Internet reviews of the Vivitar 35ES seem to agree that it’s a well built camera with a great lens, but which is otherwise uninspired. So why did I get it?
My first serious camera (given to me by my wife back around 1980 and which I still have) was a Minolta 7sii. It bears more than a passing resemblance to this camera. In fact the half case in the picture is from the Minolta and it fits perfectly). While I love the 7sii I would have preferred it in black. I later discovered that there was a black version. Unfortunately it’s quite scarce and rather expensive so I decided I’d have to get along without it. Then I came across this camera. It looked very much like the 7sii and offered (apart from full manual operation) a similar feature set …and it was black and much less expensive. So I decided to get one.
Cosmetically it’s in fairly good shape and everything works. In fact the viewfinder is significantly clearer than that on my Minolta. The leather is lifting up in a couple of places, but that’s an easy fix.
Although I made a few “rookie” mistakes (e.g. forgetting to take off the lens cap for one frame; placing my thumb on top of the camera in a way that stopped the film advancing properly and leading to inadvertent double exposures) I was pleased with the results.
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