Lubitel 166 Universal viewfinder?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by ric|1, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Hello, The Lubitel viewfinder has a locking lug which prevents it accidentally springing open. But how do you operate this lug to disengage the lock, so that the viewer can be used please? Also - the manual is pretty basic - are there any definite no-no's the new user should be wary of please? Many thanks, Ric
  2. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    Hi -
    My Lubitel is the 166B, not the Universal, but I think they're pretty similar.
    The front plate of the finder hinges at the front. In the centre of the back (just above the catch of the film door) there's a metal tab, rolled up to form a little cylinder. This engages behind a small ridge on the lip of the frame round the focusing screen. It doesn't hold very tight. All I do to open the finder is hold the rear corners of the front plate between one finger and a thumb, and lift. Once the front plate is most of the way upright, the rest should erect itself (with springs).
    To fold it again, fold down the two sides (the order doesn't matter), then the back, and fold the front down over them until the little catch engages.
    To use the direct-vision frame finder, erect the finder, then push the panel within the front plate down until it engages in a little slot in the rear plate. To release it again, pull the rear plate back a tiny bit.

    I would advise using a hood, though you may find it blocks the view in the finder a little; I get some reflections off the black-but-shiny interior surfaces of the camera sometimes. Oh, and my impression is that the self-timer is fragile, and probably best not used if you don't have to.
    Have fun with the camera!
  3. Thanks Peter,
    Got it ;)
    Waist view viewfinders fascinate me, I don't know why. What about the fine viewer please, is there a knack to getting that into position please? At the moment I scrape for it with a finger nail until I can exert enough pressure behind it to lever it up on its spring. It focuses very well and I wear omnifocal spectacles so viewers can present something of a challenge for me.
    I will leave the self-timer well alone then. An earlier twin reflex I had came with a jammed diaphragm and those diaphragms are immensely complex mechanisms, fiddly as a clockwork watch interior I noticed.
  4. I second your decision to abandon the self timer. They've locked up several cameras that I've owned, and one had to be sent off at great expense to be repaired. Now I take the self timer arm off my cameras, if they have one. I'll have to try one of these Lubitels sometime, as I understand they're quite light and small for a TLR. You're apparently fortunate to be able to focus it w/ ease, as that issue seem to come up a lot on reviews.
  5. Steve all you have to do to "unlock" a selftimer is release the shutter and apply gentle pressure to the self timer lever until it quits buzzing and shoots the shutter. Then don't touch it again. Also, for shutters with the MXV selector, don't set the selector to "V".
  6. Thanks. Focus is an issue for me. I wear spectacles but when I shoot TTL I don't wear my glasses and I can see fine. But waist viewing is different and my vari-focal spectacles are quite hilarious. On my Kiev 60 I have to peer through the bottom half of my glasses to focus on the viewer but when I click up the fine focus glass I have to look through the top of my lenses. It means I spend an awful lot of time apparently standing motionless when I'm holding a camera :D I have noticed that the Lubitel is easier to fine-focus though, or maybe I'm just getting used to the new focussing system?
    But boy oh boy I'm sure looking forward to working with those big negatives! I've used 35mm all my life so 6x6 is a real treat in store!
  7. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    I do the same as you for the little magnifier, Ric - just pull it up with a finger. I wear contacts most of the time, and I'm really clumsy if I ever try using a camera with my specs on.
  8. Waist focussing is going to be a learning curve but I am up for it!
    Many thanks Pete :)
  9. Well I just got my snaps back from Ilford and not bad for someone wearing varifocals using the waistviewer for the first time!
    Taken with the Kiev 60 using a MIR 45mm wide angle lens, FP4, hand metered. Am really missing the default 80mm lens but it had fungus and I have yet to find a replacement. My 120mm lens is too telephoto for these subjects.
    Next will be the Lubitel!
  10. The Lubitel - hand held and metered with a Gossen 6 - it all works!

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