Goofing Around with the Vivitar PS55s: A Fun (and cheap!) 35mm Point-and-Shoot Camera

Going through scans of film photos we shot over the past couple of years, I happened upon a roll we shot with a $3 thrift store find: the Vivitar PS55s.

Although it was that rad red color which caught our attention (the PS55s was also made in black), to our delight it actually turned out to be a fun little shooter. This inexpensive 90’s vintage 35mm camera presented a few surprises.

Red Vivitar PS55s 35mm Film Camera

***As with all of my film photos, these images are presented as captured, unedited.***

First and foremost, I dig that vignetting, which made some otherwise meh snapshots pretty interesting.

35mm film photo shot with the Vivitar PS55s film Camera

35mm film photo shot with Vivitar PS55s No Diving in this hotel pool

The camera also performed fairly well in low light. ISO 400 is the recommended film speed for the PS55s , however we loaded a roll of Fuji Superia 200 (now Fujicolor 200) because it’s what we had on hand.

This picture was taken at sunrise on DeGray Lake in Arkansas. Hmmm… not much grain. Impressive.

Sunrise on DeGray Lake in Arkansas,, shot on Vivitar PS55s point-and-shoot film camera

The camera’s minimum focus distance seemed to be about four feet. The two photos below were taken by my 5-year old niece.

Old Pug, shot on film by a 5-year old

Taco Night, shot on film by a 5-year old

After shelving the camera for a few months, I loaded up a second roll, and headed up to the Cumberland Plateau for a hike. The camera’s film door latch broke in the middle of shooting our second roll. Sad face. The PS55s wasn’t built to last, but I was still bummed that I didn’t get to shoot a few rolls with it.

We have vowed to limit our camera collection, but after revisiting these photos, I must admit I just bought another one on eBay. The PS55s will be a fun one for summertime snaps. Hopefully this one will last a while, but if not, I still think it was worth the $11 gamble.

Into film photography? See more of mine here, or follow me on instagram.


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