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Old Oct 27, 2006, 9:17 PM   #11
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 4:28 AM   #12
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What is the trigger voltage of the 285HV you have?

And what is the max trigger voltage the camera will take?

The 285HV model flash is said to be 'low'. But older 285 models are HIGH, and might fry your camera's circuitry.

If in doubt don't think! Buy the dedicated Kodak p20 flash.

As it happens the Kodak DX 6490 can handle up to 500V through it's PC cable connection jack. But this is the exception. Hotshoe models are all low voltage

Following is a link to an excellent website listing flash voltages


7.45-7.8V, according to "Bob from MediaPlus.com," Mike Dubbs, and "Steven at bellatlantic.net."
Peter Savage checked his 285 and 285HV units, and read only 6V.
Mike Flaherty measured around 8.5V on his 15-year-old 285, and feels safe using it on his EOS D30.

Older units may rate higher.
One correspondent had three units ranging from 8.3V to 33V...

Alan Latafat Correa checked with Vivitar and they clarified:
The 285HV has a voltage of 12V. The 285 has a voltage of 350V.

If your flash is the HV model and the camera can handle 12V then the 285HV is an acceptable choice.


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Old Oct 29, 2006, 12:00 PM   #13
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bigdawg wrote:
Familliarity will make using this kind of flash childs play.

I can certainly vouch for this, I have had my flash for a couple months now and taking good flash shots with it isn't hard at all anymore. Once you get used to it, it doesn't even take much thinking to put you settings right.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 9:40 PM   #14
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thanks inneyeseakay...

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Old Nov 3, 2006, 10:59 PM   #15
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One must be careful reading the Ads.

The Vivitar 285 HV has a guidenumber (GN)of 120 using a 50MM lens @ iso 100

The Kodak P20 has aguidenumber (GN) of 111 using a 50MM lens @iso 100

using the formula f(stop) = GN/Distance indicates about a 1/4 stop advantage to the Vivitar in power. Not that much difference. in other words if you are using a f2.8 lens you can only get enough light for up to 40feet with either of these strobes., and if your outside in the dark you will not be able to shoot 40feet.

Check out the manuals for each and you will see.

for the P850/880/712 the advantage goes to the P20 for the following reasons.

1) can use full TTL auto where the camera handles the flash, zoom light etc... vs on the vivitar or for that matter any other strobe you will have to use auto on the strobe, and either A or M on the camera and manually set the zoom on the flash as well as the ISO and the aperture.

2) the light output differience is not that great.

by the way the P20 @ iso 100 and F2 and zoom of 80mm will go 66'

Take care

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Old Nov 3, 2006, 11:11 PM   #16
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I thought I should add to this post.

I use on my p850/880 the Nikon sb26 when shooting weddings or other special events on a regular basis. and for Money too..or food, or whatever.

I will set the sb28 for 28MM zoom all the time to obtain a larger spread of light and I will shoot at f5.6 or f8 and keep the distance below 16 feet at ISO 64 or 100 tops.

I also carry the sb-26 with me so that I can use it as a slave flash, if necessary and use the in-camery flash as the primary trigger. This all takes some getting use to and a lot adjusting of settings. not very good for 'grab shots' but fine for all formal setups.

Obviously, the P20 is much easier to use. If you really need to go over 40' buy a sunpack or metz around $300+ then you will have enough light. and with most small sensor cameras, as you already know, keep the iso low due to noise and give the sensor adequate light.

Loving it still at 60+ Been shooting for over 50 years.

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Old Nov 4, 2006, 6:05 PM   #17
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In my books, with your camera, the P-20 is the best choice. Note that as has been pointed out the two flashes you mentioned both have virtually the same light output. By using the P-20 you are getting a flash that can integrate with your camera, which is very desireable.

Also keep in mind that you can extend the range of any flash by just increasing the ISO seed that you are using. That is why Kodak specs out the P-20 as useable to 60 feet.

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