Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim/Superheadz Wide & Slim Review : wide out fun

I’ve heard folk rave about modern film cameras  before. There are some serious devotees to the cult of Lomography and all that LSI makes for example.  But Sunpet’s tiny wide angled camera originally sold as the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim (VUWS) and today is sold as the Superheadz Wide and Slim or the Eximus has developed a similar cachet. But does it live up to it’s tag as  “The Poor man’s Lomo”

Superheadz Wide & Slim
Superheadz Wide & Slim,  a current clone of the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim

The answer is yup actually !

Empty seats
Glasgow Botanics,2015. Superheadz Wide and Slim with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 400

You’ve probably never heard of Sunpet Industries Ltd, they are a Hong Kong based company that make a range of products (often sold under other branding). They still make film cameras including the modern VUWS clones. The VUWS was actually to be found in the likes of poundshops a year or 2 back (curses !!! missed that) but you can still buy a superheadz model on amazon new for under 20 quid.

Skylight I
Hamilton 2015. Superheadz Wide and Slim with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200

It’s an all plastic affair. The body is tiny, really tiny about the size of smaller pack of playing cards. Despite what devotes to the Rollei or Minox 35 series would have you believe, I think the VUWS is probably the smallest full frame 35mm camera in the world (it certainly is the smallest in production). The modern Superheadz version comes in a range of colours to suit all palettes.

Superheadz Wide & Slim from above
Superheadz Wide & Slim Yellow Peace from above

Superheadz Wide & Slim  Specs

  • Lens:  22mm
  • Focus : Fixed
  • Metering: None
  • Shutter speed: 1/125 sec
  • Aperture: f/11
  • Filter-Thread: N/A

The camera comes with a reverse Galilean  viewfinder and shutter button and ….erm that’s it. the shutter, aperture and focus are all fixed There is no hotshoe, cable release, tripod mount(that ain’t stopped folk modding their VUWS)

Unimpressed
Glasgow Botanics,2015. Superheadz Wide and Slim with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 400

And the shots. Well bear in mind there is no exposure control,  but in the right conditions very good. Most folk recommend 400asa but on the few rolls so far I had better performance on 200asa (this is probably on the basis that modern film can cope with 2-3 stops over exposure but only one stop under). The camera Vignettes out of the box giving a Lomo feel. The 22mm plastic lens is one of the widest full compact camera lens on the market and is actually pretty sharp centrally but does give out on the edges but this again adds to the appeal. The manual suggests a 1.2m-∞ focus range but folk have got a lot closer in

Flared Living
Superheadz Wide and Slim with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200. 2015

Flare is something else here but no worse than other plastic lensed cams and for some will be a reason to exploit.

There are downsides. The light & tiny size makes the film compartment door a pain to open (HINT try doing it with the door facing downward to let gravity help). You do see notes of concern about using 36exp rolls and the tension this puts on the winder. There also are some  references to the shutter slowing over time.

Skylight II
Hamilton 2015. Superheadz Wide and Slim with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200

That said I still think this is a classic ultra compact camera and one that is still being made. IMHO is quite simply the best Toy class camera out there.

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19 thoughts on “Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim/Superheadz Wide & Slim Review : wide out fun”

  1. Great review. A tiny and fun camera to throw in the bag.

    You may have read that the film door can be a beast to open. Upon receiving the camera, I found this to be very much the case. Others have recommended holding the camera upside down, but on my copy that technique didn’t work. After trial and error, have arrived at a method that allows me to open the camera fairly easily.

    Hold the camera in your left hand so that your forefinger and thumb squeeze moderately tightly against the actual top and bottom of the camera at the latch end. The hinge end of the camera should be pointed toward the floor and the lens should be pointed at your left palm. As you use your right thumbnail to slide the latch open, simultaneously jerk the camera body leftward with your left hand. Think of this action as pulling the camera away from the film door. If you get the timing right, you’ll either fully open the door or open it just enough to disengage the latch and allow you to pry it open with your fingernail.

    Happy shooting!

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