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.
JEFF: You said “3 things in common”, but I count 5.
MATT: True as that may be – you’re interrupting the narrative.
MATT: Where was I? Oh yeah, the message simply read…
JEFF: (interrupting again) “this could be fun”
MATT: (sighs) 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 didnt 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 isnt it, seeing the world panoramically…
JEFF: Who needs a 4×6 aspect ratio when your shooting a lamp post, right?
MATT: EXACTLY! ITS A GREAT CAMERA TO EXPLORE DYNAMIC COMPOSITION
JEFF: Why are you shouting?
MATT: I AM EXCITED.
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 wasnt 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?
MATT: (under his breath) I was going to say that, damn it. Can you sum it up in a sound?
[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.]