Big Rick Stuart
The return of a classic: A new $30 Vivitar Ultra-Wide Slim 35mm film camera clone
Updated: Jan 12, 2022
more at emulsive.org
Shooting film is kind of a thing these days. Yes you can still get film and have it developed. This is a copy of a cheapie camera that uses 35mm film and has a wide lens. It looks like fun. I ordered one!
Yes my iPhone takes good photos. My Sony a6400 takes great photos. My Olympus TG-4 fits in my pocket and is easy to carry. I still think it would be fun to have something like this to carry around and see what results I get. It's nice and small and just $30 - but the price of international shipping almost doubles it. Somebody in the US might have it at some point with cheaper shipping.
Another film option would to buy a camera and lens from KEH.com they have a lot of used equipment there. I ordered a RETO Ultra Wide & Slim 35mm film camera in cream like the photo below.
For those of you reading this who’ve been shooting film for longer than a couple of years, you’ll no doubt be drawing some immediate and very understandable comparisons between RETO Ultra Wide & Slim and the classic Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim. In fact, as the photo below from Peggy Marsh’s excellent Camera Go Camera review of the Vivitar UWS only the branding of the two cameras appears to be different ...the aperture’s “f” designation is also in a different case.
(that just means one has "F" and one is "f" - not a different camera case)
The OG Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim
Note: Reto recommend the use of ISO 100 or 200 films under bright sunlight and ISO 400 or above film for sunny or cloudy days — of course, you can always push your film in development if you’d prefer.
Film Format: 35mm
Optics Lens: 22mm, F=11,
2-Element Optical Grade Acrylic Lenses
Focusing: Focus Free, 1m~∞
Shutter Speed: 1/125s
Film Transport: Manual wind and rewind
Dimensions: 100(W)x59(H)x28(D) mm
Main Material: ABS
That’s really it! The camera is available for pre-order right now, should be shipped in a couple of months, is CHEAP and with any luck, will match that magic formula that gave the original Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim so much cachet.
In short, if you shot and loved the original, you’ll probably feel the same about the RETO. If you haven’t shot the original, or if the truly astronomical secondhand market prices have made you second guess purchasing one, this should get you most of, if not all the way there.
Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim Flickr Group
Hack Your Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim Camera
"The Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim was a simple point and shoot plastic camera barely worth the few dollars it costs …..Now it is the quintessential hipster, retro, future, anarchist imaging device!"
but wait there's more! RETO makes a 3D Film camera!
B&H Photo in New York has it for $99