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05-27-2009, 10:16 AM   #1
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Is the Cactus KF36 Flash the same as Vivitar 285HV Flash?

Vivitar 285HV Flash

Cactus KF36 Flash

Anyone tested these flashes?


Edit: I found a discussion on Flickr about these flashes.


Last edited by NorthPentax; 05-27-2009 at 10:19 AM. Reason: new info
05-27-2009, 11:21 AM   #2
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My understanding is that Cactus bought the plans and rights for the Viv285HV and is producing them now.
05-27-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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I placed an order after reading that Flickr discussion. I also bought Cactus V4 wireess flash trigger with two receivers, one for AF-540 and one for Cactus KF36. Some umbrellas and a light stand too.
06-12-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
My understanding is that Cactus bought the plans and rights for the Viv285HV and is producing them now.
Can the sensor be removed too and tethered to a compatible longer cord?
"Coz it doesn't say wether this is possible too with the new Cactus Vivitar clones.
You can certainly do this with the Vivtar 285HV.

06-12-2009, 06:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
My understanding is that Cactus bought the plans and rights for the Viv285HV and is producing them now.
Whereas Sakar bought the rights to the Vivitar name and is now selling Chinese-made generic flashes under that brand.
06-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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Really? Oh lordy the global marketplace confusion that's to result from all this. haha wheee

Gerry, I have no idea how true to spec Cactus is keeping things. I've pretty much made up my mind that if/when it's time to buy more manual flashes I'll be going with the new LumoPro LP120
06-12-2009, 07:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Can the sensor be removed too and tethered to a compatible longer cord?
"Coz it doesn't say wether this is possible too with the new Cactus Vivitar clones.
You can certainly do this with the Vivtar 285HV.
It looks like an exact copy of the sensor module, so, very likely. I just hope they make more *cords* for it, I've had terrible luck trying to get one for reasonable money, when I think of it.
06-13-2009, 12:02 AM   #8
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hmmm...this sort of complicates things for me...I think maybe i'll end up spending the extra cash for the lumopro simply because it was built with input from the community. I don't know it looks pretty cool but I was infatuated with 285hv before I learned about all the rights/names being sold.

Basically will the cactus 285's be crap? How about the lumopro...is it worth the extra money for values?

06-13-2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
Really? Oh lordy the global marketplace confusion that's to result from all this. haha wheee

Gerry, I have no idea how true to spec Cactus is keeping things. I've pretty much made up my mind that if/when it's time to buy more manual flashes I'll be going with the new LumoPro LP120
Why don't you get it now and do the complete review? Do for us! Do it for the Pentax community! We are counting on you!.

But seriously, when you do, please let us know. I just recieved my fourth Vivitar today. I bought my first one new many years ago and the other three used off of Ebay. Two are HV models and the other two are not. I have my WEIN safesync to handle those two. FBA???? I love the Vivitars. I just wished they had a swivel head! My one and ONLY complaint!
06-22-2009, 11:14 AM   #10
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According to some third party sites, the Chinese versions are using lighter and flimsier parts, including smaller gauge wire and lighter duty circuit boards than were in the older Japanese-made Vivitars. Whether this matters is another question.
06-22-2009, 12:19 PM   #11
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Back in the days, we'd use 283's and 285s cause they 'passed the drop test,' (that being: If you drop it, are you losing money on this gig?)

I've heard talk of skimping on the Vivitar-branded reissue. I think Cactus would have to face a lot of angry strobists if they start making crap.
06-22-2009, 01:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Back in the days, we'd use 283's and 285s cause they 'passed the drop test,' (that being: If you drop it, are you losing money on this gig?)

I've heard talk of skimping on the Vivitar-branded reissue. I think Cactus would have to face a lot of angry strobists if they start making crap.
There are a number of folks who aren't impressed by their wireless triggers, already. I've never used them, so I can't say.
06-22-2009, 02:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I think Cactus would have to face a lot of angry strobists if they start making crap.
Ever used their remote triggers for any shooting outside say your living room?
sorry, I just have no confidence Cactus will ever produce a product reliable enough for any use above the experimental hobbyist level.
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