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10-15-2007, 06:50 AM   #1
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vivitar 285hv. Yes or no?

I've decided to get some thyristor flash unit to play with (read: learn lihting technique!). I've heard many, many good things about vivitar 285hv. I know here in PF are many 285hv users. But I'm going to use flash mounted on camera and vivitar does not swivel. There is another choice - sunpak 383, which swivels, but is less powerful and doesn't look so cool .

What can You say about vivitar? Should I order it or no? or is there some other flash, that is worth considering.

10-15-2007, 08:48 AM   #2
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I have also been thinking of getting a 285HV or 383 and have decided that the 383 might be a better option for on camera use. There seems to be a few reports that the 285HV is a bit heavy and could be prone to damage while on the camera if one is not careful. The 383 is smaller and lighter and I am currently looking for one of these ....unless I see something better and cheaper in the meantime

Cheers
Keith
10-15-2007, 09:01 AM   #3
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Hi Guys,

I Picked up a 25 year old Sunpak 36FD - Which is a dedicated 383 Super ie. I get flash confirmation thru view finder.

Found it excellent.. Powerful.. And charges quick enough...

Older Thyristor (Auto) Flashs work great once you understand how it meters...

I highly recommend getting a flash that can bounce and swivel.. It has soooo many more lighting options...
10-15-2007, 08:47 PM   #4
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My Sunpak 333 broke sadly, it was nice and small and recharged quickly.

I ended up using a Vivitar Series 1 600N (N=nikon haha..but w/e).

Works great with bounce and swivel. I miss the Sunpak though. It was single pin non-dedicated compared to the Vivitar S1 which had multiple pins for Nikon TTL that make it hard to mount onto the hotshoe (extra friction).

I use a vivitar 285 (Non HV but tested 8.7V) as a slave and comes in handy. Very powerful too. I find the 285 hotshoe a tad flimsy. Like I feel like I'm going to rip it off when I adjust the bounce angle.

10-15-2007, 08:58 PM   #5
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hi, another option is a vivitar 880afp. Vivitar canada rebadge the sigma ef-500 (not sure which version though) and obvisously doesn't have all the rechip options of the sigma, but it does supposedly give all the power etc inc auto/bounce/swivel of the sigma ef-500. I paid US$60 (+post) new via ebay (but its still in the mail, so cant try it out yet).

Phil
10-15-2007, 09:11 PM   #6
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Wow thats pretty good. I paid $60 CAN + tax (14%) for a 2nd hand Series1 600N. Its a good flash but it ticks me off cuz I have such a tough time taking it on and off haha.


Taken with a Series1 600N on optical slave.


I like the 880AF. Looks nice and all but it won't work with my lenses right? The majority are all basic K with a couple KA mount lenses. I saw the 880AFp at some local mall for like $200+ and I was like wth?? lol. Whats vivitar up to nowadays? Never see their products anymore. All the cosina ones disappeared and it looks like Vivitar's got no more sources.
10-15-2007, 10:18 PM   #7
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Hi, I dont know waht they are doing, I looked everywhere for info on this flash (in the end I decided just to buy it and see) vivitar's webpage only shows some point and shoots and apparently the the 880afp and others (their is a 840afp rebadged ef-430??? and a 850afp for canon / nikon) was only done by vivitar canada, and not sold elsewhere??? seems odd. Not sure what you mean as far not working, for the ist D / DS there is ttl but the sigma has auto / thyristor and manual settings in my limited knowledge doesn't matter what lens is used for these modes ???

Phil
10-17-2007, 12:28 AM   #8
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vivitar "series 1" 880afp arrived today. looking at next to sigma ef-500 dg super the only difference I can find is the sigma / vivitar labels (but I think all the sigma ef-500's looked the same anyway?).

2 minute test on the k10d. flash shows ttl (without the 'p') fires but as k10d isn't ttl not expecting reliable exposure. Manual works fine as does Model but when in auto it doesn't fire at all. It works happily as a wireless optical slave with the onboard flash or the sigma (I am expecting to have to use auto / manual here not pttl). Same response when using a or fa lens.

anyway thats the 2 minute round up, personally it seems to do what I want (wireless slave).

Phil

10-17-2007, 12:55 AM   #9
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I was deadset on getting the Vivitar 285 a couple of weks ago, when on the day I was about to buy it, I saw a used Nikon Sb-28 for sale at 1/3 the price of the Vivitar. I asked around, did some research and so ended up with a Nikon SB-28. The ttl functions won't work of course, so I use it in Manual or Auto mode(just as I would the Vivitar)... and it works just great! With bounce and swivel too!
10-17-2007, 01:43 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by skaktuss Quote
But I'm going to use flash mounted on camera and vivitar does not swivel.
I'd encourage you to consider off-camera flash. Moving the flash off the camera is perhaps the single largest thing one can do to broaden creative possibilities. With the cheap eBay radio triggers, off-camera flash is very affordable and very hassle-free these days.

And it is fun, fun, fun.
10-17-2007, 02:10 AM   #11
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No, that's not for me. I won't shoot in studio. Flash will be only for home parties and dusky time outside pictures. And I don't have an assistant, who could bring around my off-camera flash
10-17-2007, 04:46 AM   #12
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Off-camera doesn't have to be in a studio and it doesn't have to be bulky.

I do some night-time walking-around shooting doing off-camera flash. I put a 50mm lens on the camera, a 20mm lens in my pocket, mount a lightweight (just two AA batteries) flash atop a one kilogram lightstand that goes from about 90cm up to about 205cm, and I'm good to go.

Even the lightstand isn't strictly necessary. The flash can be laid down on things, suspended from things, taped to things, attached by a Gorillapod to things, held in your free hand, or held by anyone who happens to be around and cooperative. I've even done shots with the flash held aloft or out to the side mounted on an extended monopod.
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