For all its cromulence, the camera is a little limited in photographic capability. It has one shutter speed (1/125 sec), one aperture (f11), and one focal length (22mm).
In this Instructable, we’ll modify the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim (hereafter called UWS) and give it some additional photographic control features such as:
1. Multiple Exposure Capability
2. Variable shutter speed
3. Bulb shutter speed
4. Cable release capability
5. Tripod bushing
6. Easy open back
7. Filter Capacity
8. Hot Shoe
Some may argue that adding additional photographic features defeats the purpose of a simple point and shoot. I for one like to have the capability to extend my creative vision--however myopic. The best part of these modifications is that it does not change the basic functionality of the camera. You can just ignore the added capabilities and stick to what you know.
Step 1: Camera Overview
I'm sure that Vivtar has lost whatever patent rights they had on the camera design because there are plenty of clones out (mostly from Superheadz) there now ready to sell to unsuspecting hipsters at premium prices. All the clones seem to be about the same, except in different colors. Many from Superheadz models are shipping with a nice ruggedized rubber coating.
The camera design has some issues.
1. One well known issue is the quality of the winding mechanism. With high torque, a small piece of plastic can break off making the winding mechanism useless. Many will only use 24 exposure rolls to minimize the stress on this part.
2. The 22mm lens is prone to flare. Most people consider this a feature rather than a limitation.
3. Viewfinder covers about 80% of what ends up on the film.
4. The back cover is notoriously difficult to open.
Despite these issues, the camera has earned a cult following...lets try to increase the congregation by adding some additional capabilities.
** One note on naming conventions. When I say left or right side of the camera, that would be as if you were standing behind the camera just like you would be if you were composing and taking a photograph.