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 Olympic Export Lubitel 166B or is it?

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Vlad Posted - Jul 31 2019 : 3:02:50 PM
Hello everyone!

I got a strange camera in mail today that I purchased here locally in the United States. I wanted to to put it up in case anyone had seen anything like this before, I'm inclined to believe it may be a fake but if there is another camera like it obviously that will make it more difficult to discount. I paid as much as for a regular Lubitel 166B for it, the person who sold it to me didn't know much about cameras.

It came with this box:


A strange thing that stood out to me the box is from 166 not 166B although it's an export box, I've seen cases of them putting different writing on the box...

So the weirdest part the olympic logo sticker doesn't look like the sticker that is on regular 166, it's somewhat plastic-y looking and faded, the 166 is more chrome and paint seems to be done with a different process. plus notice the corners of the sign, they're also different..



Here's the olympic sign from regular Lubitel 166 for comparison

Also it's from 1981 based on serial #, a little bit late but still within the range of 1980 Olympics..


Has anyone encountered anything like this before? I think someone "made" it.. but with Soviet stuff you never know...

Best regards,
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Vlad Posted - Aug 01 2019 : 6:11:06 PM
Hahaha Juhani, I can totally picture it .. Well according to Aidas who had went through LOMO archives and talked to people in charge of export there is no mention of such export version.. but you are right, it's Soviet Union.. you never know ... . Very skeptical but hopeful

Yuri, no they did not make 166B Olympic as far as I know, this is a strange one, I will keep it on my shelf with a big question mark and maybe if there is another one found like it then we will consider it a series.

cedricfan Posted - Jul 31 2019 : 11:12:20 PM
Change of 70ies to 80ies. Finland is watching very carefully what is going on with the eastern Bear. Our king-like (since 1956!) President Kekkonen is ill, and the time for a political crisis could mean catastrophy. Luckily all goes well, but our eyes were all focused to east!
USSR (or shorter SU)is preparing for the Olympics. We have to get it right. We know West is laughing at out shortages in shops, so the shops must have everything for the whole time. Cameras, we sell the well. But our spy in UK, TOE, is telling that capitalists no longer want TLR. Neither FED, Zorki nor Kiev. Smena for those who like simple cheap cameras. Also Zenit still goes, but lenses, we have to buy those from Japan and rebrand as Helios. And even DDR-Praktica has had TTL-metering & auto-aperture for years! But western tourists is not all that comes, even FSU-tourists do attend, making it even harder to guess what is needed.
So, how many Lubis are needed? Maybe someone predicted a bit too low quantity. So the order came to Lomo to send more. But they had none... Except some 166-boxes and 166B-cameras. So, lets put a badge on those cameras, and don't care about the box.
Remember, these items are export versions, for tourists, and this camera is a late one for the games as 1981. BTW a bit of same thing happened with Mishka the mascot bear. There is a terrible amount of versions from it, all official ones. But it is very hard to find other than a couple of basic versions. And it was only a couple of years back that one NOS-lot was found in Estonia: they exist even in old forgotten warehouses, not only in peoples homes :)

Best regards,
fedka Posted - Jul 31 2019 : 8:43:51 PM
Vlad, I don't recall - did they even make 166B Olympic? I mostly saw 166 with Olympic logo.

I also doubt that the box is original. My first thought was that someone desperately wanted 166B Olympic and just put it together, with a 166 box and a self-made sticker.

On the other hand, this could be a factory experiment, in which case this is a super rare one of a kind Lubitel. Statistically, of course, the odds are not that great, with huge quantities made.

Either way - enjoy!

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