Broken shoe on my Vivitar 285

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by ricksplace, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    The shoe has finally given up the ghost on my Vivitar 285 flash. There are metal replacement shoes available on ebay for pretty cheap. It appears that they don't use the standard vivitar sync cord and use a double-ended sync chord. My questions are:
    Has anyone out there changed one of these?
    Have you used the aftermarket shoe?
    Is it difficult to change?
    Do I need a wiring diagram?

    I guess the flash doesn't owe me any money; I bought it about 30 years ago! If I can fix it, I can probably get another 30 years out of it.

    I did a search on this forum, but could not turn up anything.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Rick.
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Actually if you have a camera store around, they can still order replacement feet for this flash directly from Vivitar as they are still a currently product number, being in Canada, you might check with Henrys..

    Dave
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I've got several Vivitars that I've replaced the shoes on. It's only two solder connections that you need to make on assembly. No big deal. It's probably more difficult to keep track of the screws & springs you'll find on disassembly.
    You will want to discharge the capacitor before you get to poking around in there though. Voltage could be around 300+ V. if it's not fully discharged.
    I use a 100 ohm 10 watt resistor across the shoe/wires for about ten seconds.
    If you don't discharge it you may be surprised by the Bzapp! It only smarts for a second though.
     
  4. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Thanks guys. I read somewhere that there are four wires exposed but only two are used. If this is true, what colours are used and which one is connected to the shoe point contact?

    Rick.
     
  5. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    The weak feet (flash have "feet", cameras have "shoes" :smile:) on Vivitars were there for a reason. The wisdom behind having weak feet was that it was better to have the flash break off its foot than to have it yank the shoe off a camera. The heavy heads of the 283 and similar flash put extreme stress where the feet/shoes meet. More so if the camera is held in vertical position. This may not be beneficial to the camera if these flash were given more robust feet, such as the metal replacements offered by third party makers.

    Jay
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    It's not difficult, the center contact & ground at the side are the ones you need. You can take a look by removing the screws holding the foot on.
    I don't remember more than two wires in a foot that has no ttl feature. Pull the screws (Partway?) & take a look.