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My Basic Flash Equipment

Many people who are interested in my Lighting With Portable Flash Workshop, who have yet to invest  in a separate  flash unit, ask me for advice on purchasing a flash.

Since I can only talk about my experiences and the equipment that I’ve used, I’m reluctant  to give anyone advice about anything  beyond my experience.

I  think that the best I can do is  provide information that  will let  the person asking for advice decide  for themselves.

When it comes  to my experience with flash, I’ve found that the Vivitar 283’s and Vivitar 285’s are what work best  for me. The 285-HV is the flash I use.

The Vivitar  285-HV is very  basic flash. While you can work the Vivitar 285-HV in automatic and manual modes the flash and camera do not communicate with each other.

This flash lacks many of  the bells and whistles (and the price tag) that more expensive flashes offer but for me it’s more than sufficient to get the job done.

Personally, I prefer the simplicity of the Vivitar 285-HV as a light source. I also appreciate the lack of communication between my flash and camera because it makes me think about everything that goes in to my composition as a separate element.

Here are some links showing the equipment that I use when it comes to flash photography.

Vivitar 285 article from Popular Photography

Paramount 5′ Coiled Sync Cord,

Vivitar to PC

Wein HSHSB Safe-Sync Hot Shoe

Trigger voltage of  Vivitar  285

Vivitar Website

And, of course, batteries. I use the Quantum battery #1.   Cords for connecting the the 285-HV to the Quantum battery.

0 thoughts on “My Basic Flash Equipment”

  1. Hi Tina,

    From what I understand, the newer 285’s are supposed to have a trigger voltage of 6 volts or less, making them safe for digital cameras. It’s the older 285’s that’ll fry your digital camera.

    Whatever flash I use I use the wein safe synch on the hot shoe of my digital camera as protection.

  2. Hey Sam,

    I am glad you included the post to Strobist regarding the Vivitars — those puppies can fry your digital camera if you use them on the camera’s hot shoe! (I assume that everyone is using their flashes OFF CAMERA though, right … ??)

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