I saw the above camera in a charity (thrift) shop on Saturday passed... but was forcibly restrained from buying it by my daughter Dayna. It stuck in my mind... however... like all good obsessions do. I hoped it would be of a similar ilk to the cult Ultra Wide & Slim that I've been lusting after for a while now.
I did some digging on the ol' 'tinterwebs and found a few articles about it:
First off... I found avocado8's post on the camera...
Al's first remark when I opened the box was, "aren't those the kind of cameras companies *give away* as swag?" Uh, yeah. It's cheap plastic, light as a feather, requires no batteries as far as I can tell, and creaks under the pressure of my thumb when I advance or rewind the film. Perfect!I then admired some pics taken with the camera on lomography.com - they looked awesome!
I searched Flickr and found some more awesome imagery taken with the camera. I thought this set was particularly sweet.
Lastly, I found this post by Mark Cassino the clinched the deal...
As junk cameras go, the Vivitar is a real Cadillac. Unlike, say, the Special Moments Focus Free camera, the Vivitar is small, compact, and solidly built. It features a frame counter – a tremendous luxury for a camera of this class. It also has a protective lens cover, that locks the exposure button so you can’t take accidental shots (maybe not such a great feature). It also has a curved back plate – apparently an attempt to correct for some of the spherical aberrations caused by the focus free lens. I have an old Ansco Ready Flash that also has a curved back. You can only wonder what the results would be if the back were flat, but as it is the images are still plenty distorted.When I read this I got all excited and begged Olly to pick it up for me... it took the promise of a Lush bathbomb and the passing on of my existing panorama toycamera - the wide pic that took these pics - to persuade her... but persuade her I did... and I am now the proud owner of my first Vivitar film camera... for the paltry sum of £1.80.
The really exciting thing about this camera, though, is that it is P-A-N-O-R-A-M-I-C. Well, sort of. Following the fad of a decade or so ago, this camera crops the top and bottom off the 35mm frame, creating a panoramic aspect ratio.
I'll post the outcome of the first roll of film in it as soon as I'm finished. Thing is... I would actively encourage you to raid your local charity shops and look for old film cameras... especially the "toy" cameras like the Vivitar IC101. Film isn't that expensive to work with.
For example... at ASDA they will develop the film and put it straight on CD for you, without printing any pics. They charge £2 development + £0.97 for a CD (this CD can house up to 3 films). In addition, you can pick up a roll of Kodak ColorPlus 200ISO 24exp film for £1 from Poundland. That makes a total cost of £3.32 per roll or £0.14 per pic. Compare this with £1.25ish per Polaroid and you get where I'm coming from.
Don't get me wrong... it won't replace my dSLR (Nikon d60) or my iPhones... but it is a fun addition to already verging-on-OCD hobby.
Go on... give it a go... and if you find a working Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim... I'll give you a tenner for it.