Overview[edit | edit source]
The Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim is an all-plastic point and shoot 35mm film camera with a fixed f/11 aperture and 22mm wide angle fixed focus lens. Shutter speed is also fixed at 1/125s, so film with an speed of 400ISO is recommended for general use. The camera, which has been discontinued for some time, has found a new life in the "toy camera" and lomography universe, and has become much sought after. Photos with vignetted edges and the instantly recognisable lens flare give it a distinct low-fi and unique feel. The effects are emphasised by cross-processing slide film. The cult following of the UWS has led to it being reproduced by Superheadz as the White Slim Angel, Black Slim Devil, Yellow Peace and Blue Ribbon. Clones known as the Rainbow V have also been seen.
Operation[edit | edit source]
The UWS is a completely mechanical camera, relying on no electronics to function, so no batteries are required. The film is advanced through a manual dial, which in turn advances the number of exposed frames in the frame counter window. Aiming is done through a plastic window that is not linked visually to the lens in any way; therefore, the photographer needs to adjust for parallax error when composing the photograph. The photographer should also keep in mind that the view finder does not have the curvature of the 22mm lens. The images produced will contain much more of the scene than can be seen during composition. The shutter release is a simple button located on the top of the camera.
The camera has quite fragile components and many users have found that the film advance cog breaks if the shutter is held under tension for a long time, especially with 36 exposure films. The best ways of avoiding this happening appear to be using 24-frame film, and not winding on until just prior to taking a shot. (This also prevents the flimsy shutter release button being pressed by accident when it's in your bag).