Question about my flash: Vivitar 285hv

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JeffieLove, May 21, 2010.

  1. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    So I was taking more pictures for a friend yesterday at a park... We were outside where it was mostly sunny in some places and some places were half shade, and other places were full shade... Well, I wanted to attempt using my off camera flash... So I practiced for a little while with my kids...

    I tried putting it in each different auto mode (there's yellow, red, blue, and purple... Yellow being the lowest strength as far as the brightness of the flash, and purple being the strongest), and there is also this little circle on the front of it and right above it, it says, "vari power"... So if I remember correctly (I need to find the little pamphlet thing that came with it.. I am pretty sure it's in my bag) that little circle is kind of like a light meter where it determines how much ambient light there is and adjusts the flash to where it thinks it needs to be...

    Well, I didn't notice a difference at all in any of the pictures... Whether it was sunny, shade, or half and half... So I tried covering the little circle where it says "vari power" so that it would think it was totally dark... I still didn't notice any difference...

    So I double checked to make sure the flash was on, listened for the high pitched sound that flashes make when they are warming up, did a test fire of the flash to make sure it was actually going off... everything checked out, everything was doing what it was supposed to. But I was noticing NO DIFFERENCE whatsoever in the pictures...

    So then I tried the pop up flash... And guess what... I noticed the difference...

    WTF is wrong with my flash? :( lol It was on and doing what it was supposed to do as long as I wasn't trying to use it to take a picture :/

    Yeah, I know - that makes no sense.. but any ideas?
     
  2. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    so now that I went through and typed all of that and I am inside, I can see that the indicator lights on the back aren't lighting up like they should. The red and green lights are supposed to light up one at a time, then blink when the flash is ready...

    I've only had it for a month and only used it twice including yesterday... Hmmm... :/
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Firstly, how were you triggering the off-camera flash?

    I'm not sure how well the auto (vari-power) will work when used off camera. You may need to switch it into manual mode.

    Are the batteries charged up? NiMH batteries will drain on their own, so you need to charge them up before you use them.
     
  4. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    I have a trigger thing lol... I think it's a radio trigger...

    One piece sits in the hot shoe, the other piece attaches to the bottom of the camera. You can do it that way, or you can just use the piece that sits in the hot shoe as a remote and fire the flash when you want to instead of when the shutter releases.
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Use the manual power mode.

    M (full power), 1/2, 1/4, 1/16
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Double check to make sure that the trigger is working when you press the shutter release.

    Also, make sure that your shutter speed is slower than your max sync speed (probably 1/200). Try something like 1/125.
     
  7. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    thank you for your help big mike... it was batteries :(

    *goes to dye her hair blonde again*

    I just didn't think the batteries would die that fast... I've seriously only used it twice... lol

    And since it would make the sound like it was charging up the flash, I thought it was good... but I guess now I know... if those lights aren't lighting up, change the effin batteries!! lol
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also, is there a button on the trigger that sit on the hot shoe? Try pressing the button and see if it trigger the flash.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You must be using those regular NiMH rechargeable batteries.
     
  10. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    nope.. not even that good lol - using regular store bought AA batteries lol...

    It actually says on the thing the batteries go in to ONLY USE alkaline batteries...
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Go get yourself some NiMH rechargeables....and a good charger (not just the 1hr charger that comes packaged with most batteries).

    Regular NiMH batteries will lose their charge even when you aren't using them. So you should charge them before using them (or at least if you want/need a full charge for a day's shooting).

    There is a new type of NiMH, the most common being the Sanyo Eneloops. They discharge much slower, so they can sit without needing to be charged up before use.
     
  12. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    I'm such a rule follower it scares me sometimes lol...

    Even though it says alkaline only, NiMH will be okay?
     

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