a better bet. Actually, the build quality of the Lubitel-2 is quite nice, being more like Bakelite than the later plastics. But the 166 is fine... plasticky, but fine. And whilst the lens isn't anything to write home about, it's perfectly capable of taking decent photos. I paid a lot less for my mint boxed 166 than Lomography's price for their 166+.

All that said, for serious use I'd probably look for a nice used Yashica...

09-26-2018, 10:03 AM   #5
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If all you want is a 220 TLR why not something like this? VINTAGE YASHICA 24 TLR Medium Format Camera - 80mm F2.8 Lens Yashinon Lens | eBay
09-26-2018, 10:19 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
the build quality of the Lubitel-2 is quite nice, being more like Bakelite than the later plastics
That's somewhat worrying. Doesn't Bakelite have a reputation for brittleness? Later plastics might be more resilient to knocks that might develop hairline cracks in Bakelite, is my only fear there.
09-26-2018, 10:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
If all you want is a 220 TLR why not something like this? VINTAGE YASHICA 24 TLR Medium Format Camera - 80mm F2.8 Lens Yashinon Lens | eBay
Emphasis on 220! Does anyone make 220 anymore?


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09-26-2018, 11:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Emphasis on 220! Does anyone make 220 anymore?


Steve
LOL - I did misthink that. Whoops. There are people who use 120 in place of 220 but that gets into a whole new ball of wax.

Here's an odd bird that uses 120 or 35mm in a TLR:
Vintage Yashica 635 Twin Lens Reflex Camera W/ Case TLR Takes 120/ 35 MM Film | eBay

If anyone wants to use 120 in a Yashica 24... https://www.flickr.com/groups/53414309@N00/discuss/72157624463007227/

09-26-2018, 11:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
That's somewhat worrying. Doesn't Bakelite have a reputation for brittleness? Later plastics might be more resilient to knocks that might develop hairline cracks in Bakelite, is my only fear there.
Bakelite is more brittle, yes. But in the hand, the Lubitel-2 feels more substantial than the 166. In practice, I'm sure there's nothing wrong with the plastics of the 166. It feels solid enough... but you do know you're using a plastic-bodied camera
09-26-2018, 02:07 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Bakelite is more brittle...
But the brittleness is often overstated. I have two Watson-type film bulk loaders, both of which date to the mid-1960s. Both are made of Bakelite and both have survived nicely for about 50 years. I also have a couple Soviet lens cases dating to the late 1950s and they also show little sign of wear. I might also add that up Bakelite telephones are amazingly tough.


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09-26-2018, 04:49 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I've owned a lubitel 2 and a 166u the latter was actually labeled lomo ('Leningrad optical mechanical factory' by memory), Both were fine, optically far better than most people will allow, though with a mechanical and high contrast quality to the lens - they're one of my favorites for night photography. I've since sold them both and subsequently bought another Lubitel 2 - I think they're all pretty much the same optically and mechanically. I paid about $20-30 each for them, I wouldn't pay $3-400.

They are reasonably robust, very simple, ok optics, and the best thing to my mind is that they weigh almost nothing.
09-26-2018, 04:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sqrrl Quote
I've owned a lubitel 2 and a 166u the latter was actually labeled lomo ('Leningrad optical mechanical factory' by memory), Both were fine, optically far better than most people will allow, though with a mechanical and high contrast quality to the lens - they're one of my favorites for night photography. I've since sold them both and subsequently bought another Lubitel 2 - I think they're all pretty much the same optically and mechanically. I paid about $20-30 each for them, I wouldn't pay $3-400.

They are reasonably robust, very simple, ok optics, and the best thing to my mind is that they weigh almost nothing.
Agreed on all points.

For clarity, I will state what some may see as the obvious... Original items marked "LOMO" are not the same as "Lomography" versions. "LOMO" refers to "Leningradskoye Optiko-Mekhanicheskoye Obyedinenie" (translated: "Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association"), while the brand name "Lomography" is a portmanteau of "LOMO" and "Photography". The brands are completely different, and products manufactured for Lomography are modern versions, usually of a lower quality than the originals The confusing thing is, Lomography also sells some old stock original lenses and cameras, but they're not branded as Lomography products.
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