Vivitar 285HV's or SB-600's?

ryan7783

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I have 1 Vivitar 285HV. I love it, it's great for basic lighting but I've become more recently interested in using 3 flashes instead of just the 1. I don't know for sure but can the Vivitar 285HV be remotely triggered in union with 2 other Vivitar 285HV's or do I need to upgrade to SB-600's to accomplish this?

Camera is a Nikon D300
 

bhop

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If you mean using Nikon CLS, then you'll need a Nikon flash. If you're using off camera wireless triggers, any flash should work.
 
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ryan7783

ryan7783

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If you mean using Nikon CLS, then you'll need a Nikon flash. If you're using off camera wireless triggers, any flash should work.

OK I'm new to "advanced" lighting so I'm guessing there is a wireless sensor that will plug into each Vivitar that receives a signal from a master that is located on the camera? So basically I will need 3 wireless sensors and a master?
 

Dao

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You need one trigger on the camera (hot shoe or sync cable) and one receiver for each flashes.


Or on-camera flash with optical slave on each flashes.
 

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I have 3 Vivitar 285HV's, and I use Cybersync triggers to sync them with the camera. Using this method means working in full manual mode (manual mode on the camera, and manually setting the flash power on each flash). It's actually easier than it sounds.

I also have an SB600, which I use on camera and also wirelessly with my D300 using the built in Nikon CLS wireless commander mode. The advantage of the SB600/800/900 is that the camera can work in full automatic (TTL) mode, which is nice. The downside is the cost of the SB's, and they have less range than the radio (Cybersync) triggers.

For family snaps and fast moving stuff I use the SB600, but when I have time to do a more studio setup approach or for doing anything more serious than snapshots, I use the Vivitars.
 

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I'd go with Cybersyncs because they are very reliable and work great.
AlienBees: Remote Controls, Wired and Wireless Remotes for your Flash Units
With 3 flashes, you'll need one CST and 3 CSRBs, the price will add up but it's totally worth it. I consider Cybersyncs a professional system.

I haven't looked at my packages but, if they don't come with a specific cord for Vivitars, you'll need this cord. FlashZebra.com: Vivitar to Pocket Wizard, CyberSync or Elinchrom Skyport (Item #0028)

Like what andrew said, you'll have to expose and set up your flashes manually. It'll take a lot of test shots starting out but it becomes intuitive later down the line.
Just remember, aperture and ISO effects your flash's exposure and shutter speed effects your ambient exposure.
 
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ryan7783

ryan7783

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I actually went ahead and bought an SB-900 and I plan to use CLS. I have a Vivitar 285HV that I will use a PC cord to operate. I couldn't find any SB-800's anywhere that I could use a credit card to purchase so I was kinda forced to buy the 900. I'm glad I upgraded but man, what a kick in the wallet.
 

JerryPH

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I would suggest the SB-600s. The reasons are that they are easy to make full manual, CLS and to use with 3rd party triggers, you only need a HOT SHOE adapter. Yes the Vivitar 285HVs are cheaper, but I find myself going back each time to the SB-600s (I bought a Vivitar 285HV for testing purposes).

Vivitar 285HV flashes are lower priced, very limiting, slower recycling, a bit more limiting in power level choices, and have no support for CLS. Build quality is also far better on the Nikon units.
 
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ryan7783

ryan7783

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I would suggest the SB-600s. The reasons are that they are easy to make full manual, CLS and to use with 3rd party triggers, you only need a HOT SHOE adapter. Yes the Vivitar 285HVs are cheaper, but I find myself going back each time to the SB-600s (I bought a Vivitar 285HV for testing purposes).

Vivitar 285HV flashes are lower priced, very limiting, slower recycling, a bit more limiting in power level choices, and have no support for CLS. Build quality is also far better on the Nikon units.

I agree. I got an SB-900 and plan to, eventually, buy a couple of SB-600's to use with CLS
 

JerryPH

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I agree. I got an SB-900 and plan to, eventually, buy a couple of SB-600's to use with CLS

You can also pair them up and end up having more power than a single SB-800 or SB900 too. ;)

3450552576_3d47e044d7.jpg


Now, 2 is about as far as I would go in doubling up. Beyond that point, it is actually cheaper to get 1 huge monolight for less and get far more power than, say, 4 SB-600s.
 
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ryan7783

ryan7783

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Beyond that point, it is actually cheaper to get 1 huge monolight for less and get far more power than, say, 4 SB-600s.

Oh I already built one of those ;)
DSC_8360.jpg


DSC_8361.jpg


DSC_8369.jpg
 

JerryPH

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That's very cool but not quite CLS compatible... lol Your SB-900 as a controller with 2 SB-600s will be such a pleasure to use as it a LOT more powerful and is adjustable in 2 ways using CLS... remote manual (set all power presets via the commander mode in the menu in your camera or on the SB-900) or set all 3 to TTL and let the camera/flashes set the power to each light to give you a perfect exposure without doing a single darn thing. :)
 

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