Lubitel-2 is a Soviet medium format TLR camera which is an improved version of the Lubitel-1 camera with several updates.
“Lubitel-2 is an inexpensive, easy-to-use, modern camera of interest to a wide range of amateur photographers”
With these words begins the manual for the Soviet medium format camera Lubitel-2. Indeed, the camera was very advanced for the Soviet Union of the 50s. This camera was an improved version of the Lubitel camera, which in turn was an improved version of the Komsomolets pseudo-twin-lens medium format camera.
- Type: 120 frilm TLR camera
- Manufacturer: LOMO plant
- Production period: 1955-1979
- Format: 6x6cm on 120 film
- Lens mount: fixed lens
- Taking lens: T-22 f4.5/75
- Viewing lens: f2.8/75
- Shutter: leaf shutter with speeds from 1/15 to 1/250 sec.
- Viewfinder: waist-level finder
- Lighmeter: none
- Flash synchronisation: sync socket “X”
- Selftimer: mechanical
- Weight: 570 grams
Like previous cameras, this Soviet TLR camera was produced at the LOMO plant. And like many Soviet cameras of those years, Lubitel-2 was not much different from its predecessor.
Unlike the first model, Lubitel-2 had the Self-timer and flash synchronization. And in fact, these are almost all improvements over the first model.
This TLR camera is designed for the 120 medium format film (12 frames). The frame size is standard, i.e. 6x6cm. Like all previous models, this camera is made of bakelite, that is, a kind of plastic.
Lubitel-2 was equipped with a standard non-removable Triplet T-22 4,5/75 lens with a single coating. The aperture of the viewfinder lens is faster, i.e. f2.8. This is designed to make focusing easier.
The viewfinder is very large and bright. In the central part, there is a small round piece of ground glass. The folding magnifier greatly simplifies the focusing with this ground glass.
Image focusing is performed by small rotations of the toothed gear of either of the two lenses.
The focusing range is the same as in previous versions, that is, from 1.3m to infinity.
The camera was equipped with a leaf shutter with speeds of 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200, and B. On devices, since 1959 the shutter speeds were 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, and B. Although this is a small set of shutter speeds, it is quite sufficient for solving most photographic tasks. Let me remind you that Zenit cameras also had a set of five shutter speeds up to the 90s.
Shutter cocking and film rewinding are not paired on this 6×6 format camera. To control the film advancing by the numbers on the film on the back of the Lubitel-2 there is a little round window with a red filter.
Of course, like all Soviet devices, Lubitel-2 has some problems. First, when buying a camera, you will have to adjust the lens, since many cameras have lost their ability to focus. In addition, focusing with a small dark ground glass circle is not an easy task.
Because of this, the objects in the photo will be defocused, and the photos will be screwed up.
And you need to understand that in the 120 film format the depth of the sharply depicted space is narrower, which means that you need to aim much more accurately so that the focus is on exactly what you need.
These photos were taken with this camera without the necessary adjustments, and as you can see, there is not a single object in focus in the photo.
Due to the fact that this is a medium format, the photos are very voluminous, and the depth of the image is truly mesmerizing. The lens is sharp enough and the bokeh zone is very soft.
It is also worth noting that the Lubitel is a fairly classic example of the Soviet industry. The first cameras, as already mentioned, were copies of a German 6×6 TLR camera. The ideas were very good as was the build quality.
But from year to year, the Soviet industry created the same thing, practically without making any changes to the camera’s design. So the very first devices of this brand are practically no different from the latest ones, and everything that is said in this article about the Lubitel-2 is true for earlier and later models.
All these advantages, combined with the fact that the camera is worth a penny, cover all the disadvantages of Lubitel-2. And we believe that this is one of the most interesting cameras created in the Soviet Union.