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The "Ship", Morton and a Remarkable Camera

This is the "Ship" public house on Morton (Gainsborough)'s Front Street. Nowadays this pub does a fine pint, and is worth a visit. However, I don't want to talk about the pub, but about the remarkable camera I used to take this shot.

My GOMZ Lomo Lubitel 2 twin lens reflex camera cost me £8 when I bought it (second hand) in 1978 - sixteen-year-old me was too poor to afford a brand new one at £12. No camera manufacturer outside the USSR would pick such a wildly unambitious name as Любитель - Lubitel - which basically means amateur, for one of their products, and by that time few were continuing to plough the twin-lens reflex furrow, but the Lubitel series was clearly successful for Lomo, who turned them out in the hundreds of thousands - nay, millions, between 1950 & 1988 (all versions). The company made some 2,232,245 of the version I use, the Lubitel 2. To this day, a revised edition is still made by the Lomographic Society.

Yes it is a cheap camera. Yes it was already hopelessly outdated when I bought it 34 years ago. But, and it is a big but, it gives great results, and is very easy to use. I also own a Nikon F5, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest cameras ever made, which cost around £2,000 when it came out in 1996. It can autofocus on a train coming towards you at 100mph, can blast off 8 frames every second and give perfect exposure control every frame, none of which the Lubitel can do (the Lubitel would be going well to shoot 8 frames per Minute), but can I honestly say that the resulting pictures are £1,992 better?

No.

 

Camera: GOMZ Lomo Lubitel 2

Lens: Lomo T-22 f4.5 75mm

Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

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Taken in April 2012