Vivitar 283 and 285 returns!

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by RobLewis, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. RobLewis

    RobLewis Member

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  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have the 285 which my father used to use for weddings. He says that it was the only flash he has ever used which had a light output which matched the manufacturer's claims. Most others were over-rated.

    Steve.
     
  3. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    I still use my 285, which I bought in 1980! Great unit and output.
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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    Is it both the 283 and 285? I think its just the 285 reintroduced. I looked at B&H and they have 285's for $89.00. I have 4 Vivitar 283's.
     
  5. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    I paid the Princely sum of £5.00 for my 285 at a second-hand market stall in Plymouth about ten years ago in superb condition. An absolute bargain.:D
     
  6. RobLewis

    RobLewis Member

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    I didn't see anything on Vivitars website, which appears to imply that the only thing they make is a handful of digigizmos. (But I saw it on a blog, so it MUST be true)

    Indeed- looks like enough used ones are floating around, and by the few posts here so far, they are probably still pretty functional.
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

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    Everything on the web is TRUE!

    If not been reintroduced, B&H may have a lot on hand. I think the point (IMHO) that guy on that blog is trying to point out is that people are spending (people like the ones I work with who buy $1500 D80's for their wives) over $300 for a flash that does something anyone with basic understanding of exposure can do. I ductape my my vivitars together and pop them into an umbrella.
     
  8. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    When I used to do weddings the 285hv was a staple. Ultra reliable and great for multi flash setups. Cool. Thanks for sharing. Shawn
     
  9. wirehead

    wirehead Member

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    I think we've got the digital revolution to thank for that.

    With digital cameras, it's easy to chimp to a good off-camera exposure and takes the fear out of screwing around with flashes.
     
  10. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Actual milage may vary.

    I've only got a 283, But it may be weaker than normal as I shoot it at a guide number (in feet) of 80 with 100 speed film. It's what my flash meter (and another borrowed one) reads at the 5/10/20 foot tests.

    I sometimes use it with a tape on diffuser @ 45 degrees with a guide number of 56...nice when directly above the lens...kinda bare bulb.

    Like Eric, I'll put a few 80 GN Sunpak units with it in an umbrella. Also nice.

    What's the difference between mine and a 285? A zoom diffuser?
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The zoom feature & variable power built into the unit. With the 283 you had to buy a VP-1 accessory to vary it. Also the 283 is a little more compact 'cus it doesn't have the zoom head.

    I currently have seven 283's & pick them up at yard sales or thrift stores whenever I find 'em usually for around $5. You can never have too many:wink:
     
  12. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    I have the 283 and the 285, and have owned them for years. They have never let me down. I use them with my Nikon FM2n and with my Hasselblad 500C/M. I also have that little Peanut slave. It's great for bouncing the light off the ceiling while using the 285 in order to trigger my White Lightning monolight studio flash.

    Throughout my 25 years of photography, I've only heard good things about these classic Vivitar units. I'm glad to know they are still producing them.

    Now, if only I could get them to sync with my little point and shoot digicam.

    Pat
     
  13. eric

    eric Member

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    I used to do this on my very first digicam
    1. Get a wein peanut slave
    2. attach a sync cord
    3. Tape the slave right onto the flash
    4. cover all the camera flash
    5. connect sync to bigger flash.

    It helps to have some vari power type of flash.
     
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  15. wirehead

    wirehead Member

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    I just tape a piece of black slide film over the flash.

    The problem is, many P&S cameras have TTL-ish flash control and redeye-reduction, both of which will trigger your flash at the wrong time.
     
  16. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    Eric:

    Thanks for the tip. I will try that. My first effort was to plug the peanut slave into the side of the 285 and bounce it's light off the ceiling. It triggered the flash on the digicam, but the sync was off. So I will try it your way.

    The Vivitar 285 has variable power and the White Lightning Ultra 1800 does, too. :smile:

    Pat
     
  17. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    That is probably the problem, alright. Well, if Eric's suggestion doesn't work, then I'll know why not. :smile:
     
  18. eric

    eric Member

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    Make sure if your P&S has red eye thing, you need to turn it off. I've used this method with Oly Stylus Epic and an old Kodak Digital. I think my P&S digi has a non-red eye flash thing.
    Good luck! Let us know.

    PS. I've also used this method with a Polaroid Spectra and a Polaroid SX-70.

    All these methods I've had the flash on a bracket as well.
     
  19. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    Yes, I will try it and let you know--hopefully before the end of the weekend.
    It works OK with my Stylus Epic P&S film camera, it's the Oly digicam that I've been experimenting with. :rolleyes:

    Pat
     
  20. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I own a 285 and a 285HV. Very reliable flashes that have stood up to abuse. My 285 is almost 20 years old and is still going strong.
     
  21. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    I bought 2 285HV's cheap ($10 each or so) when the Strobist revolution drove the price of SB's through the roof. Good to see I'm ahead of the curve for once. :wink:
     
  22. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    OK, I learned over the weekend that this doesn't work. No problem triggering the Vivitar flash, but it just doesn't "sync" with the digicam. It seems to be firing at the same time as the digicam's own flash unit, but it's not. A "review" of the freshly recorded image shows no additional light that the camera's own weak little flash. The timing might only be slightly off, but it's enough that the Vivitar won't sync. :mad:

    But, hey, the Vivitars (283 and 285) that I own earn their keep with the Nikon and Hassy. It just would have been a bonus if I could have gotten them to sync with the digi p&s. :D

    Pat
     
  23. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    Wirehead:

    You're right. My other experiment didn't work. It wasn't the red-eye, as I had that turned off. So it must have been the TTL. Oh, well, I love my Vivitars for my film cameras. :smile:

    Pat
     
  24. vanspaendonck

    vanspaendonck Member

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    Just a word of warning: According to Paramount Cords (http://www.paramountcords.com/vp.asp), the 283 and 285 use a synch voltage of no less than 280 Volts. Apparently the capacitator discharge runs through the synch cord. Maybe they just want to sell their voltage limiters, but some shutters or cameras may not be able to handle this. I would do some compatibility research before you fry your shutter contacts or electronics.
     
  25. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    Hmmm. I couldn't get that page/link to come up, but you make a good point. A few years ago Pop Photo Mag had an article along this line. It seems that it also matters when a particular 283 or 285 was made. I know that my own units (1 of each) are safe for my Nikon shotshoe and PC contact and for my Hassy lenses' shutter contacts, but that might not be true for everyone or every camera, as you have pointed out.
     
  26. DKT

    DKT Member

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