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Johnny Wilson
  • Johnny Wilson

R.I.P my Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim

In between the delay between sending my Retropan Soft film to the Wonderlab and getting the photos back I took a look through my films to work out which ones were closer to expiring than others and discovered I had x2 Poundland films that expired in August 2020 sitting on my shelf. I put these to one side because, to be honest, they're just not worth shooting with cost-wise, for more detail; I did a whole blog post on the Power Geek branded film which explains why, so they had just sort of been sitting there but we had some bright winter sunshine in November so on a whim I loaded one in my Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim and set out to snap a few things whilst the weather was nice!

The semi-good news is that I managed to get all the way through - and all the way through being 10 photos... of the first roll but when rewinding the film to load in the second the tension in the film spool was far too stiff and too much for my camera to overcome, something went ping, and that was the end of that! The film winder now doesn't wind the spool on and no amount of jiggling about with the plastic bits is seeming to make any difference! 😥

The VUW&S is notorious for being fragile and delicate. Most toy camera shooters recommend you don't run anything greater than x27 exposures through it because the extra tension is prone to breaking the film winder, and the camera body is notorious for developing cracks and light leaks if not looked after. I've blogged about mine before now so I won't repeat myself too much here but I first picked it up in 2011 in a charity shop, so to get 10 years and about x8 rolls of film out of it before finally breaking it, I feel like I've done alright!

I took it to France with me in 2011 and carried it around Birmingham and Coventry with me, so in memorandum here are a handful of my favourite shots I've got with my Viv as it's been with me on my travels:

I now plan to put it into retirement alongside my old Lomography Fisheye, which also doesn't work anymore for the same reason, and keep it because it's far too nice to just throw away, even if it doesn't work, and when I have my own place set up it will definitely form part of the display of cool, cult cameras I've collected over the years! You can check out the rest of my VUW&S shots in my Flickr album.


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