The Vivitar IC 101 is a very, very cheap camera with a wide lens. Mine was panoramic until I got the knife out. Once modified it distorts but surprisingly doesn't vignette.
As I usually do, I visit charity shops to try and pick up film cameras. On one particular occasion I picked up a Vivitar IC101 panoramic for 30p. It’s probably one of the most simple cameras ever—just a winding knob, shutter button, and to my surprise, a frame counter (but unsurprisingly it doesn’t work). After winding and firing a few times, the camera broke. This involved taking the camera completely apart and sorting out the shutter spring. It was very simple fix, it was at that moment, I decided I was going to modify this camera and remove the mask the creates the panorama effect. This also was very simple and just involved cutting out some plastic in the back of the camera. I also cut out the mask in the viewfinder, although the viewfinder is pretty much useless. I normally don’t go for cameras with such few features and I don’t really shoot lomo photographs, but I bought this camera to experiment with.
The first time I used the camera with film in was with the last few frames of a roll out of my Minolta X-700. After I developed the roll, I noticed a light leak down the right hand side of every image. So I taped the back up with electrical tape.
Here is my Frankenstein camera:
The camera itself is completely plastic, including the lens, which claims to be a 35mm. Although I’d say it’s more of a 28mm, but that may be because I have removed the mask. It has a single shutter speed, which I believe to be 1/125th but after seeing how the shutter works, I’d say its just a random one every time.
I decided to go on a walk with the camera to see if my handywork with tape had worked.
Here are some of the results:
As you can see, it did not work, but I actually like some of the results, and you can clearly see in some images the distortion of the lens. The double exposure was completely accidental, and also due to the modification frame spacing being very close, and the frame actually being a little larger than normal 35mm.
Overall, it’s a pretty good camera for experimenting with, especially if you decide to modify it. I have finally located the light leak; light is actually coming in through the plastic at the front and through a slice due to my knife skills. I have now taped it up so hopefully, it won’t occur again.
Thanks for reading my review! Keep shooting!