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Thread: Vivitar V4000

  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Vivitar V4000

    I recently purchased a Vivitar V4000 with kit zoom lens for a total of $25. This camera has a mechanical (Copal Square I believe) shutter and works fine. Obviously, the outer casing is rather cheaply built as this was an extremely low priced mass market item. I do not care about cheap build where it really does not matter.

    But I was rather dismayed to see that the film rails on each side of the 24 X 36mm film aperture are plastic, not metal. This is similar to the Canon T50 (not actually made by Canon by the way) and I really wonder if I am downplaying the durability of this particular plastic. It seems remote to me that Vivitar would stint on something so important as the camera even has a mechanical timer. Are these plastic rails really so vulnerable to wear as film runs though the camera? - David Lyga.

  2. #2

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    Vivitar was a merchandising company not a manufacturer.
    They may have set specifications(series 1) in their early days but I'm not sure about later.
    For the amount of use the camera was likely intended for plastic rail were probably good enough.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  3. #3
    Brac's Avatar
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    I've never heard of any problems with plastic rails, and can't imagine they would "wear out", unless perhaps tens of thousands of films were to be run through. They are sometimes found in compact cameras. The V4000 seems, like a lot of Vivitar SLR cameras, to have been made by Cosina. Some models such as the V3000 were made in China, and the quality of those can be variable in my experience.

  4. #4

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    Vivitar V4000

    I have a V4000 and three V4000S cameras. It was the Canon T60 which was made by Cosina, not the T50. Vivitar sold the V4000 as a slightly less expensive model. The V4000S has a self timer and sold for a little more. These cameras are capable of very good results but are not as sturdy as the old mechanical models like the Nikkormat, Canon FTb/FTbN or Minolta SRTs. I like using a V4000S with a 55/1.8 SMC Pentax lens. Even the 35-70 kit lens sold with the V4000/S cameras is not bad.

  5. #5
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Many details that were manufactured in metal in the '60 or '70 were so because it was at the time not feasible to manufacture them in plastic with a good precision.

    Things changed. Nowadays we find plastic in lenses of high cost, because it is possible to manufacture precision parts in plastic. I wouldn't worry about film guides. Inside that camera there can even be gears which are manufactured in plastic, which doesn't mean they are not going to last for decades.

    I see a resurgence of entirely mechanical cameras at relatively cheap cost. In the eighties manufacture of mechanical cameras almost went to a halt because of the high manufacturing costs. Producers begun putting motors for film transport in cameras because motors were cheaper than the mechanical transport system. It goes without saying that an electronic controlled shutter, without mechanical time, was cheaper than a mechanical shutter. The same for electronic self-timers.

    I suspect the last generation of mechanical cameras can be cheap precisely because it is now possible to manufacture precision gears in plastic.

    Fabrizio
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
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