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01-06-2012, 03:18 AM   #1
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vivitar 285hv vs metz 48

happy new year!
a recently sold my metz 48 af flash unit. now i wish to buy a vivitar 285hv. it is a withdraw step or the vivitar match in quality and power the metz 48. I wish to use it as fully manual, slave unit, as second- or hairlight.
the vivitar needs a trigger as the cactus v4 (it dosen't have a built in sensor)?
thanks. piskota

01-06-2012, 03:53 AM   #2
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The Yongnuo YN560 is a better buy IMO. Solid build quality with nice touches like spring-opening battery door. Also, it has 3 modes - manual mode (used with radio trigger or on hotshoe), S1 (triggered by other "dumb" flashes) or S2 (triggered by TTL, ignores pre-flash). It also has an audible beep when the flash fully recharges, and is super simple to adjust output.

The current Vivitar 285HV is a poor copy of the original 285s and apparently build quality and reliability are nothing like the original.
01-06-2012, 05:24 AM   #3
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thanks. and the "power" of the vivitar 285hv?
meanwhile i find a very-very cheap sigma ef 430st flash unit for sony, but i can use it with a trigger.
is that a solution for a secondary or fill light?
where i live i can find the Yongnuo YN560 unfortunately.
thanks. piskota

Last edited by piskota; 01-06-2012 at 06:08 AM.
01-06-2012, 06:12 AM   #4
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The 285HV is a ludicrously powerful unit, especially for an older design. One of its perks when compared to all Yongnuo flashes (except the 460 II) is the fast recycle time. It has a GN of 120 feet, so about 50 meters. It's extremely reliable, and can be bought for much less than a 560 if you look at the used market (I agree you might want to stay clear of the newer copies, the design is the same but the quality control might not be that good).

The only limitation it has is that it only goes down to 1/16 power, and often that's too much. But it also has a window where you can easily slide a neutral density LEER paper filter (or equivalent). Those are quite inexpensive.

I've handled several Yongnuo flashes and they are quite nice for the price, only the recycle time would bother me.

01-06-2012, 07:40 AM   #5
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thanks. i heard also good opinions about the vivitar 285hv. i am interested if the vivitar matches in power the metz 48 or is it more powerful. what about the sigma ef 430st as fill flash?
01-06-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by piskota Quote
thanks. i heard also good opinions about the vivitar 285hv. i am interested if the vivitar matches in power the metz 48 or is it more powerful. what about the sigma ef 430st as fill flash?
Read this article on the newer version of the Vivitar 285HV: Strobist: The Return of a Classic?. It's important to note that like Polaroid, the Vivitar company is long gone, and the name is owned by another, unrelated company that just uses the brand to sell stuff. In this case, part of the brand is owned by Sakar (aka Digital Concepts), and they use it to sell a line of flashes made by Icorp in Hong Kong. The 285HV, though, is made by Cactus. See this thread for more background: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-flashes-lighting-technique/61618-c...5hv-flash.html

To answer the power question directly, though, from the specs @ B&H, it looks like they have roughly the same power, although the Metz has a better reflector (which will make a difference when used at 70mm (real) focal length or higher). Also given the shadiness, of the Vivitar name use, I wouldn't be surprised if the power is a bit overstated.
01-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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I have the 285hv and the YN560...

If I have time I go with the Vivitar... In a rush the Yongnuo...

The YN560 makes it into all my bags... If I'm carrying the Vivitar, I'm carrying the Yongnuo too...

The swivel function is the key... Sometimes you need the flash on the hotshoe and you need to bounce... The YN560 is just better than that...
But if the Vivitar had swivel... That would seriously change the game...

Why on earth did you sell the Metz?!
01-06-2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
The 285HV is a ludicrously powerful unit, especially for an older design. One of its perks when compared to all Yongnuo flashes (except the 460 II) is the fast recycle time. It has a GN of 120 feet, so about 50 meters. It's extremely reliable, and can be bought for much less than a 560 if you look at the used market (I agree you might want to stay clear of the newer copies, the design is the same but the quality control might not be that good).

The only limitation it has is that it only goes down to 1/16 power, and often that's too much. But it also has a window where you can easily slide a neutral density LEER paper filter (or equivalent). Those are quite inexpensive.

I've handled several Yongnuo flashes and they are quite nice for the price, only the recycle time would bother me.
I think the YN560 is a lot faster than the 285HV, the 285HV is in the 10 second range at full power according to B&H, while the YN560 is just under 3 seconds. Even with the AC adapter, the 285HV is around 5 seconds.

01-07-2012, 07:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
I think the YN560 is a lot faster than the 285HV, the 285HV is in the 10 second
Mine (the viv) is around 5 seconds tops at 1/1 using Eneloops and it never misfires (although the YN does occasionally)

Even so... I'd go for the YN560 as it has swivel... 285hv is great but does not swivel... Makes the YN560 more 'usable'...

Few quid more I'd consider CactusAF50... Tilt - swivel & PTTL as well as a manual mode... CHEAP!
01-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Mine (the viv) is around 5 seconds tops at 1/1 using Eneloops and it never misfires (although the YN does occasionally)
I've never had a misfire with my YN560 unless the batteries were low. Which revision do you have?
01-08-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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thanks for all reviews. i go for the vivitar and later if i can found one at a resonable price, i will buy a YN560. i don't want to return to the metz 48, my target is a good and powerful slave flash, and the vivitar is at the half price of the metz (second hand market).
01-09-2012, 05:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
I think the YN560 is a lot faster than the 285HV, the 285HV is in the 10 second range at full power according to B&H
That might be true for the newer models, for the older one that I own, with Eneloops (or equivalents) it recycles faster than 1 second at partial power levels, and under 5 (never timed it) at full power.
01-09-2012, 09:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
That might be true for the newer models, for the older one that I own, with Eneloops (or equivalents) it recycles faster than 1 second at partial power levels, and under 5 (never timed it) at full power.
I have a new model 285hv and get similar recyle times as you using Eneloops (sparkly ones for flash... Whites for camera)
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