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  1. #1

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    Vivitar 283 auto thyristor question

    How low can you turn the power down on these things? Thought about this or the 285.....in manual mode it would work well with my EOS system.

    I have a TTL cord that is universal I just need it to fire I rock full manual at night anyway. I like to use a lot of ambient light, 1/30th second with the bounce flash turned down a LOT.

    This flash would be used on an off-camera flash bracket
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by j-dogg View Post
    How low can you turn the power down on these things? Thought about this or the 285.....in manual mode it would work well with my EOS system.

    I have a TTL cord that is universal I just need it to fire I rock full manual at night anyway. I like to use a lot of ambient light, 1/30th second with the bounce flash turned down a LOT.

    This flash would be used on an off-camera flash bracket
    I have a couple 283s and a little Quantum battery. They're all close to twenty years old and still work as advertised. Tougher than a Wollensak tape recorder. On the front, the dial thing with the color coding is a plugin. It can be pulled out and replaced with a manual-ish power level setting dial that goes down to 1/4 of full power. As you dial the power down the recharge time goes way down as well. You'd have to Ebay for one of these. I'm sure someone here can give you the actual name of this device. I certainly can't anymore.

    Good luck

    s-a

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The control that permits adjustable manual flashes from a 283 is, IIRC, an optional accessory.

    And if you are planning to use a 283 with a Canon EOS, it would be prudent to check whether or not it is one of the older ones with high trigger voltages.

    Look at this link for more info:

    http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

    Warning: this subject is one of some controversy!
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4
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    For the 283 there was the VP1 (vari power module) that plugs into the front where the color coded thyristor control is now.

    The 285 comes with this feature stock.

    They don't make them anymore so the prices have gone up on used examples. They pop up on ePay almost every week without fail.

  5. #5

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    You can also build a vari-power module and get the max output power down a long ways. Google should find you the pages in a few minutes.
    Bob

  6. #6

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    I'll check it out. It's for a digital application but if I can get it to work the way I want to I'll use it on my 35mm EOS system, maybe even my Nikon system as the Nikon flashes work on my EOS system with this cord.
    5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit / B+M 135mm Zeiss Tessar + Compur Deckel
    RB67 Pro S /50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
    FED-2 / 50 2.8 Industar 26m / 85 f2 Jupiter-9
    Canon 300v / A2

  7. #7

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    Maybe you can put something on the flash to diffuse the light.

    Jeff

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I can dig up my notes if you are at all handy with DIY electronics fiddling.

    You place a potentiomenter across two of the front plug in terminals, and then you can dial it back to anything as little as about 1/12 power repeatably.

    I just soldered stout wires onto the wiper and one track lead of the pot, and bent them to suit, and plugged them in.

    It stayed on the front of the unit from the friction fit of the two wires in their sockets.

    I added and old knob with pointer to the pot shaft, and fashioned a dial face.

    I marked calibrations on the dial face after firing the thing into a flash meter a number of times to figure out what the varied settings on the pot were giving me, light output wise relative to full manual output.

    All up about 1 hour of effort, and maybe $3 at the electronics wholesaler.
    my real name, imagine that.

  9. #9
    rmolson's Avatar
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    vivitar 283

    I have three units that go back to the 80s and they still work They were not called work horses for nothing In a pinch you might use an old flash bulb technique and toss a white cotton handkerchief (clean presumably) over the unit and loss about 1 to2 stops.

  10. #10
    olleorama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wilde View Post
    I can dig up my notes if you are at all handy with DIY electronics fiddling.

    You place a potentiomenter across two of the front plug in terminals, and then you can dial it back to anything as little as about 1/12 power repeatably.

    I just soldered stout wires onto the wiper and one track lead of the pot, and bent them to suit, and plugged them in.

    It stayed on the front of the unit from the friction fit of the two wires in their sockets.

    I added and old knob with pointer to the pot shaft, and fashioned a dial face.

    I marked calibrations on the dial face after firing the thing into a flash meter a number of times to figure out what the varied settings on the pot were giving me, light output wise relative to full manual output.

    All up about 1 hour of effort, and maybe $3 at the electronics wholesaler.
    This little trick works with ALL autothyristor type flashes. Except that you have to open them and solder the pot to the cables leading to the photodiode. Extremely worthwhile if you want an armada of manually controllable flashes.

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