Lubitel 166B with 35mm film

I have previously written about this camera here.

As I now have a few medium format cameras that I prefer, I have decided to sell this one. Before doing so I thought I would try using it with 35mm film…just because I can. I was spending the morning in Tokyo while waiting for a friend so it was also the perfect time.

I had read about it on a few blogs, including this great one. I had bought some 3D printed adapters ages ago, but this would be my first time using them.


When I first loaded it into the camera I decided not to close it straight away so I could figure out how much to turn the film advance winder. That meant sacrificing the first bit of the film, but as this was a fun project I didn’t mind. I put a black mark on the winder and then watched the film move as I turned it. I thought it would be about 2 full turns.

Then I had to close the back. The Lubitel back is not the sturdiest and I had to really force it to get it fully closed. Then for good measure, I wrapped sellotape around the top to keep it down. Then there is the red film number window, which I covered with black tape.


I didn’t think to document the process so this is from my Instagram feed. And then I was off on the train.

Firstly with this camera, I had to guess the distances as the focusing screen doesn’t seem to change much. For this test, I mainly kept it on infinity. The other issue I had was that I completely forgot that the film would not fill the whole of the screen area, just the middle strip. I did eventually remember and it was a bit of a slap on the head moment. DURHH.

There is no rewind of course and the film is not covered with paper like regular 120mm film. That meant I had to place the whole camera in a light-tight bag and rewind it manually ready for processing. Developing the film the next day, I found that I had over-estimated how much to advance the film. But, better to be too much than too little in this case.

And here are the scanned images.

I really like the sprockets on the negatives. I used the 120 film mask to scan them to make sure they were included. I think I will try this again with a Mamiya, it was fun for me.

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