Vivitar V4000

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The Vivitar V4000 is a 35mm SLR marketed by Vivitar in the mid-1990s. As with many Vivitar-branded SLRs, Cosina was the actual manufacturer, using parts derived from their CT1 Super, and its restyled descendant the C1s.

The V4000 has shutter speeds from 1 second to 1/2000 of a second, with a B setting and flash sync at 1/125 of a second. ISO range is from 25-3200. The viewfinder has a horizontal split-image spot and a microprism ring, with the LED readout for the light meter located on the viewfinder's left side. The camera requires two LR44 or SR44 batteries to power the exposure meter, but the shutter will operate without them. A 35-70mm f/3.5–4.8 zoom was supplied with the body, but its Pentax K-style bayonet mount accepts a wide variety of lenses from various brands.

In common with a number of other Cosina-built SLRs, the shutter release of the V4000 is locked (and no meter readout can be seen) until the film-advance lever is pulled outwards from the body.

The V4000s is a sister model sharing all these specifications, but adding a self-timer, and also available with a 50mm f/1.9 prime lens. The V4000s is most commonly found in a black & silver color scheme (the latter is a paint finish over black plastic) and always includes a PC socket on the camera end below the rewind crank. All-black examples of the V4000 are a bit more common; some of these lack the PC socket[1].

The V4000s came near the end of a great 20-year run by Cosina[2] building entry-level SLRs in Japan for rebranding by other companies; and the camera has been economized even further by substituting plastic for metal in the interior film compartments and shutter frame. This rather "swoopy" body feels startlingly hollow, and the bundled 50mm f/1.9 likewise features a plastic barrel and mount. But at 100g lighter than the (already tiny) Pentax MX, hikers and world travelers may find this an appealing feature. Even so, the cheaper Chinese-made V3000 and V3800N soon overtook it in Vivitar's line.[3]

The V4000s adds a subtle enhancement to its lighted (- o +) meter display compared to its predecessor the V2000 (and countless other Cosina-built SLRs): now two LEDs glow together to indicate a reading 1/2 stop above or below the correct setting. As a "starter" K-mount SLR at an approachable price, the V4000s remains viable today.


  1. Perhaps the earlier ones. A rundown of budget SLRs in the February 1994 Popular Photography, pg. 49 (via Google Books) presents the V4000 as a simple style refresh of the Vivitar V2000; the black V4000 pictured lacks the PC socket. Also, no PC socket is illustrated in the owner's manual linked below.
  2. New stock of the V4000 appeared for sale through the end of the twentieth century, for example, at New York retailer Adorama in the December 1999, Popular Photography pg. 306, via Google Books.
  3. Cosina would soon abandon the low-end OEM business model and launch the far more aspirational Voigtländer rangefinder series—but reusing much of the kit of parts developed for its SLR production.