Lubitel 166B & Ilford HP5+ 400 at Sooke

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Fisherman’s Wharf, Victoria

When my coworker at the time had received the Lubitel 166B in the mail off of Ebay, I wasn’t too interested in shooting medium format. It was definitely my first time seeing a waist-level viewfinder up close and personal but shooting medium format wasn’t too high on my priority list.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Sooke

I had seen the results of a few B&W rolls he had shot himself with the TLR and I had to admit the images were sharp. I didn’t know if it was because he was shooting it at a higher f-stop than what I normally shot my 35 mm-film with (I’m sure that’s a factor) but the images had so much depth to them; depth that I wasn’t used to seeing in my rolls of 35 mm. Even so, from his anecdotes I felt like the images didn’t justify the cumbersome effort it appeared to take in order to produce these images.

However, when he offered to lend me the new-to-him camera and trade me two rolls of his HP5+ and a roll of Ektar for a few rolls of different 35 mm film, I agreed and took the camera and the rolls of 120 film on vacation to the island for the long weekend.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Sooke

To my surprise, I loved the experience of shooting the camera. I’ve become obsessed with waist-level view finders. I admit: I was very lazy in developing these and only after 6 months did I get them developed and scanned but these look amazing. Aside from the few exposures that I forgot to wind the film, I was really surprised that all of them were even in focus and exposed correctly. I used the light meter in my Nikon F70 to gauge the settings for the Lubitel 166B and I’m impressed.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400

I am also really impressed with the Ilford HP5+ 400. The shadows and the blacks have so much dimension indoors and outdoors. Black and whites were not my favourite to shoot; I definitely loved my Kodak Gold and Ektar but I think the ACROS and these rolls are starting to change my perception of B&W. These are definitely not boring and I’m getting excited to shoot more B&W in the future.

If you need to know, these were shot during Canada Day long weekend in 2018. Yes, that’s a Molson Canadian.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Sooke

We stayed at a quaint Airbnb (this one if you were interested: Oceanfront Cottage ) right by the water in a small lesser known city called Sooke. Sooke is about a two hour-drive from Victoria.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Sooke

Our plan for the long weekend was to unplug and relax.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Sooke

I shot film. He played in tide pools. It was safe to say we really enjoyed our weekend.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Sooke

We stayed two nights in Sooke and enjoyed beachcombing and watching the sunset over, what seemed to us, our own private ocean.

At the time, I didn’t expect anything special from these images but sitting here looking at them now, I can’t wait for my camera to arrive. Yes, I purchased my own TLR off of Ebay. It will arrive soon and I’ll keep you all posted.

On the last day, we spent the few hours before our ferry ride home exploring Beacon Hill and Chinatown in Victoria. I mostly shot 35 mm-film there.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Sooke

I noticed there is vignetting on this lens. It’s too much not to notice but I suppose for those who don’t like it, you could crop the image slightly to be rid of the borders.

I thought it would be helpful to post the images unedited and uncropped. Also, I don’t mind the vignetting too much on B&W photos. The problem is that the vignetting is very noticeable on the roll of Ektar I also shot through this camera.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Beacon Hill, Victoria
Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Chinatown, Victoria
Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Chinatown, Victoria
Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400, Beacon Hill, Victoria

This is an example of what happens when you don’t wind your film after taking an exposure.

Shot with the Lubitel 166B + 75 mm f/4.5 on Ilford HP5+ 400

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