Turn it on
Actually, you don't have to "turn on" the Vivitar V3800N. Just be sure it has working batteries in it (takes two small alkaline button cells, unscrew the cover on the bottom with a coin--put new cells into the holder with the + side up). If the batteries are working, when you press the shutter button halfway down, you should see an LED light up in the right side of the viewfinder. This is the readout for the exposure meter: a red + indicates overexposure, red - is underexposure, a green dot means you've got the exposure correctly set. You just change the shutter and aperture settings until you get the green light, then shoot.
When you load film, you also need to set the ISO film speed setting. Pull up on the outside ring of the shutter speed dial and turn it until the number in the window is the same as the ISO number on the film you are using.
The batteries, by the way, only power the exposure meter. The shutter is fully mechanical (just like in the good old days), so you can use the camera without batteries if you have a separate exposure meter, or if you can estimate exposure.
Film loading is about like any other 35mm manual camera: pull up on the rewind knob to open the back; insert the new cassette of film on the left and pull the film leader out a couple inches and hook the film to the takeup reel on the right. Move the film advance lever a bit to be sure the film is firmly hooked onto the reel, then close the back. Wind and shoot three shots to get the exposed film leader out of the way, and then start shooting. When the film is finished, press in the rewind button on the bottom of the camera and rewind the film into the cassette before opening the back of the camera.
Good luck--these are pretty good little cameras. We buy a lot of them for the photography program where I teach, and I've only ever had one with a problem (meter was bad). The lenses are quite good, and they are "K-mount," which means that any Pentax bayonet lens, and gazillions of others with this mount, will all fit.
--Michael R. Sawdey
Sep 03, 2007 |
Vivitar V3800N Zoom 35mm SLR Camera