Whenever a new old camera appears, being with me is no fun. And this happened the last weekend. I got hold of a Lomo Lubitel 2, a russian copy of German camera Voigtländer Brillant, often found in cellars, old wardrobes and second hand camera shops - dirty and with wrong focusing. So I dug into a repair.
What you’ll need
- small watchmaker’s screwdrivers
- wax paper or some semi-transparent thing of similar quality
- microfiber cloth
- sharp tweezers or a piece of wire
- trigger wire
Cleaning the ground glass and the mirror
- remove three screws hidden in the shaft
- remove shaft, ground glass, piece of metal holding the mirror and the mirror
- clean, relax, and spare your nerves for later
Removing the lens
- find three tiny screws on the taking lens and remove them
- remove the cover/gear of the taking lens
- unscrew the front lens of the taking lens
- remove two screws on the ring with numbering of the focusing lens
- unscrew the focusing lens holding the gear
- unless needed, don’t remove the last screw from the focusing lens. If the lenses are just out of synch but otherwise focusing OK, this will cause us problems.
- clean everything and prepare for calibration
Calibrating focusing lens
- re-insert the mirror, the metal piece holding it, the ground glass, the shaft and screw it together
- re-insert the ring with numbers belonging to the focusing lens so that you can read the numbers
- a) if we haven’t taken apart the focusing lens, insert it into the upper thread, and use the built-in loupe to focus on something in infinity (40+ meters should be OK). Adjust the ring with numbers to show infinity and screw it to the focusing lens with the two screws.
b) if you have taken apart the focusing lens, insert the part with gear into the thread, screw it as far as it goes comfortably (don’t force it all the way to the end!) Set the ring with numbers to infinity and screw it together with the two screws. Now take the focusing lens and start screwing it into the thread until you have it focused for infinity. Double check that it’s focused and the ring+gear is showing infinity. Add the last screw to put it together.
- check if it focuses correctly on infinity and 1.4m. If it does, don’t touch it :)
Calibrating taking lens
- Remove the back cover of the camera by opening it and pushing out the metal thing holding the hing together with a wire or the sharp tweezers.
- Tape the wax paper to the bottom part where the film is normally exposed so that it’s stretched on the silver bearings like a film should be.
- Set the time on Bulb “B” so that you can have the shutter open, and expose with a wire trigger. Secure it so that the shutter remains open.
- Start screwing the bottom lens onto a bright subject in the infinity and you should see it on the wax paper. Screw it until it’s sharp. Check it with a magnifying glass. If infinity is sharp, put the gear/cover on top of the lens and secure with three screws.
- Check that both lenses focus correctly on 1.4 m and infinity. If they do, congratulations :)
- Mount the back cover, insert a film and enjoy :)
* if you take the top lens out and then screw it back all the way to the bottom, it can happen that after adding the gears, they wan’t be engaged at shorter focusing distances, and the focusing won’t work.