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03-19-2014, 03:56 PM   #1
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Vivitar 550 on a k5

Just curious if it's safe to use a vivitar 550 on camera? I know it's hit or miss with voltage but wondering if anyone here has tried it?

JJ

03-19-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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I haven't seen one reported above 10V, but why not test for yourself?
03-19-2014, 06:28 PM   #3
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I've used several flashes in that family, both on-camera and off. Every Vivitar 550FD I've measured was about 4 volts, but you should check to be sure. The K-5 won't support TTL mode (the 550FD is TTL, not P-TTL), so the flash is effectively the same as the 2800-D, 28-D, and several others - two auto-thyristor modes and a full-power manual mode. The M/P/O version of the flash is dedicated for Minolta/Pentax/Olymnpus. The other versions may work, but I haven't tried them.
03-20-2014, 03:13 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
I haven't seen one reported above 10V, but why not test for yourself?
This is my first attempt with a flash so as soon as I figure out how to do that I will lol

JJ

03-20-2014, 05:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
This is my first attempt with a flash so as soon as I figure out how to do that I will lol
It's not hard - get a voltmeter (you can get a multitester at Lowes, Home Depot, or Harbor Freight for under $10), set it to the highest DC voltage range, turn on the flash, (wait for it to charge), then touch the black probe to the contact on the side of the flash foot and the red probe to the center pin on the bottom. Probably nothing will happen. Turn the tester to the next lower voltage range and try again. Keep going lower until you get a measurement. If the needle never moves, you either have a broken flash (or meter), or you are doing something wrong.

The 550FD is early 1980s technology, so don't expect a lot. Other than letting the camera know that it is there, it does not communicate any settings through the hotshoe. You'll need to use the GN table on the back of the flash to figure out your camera settings. But my dad taught me how to use one in five minutes "back in the day", so anyone should be able to figure it out.
03-20-2014, 07:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
It's not hard - get a voltmeter (you can get a multitester at Lowes, Home Depot, or Harbor Freight for under $10), set it to the highest DC voltage range, turn on the flash, (wait for it to charge), then touch the black probe to the contact on the side of the flash foot and the red probe to the center pin on the bottom. Probably nothing will happen. Turn the tester to the next lower voltage range and try again. Keep going lower until you get a measurement. If the needle never moves, you either have a broken flash (or meter), or you are doing something wrong.

The 550FD is early 1980s technology, so don't expect a lot. Other than letting the camera know that it is there, it does not communicate any settings through the hotshoe. You'll need to use the GN table on the back of the flash to figure out your camera settings. But my dad taught me how to use one in five minutes "back in the day", so anyone should be able to figure it out.
I've got a voltmeter at work I'll check it thanks...

JJ
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