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285HV compatibility for the K10D
Posted By: jeff1101, 04-29-2007, 11:05 PM

Sorry for the newb question...

Went to a store to purchase a Vivitar 285HV for my k10D. Store clerk said that the 285HV only works for Canon cameras and not the K10D.

Is that True or not?
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12-20-2007, 10:04 PM   #31
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Can I use this flash on the camera hot shoe or does it have to be slaved ???

TRactman

12-23-2007, 09:37 PM   #32
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tractman, it can be used on the camera hot shoe but you have to be careful if you buy one of the older units (Vivitar has been making these units for many years) because of the trigger voltage issue. I bought a new one from Adorama so I expect no issues using it on the hotshoe. I'm still waiting for it to show up but I think it's going to be awhile:-(.
12-26-2007, 04:10 PM   #33
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tractman, I use the Vivitar 285HV on my *ist DL and it works great. It says it has a light meter on it, and it does, but it's actually kind of useless. I only use the dial to use Max power, 1/2, 1/4, or 1/16 power.

As for the voltage that Eaglerapids talked about, he is right, but the 285HV is under six volts (safe for DSLR's). The normal 285 or 283's are not safe, as they have very high voltage. For more info on the 285HV and such, visit this Strobist site.

Hope that helps!
12-29-2007, 08:58 PM   #34
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I don't suppose anyone here knows of a Canadian retailer selling the Vivitar 285HV new? I've checked all the major places (Henry's, Vistek, etc.), and only Don's Photo is selling them. They are, unfortunately, asking $180, while the average price in US stores is $90. Does anyone here know of any other Canadian photo retail stores that sell this flash? I would rather avoid the customs trouble of ordering from the US, if at all possible.

Update: Got a used one from Vintage Visuals in Calgary for a decent price. Turns out Vivitar no longer has any distributors for these in Canada. I'm very pleased with the unit and highly recommend it. Mine triggers at 4.5V, just for the record.


Last edited by GEli; 01-16-2008 at 10:49 PM.
02-28-2008, 10:55 PM   #35
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Re:

The 285HV has now been discontinued. Hope Vivitar doesnt follow suit.
02-29-2008, 11:35 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeff1101 Quote
The 285HV has now been discontinued. Hope Vivitar doesnt follow suit.
How do you know this? I can't find anything on it.

thanks,
Jerry
02-29-2008, 04:30 PM   #37
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It looks like the Sunpak 383 is the new 'old standby' since the Vivitar 285HV is no long available.
03-03-2008, 07:14 PM   #38
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I just bought a 285HV from B&H the end of last week. According to the salesman, they still had plenty in stock.

04-06-2008, 06:32 PM   #39
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Hello,
I have some addition information to add, based on my experience. I recently aquired a NON-HV Vivitar 285 in a deal. It is one of those made in Japan with a serial number of #4812347. The trigger voltage is 7.5 volts measured with my digital volt meter several times with the same result. This is well within the 25-30 volts stated by Pentax tech support. The voltage never goes above 7.5 volts static or during manual operation. I am pretty happy with it as it has good range and quick recovery. So I think anyone that intends to use an older flash should measure it or have it checked by a good technician.


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04-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #40
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Dave, I've got a Japanese built non-HV 285 with a serial number in the 3.1 million range that also has a low voltage trigger. The manual for the flash was printed in 1978, so if that's anywhere close to when the flash was built then the 285 has been available with a low sync voltage for the last 30 years at least. The early/mid '70s units may have been high voltage sync but if anyone finds a used one it never hurts to check.

For reference my 285 HV built in China around 2006 has a serial number in the 8 million range, so there are huge numbers of the flashes out there.
04-06-2008, 09:13 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by jv6856 Quote
i've heard many stories about people using vivi285 (not the HV ones) on-camera and it wound up frying the camera.

this is a little off topic, but for the k10d, if i'm using slaves and 2 off camera flashes, can i still only shoot at 1/180?
And often 1/180 may be too fast. Take a couple of test shots at X before you commit to something that you want. You might have to drop to 1/125 or even 1/60 to ensure proper synchronization.
04-09-2008, 01:49 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
Dave, I've got a Japanese built non-HV 285 with a serial number in the 3.1 million range that also has a low voltage trigger. The manual for the flash was printed in 1978, so if that's anywhere close to when the flash was built then the 285 has been available with a low sync voltage for the last 30 years at least. The early/mid '70s units may have been high voltage sync but if anyone finds a used one it never hurts to check.

For reference my 285 HV built in China around 2006 has a serial number in the 8 million range, so there are huge numbers of the flashes out there.
I have a 283 that I bought in the late seventies and it has 250 volts. So don't assume anything, measure it first with a good meter several times in full manual. It is nice to know that you don't need the HV models, since there are so many non-HV out there.

Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 04-10-2008 at 06:57 AM.
11-18-2008, 12:35 PM   #43
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I never saw a lot of non- HV models out there, to be honest, but I had the impression they soon updated the design to take the hv power sources.

My surviving 285HV (probably got this one around 86 or 87, ) is something I should probably test, regardless of spec, but I'm wondering if anyone has any info on the K20d in particular, and especially the PC socket, (My thought here is it's possible that isn't connected to anything vulnerable, but what do I know about how they put these things together.)

I think eventually there might be a nicer flash in my future, but as a Canon FD shooter, I was always of the school that expensive flashes break just as easily as a Vivitar, and since you didn't get TTL on the Canons until the T90 came out, the dedicated units were more of a pain than anything. (Override *my* slow-synch choices of shutter speed, will you. If you offered to pay *me* to put up with that, I'd say no thanks. Phooey. )

Getting TTL metering and AF assist is a bit different, of course, but I'd rather put off or wait for a bargain on anything really expensive in this regard, that purpose. I rarely need or want to carry a big powerful flash unit, these days, but when you need it, you need it.

Frankly, I kind of hope the pop-up flash is something I can pop a little diffuser on and get my little splash of fill at closer ranges: that's *usually* all I want.

.
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