I’ve gotten a lot of experience with the Fisheye 2 and the Actionsampler, but I’ve been in want of something more, let’s say, traditional. Vignettes in the corners! Saturated colors! One lens producing a good-old rectangular photo! But funds are short and something like the LCA has to wait for Christmas, so what do I do to quench my thirst in the meantime? I’d heard about this “Vivi” and seen sample photos that, whether due to my inexperience with the LCA or the expertise of the photographers posting them, looked very reminiscent of that famous Minitar lens. Mix in some Diana softness and vignettes, add a splash of Fisheye-suggestive wide angles, and you’ve got some pretty impressive photos.
I found this camera on EBay for under $15, including shipping, and in a matter of seconds I’d paid for it and begun awaiting its arrival.
My first impressions: people aren’t exaggerating when they talk about its size! I have this little tiny rainbow purse that I’ve been dying to fit a camera in, and this one fits! All you got are pockets?…no problem, it’ll fit there, too. Next, I was worried because I heard it has a weak rewinding handle, but after my first roll was shot I discovered that as long as you take good care of your things, you’ll be fine; just don’t let your excitement of finishing a roll cause you to forget that the camera is still just cheap plastic.
Upon reviewing my photos, roll after roll, slide film, color prints, doubles…you name it, I have not only been extremely impressed with the results, but I have had a much easier time waiting for Dec. 25th to get here. LCA addicts do not be offended: I still intend to become one of you soon, and I’m sure NOTHING could truly replicate that beautiful Minitar lens. But the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim is in a league all its own and deserves to be recognized for it!
User-friendly, convenient, light-weight and CHEAP…there is no excuse for a lomographer not to include this camera in his or her collection!