The Vivitar IC101 - Widening Your Vision


Even though this camera was a gift it took some time for it to arrive at its final destination.

One believes he has a terrible, terrible sense of fashion, the other one believes him. One lives in Canada one lives in England, though they have many differences they share 3 things in common; the same Monarch, a love of lomography, and the Vivitar IC101 Panoramic. This is their story.

MATT: I was at my computer just browsing, (not looking at porn before any of you think that – you filthy minded swine!), when a message appeared from my good friend dirklancer
JEFF: (interrupting) Hello, we also like groovy shoes and cruiser bikes.
MATT: What?
JEFF: You said “3 things in common”, but I count 5.
MATT: True as that may be – you’re interrupting the narrative.
JEFF: Sorry
MATT: Where was I? Oh yeah, the message simply read…
JEFF: (interrupting again) “this could be fun”
MATT: and underneath was a link to an ebay page. Naturally I followed the link, it led me to a rather nifty looking little camera at a very low price. I decided that I would put in a bid, if I won I would send it as a gift to dirklancer, or Jeff as his parents named him. Anyway my bid wins the camera and a few days later the camera arrives on my door step. I opened it up and thought it looked a bit like your typical toy camera, slightly rough round the edges, clip it together, plastic basically rubbish, but I agreed with Jeff’s original statement,
JEFF: “This could be fun”.
MATT: But what makes it fun?
JEFF: You know what it’s like when you try to watch the wide screen version of the latest blockbuster on your crappy 19" television?
MATT: I sure do
JEFF: And I’m not talking about that lovely LCD flat screen that you’re drooling over.
MATT: Go on.
JEFF: And the picture is so small because the top and bottom of your screen are all blacked out so you can see all of what the director intended?
MATT: Damn Directors’ intentions!
JEFF: That’s much like what you get when you shoot with the Vivitar IC101 Panoramic
MATT: WHAT?! Thats rubbish
JEFF: Only with this little beauty you get even more.
MATT: Ooooooooooh, that could be fun! Which is why I decided to shoot a roll before I sent.
JEFF: You telling me you used the camera that you had bought as gift for me?
MATT: Err… yeah… Is that a problem?
JEFF: If you bought a CD would you listen to it first?
MATT: Err… we digress. I found the loading of it annoying as it has two opposite turning spools, and I got to admit I didn’t think that the back looked light tight
JEFF: Yeah tell me about it
MATT: How do you know? I haven’t sent it to you yet?
JEFF: Oh yeah… I already have one!
MATT: WHAT! So you have a go at me for shooting your present when you didn’t tell me…
JEFF: We digress.
MATT: Hmmm. But it is totally light tight, and very light! Ha ha!
JEFF: Don’t do the jokes.
MATT: Sorry. I used a Kodak Gold film with an ISO of 200, I chose the film because it only has 24 exposures and it meant I could send it off sooner, always thinking of you Jeff!
JEFF: You still used a gift before you gave it
MATT: (gives Jeff evil eyes) and I found the results to be really crisp and very well exposed, even in the low light of my son’s room
JEFF: That’s interesting, my shots seemed to be a little overexposed, but I DID use a higher speed film out on a sunny day. Hey, I have a son – that’s 6 things in common.
MATT: Hmmm. How did you find the view finder?
JEFF: I looked at the top of the camera and there it was (smiles)
MATT: Don’t do the jokes
JEFF: Sorry. The viewfinder is also panoramic
MATT: Yeah but it’s great isn’t it, seeing the world panoramically…
JEFF: Who needs a 4×6 aspect ratio when your shooting a lamp post, right?
JEFF: Why are you shouting?
JEFF: ME TOO! Just think, all that time I save by cropping WHILE I’m shooting…I could get a second job!
MATT: You could work on your sense of fashion.
JEFF: Good point – what else should we tell our fellow Lomographers about this little beauty?
MATT: For the most part I enjoyed shooting with the camera, but something kept bothering me…
JEFF: An overwhelming sense of guilt about shooting with my present?
MATT: That was low Jeff, low. Actually it was the shutter release. A few times I couldn’t actually take the shot because the button would stick which wasn’t a problem if you were shooting something static but I felt I missed some good shots of my boy because of it – how did you find the shutter Jeff?
JEFF: I looked on the top and there is was (Matt slaps Jeff) errr… sorry, I found that it stuck but also that it never felt really secure BUT it does have a lens cover which, when closed, locks the shutter button
MATT: That could be because it really is quite a cheap quality camera
JEFF: True but it also includes a frame counter which I wouldn’t always expect in a camera this cheap
MATT: Woah woah woah! Are you saying that the camera, the GIFT I bought for you was cheap?
JEFF: No, I am saying it was cheaply made – honest.
MATT: OK, I believe you
JEFF: But it can’t have been that expensive, I mean the camera has no flash.
MATT: You see, there you go again, the Hasselblad has no flash but is that cheap?
JEFF: Are you telling me that you paid the same as you would for a Hasselblad?
MATT: No way man – it was dirt cheap, on ebay. Ah.
JEFF: Right. Let’s wrap this up with a final tip: Aim at the sun and let it find its way past the mask to brighten up the top and bottom of your print.
MATT: And we should tell folks you read somewhere that it has a focal length between 24 and 28mm, just in case they want to know. Jeff, can we sum the camera up in a word?
JEFF: Fun.
MATT: (under his breath) I was going to say that, damn it. Can you sum it up in a sound?
JEFF: Raaawwiueuuuiwwuwuwuwuyeuy

