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Old Feb 21, 2012, 8:01 AM   #1
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Im using a Pentax k-x.
I wanted to get a flash to practise shooting a friends band playing in local clubs.Didnt want to spend a lot until I knew what I was doing so ordered a used Vivitar 283 flashgun from Ebay.
However Ttoday I recieved a Cobra dedicated D650.Says on the back for Nikon.
I put it on the camera and it worked straight away but is it the right one for the camera,I dont want to mess the camera up so wont be using it again, unless I get thumbs up from here.
Thanks
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:26 AM   #2
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The nikon dedicated flash won't communicate with your camera to give you a proper exposure. It will fire, but cannot modulate the flash power. I don't know if it will harm your camera, but it most certainly isn't what you need.
Is the Vivitar 283 you ordered, a TTL flash? There are older used 283s on the market which are auto-thyristor types, which may have trigger voltages too high for your camera. If it is the newer model TTL flash, it will work fine, and is an OK flash, if not the best.

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Old Feb 22, 2012, 4:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
The nikon dedicated flash won't communicate with your camera to give you a proper exposure. It will fire, but cannot modulate the flash power. I don't know if it will harm your camera, but it most certainly isn't what you need.
Is the Vivitar 283 you ordered, a TTL flash? There are older used 283s on the market which are auto-thyristor types, which may have trigger voltages too high for your camera. If it is the newer model TTL flash, it will work fine, and is an OK flash, if not the best.

brian
Thanks Brian,Yes the vivitar is the auto one,It arrived this morning,so the seller has sent me 2 flashes.Just emailed him to say so.Think I will be putting the auto one back on ebay and looking for another flash.
theres a few Ive researched.Apart from the Vivitar I was looking at the yn-460 and 560.Metz 24 af-1,.Any other suggestions @the 50 mark.
thanks
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 9:40 AM   #4
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The new model Vivitar flashes which work have the DF prefix - the DF-283 and DF383. The Pentax AF200t should also fit your budget well. I don't know enough about the Youngnuo units to have an opinion, but the Metz is well thought of.

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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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Thanks Brian.Appreciate the help
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:35 PM   #6
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Thanks Brian,Yes the vivitar is the auto one,It arrived this morning,so the seller has sent me 2 flashes.Just emailed him to say so.Think I will be putting the auto one back on ebay and looking for another flash.
Does the Vivitar look like the photos of one on this page (with a light sensor on the front saying something like "Auto Thyristor", and a color coded dial to estimate settings needed)?

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/vivitar...lash_units.htm

Here's one on Ebay with a better photo:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vivitar-283-...item2ebb9589ba

If that's what you bought, it's an older model flash. You don't want to use that flash in your K-x hotshoe without checking it's trigger voltage and making sure it's relatively low (I'd stick to one under 10 volts), or you could fry your camera's electronics.

I was just browsing through some threads on trigger voltage, and one poster indicated he knew of 3 Pentax dSLRs that had been damaged by using older Vivitar Flash models like that in the hotshoe (two K10Ds with blown diodes, and a burnt circuit board with a K20D).

Be careful what you read about trigger voltages supported, too. Sometimes customer service reps quote the voltages supported by the PC Sync Ports, where some of the Pentax models like the K20D have protective circuitry for PC Sync Port attached flash. But, that's not true for the hotshoe, and you can damage your camera using an older Vivitar flash.

I've seen a wide range of answers from users claiming to have gotten responses from Pentax. But, I'd take them with a grain of salt. For example, here is one:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...r-voltage.html

Pentax doesn't say what their hotshoes support for trigger voltage on their web site. But, chances are, the trigger voltage of their flash models is around 5 volts (which is typical for a modern flash), whereas a flash like an old Vivitar 283 may be hundreds of volts) ;-)

http://support.pentaximaging.com/node/509

IOW, the older Vivitar models like the 273 and 283 typically have very high trigger voltages, and they are not suitable for use in the hotshoes found on modern digital cameras (unless you want to damage your camera). The old flash models were designed for cameras using mechanical contacts to trigger a flash. Newer digital cameras are using electronics to close the circuit for triggering a flash, and they don't take kindly to higher trigger voltages (unless you just want to see smoke and/or damaged components, and the damage can be cumulative versus instantaneous).

Here's a page that you may want to look at. Some of the Vivitar 283 flashes may have trigger voltages of hundreds of volts (although some of the newer versions may be lower). I would not risk firing it in a camera's hotshoe unless I was *sure* it has a relatively low trigger voltage (using a high impedance digital meter to test it):

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

IOW, you don't even want to test fire it with your camera's hotshoe without measuring it (as damage to the camera's circuits can be cumulative).

They're not really "Auto" either. The Auto part means you use manual exposure on the camera and set your aperture and ISO speed to match what the calculator dial tells you to use. Then, the flash sensor measures reflected light during the exposure and terminates the flash output when it sees enough light for the flash settings.

There is no communication between the camera and flash except for triggering purposes. So, you'd need to use manual exposure and make sure your settings match what the flash is going to output.

This is what the newer DF-283 looks like. It does communicate with the camera (so you wouldn't need to use Manual Exposure and set the camera and flash to match for aperture and ISO speed), and has a safe trigger voltage.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Series_1.html

The older Vivitar 283 Auto Thyristor flash is not the same thing as the DF-283 (I'd avoid the old models if I were you, unless you plan on using a radio trigger with the flash off camera versus in the hotshoe).
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 3:35 PM   #7
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^^ Thanks Jim had a good read on those sites last night so the (yes it is) Auto Thyristor will be going back.I also read that that my camera has a slow sync mode,rear and front if I remember correctly,so Ill think Ill experiment with that for now when shooting the band,Have also been advised on using a fast lens.Im a complete newbie to all this,so may be best served to leaving the flash for now and focusing on underdstanding the camera a bit more..
Good help though ,Thanks
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 10:21 PM   #8
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I have a Vivitar 283 flash which I bought in 1978. I was curious about the trigger voltage if it is too high to be used for a modern DSLR. Most DSLR can't handle over 250 volts including Canon and Nikon. So I measure mine by plugging a PC cord into the side socket of the 283 using a digital mutlmeter. It measures 7.6 volts. Yes, mine is safe enough for using one my Canon DSLR in manual shooting mode. The results come out fairly well. The color temperature is little cooler at 5500K, a tad lower than the modern flash for digital camera.
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