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04-15-2011, 08:50 PM   #1
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vivitar 550 fd flash

I have an old vivitar 550 fd which has been on the shelf for a LONG time. I thought there were no batteries in it but now I find there are and I think they must have leaked a long time ago as there is a white salty substance on the batterie door which does not come off. Is this hopeless? What is the best way to get the door of and then clean up the inside of the compartment? I know this is possible but I wanted to see if I could find someone who'd actually done it. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Sheila

04-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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Yes washing soda crystals will remove it, but I don't know how you are going to do that without damaging the flash.

Best of luck!
04-16-2011, 08:34 AM   #3
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What kind of batteries

What kind of batteries were in the flash? You will want to use vinegar if they were Alkaline batteries. First try to remove what scale you can using a screw driver or other small tool dry. Then blow the dust out using your blower. Try a cotton swab dipped in vinegar or the baking soda solution (depends on battery type) to clean the contacts. If that does not work, you may have to disassemble the flash to clean it properly.
04-16-2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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If that all fails, the flash can probably be replaced for $10-$15. It Is a nice flash once you learn how to use it with a dSLR.



04-18-2011, 03:51 AM   #5
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I have one and it comes in handy as a hair light.

worth trying to save

randy
04-22-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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My batteries

Sorry I haven't gotten back to you folks. Thanks for the responses.

So the vineager will help me get the battery door open as well as clean the contacts? The first part is safely getting that door open. By "safely" I mean getting the door open without breaking it in any way as I assume I will not be able to get a replacement door. I do not even know if this type of battery is made anymore.

Not sure what a "hair light"is. Are you saying after I get it all nice and cleaned up it may not function as a flash anymore but may function just as a light?

Thanks,
Sheila
04-22-2011, 11:42 AM   #7
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Hi Sheila,
A 'Hair light' is a flash unit that is generally placed above & behind & to one side of the subject. It's function is to illuminate the subject's hair. It is generally a flash unit but always referred to as a 'hair light'. One of those many confusing terms that you quickly learn and forget that others may not know what you mean.

It looks like your flash uses standard AA batteries once you get it open & cleaned up.

I did find this manual for the Canon & Ricoh version of the flash unit. http://www.butkus.org/chinon/vivitar_flashes/550fd-cr.pdf
This person has lots of old flash & camera manuals and just would like a donation if you find it useful.

Hope this helps.
Michael
04-23-2011, 04:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sheila Quote
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you folks. Thanks for the responses.

So the vineager will help me get the battery door open as well as clean the contacts? The first part is safely getting that door open. By "safely" I mean getting the door open without breaking it in any way as I assume I will not be able to get a replacement door. I do not even know if this type of battery is made anymore.

Not sure what a "hair light"is. Are you saying after I get it all nice and cleaned up it may not function as a flash anymore but may function just as a light?

Thanks,
Sheila
sorry for not getting back to you about the hair light question but when I went to find examples my computer bummed out.

do you have some pics to show us what you are dealing with?
I use the 550 with a flash trigger, and the only down fall is it has no easy way of controlling the output when it isn't mounted on top of the camera

cheers

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