Question about old Vivitar Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by 250Gimp, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    Hi all!

    I have resurected an old Vivitar 2800 flash from my parents old camera kit.

    I am hoping to use it on a light stand with an umbrella.

    Can anyone tell me if it is worth while to use this flash? The manual says it has a PC port, but it is not the style I have seen. It looks like it may take a mini jack. Can anyone tell me what should be used?

    I plan to use it with some cactus triggers that I am going to buy with some Christmas money.

    I know this flash is too high a voltage to put on the hotshoe, so I have to use the PC connection. I am just hoping I can figure out what kind of connection it is. If not I will have to spring for a HOtshoe to PC adapter, but if I can save some money I am all for it.

    Thanks
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    DO NOT USE!!

    The Vivtar 2800 syncs at up 140V according to Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages. This will cause damage to most modern cameras. Even the 33.4V and 20V that were measured by other people are dangerous to the camera.

    You will need to buy an isolator or risk catastrophic damage. The cameras PC port is a direct connection to the hotshoe. It makes no difference.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On a light stand?? Sure he can use it, just not in the hotshoe of his modern dSLR, Garbz. I am sure you read through that too fast, especially the part about Cactus triggers and all.

    To the OP, the Vivitars use a proprietary wire from the flash to the sync cord, it looks like a phono plug with a sharp end and a standard camera sync plug on the other end. Pop the Vivitar on to a light stand and plug the cord into the Cactus V2s receiver and all will be good. If you are missing this wire, you can get it from www.flashzebra.com easily enough.

    Do NOT place this flash into the hotshoe of your camera, as Garbz mentioned, it will fry the electronics of your dSLR within 1-2 pictures.
     
  4. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies Garbz & Jerry.

    Is this flash worth using on the stand witha shoot through, or reflected umbrella, or is it not powerful enough?

    Lastly, any thoughts on where I can get the proprietary connector?

    Thanks
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, after a 30 second google came up with this:

    "Don't buy this, get a 283/285HV instead. It powers down after 5mins, when you're least expecting it. I've missed so many shots because the flash was not ready when I was. Poor design feature which cannot be overridden."

    If this is true, its a PITA. I picked up a 285HV just to play with it and it was maybe 10 bucks more than this model but it is adjustable, powerful and cheap and doesn't turn off after a few minutes. I could not find any guide settings for the 2800, but the Amazon page on this item says it's range is 40 feet. That's really not too impressive for a bare flash at maximum power. I would not be impressed with that at all in direct full power mode, much less trying to push it through an umbrella on top of it. Seems quite weak. As for the connector, I *already* mentioned where to get it... look up!

    What did your research turn up, did you do any?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  6. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    Wooops!

    Bit of a long day for me, and obviously a big brain fart.

    Thanks for the info Jerry.

    The main reason I am looking at using a Vivitar 2800 is that I have one in hand right now. I may try it and see.

    I am still a bit concerned about voltage from the flash into the Cactus receiver, even through the PC port. I believe that I would only have a problem if using a hotshoe to PC adapter, not going from sync port on the flash to the receiver, correct?

    I did find a cord at a local used camera goods shop for $10.

    By the way, that Flash Zebra site is great!

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  7. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    A little update on this in case anyone is following it.

    I emailed Gadget Infinity & they told me that the V2s receivers can't handle high voltage flashes, even through the PC sync cord. They suggest that their V2 receiver will work with it no problem though.

    Cheers
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You need a "Vivitar to PC" cord; I'm sure B & H has a variety in stock. It looks like a mini jack, but smaller. I got some 3" cords, and taped them to the flashes; I just leave them plugged in and use the PC end.
     

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