La Sardina vs. Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim (Part 2)


I did a side-by-side comparison of La Sardina with Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim, and discovered some very interesting things. Read more in the second installment of the review!

In this installment of my comparison of La Sardina and The Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim (Vivitar UW&S), I focus on things that La Sardina can do that the Vivitar UW&S can’t.


In the first installment, I compared La Sardina (the Domino Pattern Edition was used for this review) and The Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim. It’s an interesting comparison because many people consider La Sardina to be The Lomographic Society’s answer to the Vivitar UW&S, but they are different in nearly every way except the lens. See part one of this review for a comparison of the features of the two cameras.

I determined that there was something mysterious happening with La Sardina’s angle of view. Even though both cameras have the same focal length lens, La Sardina’s angle of view is consistently narrower. Also, the pictures from the Vivitar were sharper, you might say, “less lomographic” than the pictures from La Sardina. Even though there was something mysterious happening with the angle of view, I decided that the results from La Sardina were good and that she’s a fun camera to use.

In this installment of my review, I’m going to focus on capabilities of La Sardina that are missing in an unmodified Viv UW&S.

First, let’s look at a multiple exposure:

Multiple exposures are a snap (pun intended) with La Sardina. You simply shoot, use the MX switch to reset the shutter, and shoot again. There is a little bit of an issue with the MX switch. It’s in a slightly awkward location right in front of the viewfinder. If you have fat fingers, it can get in the way. Just like with a real sardine can, you have to be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp metal edge.

Here are some endless panoramas:

Endless panoramas work well, but they’re not as easy to do as multiple-exposures. Resetting the shutter doesn’t work the way you might think it does. Fortunately, I figured out how to do them and posted a tipster about it. Check out my tipster to see how to do endless panoramas using the La Sardina.

Here is a long exposure picture using the tripod threads, the “B” mode, and a shutter release cable:

These three features — tripod threads, “B” mode, and a threaded shutter release — work together to allow you to do arbitrarily long exposures, but you can also use them to simulate other shutter speeds. I’ll be discussing that in another tipster, but the net of it is that you can use them to get a 1/50", 1/25", 1/15", and 1/7" shutter speed in addition to the standard 1/100". All that combined with a slightly slower shutter and larger aperture than the Viv UW&S make La Sardina a better low-light camera. Speaking of low light, here are some flash pictures:

Fritz the Blitz is awesome. He’s light, powerful, and perfectly matched to La Sardina’s angle of view and aperture. Fritz has replaced my Colorsplash Flash as my favorite flash for use with my other lomographic cameras — Sprocket Rocket, LC-A+, Diana F+, etc. I’ll be doing a review of Fritz soon.

Here are some pictures I took at the Lomography Store grand opening here in Austin. I shot most of these “from the hip” without using the viewfinder. I used the “B” mode to expose the background as well as the subjects and adjusted Fritz the Blitz power appropriately. These pictures demonstrate what a great flash Fritz the Blitz is and how well matched he is to La Sardina. Fritz has great reach and a sufficiently wide angle to cover La Sardina’s wide field of view.

The lower power settings come in really handy when you’re super close to your subject. You can light them without blowing them out. And, the full power setting comes in handy when you’re trying to cover a whole crowd. The power symbols on the flash are calibrated to the aperture of the Sardina and work well as you can see in the pictures. These pictures also show how handing the super-wide lens is in tight situations. The place was completely packed and I was standing right next to the band for lots of these shots. The huge depth of field meant that most of the time I could just leave it on the “Three People” focus zone and not worry about it. Fritz the Blitz recharges very quickly on the lower power modes, so I could be very fast.

La Sardina is great fun to shoot with and the features make her a very flexible camera. La Sardina is quickly becoming my favorite party camera because of her very wide angle, ease of use, and great flash capabilities when coupled with Fritz the Blitz. Be on the lookout for my Fritz the Blitz review and my half-frame La Sardina modification.

Get ready to sail the high seas with our new La Sardina collection! These 35mm cameras are equipped with spectacular wide-angle lens, multiple exposure capabilities, and a rewind dial—everything you need for fun-filled and thrill-soaked escapades. Get your own La Sardina camera now!

written by gvelasco on 2012-02-15 #gear #review #vivitar #vivitar-ultra-wide-slim #comparison #user-review #requested #la-sardina #shoot-out


  1. trw
    trw ·

    A fantastic follow-up to the brilliant "part 1."

  2. nuhdos
    nuhdos ·

    I'm a fan of this two-part review ! Hope that you don't mind that I translated the first part and now the second in my language ! Congrats for the great article !

  3. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    @nundos: Of course not! I greatly appreciate it. I speak Spanish, but it is not my first language. My father was born in Mexico and still speaks Spanish to me exclusively, but I was raised in the United States, so I never learned to write it well. I'm not always sure where to put the accents. ;-) I'm looking forward to see your translation of the second part.

  4. poglad
    poglad ·

    Those party pics are great - did you use the milky diffuser on the flash, or is it just full-on brightness? :-)

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