Monday, April 23, 2007

The Vivitar 35ES and I

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Vivitar 35ES, Fuji Superia 100, Lab Processed

Perhaps two rolls is too short an acquaintance, but try as I might, I simply can't get on with this little compact rangefinder.

It's not that it's shutter priority, because the automation on my current favourite compact camera (the Canonet QL19 GIII) is shutter priority too, as was the Ricoh 500G, another favourite. It's not that the camera is too big, as I've carried 'round the chunkier Minolta Hi-Matic 7s and Canonet QL19.

I'm not sure what it is, but somehow my composition on this camera turns out "baggy", the contrast from the lens is lacking and the colour rendition seems (to me) to be left in the shade by the crisp reproduction of the other rangfinders I've used.

Which is a shame - because in the hand, this is a nice, solid feeling little camera, and one I was excited to be able to get hold of, having heard great things of it. In fact, one of my flickr contacts (Rueno) used one to great effect.

Maybe I need more time with it, although that's time I could be spending with little miss canonet... :)

Canon Canonet QL19 GIII,
Ilford HP5+
Ilford Ilfotec LC29 (1+29), 9mins @ 20°c, 4 inversions each minute


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you got a lemon. Two rolls of film for a test isn't much, I usually experiment with a range of slide and print films until I find those best suited to a given camera lens combination.

In any event, the six-element 40mm/1.7 lens in the Vivitar is of superb quality, there are too many admiring users out there to dispute the fact (and those that had to hold their nose to even buy a camera with 'Vivitar' on it!).

My own Viv 35ES is razor sharp with bright color rendition and produces images indistinguishable from my better Nikon and Contax Zeiss SLR primes.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the comment above - the ES is a great little camera. One added bonus - the RF mechanism seems to be very robust, which makes it a good coat pocket camera. Persevere - it may come good for you.