Vivitar 283

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Derek Zoolander, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    I've found a Vivitar 283 for $35. Pretty good deal it seems since its going for around $50 on ebay. Would this be a good strobe for me (beginner)?

    I'm reading that I need to be careful with the voltage, but does that matter to me since I'm not planning on using it on camera at all?
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How are you going to trigger it?
     
  3. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    cactus v2 and cactus v2s receivers
     
  4. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Then you should be good to go. You really only need one light to get started with off-camera flash shooting. You have your lightstand and an umbrella yes?
     
  5. McQueen278

    McQueen278 TPF Noob!

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    It's a nice flash and relatively powerful. I have one, but it is just a back up to my back up. I use 285HVs. The only real problem with the flash is that it doesn't have any manual power settings. You can buy a variable power adapter for it, but they are hard to find and probably cost the same as just buying a 285HV.
     
  6. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    what would have determined whether or not i could use it?

    and yes ive got the umbrella and stands!
     
  7. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    For off-camera, really anything with a hotshoe or PC outlet will work (or any other connectivity option).

    The big issue with the 283 is that you can't set the power manually. Those VP-1s are expensive (relative to the $35 flash) and hard to come by, and unless you're a bit of an electrical tinkerer the do-it-yourself modifications may be over your head.

    A $33 Nikon SB 20 is going to give you a lot more to work with. I won't tell you what I'm getting in a similar vein because I want to continue to buy them for $9 well into the future, but I've done a ton of research and an SB 20 is a much better deal than a $35 283.
     
  8. henryp

    henryp TPF Noob!

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    The manual for the 283 is online here. Page four says, "Range Selector -- Four color-coded auto ranges ... plus "M" for manual operation."
     
  9. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    So it DOES have a manual setting?

    Nice, so this has all the manual settings I need? I'd buy two right now if that's the case. What's the recycle time on this?

    The reason I'm looking into a better flash is because I find myself missing moments with my $20 cheap mini flashes. I think it's because of the recycle time as opposed to my Cactus V2s not triggering correctly.
     
  10. McQueen278

    McQueen278 TPF Noob!

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    M is full power and then there are a series of ND filters on a wheel that block more or less light from hitting the automated sensor. It is still automatic, even though it has an M setting. You can't select any specific power level except for full power. It tries to determine the correct amount of power within the limits you selected for it with the filter wheel. It just isn't terribly consistent.
     
  11. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    The 283 does not have true manual settings in the consistent, reliable sense that you will get from a true manual flash. The SB-20 gives you a manual range from 1/1 to 1/16 in full stop increments. While I've never used one, they seem like a very workable solution for the price.

    All I could find for recycle time was that it's six seconds at full power, which isn't great, but it's also not $300. It's fairly powerful (GN 100) and should get the job done for most off-camera flash applications.

    If you do outgrow it, you won't even feel that bad about upgrading.
     
  12. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    So I'm reading 6 seconds minimum for recycle time. That is a pretty long amount of time wouldn't you say? That's at full manual though. What situations do I need to use full manual? My mini flash currently has about a 6 second recycle time, so this may not really solve my problem at all...
     

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