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Old Mar 3, 2005, 9:38 PM   #1
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Received the Vivitar 285HV that I ordered from BHPhoto today. Read thru the book, put batteries in to give it a try... Nothing. The flash unit charges ok and fires ok using the test button. Put it on the camera and nothing. Now I have a dilemma in that I don't know if it's the camera or a bad center contact on the bottom of the flash. I don't have another camera with a hot shoe or another flash unit. Anyone have any ideas on how to test one or the other to determine which one isn't working? Or any other ideas as to what the problem may be?

Thanks, Gerry

I know others are using this flash with the FZ20.

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Old Mar 3, 2005, 9:58 PM   #2
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Look on the display and make sure the flash icon is not x-ed out . Refer to the manual about turning the external flash on/off. This happens a lot. Page 81.
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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Are you surethe flashis seated securely on the FZ? When I first attached an old external Minolta flash to my FZ I had the same problem -the flashtest fired ok but would not work with the camera. Turns out I just didn't have it seated far enough in to make a good contact. To the eye it looked like it was perfectly placed on the FZ but when I pulled it off and reset the flash paying careful attention to get it as far forward as possible it worked like a charm. YMMV.
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Old Mar 4, 2005, 6:54 AM   #4
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nooner wrote:
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Look on the display and make sure the flash icon is not x-ed out . Refer to the manual about turning the external flash on/off. This happens a lot. Page 81.

Nooner, the display shows either P or M depending on how I set it in the menu system so it is recognizing the flash unit. I have taken it off and on a number of times and have looked at all mechanical connections he best i can. I'm going to take the flash to the office this morning and try it on a G3 that we have there to see what happens. Thanks for the responses.. Gerry
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Old Mar 4, 2005, 8:55 AM   #5
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WELL, this is not good.. Took the Vivitar up to the office this morning and put it on a G3. Flash works fine:sad:. Now I will have to take a closer look at the FZ20 tonight and see if there is a contact problem or if the camera is bad... Gerry
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Old Mar 4, 2005, 9:01 AM   #6
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I use a Vivitar 628AF on my FZ20 and the only way it fires is...

Flash set to external manual

Camera set toShutter or Aperture mode (I use aperture mode and the speed defaults to 1/60

As nooner said check that the external flash is not forced off by pressing the flash icon on the thumb wheel

This may be apples and oranges since you have a different model number but it won't hurt to check.

:|



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Old Mar 4, 2005, 10:57 AM   #7
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When you connect the flash to your camera and then got to the Menu you should now have available in the menu items: "EXT. FLASH & EX. FLASH BURST".

If these items appear, then the camera is detecting the external flash. If these items do not appear then there is a physical connection problem in the camera or flash.

If the flash is detected, but not funtioning the my experience has been what Nooner describes: the flash is forced off.

Depending on the "display" option you have selected the external flash icon will (or will not be visible). It appears below the "P, A, S, or M" icons and below the OIS icon if OIS is enabled. The icon immediatly to the right of the Mode icon does not represent the external flash.

You need to scroll through "display" options and select one where the external flash icon is visible. If the exteranl flash icon is crossed out then the flash is forced off; press the thumb switch to the right to enable the flash.

When I first started using external flash (Viviter 283 & 285) I had this happen a couple of times and thought something was broken, it really is easy to force the flash off.
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Old Mar 4, 2005, 11:41 AM   #8
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jhbaker3 wrote:
Quote:
I use a Vivitar 628AF on my FZ20 and the only way it fires is...

Flash set to external manual

Camera set toShutter or Aperture mode (I use aperture mode and the speed defaults to 1/60

As nooner said check that the external flash is not forced off by pressing the flash icon on the thumb wheel

This may be apples and oranges since you have a different model number but it won't hurt to check.

:|



jhbaker3, I will try different ways tonight per your instructions. I think I tried everyway under the sun but will now do a more systematic approach. Thanks, Gerry
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Old Mar 4, 2005, 5:24 PM   #9
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pschooley1 wrote:
Quote:
You need to scroll through "display" options and select one where the external flash icon is visible. If the exteranl flash icon is crossed out then the flash is forced off; press the thumb switch to the right to enable the flash.

When I first started using external flash (Viviter 283 & 285) I had this happen a couple of times and thought something was broken, it really is easy to force the flash off.
Pschooley, you are a smart man and I am pretty dumb on this one. I got home tonight and put the flash back on the camera. I looked VERY closely at the flash icon and sure enough there was a thin X thru it:sad:. I didn't see this last night in dim lighting. Then again I have NO idea why the camera would default to "forced off" when you put a external flash on! Duh- I'll put this on just to add some weight or something. Pretty stupid but it fooled me I guess:?. Thanks for everyones help, Gerry

ps: took a couple of pics and the dial setup seems to work nice on providing the right amount of light. Thing weighs more than the camera I think- Oh well..


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Old Mar 4, 2005, 6:55 PM   #10
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I thought that's what happened. I guess I didn't explain it well enough:O
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