Flash Reccomendations...Please Help


TPF Noob!
Apr 25, 2009
Reaction score
Minneapolis, MN
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hey guys some of you may know i'm still kind of a Noob in the SLR scene ; i want to buy a Flash for my Olympus E-510 ; but budget is a little tight right now; i have head a few good thing about the Bower Brand but i not convinced...then i came across the Vivitar 285HV which is like $100 which would be in my Range...what do you guys think???
285HV is very popular among the 'strobist" population. Mine continues to serve me well. I would not hesitate to recommend to others.


1) I am not familiar with the Olympus line of DSLRs. I am not sure if they have the typical "X-sync" hotshoe
2) Check trigger voltages
3) Realize that the flash will not E-TTL meter with your camera. You'll have to shoot manually.
It is basically means the camera is not able to communicate with the flash. So it will not know what camera settings (aperture/shutter speed/ISO) it need for a particular scene with the flash.

So you need to set the camera settings manually.
I just bought a Vivitar DF400MZ. I'm happy with it, for what I'm using it for, and I paid $99 for it -ETTL, Variable power, tilt and swivel. Sure beat the heck out of paying $250-$450 for a Canon flash, although if the funds were there I certainly would recommend the name brand to avoid problems.

Down side to cheap flashes:
1. Not as well built or sturdy.
2. Slower recycle times
3. Some don't sync as well as others (ETTL, i-TTL, or whatever Olympus calls it)

If you go in knowing that these problems are there and can live with it you can get a lot of flash for your buck going this route.

Most reactions