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Vivitar V3800N Manual SLR Camera with 50mm Lens & Case

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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  • Quick release K type bayonet mount accepts included multi-coated f/1.7 50mm lens, or any other optional lens conforming to the K mount specification
  • Shutter speeds are set manually from Bulb to 1/2000
  • Fixed, eye-level pentaprism viewfinder with 92% field of view
  • Viewfinder displays TTL center weighted exposure metering - Red Plus sign means overexposure;
  • Viewfinder employs split image focusing and three LED display
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Technical Details


Product Description

A camera that excels by sticking to the basics / Includes 50mm "K" type manual focus lens / Sophisticated viewfinder functions

Product Information

Product Dimensions 5.3 x 2 x 3.3 inches
Item Weight 2.2 pounds
Shipping Weight 2.4 pounds
ASIN B00006I5ZB
Item model number 59880
Customer Reviews
3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #7,878 in Camera & Photo
#29 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Film Photography > Film Cameras > SLR Cameras
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com September 19, 2006

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nick Tropiano on December 29, 2005
Cosina is a "behind the scenes" Japanese manufacturer of many cameras and lenses, and have made cameras for many branded as high-end and entry level models for decades. If you purchases an SLR, or if you've amassed a collection 3rd party lenses, good chance you have something made by Cosina but didn't know it.

Cosina has been making this camera for Vivitar for the past 15 years that I know of. I know because I purchased this camera's ancestor - pretty much the exact same camera and same lens, 15 years ago around 1990 for around $100 on sale at K-Mart.

I have a digital point and shoot, and I like it. But, I still like film, and there's something to be said for a manual camera, which this is. And, right now there's a TON of high quality used glass in the Pentax K mount that can be had for a song on eBay.

What I like about this camera over digital: 1. produces better images than a point and shoot, and about as good as a $1000 DSLR for less than the cost of the lowest end digital point and shoot; 2. Mine has lasted about 15 years, still going strong. 3. Doesn't need batteries to operate (well the meter does, common watch 1.5's you can get anywhere. They last for years.), 4. doesn't require a computer, photoprinter, or software. I just drop my film off at the local lab, and they're ready in an hour... doubles for about $9.50. No computer required. Give the extra set to whomever, no sitting in front of a PC futzing with images in Photoshop, running out of expensive inks. Been there, done that. Let the "real" photoshop take care of all that.

This camera comes complete with a VERY fast, high-quality 1.7 50mm lens. I got spoiled with this excellent lens because it's about as sharp and as fast a lens as you're likely to find.
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I love this camera. It is one of the only manual cameras still being manufactured. Digital-electronic monstrosities (which are unbelievably expensive) simply cannot produce images like a simple manual camera with a good 50mm lens.

The lens that comes in this kit is multicoated, which what you want. It is also a K-mount, which means that the camera is compatible with the vast hoard of K-mount lenses out there (probably one of the most popular lens mounts ever made, along with the Canon EF mount). This camera is basically the modern equivalent of the venerable Pentax K-1000, a great camera if ever there was one. It is easy to find all sorts of other lenses, if you ever want them. I could shoot 35mm film with a 50mm lens for the rest of my life and be happy, but it is nice to have options.

I like the fact that I can control the speed and aperture with simple, familiar mechanical controls. It has an actual, physical shutter knob, and an actual, physical aperture ring. These things will never fail, if you take care of them.

I cannot believe the price. A camera like this -- simple, but durable, with a timer and a built-in meter -- would have been out of my price-range when I was starting out. This little camera would have been one of the most advanced cameras available, at that time (and I'm not that old!).

Digital technology is fine for internet applications, for newspaper reporters, maybe even for some wedding and event photographers. But digital images just don't look like film. Digital prints are still basically ink jet print-outs -- the image is squirted onto the paper. Plus, to enlarge them much more than an 8x10, you would need more megapixels than most people can afford.
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I've bought over a dozen of these cameras for a high school photography class, and I can tell you it is rare to find a fully manual 35mm SLR camera (though the light meter is battery operated with illuminated green and red plus and minus signs. Old people will remember the manually operated circle that you would manipulate over the meter needle with the aperture ring or shutter speed knob). The camera is simple, the user actually understands what's going on with the settings, and it holds up to student use. It reliably exposes film to a prescribed amount of light, and that's what it's all about.
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I intentionally got an all manual film camera to force me to learn the basics of photography. This little beauty performs perfectly with its real pentaprism, DOF preview, and fast 50mm lens.

A brand-new all-mechanical camera is a rare thing these days and I'm glad someone still makes one.
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Verified Purchase
i liked the camera, it looks new and all but the battery cover was 95% broken, and it fell off and i didn't know it can't without cover. it gave me a hard time my first day in class :(. I ordered a battery compartment online but i won't get it for another week which is probably gonna effect my class assignment!!! :( but overall it looks new and good but useless till i get battery compartment (another 10$ expense)
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Verified Purchase
It has every feature needed for a beginner to learn photography. What I have learned in this process is that you need everything manual (not automatic) to truly learn the ins and outs of photography. Otherwise, you rely too much on the automatic features of a camera, and therefore do not learn how to do it yourself.

By the way, this camera comes with the worst owner's manual ever published. The one I received must be at least 12 year old, or older. Hopefully there is a better one to download.
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