Vivitar 283 F-Stops?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Mgood56, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Mgood56

    Mgood56 Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi, I was wondering how you would set the f-stops on the Vivi 283? I read the butkus instruction manual and it didn't really help me out aside from the GN/ flash-distance=Camera f-stop. I know the flash doesn't have a vari power like the 285, but how would I be able to set the FLASH F-stops, if possible. Thanks
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

    Messages:
    1,504
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Westminster,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Set the ISO on the flash scale on the side of the head.

    Set the sensor on the front of the flash to Yellow, Red, Blue or Purple.

    From the scale look at the color you set the sensor to, and then read the corresponding f/stop.

    Set you lens to that f/stop.

    It's been almost two decades since I used a 283. Hope my memory is correct.
     
  3. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

    Messages:
    408
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Brentwood, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, Pinholemaster has it right. You match the aperture on your camera to the color on the sensor scale that matches the color on the distance/film speed dial. You will have a choice of several f-stops, depending on the fastest aperture your lens provides.

    For outdoor fill flash, check to see what aperture the 283 is calling for, make sure the sensor dial color matches, and then if you want a "-1 stop" fill, set your lens for an aperture that is one stop smaller: example, 283 says to use f/8, and you want a "minus 1-stop flash fill", set your camera lens for f/11.

    Also, when I want to use an lens aperture that is 1-stop wider/bigger/faster than the 283 calls for (and that aperture falls in between choices on the 283), I put a white handerchief (only one layer, light cotton) over the flash head. If I have one available, I'll use one of those "wide angle" diffusers they make for flash heads. A piece of frosted plastic like you find in wallets for holding credit cards also works. Test it to be sure.
     
  4. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,135
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you buy a VP-1, then your flash will have variable output, with more stops to choose from than a 285. And you won't be saddled with a self-quenching flash that may not see things the way you want it to.
     
  5. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,023
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    The Cape
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Huh.....? My 285 is 26 years old and I wouldn't use anything else!
     
  6. Mgood56

    Mgood56 Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the quick replies guys. I would rather use the manual settings on the flash instead of the automatic ones. I'm trying to decide if buying 2 VP-1's would be better than getting rid of my two 283's and getting two 285-HV's instead. But for the mean time I was just wondering if I would be able to have vari-power type control over the flash.
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tape velum paper in front of the flash to control the output.
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,383
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    mgood56,
    If you swap 283's for 285's you will be carrying the extra bulk of the zoom head. Weight is similar, maybe an ounce or two heavier w/285 but bulk would be my only objection.
     
  9. wheelygirl

    wheelygirl Member

    Messages:
    204
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    [for now] Ar
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Wow. folks! Someone had incredible timing--just today, I bought a Viv. 283 for my Minolta. Thank for all the info!!
     
  10. singram

    singram Subscriber

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    St. Joseph,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For a good fill card:

    Get a white business envelope and lick it closed. Cut it in half with scissors. Use one half or the other with a rubber band to bounce the light back to your subject. Keep them both in your camera bag, and when they get dirty and folded up you can make another one for about 1 cent.

    Works better than any of those fancy ones, and can be bent/shaped, pulled up or down to give more or less fill if needed.

    I even use them on my newer speedlights, I hate the little piece of plastic thing that folds into the head on modern flashes.

    I usually dial the camera one f-stop brighter than the flash output dial on the Viv to account for the bounce and diffusion.

    Also, if you are going to shoot a lot of photos at a time, the Viv's almost cry for an external battery pack. They will chew through your AA's very quickly. I used a Quantum 1+ for many years. That is why so many of these flashes are sold on the used market with that little notch cut in the battery door.

    I have the VP1 too, and it works just like a 285 w/o the zoom head. Just don't misplace the little color wheel thing when you switch it out or you will be SOL. :smile:

    Steve
     
  11. singram

    singram Subscriber

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    St. Joseph,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I forgot to add that the trigger voltage on the Vivitar flashes, mostly older units, is reported to be too high for new more delicate cameras and can fry the computer circuits through high voltage on the hot shoe.

    My circa 1990 Vivitar 283 works fine on my cameras, including an N90s Nikon, but I have no way of determining if the voltage is correct or not. I actually used the camera/flash combo for many years before hearing about the trigger voltage problem on the internet. Maybe I am just lucky.

    Folks recommend using the Wein Safe Sync when using an older Vivitar flash on a newer camera for protection. If you have an older camera, like a Spotmatic or even a Holga, I wouldn't worry so much.

    steve