Buying off camera flashes

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Derek Zoolander, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    I had bought these 2 mini slave flashes a while back and I've learned a lot from them by using them off camera, but i'm now thinking I need something more reliable (either its my cactus v2s triggers or the recycling that is holding me up, and i think its the recycle) and that gives me the ability to adjust the flash power manually.

    on that same note, i cant afford to buy a nice 580ex or even close, really. i dont even plan to ever have it mounted to my camera. so anything you guys can suggest?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  3. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Vivitar 285HV (or the new one that marketed by GI) seems to be a good choice for $90 new or $40-50 used
     
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    If you're only going to use the flashes for off-camera use, take a look at the LumoPro LP120 Manual Flashes. These were commisioned by Midwest Photo Exchange as strickly off-camera flashes for the strobist community. I plan to pick up two of these after I buy a couple of lenses first.
     
  5. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    any big adnvantages to the LumoPro and the Vivitar 285HV that warrents the price difference?
     
  6. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Compared to what?
     
  7. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I'd say go for the vivitar, its a great flash for the money.

    You said something about your triggers holding you up, maybe getting some pocket wizards might help?
     
  8. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    compared to one another is what I meant...sorry. having re-read that, it wasn't very clear.
     
  9. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    Pockets are way out of my budget considering im looking for a frugal flash. i WAS however thinking of upgrading to this eventually:

    AlienBees: The CyberSync 2.4GHz Radio Remote Control system
     
  10. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Oh...well, from what I heard the latest Vivitar 285HVs had quality control issues but that may have been before Vivitar got taken over/bought out. Not sure about current stock.

    I heard the Gadget Infinity/Cactus made flashes have quality control problems.

    From what I'm hearing about the LumoPro LP120s, they aren't the best made flashes around but they aren't the worst either. They're very light and feel cheap. But they do work. Some are complaining that they're a little weak. MPEX is thinking of making improvements down the line but that will increase the price.

    You might want to see if you can locate used Nikon SB-26s. They might be hard to find though as strobists tend to buy these as soon as they're put up for sale. They usually sell for less than $100 and are very good flashes.
    I use CyberSyncs as well as many of my shooting buddies. 8 of us use CyberSyncs while 3 guys use PocketWizards. No one has had any complaints about the CyberSyncs yet. I test fired one of my flashes placed on one corner of my property while I was standing on the far opposite corner with the house between us and the flash fired every time I hit the test button. It was cool but the neighbors probably thought I was nuts.
     
  11. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    What are your thoughts on buying used flashes though?
     
  12. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For me, it is fine. After all, 9x% of my photo gears are used. I have a $30 Vivitar 283 (high trigger voltage), and 2 Vivitar 285HV (low trigger voltage) for $45 and $50 respectively. The $50 one came with a AC adapter and external battery pack cable (no battery pack) and a Vivitar made bounce holder with bounce card. So that is a much better deal.

    All of them works great. Hoever, for the 283, I need to mod it for the vari power or buy one from B&H. Unlike the 285hv, I can manaully change it to full power, 1/2, 1/4 or 1/16 power.
     

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