Unfortunately this noise is the mating call of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and two of the big brutes spring out of nowhere and snatch up Matt and Jeff and take them somewhere. Where they are now nobody knows, we only hope and pray that they are safe and have their cameras with them.

written by dirklancer on 2009-04-12 in #news #camera-review #vivitar #wide-angle #paradoy


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Ooooh guys ! This is amazing... You really made me laugh with you original dialogue... Add to this the stunning gallery and all this pure lomographic spirit. Bravo ! Hope your fine...;)

  2. dirklancer
    dirklancer ·

    MUCH credit has to go to mattcharnock on this one should really show as being by both of us :) Thanks for indulging our sense of humour LSI!

  3. mandashitley
    mandashitley ·

    Hooray for this camera! I have only used mine once!

  4. mandashitley
    mandashitley ·

    My shutter also sticks... I have to wind it back and it usually works. But I missed a whole bunch of pics walking from the end of a pier and some surfers because my friends always leave without me...

  5. mandashitley
    mandashitley ·

    and great shots, dirk (naturally)

  6. lomodirk
    lomodirk ·

    Hahaha, that was so much fun to read, great one :D

  7. mattcharnock
    mattcharnock ·


  8. anelfandhiszippo
    anelfandhiszippo ·


  9. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    # 6 & 7 are really great!

  10. fash_on
    fash_on ·

    I was inspired by your pics to put a roll thru this cam this weekend. I found the cam at SallyArmy for $3. Thanks for your fun review :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomopedia: Vivitar DL50

    written by cheeo on 2014-07-23 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Vivitar DL50

    Little is known about this odd-looking camera from Vivitar but one thing’s for certain; shooting with it is going to be fun especially with its lens switching feature!

  • Camera Collections: b2377's Priceless Analog Possessions

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-25 in #gear #lifestyle
    Camera Collections: b2377's Priceless Analog Possessions

    From the simple Vivitar 110 camera he received from his grandmother, Brett Wolff already accumulated close to almost a hundred cameras and accessories in his analog arsenal. Some of the cameras he treasured were even handed down by relatives and friends, making these more precious to him. Let's take a closer look at his camera collection.

  • Going Post Tropical with our LomoAmigo James Vincent McMorrow and the La Sardina

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-09-23 in #people #lomoamigos
    Going Post Tropical with our LomoAmigo James Vincent McMorrow and the La Sardina

    It's a huge pleasure to introduce our latest LomoAmigo, the fantastically gifted musician James Vincent McMorrow. This year, James launched his new album 'Post Tropical' and we couldn't wait to put a La Sardina camera in hands to play with for the Summer. He took the camera with him on his tour and snapped some truly cool shots. Check them out and read our interview with James below!

  • Shop News

    LomoKino Basic Package Services

    LomoKino Basic Package Services

    Process your LomoKino films the right way! Get scans, movie and negatives. This is the easiest way to turn those movie rolls into completed masterpieces! Check this service now!(Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Petzval History Series: The Early Life of Joseph Petzval

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-06-09 in #people #lifestyle
    Petzval History Series: The Early Life of Joseph Petzval

    The Petzval Lens was the first truly practicable portrait lens ever created and thus was the ultimate gift to early photography. We at Lomography feel that this lens and its inventor deserve some attention so here is the first of a series of articles on Joseph Petzval and the first Petzval Lens.

  • March Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #world #news #events
    March Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho

    Those long, frosty, dark nights are finally behind us. It's time to dust of your Diana F+; wipe down your LC-A Wide and get shooting again! Join us for some fabulous workshops and events in Soho and come and visit us in March at the Birmingham NEC as part of The Photography Show 2015. Read on for the full line up.

  • Stacy_mcpommes and her Weapon of Choice: Lubitel 166B

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-10-09 in #lifestyle
    Stacy_mcpommes and her Weapon of Choice: Lubitel 166B

    Not knowing exactly how to do deal with its odd appearance, Nadica first regarded the Lubitel 166B as a complete monstrosity. She left it untouched on her shelf for months after receiving it as a gift. After using other Lomo cameras and getting familiar with the rules on exposure, she finally had the courage to test it. Find out what made stacy_mcpommes fall in love with the Lubitel 166B in this installment of Weapon of Choice!

  • Shop News

    Sprocket Rocket Flash Bundle

    Sprocket Rocket Flash Bundle

    Sprocket Love: The Sprocket Rocket is the world’s first wide-angle camera dedicated to sprockets. It shoots 18 panoramas on a standard 35mm roll and exposes the whole width of film including sprocket holes. Use its dual winding knobs for easy multiple exposures and generate perfect nighttime shots with the bulb setting.

  • December 2nd Advent Offer: Don’t Miss Your Chance To Save 15% In The Shop! (Online Code: SAVE15TODAY)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-02 in #news
    December 2nd Advent Offer: Don’t Miss Your Chance To Save 15% In The Shop! (Online Code: SAVE15TODAY)

    Remember yesterday's great Advent deal? Well, it's happening again today! Find the perfect gifts for your loved ones this year and maybe even a little something for yourself. Head on over to the Online Shop or your nearest Gallery Store to get an amazing 15% off your entire order!

  • My First Indisposable Project

    written by stitch on 2014-07-24 in #lifestyle
    My First Indisposable Project

    The idea behind this project was to shoot 24 moments in one week's time using a disposable camera. Incidentally, a friend from Seattle sent me two disposable cameras so I was finally able to participate. Disposable cameras aren't sold in Manila anymore. I timed my shoot during the week wherein I had to go out several times, also hoping for good weather.

  • Lomography Official Petzval Launch Party in Hong Kong

    written by lomographygallerystorehk on 2014-08-26 in #events
    Lomography Official Petzval Launch Party in Hong Kong

    After a long wait, the Lomography Petzval lens has finally officially landed on our online shop and in our gallery stores. To celebrate and to get a glimpse of this legendary Petzval Lens, which was first conceived of in 1840 and reinvented by Lomography last year, we gathered media personalities and photography lovers at the Hong Kong Gallery Store for this very special evening.

  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • December 4th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays? (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-04 in #news
    December 4th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays?  (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    It's that time again — the Lomography Advent deal of the day! If you're in search of a beautiful gift for creative folks or looking to get into the game yourself, we've got your back. Today's super deal is on our Diana F+ and Diana Mini, as well as a continued discount on our plastic bodied cameras.

  • Finally, My Own Petzval Lens

    written by pearlgirl77 on 2014-11-20 in #reviews
    Finally, My Own Petzval Lens

    In April of this year I had the chance to test the Petzval Lens and to write a review on it for the German photography forum Kwerfeldein. The lens excited me from the very beginning, at the time it was introduced on Kickstarter. I was afraid that once I had tested the lens, I would want to have one of my own! Well, that’s what happened; a year later, I finally bought my very own Petzval lens.

  • Summer Hot Spots: Escaping the Heat at Cameron Highlands

    written by shind on 2014-07-03 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: Escaping the Heat at Cameron Highlands

    It’s normal during summer to be out there at the beach, sunbathing and getting yourself a nice tan, but in Malaysia, it could get pretty hot this time of the year. With the rising temperature, my friends and I decided to escape the heat of the city for a while and took an approximately three-hour drive to Cameron Highlands.