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Thread: Flash recommendations please

  1. #1
    Barry Kirsten's Avatar
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    Flash recommendations please

    I had a burglary three weeks ago but noticed only yesterday that my flash unit was also taken. I very seldom use flash, but I'd like to find a replacement which has the one important feature that this one had... an old Panasonic unit which had a removable sensor unit that could be attached to the hot shoe, and connection to the flash was via a cable, allowing off-camera flash positioning, with on-camera control. The sensor could also be left on the flash, and the whole unit either attached to the hot shoe or connected via a synch cord. This was not a TTL flash - purely manual, which I prefer.

    Internet searching shows a huge range of units currently available, but nothing like this. Phone calling local distributors also hasn't been much help. There are a few manual flash units available, but none that have the feature of on-camera control - except the Metz 70 series costing around $1000, or some ring flash units, which are not powerful enough for general use, and which the insurance company will surely not allow anyway.

    Anyone know of a currently available flash unit similar to what I've described? Thanks!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    B&H lists the Vivitar 285 HV flash. Reasonably priced. Meets your description.

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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    B&H lists the Vivitar 285 HV flash. Reasonably priced. Meets your description.
    I don't remember the details, but some flash units can damage your shutters. if fired directly through a cable. There is an intermediate device to use to protect the shutter. I have one which I've used with my Vivitar 285, but I would have to search through my gear to tell you what it is. I'm sure you can find references to such devices using google. Or perhaps someone else will give a reference.

  4. #4
    Barry Kirsten's Avatar
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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Thanks, Gem and Leonard. Apparently this model is junk, since the venerable Vivitar brand name was bought out, according to http://strobist.blogspot.com.au/2007...f-classic.html and other internet comments. Unfortunate, since this would have been a good replacement.

  5. #5
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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Barry,

    Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

    That article you linked to was written by a person who has a product that competes with the Vivitar flash (LomoPro).

    The new Vivitar 285-HV is a great flash unit for the price. It is safe to use with any type of sync shutter.

    Mine works like a charm

  6. #6

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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Older flashes can damage digital SLRs, but I don't think any flash can harm a LF lens.

  7. #7
    Barry Kirsten's Avatar
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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Ahh, I see... Thanks Gem, it pays to have a bit of background knowledge! As my old Panasonic flash was probably in that price range, the Vivitar is probably a good replacement.

    Many thanks for your help.

    Barry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    Barry,

    Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

    That article you linked to was written by a person who has a product that competes with the Vivitar flash (LomoPro).

    The new Vivitar 285-HV is a great flash unit for the price. It is safe to use with any type of sync shutter.

    Mine works like a charm

  8. #8

    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    Barry,

    Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

    That article you linked to was written by a person who has a product that competes with the Vivitar flash (LomoPro).

    The new Vivitar 285-HV is a great flash unit for the price. It is safe to use with any type of sync shutter.

    Mine works like a charm
    Just to 2nd the thought...I have 3 of them. Very nice, very basic units. They are all the new "crap" units

    One thing to consider is that the base of the 285HV is a bit weak. I modded mine with the heavy duty metal foot
    david

  9. #9
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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonard Evens View Post
    I don't remember the details, but some flash units can damage your shutters. if fired directly through a cable. There is an intermediate device to use to protect the shutter. I have one which I've used with my Vivitar 285, but I would have to search through my gear to tell you what it is. I'm sure you can find references to such devices using google. Or perhaps someone else will give a reference.
    It's not the shutter per se. Flashes that have a high trigger voltage can fry cameras that rely on electronics rather than being purely mechanical. You can get a Wein "Safe Sync" adapter - they come in a variety of shoe and plug configurations - that will shield the camera and enable safe use of the flash. I have one that I use when I want to trigger my studio flash with a digital camera. It's a non-issue with the mechanical shutters in view camera lenses.

  10. #10
    Barry Kirsten's Avatar
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    Re: Flash recommendations please

    Thanks all for input. Can I confirm with those of you who have this unit that the Vivitar 285 HV actually has a removable sensor that can be mounted on camera? B&H claims that it does, but no other online site that I can find, including Vivitar's, confirms this. If it does, I would expect a special cable, not just an ordinary sync cable, to be available, but no such cable is listed as an accessory for this model. Thanks,

    Barry.

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