Lubitel is a Soviet medium format TLR camera that was manufactured at the Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Association (LOMO).
Lubitel is a Soviet medium format twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera that was manufactured at the Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Association (LOMO). Before the production of this TLR camera, LOMO was producing a camera called Komsomolets, which was a pseudo-two-lens reflex camera. That is, there was no ground glass in the camera, and focusing was done using the distance scale.
Like its predecessor, that is, the Komsomolets camera, the Lubitel camera was created on the basis of the German Voigtlander Brillant, which also was a pseudo-TLR camera. Unlike Komsomolets and Voigtlander Brillant, Lubitel was a real TLR camera, that is, it had a round dot of ground glass in the center of the viewfinder.
This TLR camera uses 120 medium format film, exactly the same as Komsomolets. The body is also made of bakelite, the frame size is also 6×6. This medium-format camera, unlike Komsomolets, is equipped with a Triplet T-22 4.5/75 lens with a single-layer coating.
The viewfinder lens is slightly different – 2.8/75. The fact that the viewfinder lens is faster allows focusing more accurately. The viewing lens is mechanically connected to the shooting lens, focusing occurs synchronously. The focusing range is quite good for such cameras, from 1.3 m to infinity.
This soviet camera has a traditional waist-level viewfinder for twin-lens 120 film cameras. This soviet TLR camera is 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 camera has shutter speeds of 1/15, 1/30, 1/60 1/125, 1/250, and B.
On all Lubitel cameras, except for Lubitel 166, shutter cocking and film rewinding are not conjugated. To control the rewinding of the film by the numbers on the back of the camera there is a little round window with a red filter.
So what can we say about this little cute TLR camera?
Yes, this is not Rolleiflex or Voigtländer. But at the same time, you do not pay the price of Rolleiflex or Voigtländer. Lubitel is probably the cheapest camera of the medium format on the market. But we do not advise you to judge quality by price. This is a truly high-quality and good camera for the money and the most affordable option in order to start shooting with medium format.
This soviet medium format camera provides stunning and recognizable pictures, which in their atmosphere are close to photographs of the beginning of the 20th century. Lubitel is good for its unusual appearance, its truly classic controls, and the sensations that only such a camera can give.