The Belfoca was a popular medium format folding camera for type No. 120 rollfilm, made by Belca and after 1957 made by Welta, and produced between c.1950-59.
With the presentation of the new Belca Belfoca II the basic belfoca is now called Belfoca I. It was similar to Belfoca but with slightly different struts.
Made for 6x9cm images, it could be used with a mask for 6x6cm exposures. It had features that facilitated film load, exposure counting and closing the camera. The frame finder, the optional accessory brilliant finder and the shutter release button on top were further features to make this camera user-friendly. It was so popular that Feinmess in Freital started making camera lenses because other makers like Ludwig and Meyer had difficulties in supplying enough Meritar and Trioplan lenses. The camera was available with fast f4.5 lens or normal f6.3 lens. Shutter equipment was a multi-speed Tempor or Prontor-S shutter or a three-speed Binor or Junior shutter.
The waist level view finder has to have been optional because it is not very common on these more modern folding cameras. The Belfoca is more or less a copy of the Zeiss Nettar (515/2) but in spite of rather similar specifications the results are slightly inferior compared to the original.
After the WW2, the Dresden firm Balda stayed in east Germany and its name changed to Belca-Werk in 1951. It continued for some time to produce folders, and was absorbed into VEB Kamera-Werke Niedersedlitz in 1957. From that time Belca Belfoca cameras made by Welta, which was also a part of VEB-camera-Werke Niedersedlitz.
The Lubitel 166U was made by Lomo in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia. The Lubitel is the poor man’s twin lens reflexcamera. Being made of plastic, it is sometimes lumped into the toy camera category, but it does have a glass lens and other features like several apertures and shutter speeds. Despite the apparent ability to «control» this camera, I have to admit that this isn’t my favorite machine. Although bright, the screen is really hard to focus. It has a ground circle in the center and a small magnifying glass to help with the task, but the results don’t seem worth the effort. You are almost better off estimating the distance Holga-style. But all-in-all, it is capable of taking pretty sharp photos, and if you are willing to put up with its idiosyncrasies, it can be a nice little camera.
- Type: TLR
- Manufacturer: LOMO
- Year of launch: 1980
- Film: 120 only
- Frame size: 56×56 mm or 56×42 mm (12 or 16 pictures per film respectively)
- Lens: T-22 triplet, 75 mm f/4.5
- Shutter: leaf, manually cocked
- Shutter speeds: 1/15 sec. to 1/250 sec. and B
- Aperture: f4.5 to f22
- Focusing range: 1.3 m to infinity
- Flash synch: cord, all shutter speeds
- Self-timer: mechanical
- Film transport: manual
- Frame counter: none (two windows at the back for controlling frame numbers of both frame sizes)
- Double exposure safety: no
- Tripod socket: 1/4″