Looking for a cheap flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by existence02, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. existence02

    existence02 TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking for a flash unit for some time now at a decent price. Browsing CL like I so often do when I'm bored I just came across a listing that has my interests, but I'm not 100% sold on it just yet. I come here to get your opinions on the listing.

    Vivitar 285HV and a Cactus V2 transmitter with 2 receivers for $90.

    I keep reading mixed reviews of the Vivitar, but Strobist gave it a glowing recommendation.
     
  2. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    lots of people use them because they are cheap and have a pretty strong output.

    ive never used one personally, but that listing seems like a good deal to me.
     
  3. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    Read the thread about pop up flash they got some ideas for cheap! HAHA!
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I still use my 32 year old Vivitar 283 as a slave and for my DIY ringflash and love it (I protect my camera with a wein safe-synch). The 285 is a good unit ... you just lose the ability to use TTL flash control with your camera. I believe the newer breed of 285 has addressed the issue of high-voltage -- make certain you have one of those or use a safe-synch.
     
  5. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

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    Keep shopping around, I found a mint condition 430 EX speedlite for $100.00 shipped. There are deals out there you just have to be patient. On something like a flash I would look at different cities and states, they can be shipped very cheap.
     
  6. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Nikon SB-400, I love mine - had 2 SB-600's and sold them both.

    Granted, I have no idea what kind of camera you have so this may be a worthless post :lol:

    I also realize the SB-400 isn't for everyone, but neither is $1000 or more of 'strobist gear'.
     
  7. existence02

    existence02 TPF Noob!

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    An SB-400 is actually what I want. This ad caught my attention for the V2s more than anything. I realize they are cheap, but I figured both the flash and the V2s could be a decent deal especially if the Vivitar became a secondary light source in the future.

    But yeah I keep hearing great things about the 400 especially from people like you who got rid of the 600s because the 400 is so good and so much smaller.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Depends on how you want to use the flash...if you want to use it in-shoe, the 285HV has only tilt, n swivel, making the older Sunpak 383 a better unit for those who want a shoe-mounted flash for bounce flash work.

    If you want the flash for use off-camera, the two receivers, transmitter, and 285 for $100 seems attractive.

    The camera body you have also enters into the mix.
     
  9. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    What was your reason for getting rid of the 600's? I've been toying with the idea of getting a flash and somewhat torn between the two (400 and 600). I don't do a whole lot where I'd need a flash, but one would be good to have around. The monetary savings of going 400 instead of 600 is the biggest selling point for me, even though I know the 600 is obviously a better flash with more potential. Any input you can provide?
     
  10. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Most of my shots are 'around the house', kids, etc... The SB-400 is compact and easy to use (not that the 600 is difficult). Takes only 2 batteries and does a FANTASTIC job.

    Some will tell you the SB-400 can't bounce off anything but an 8' ceiling - I can prove otherwise with great results off an 11' ceiling.

    In short, it does everything I need in a flash and does it beyond my expectations.
     
  11. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, N0yze. As of right now, I don't usually shoot much that needs a flash except the 'around the house' stuff, so I think the SB-400 fits the bill pretty good. Thanks again.
     

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