I bought the Lubitel 2 on eBay back in August 2015 for $80 — cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted (CLA). It was the first camera I’d bought that was CLA — most of my purchases were more bargain-basement prices and labeled “as-is,” so I figured that it was worth the splurge. Plus, it was being shipped from Mother Russia, and not too many of them seemed to be coming up for sale, so I figured I’d better jump on it if I wanted one. (Had I just been patient and bought one six months later, I could have gotten it for half the price, according to an eBay search of completed auctions today. D’oh!)
After getting the images back from my test roll, I’m having more than a touch of buyer’s remorse. It’s a sweet bit of Cyrillic to have in my collection, but it’s not going to be one of my more frequently used cameras.
I loaded the camera with 400 speed film one weekend in early September and took some photos with the assistance of my Light Meter app. The photos all came out slightly underexposed, but most of them were fixable in post-processing.
The Lubitel 2 doesn’t take bad photos, but I expected more… personality? charm? I’m not sure what I expected, but considering that this camera is considered a descendant of the quirky and lovable Voigtländer Brilliant, I was vaguely disappointed in the results.
I’m not willing to write off an overpriced eBay purchase just yet, so I’ll be taking this camera for another spin at some point. I do like the focus and the vignetting at closer ranges, and I’d like to explore that in some more depth. I figure I’ll try some slower, finer-grain film and adjust my Light Meter app to at least +2 EV.
Or maybe I’ll make my next eBay purchase an actual, real light meter.