Lubitel 166 Universal

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The Lubitel 166U was made by Lomo in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia.

The Lubitel is the poor man's twin lens reflex camera. It is similar to the earlier Lubitel 166B but adds the option to mask the film gate to a smaller 6x4.5cm image format, yielding 16 exposures on a roll of 120 film.

Being made of plastic, it is sometimes lumped into the toy camera category; but it has a 3-element glass lens, and other features like several apertures and shutter speeds. Although bright, the screen is really hard to focus. It has a ground circle in the center and a small magnifying glass to help with the task, but the results don't seem worth the effort. You are almost better off estimating the distance Holga-style. But all-in-all, it is capable of taking pretty sharp photos, and if you are willing to put up with its idiosyncrasies.


  • Type: TLR
  • Manufacturer: LOMO
  • Year of launch: 1980
  • Film: 120 only
  • Frame size: 56x56 mm or 56x42 mm (12 or 16 pictures per film respectively)
  • Lens: T-22 triplet, 75 mm f/4.5
  • Shutter: leaf, manually cocked
  • Shutter speeds: 1/15 sec. to 1/250 sec. and B
  • Aperture: f4.5 to f22
  • Focusing range: 1.3 m to infinity
  • Flash synch: cord, all shutter speeds
  • Self-timer: mechanical
  • Film transport: manual
  • Frame counter: none (two windows at the back for controlling frame numbers of both frame sizes)
  • Double exposure safety: no
  • Tripod socket: 1/4"