Vivitar UWS - The Smallest Wide Angle Plastic Camera


The Vivitar UWS (for Ultra Wide & Slim) is perhaps the smallest lightweight plastic camera that offers a wide angle lens of 22mm. The name of the camera describes it perfectly, this cam is really slim (only about 2,5 cm x 6,5 cm x10 cm) and the lens is really wide!

It’s the kind of “point & shoot” camera, or even an “only shoot” one, because as the lens is wide enough, tyou don’t need to point exactly at your subject, you can always be sure that a lot of things come in your picture! The plastic lens has a fixed aperture at f:11 and a fixed shutter speed at 1/125 and you can shoot from about 0,5m to infinity. It’s a very lightweight camera, so it’s easy to take everywhere you go, make quick shots and see afterwards what you’ve taken when the negatives are developped! You can use any kind of 35mm film, but in bright sunlight, a 100 asa film seems the best to use…

It’s always a surprise to see the results, because the lens has some curious reactions when rending the colors and the light effects, with a special mention to the light flares when you shoot directly in the sun. That can give you some very interesting shots.

Some have called it the “LCA for the poor”, and true, it’s really very cheap (a few $/€, I got mine as a gift from kylethefrench, thanks mate! ;))), but as it is basic plastic, don’t expect your camera to live very long if you use it intensively.
So, it’s just the perfect camera to have fun with, at a very low price, and for always surprising results!

written by vicuna on 2008-09-20 #gear #35mm #review #vivitar


  1. babo
    babo ·

    I have been reading a lot of things about this small wonder... and everytime I see pictures taken with it I become even more amazed!!
    Your pictures are simply gorgeous and nobody outside the plastic lens comunity would believe they were taken with a camera worth less then 10 euros/dollars.
    I would also like to point that I found in a review that sometimes ISO400 film is the best choice, even on a sunny day. Sometimes even ISO800 should be considered for shadows. Maybe your baby has a brighter lens then most, since your pictures are just lovely and bright as I like them, but I`ve seen lots of pictures on reviews and most of them look a bit darker. Just thought that new users should consider it when trying their babies for the first few times.
    Gratz on the great review.

  2. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    @babo: Thanks for the comment :)) As the cam has a fixed aperture & speed, the only way to adapt to the outdoor light is the film sensibility. Yes, a 400 asa will be good in normal light conditions, but when I'm talking of bright sunlight on the Cote d'Azur, here in Nice, I mean really very bright sunlight, and only a 100 asa can manage it...

  3. teriax
    teriax ·

    Interesting !

    By the way how can somebody get their hands on this one ?

  4. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    @teriax: if your fingers are really close to the lens (not covering it of course...) it could be that you will see them on the shot... as the camera is really small and if you have very big hands, that can happen... ;))))

  5. saviorjosh
    saviorjosh ·

    well done, vicuna!
    interesting camera review with a stunny gallery!
    i guess teriax meant to ask where he can buy this camera. that's actually what i am wondering too. is this camera still in active production? or is it a dead-stock?

  6. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    Bravo Stéphane!

    @ saviorjosh and teriax: the only (I think) way to buy this plastic wonder is on eBay. hurry up before theyr price rise!
    Bought mine for less than 10 euro including postage!

More Interesting Articles