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Old Jan 16, 2010, 3:29 PM   #1
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Default Vivitar SF-4000

Vivitar SF-4000 won't fire on a Fuji S-9000 (hotshoe). Any suggestions?
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 6:19 AM   #2
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I don't think it's supposed to. ;-)

From what I can tell from the specs on that flash, it's a slave flash (designed to be triggered by another flash). The foot is probably "cold" and not designed to be used for triggering the flash. IOW, the only purpose of the foot is for mounting the flash in an off camera bracket.

If you look at the foot, you can probably tell (if it doesn't have any electrical contacts, it's not supposed to be triggered via a hotshoe). You'll probably need to use the camera's built in flash to trigger it, mounting it off camera on the included bracket.
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 12:14 PM   #3
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Default Vivitar SF 4000 SLAVE FLASH

You are exactly correct, JimC-

The Vivitar is designed as a Slave Flash and it sells for $39.95. Here is the www.google.com reference to it.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 1:10 PM   #4
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I bought one of these last week and it died after two days of use. Kills NiHM (2450mHA) batteries in just 28 shots! Wasted 67USD + Customs charges. Waste of money! Actually Vivitar flashes are Vivitar branded cheap Chinese flashes which have no quality control at all.
Never buy Vivitar… its signing for a heap of trouble.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 2:23 PM   #5
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Default Fixing Vivitar SF-4000

Ok, so I bought a Vivitar SF-4000 from Ebay which stopped working after 3 days...

Two days ago, since I am good with tools I decided to try and figure out why it was not working. I inserted for the first time four Alkaline batteries instead of the NiHM 2450mHA I've been using. Viola! it worked... the dead SF-4000 sprung back to life.... but here the next problem....

Alkaline batteries didn't last for more than 120 shots... and the flash started to miss... which is a weird behavior. But when I installed NiHM batteries it still doesn't work at all.

App-on investigation I found that some devices don't work well with NiHM batteries because they are 1.2V instead of 1.5V (standard). Well duh.... I found the problem... VOLTAGE... 4.8V is not going to be enough for a 6.0V flash!

I ran in to stone wall... Alkaline batteries are expensive and as a person that takes 400 photo's a week, it was not helping at ALL! Then I noticed 4.8 + 1.2 = 6V!!! Eureka! So I opened up the Vivitar flash made a hole and managed to install a external battery holder connecting one more rechargeable NiHM in series... Guess what! now I gots 6V and all the batteries are recharable...

Ok first day outside I found a big problem. The slave sensor needs to pickup bounced light! So if you shooting the sky the flash isn't going to go off! So what I did was I removed the front "Vivitar" cover (its basically glued to it) and looked at the sensor... to find that it is a bit too inside for the flash from the side reach it.

I removed the flash once more and removed the circuit board... and got a nasty shook as well. so I remove the glued slave sensor and used a drill to widen the hole so much that it allowed me to take out the sensor!

So I fixed everything back together and pointed the sensor to the side... and glued it using double side tape.

DONE! I hope it works for at least 12 months
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 11:05 PM   #6
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G'day all

Just come across this forum & this is first post
I realise that I am responding to a 1-year old post, but maybe there are others like me who are searching for info & answers

I also use the SF4000 slave flashes for semi-serious home studio stuff

For JimC - the flash is both a regular hot-shoe flash & a slave flash
The hot-shoe is a single-terminal type ... ie: no eTTL contacts

The mode switch is either 'normal' mode or 'slave' mode, and the Slave mode has a 4-position slider switch for selecting various options from a multi-flash primary trigger

My Panasonic shoots 2, sometimes 3 flashes [depending on red-eye settings] & all too fast for the eye to see and the SF4000 mode switch is moved sideways till it "gets into sync" with the main exposure flash

As to batteries & voltages - others have alluded to 4x1.2volts versus 4x1.5 volts as an issue - and the fact that AA batteries lose their punch all too quickly

For chirantha7777 - I have made up a 6volt torch attachment which gives me hundreds of flashes all at <4seconds recharge time. Here is a DIY look at the project if it will help anyone

Regards, Phil
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