I first tried one of these cameras in Japan…well the Superheadz version. In fact I was so convinced this was the same camera that I first headed this post a “Photo Post”. Then I looked at the original post and saw the error of my ways. Though the Superheadz is a clone of this camera, it is not this exact camera so I decided to make a new post.
I got my example from Ebay at a surprisingly cheap price. I put on the minimum bid and forgot about it, but nobody else bid so it was mine. I had been looking for one since my love of Vivitar cameras just started bubbling.
The specs for the camera are simple, fixed f11 and 1/125th with the famed 22mm focal length. It is best to stick to a roll of 24 exposure 400asa film. I followed that rule the first time I tried it. I loaded a Kentmere 400 which I took to Huddersfield and then Preston. Point and shoot, that was all I needed to do.
Well, I love them. The sharp focus point in the middle of the shot and the rapid drop off towards the edges is very pleasing to me. I wasn’t expecting the vignetting to be quite so pronounced though. Why was that?
Look at the original photo above, now look at the one used for this review at Casual Photofile. Do you see it?
Maybe this will help.
Someone put a washer around the lens. I removed it for the next film, but used the double side tape it had on it to keep it on the body. Not over the lens of course. It is an interesting effect and I might like to recreate it.
The next film I put in was the tail end of a roll that I took out of another camera. I had no faith in that camera and didn’t see the point in wasting the whole roll, why not finish it in this camera. The film was a Fuji Industrial 100, which was not a recommended speed. However, I decided to go for it as it was the hottest, brightest day of the year so far and I though both could cope. I was right, here are a few shots from Chester.
In none of the photos did I get the weird swirly effect that happened with the Superheadz version. I don’t miss it. What a super little camera, I think it is worth the hype, but maybe not the inflated prices. I will be keeping this version. I might make mine more funky or add a filter adapter to it like in this post by 35mmc. I will not be trying any of these hacks posted by Indestructables I am quite happy with the functions mine doesn’t have and won’t be trying those and risking my camera.
As for film, I have backed the Kosmo Foto Agent Shadow Kickstarter project. That film is 400asa, but it is pushable quite far. So if I go out on a day and it is darker than expected, I can push it in processing. It is a 36 roll, so not recommended for this camera, but I can split the roll easily enough by removing it then reloading in another camera. I think an experimental roll in an experimental camera might be quite fun.