Strobist and the vivitar question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by confucious, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. confucious

    confucious TPF Noob!

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    I know there have been a few threads on lighting lately, but I was hoping I could get some first hand advice on the VIvitar 285 HV off cam strobe flash. By the way - I use a Canon XTI.

    What I am thinking of doing:
    1. two vivitar 285 HV flashes (from ebay)
    2. one remote/radio trigger fired from my hotshoe(??)
    3. some kind of clamp/stand?
    What I want them for:
    1. in house portraiture and random shoots
    2. outdoor shots (portable)...generally non-movement shots
    My questions:
    1. Will these flashes burn out my cam if attached directly to my hotshoe? Does the remote bypass this risk? (I assume so)
    2. will these flashes work with a remote?
    3. Will they fir directly on my cam if I need them to?
    4. are these flashes a good and affordable option for a beginner...is the Nikon SB-24 a good flash for this too?
    Thanks tons for any input!!
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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  3. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, much of this has been discusses at one time or another.

    If you want to fire two flashes, you will probably want to buy two receivers and one sending unit. You could use one receiver and get an optical slave for the other...but that might not work all that well outdoors.
    There are plenty of ways to hold or mount a flash. A tripod or light stand would be ideal I would suggest light stands with 'umbrella swivel adaptors' that have a shoe mount.

    I think it will be fine. I believe the XTi is rated at 250v which is quite high. You may be able to find the trigger voltage of the flashes, to be sure. Yes, the radio transmitter will bypass any risk to the camera.
    Yes, as long as your remote receiver has the proper hot shoe mount or adapter...or other connection that the flash might have (PC)
    Probably, but you only get manual control (or whatever auto the flash itself has).
    There are plenty of good options. I would also include the Sunpak 383 in that list.
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Take a good look a the Sunpak 383's as Big Mike suggested. I owned 285's and 283's and in their day and they were the greatest of flash units.

    The 285 has no swivel head, the 383 does, no more power than the 383's, one less power control setting than the 383's, and the 383's also recycle a tad bit faster, (2.4 seconds from a full discharge faster than the 285's). They are priced at $79.95 new from B&H.

    FlashZebra Link carries a complete line of accessory cables etc for the 383's at a reasonable price as well.
     
  5. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    what I like about the SB's is that all the buttons are on the back, you dont have to play with knobs or dials that are hard to turn, or could break, the Nikons just last forever.
     

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