After saying a few weeks ago that I’d look for an original Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim on eBay rather than buy the new clone, the Reto Ultra Wide and Slim, I bought the Reto anyway.
Roberts Camera, the camera store in my town, received a batch and priced them at $29. It was easy to say yes at that price.
I’m surprised by how small and light this camera is. At 3 7/8″ x 2 1/4″ x 1″ and 2 1/2 ounces, it is easily the smallest and lightest 35mm camera I own.
It also joins a small, select group of film cameras I’ve owned from new, which includes the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 I reviewed last year, and a couple snapshot cameras I owned as a kid.
I chose the “murky blue” body color. The all-plastic body has a very slight texture to it. A previous Ultra Wide and Slim clone by Superheadz had a rubberized body. I’m under the impression that the original Vivitar’s body was smooth plastic.
The Reto Ultra Wide and Slim features a 22mm lens (hence, “Ultra Wide”). It’s barely thicker than a 35mm film cartridge (hence, “Slim”). If it is an exact clone of the Vivitar camera, its lens is f/11 and its shutter is a fixed 1/125 second. There’s no meter and there’s no flash, so this camera calls for fast film (such as ISO 400) with wide exposure latitude.
Conventional wisdom with the Vivitar version is to stick with 24-exposure rolls of film, as that camera jams on 36-exposure rolls. I’ll assume the same is true of this clone. 24-exposure rolls of color film are becoming hard to find as manufacturers are shifting production entirely to 36-exposure rolls. I have some 24-exposure rolls of ISO 200 color film on hand so that’s what I used. I wish I hadn’t used up the last of my 24-exposure Kodak Ultramax 400 recently.
Loading film into this all-plastic camera highlighted how flimsy it is. It was a little challenging to fit the film cartridge over the film rewind prong as the space for the film cartridge is snug. The winder feels plasticky and turns roughly, with a loud click when it locks the frame.
I’m sure I’ll be able to shoot the roll in this camera quickly, as I’ll easily be able to bring it with me everywhere I go. Look for a review here soon.