Lubitel (cyrillic: Любитель) means "amateur" in Russian. The Lubitel 2 was made in great numbers by the Leningrad GOMZ (later LOMO) factory. More than two million were produced between 1954 and 1980. There are versions with a cyrillic name plate or with one in latin script as the one shown, and it was rebadged for various other markets as Kalimar TLR100, Amatör II and Global 676. It was also produced as a stereo version and sold as the Спутник (Sputnik). The camera body is made of plastic, possibly bakelite. The waist level finder and focusing rings are made of metal. These cameras were delivered with a case and strap made of artificial leather. There is a stepless aperture scale under the taking lens with apertures from 4.5 to 22. Winding the film is done by a black knob on the right side of the camera. This does not cock the shutter.
The most exceptional feature of the Lubitel that its focusable reflex finder has no simple matte screen but a big viewing lens which makes it looking like a brilliant finder. Inside the finder that lens has a small round plane matte screen spot for exact focusing. A collapsiple little loupe helps focusing exactly. This very clear finder helps you to compose your picture in dim light situations. The focusing is done on the small center spot. Four wedges help you orientate the picture. While very bright, this finder gives a "dancing" picture. This happens especially when the camera is hanging on your belly and you look down into the finder. This is rather strange, since this is the position you're supposed to look through it. When you look onto the glass from closer by, you often get a "tunnel" vision; the edges become darker (light falloff?). The finder hood can be folded partially so that front and back of the hood serve as sports finder.
The Lubitel has a LOMO T-22 75/4.5 taking lens. It is actually a little wider than the normal 80mm medium format standard lens. The shutter is cocked with a red-dotted lever. The aperture and the shutter button are all positioned around the taking lens.
- french user manual on www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand :