In this article, two wide angle beauties go head-to-head to see how they might appeal to us as Lomographers and to see who is the top dog of the wide angle compacts. Flares, colors, and vignettes abound! All this and more, after the jump!
The first camera that comes to mind to many Lomographers when you say “wide angle” is the vivid Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim. A camera so famous that there have been many copies over the years, and it is regarded by many Lomographers as one of their favorite cameras. The Vivitar is light, inconspicuous, simple to use, and fun to shoot with. Its plastic lens gives all of what we Lomographers love: flares, saturated colors, soft focus, and simple operation. Yes truly this is a camera that has earned its fame, BUT there is another that offers some similar charms, along with some advantages over the Vivitar!
This camera is the Canon BF-10, a fixed focus camera with a glass lens, auto winding, and a built in flash! And that flash is the biggest advantage over the Vivitar, as this frees you from having to load a higher speed film, or modifying your camera to leave the shutter open for longer. another advantage over the Vivitar is the automatic winding, this means you can quickly snap a shot and not worry about forgetting to advance your film, and its quieter as well, making only a slightly noticeable sound. But this camera has one more advantage! A Self timer feature, making self portraits and shots on a tripod with little to no shake easy! And unlike some compacts with features such as these, the Canon BF-10 thankfully uses AA batteries. So shooting with this camera is both enjoyable AND affordable!
But other than that the cameras are pretty similar because:
- They both have shutter speeds around 1/100th of a second
- They both vignette and produce a soft focus effect
- They are both light and easy to carry
- They both have wider-than-average lenses (The Vivitar’s being 22mm and the Canon’s Being 26mm)
- They are both reasonably quiet and are easy choices for inconspicuous street shooters.
So now it’s time to compare images and show how the lenses differ in terms of their respective qualities. Both cameras were shot on Kodak Ultramax 400 film.
These are the photos from the Vivitar:
As you can see, these photos are defidently wider than your average camera, and if you look at straight lines you will see the distortion caused by a focal length as wide as the UW&S has.
And here are the photos from the Canon:
Now because the Canon has a slightly less wide lens than the Vivitar, the distortion is not as evident as with the 22mm lens. Also the shots appear to be more punchy in some respects. This may have to do with the coating on the Canon’s lens.
Now for the verdict. In terms of color saturation I would say this is a win for the Vivitar, it just gives out a more colorful image. In terms of Contrast however the Canon is the winner, because of its almost cross-processed style contrast in some shots. The winner in terms of portability and in terms of carrying it around, is the vivitar, because it doesn’t need batteries it would be my choice for a travel camera, just be sure to use it during the day, or in well lit areas unless you pack a high speed film. But if i was going for shots indoors with 400 ISO or below, The canon would be the one for me.
So this leaves us at a crossroads…There doesn’t seem to be a clear winner here. So! I’ll let you decide! Thats right folks! YOU get to be the almighty decider! Leave a comment below on which you think is the wide angle champion!