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08-08-2009, 07:21 AM   #1
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Vivitar flash on K10D or newer

Has anyone used a Vivitar Mfr# VIVDF383PEN flash unit on a K10D or newer Pentax DSLR? It may be a good match at a good price.
Thanks,
Joe D.

08-08-2009, 08:47 AM   #2
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The Vivitar 383PEN is one of the most economical P-TTL compatible flashes around.

I don't have one, but I know a user who has it. Guide Number 38, so its about equivalent to an AF360, but it can also swivel sideways , which the AF360 can't.
Its pretty basic but does a decent job with direct flash. Underexposes with bounce flash, you'll need to set + Flash compensation.

There's another user review on this forum
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/camera-studio-accessories/65812-pentax-df-383-review.html
08-08-2009, 11:39 AM   #3
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I need to add info on this flash to my guide I've been very busy lately. (Luckily, some of that busyness involves shooting with my new K-7!)

The US importer Sakar bought the Vivitar brand not too long ago (but nothing else of the company). They contract to Chinese manufacturers to put their brands on electronics which they sell in the US.

I'm pretty sure this one is made by Icorp:

TUMAX

But it's next-to-impossible to get solid confirmation.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong a priori, but I wouldn't expect much (if anything) by way of service or support.
08-08-2009, 03:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote

<snip>

The US importer Sakar bought the Vivitar brand not too long ago (but nothing else of the company). They contract to Chinese manufacturers to put their brands on electronics which they sell in the US.

<snip>
That's all Vivitar did under the former owners. I don't believe that Vivitar ever actually manufactured anything at all. They contracted with Japanese or Chinese manufacturers.

That said, some of their stuff wasn't half bad. It remains to be seen if Sakar will produce decent quality, or just slap the Vivitar brand name on junk. Sakar has revived the old Vivitar label, "Series 1", but I haven't seen any reviews to know if the products are any good. Under the old owners, the Series 1 lenses were their best, and, by all accounts, were pretty decent. Maybe not the best of the best, but certainly good quality at an affordable price.

08-08-2009, 04:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
That's all Vivitar did under the former owners. I don't believe that Vivitar ever actually manufactured anything at all. They contracted with Japanese or Chinese manufacturers.

That said, some of their stuff wasn't half bad. It remains to be seen if Sakar will produce decent quality, or just slap the Vivitar brand name on junk. Sakar has revived the old Vivitar label, "Series 1", but I haven't seen any reviews to know if the products are any good. Under the old owners, the Series 1 lenses were their best, and, by all accounts, were pretty decent. Maybe not the best of the best, but certainly good quality at an affordable price.
A number of years ago their flashes...the 283 and the 285HV were regarded very highly...many pro's used them. I still have my 25 year old 285 HV . It's great, still functions well...but has too much voltage for my K10D and KM, thus I bought a Pentax 360 for my digital cameras.
08-09-2009, 09:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
A number of years ago their flashes...the 283 and the 285HV were regarded very highly...many pro's used them. I still have my 25 year old 285 HV . It's great, still functions well...but has too much voltage for my K10D and KM, thus I bought a Pentax 360 for my digital cameras.
Get the Wein Safe sync. I use it with my Vivitar 285HV's AND 285's ( I'm packing two of each).

No problems whatsoever.
08-09-2009, 11:14 PM   #7
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I concur on the Wein Safe sync. They go for about $40 or so. I use my ancient 285 flash with it all the time. Another option is to get a Nikon SB-24, 25, 26 speedlight and perform a bit of surgery on it to remove all but the center pin. They have an auto sensor in flash that is surprisingly effective. Just set the iso and aperture and off you go.
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